Past Events

The Art of Covid Memorials: When Memory, Meaning, and Mourning Are Deferred

A Symposium with James Young, Kristin Urquiza, and Karla Funderburk

Thursday, Nov 4, 2021 at 5:00pm Zoom Webinar

James E. Young is Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of English and Judaic & Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he has taught since 1988, and Founding Director of the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies at UMass Amherst. Read more…

Kristin Urquiza is a proud product of public primary education and the first person in her family to go to college. She is Co-Executive Director of Marked by COVID, which she co-founded after her father needlessly passed away from COVID on June 30th. Marked By COVID is a national, grassroots-powered nonprofit that promotes accountability, recognition, justice, and a pandemic-free future by elevating truth and science. She holds a Master of Public Affairs from UC Berkeley, is a graduate of Yale University, and is the granddaughter of migrant and immigrant farm workers from Mexico and Oklahoma. She can be followed on Twitter @kdurquiza and @MarkedByCOVID.

Karla Funderburk is a Ceramic Artist and Master Carpenter. She earned an MFA from Claremont Graduate University in 1984, with a focus on ceramic sculpture, installation and performance art. In 1991, she started MATTER, a handmade, custom furniture design and manufacturing business. She is currently creating the Memorial Crane Project, a collaborative installation honoring the victims of Covid-19. As this Memorial travels to various States. Through social media and the multiple press coverage, she receives Tsuru, (origami cranes) which she and a team of volunteers string and install in various venues throughout the US. Read more…


Samuel Hargress and the Music of Paris Blues: A Community Event

Sunday, October 31, 2:00 p.m to 6:00 p.m.  The Bandshell in Jackie Robinson Park, Bradhurst Ave. @ 153rd St.

Sponsored by City Artists Corps,  WeAct for Environmental Justice   and ZIP Code Memory Project: Practices of Justice and Repair

2:00 pm La Banda Ramirez Latin Jazz
3:20 pm  Beautiful Journey
4:00 pm  Les Goodson and the Holy Ghost Voodoo Power Band
5:00 pm  John Cooksey’s Spontaneous Combustion
5:40 pm  Tyrone Govan and der Secret 2

This concert honors Samuel Hargress, Jr. who opened his jazz club, “Paris Blues” on November 15, 1969, and proceeded to book live Jazz seven nights weekly. With no cover charge,  and with a full bar, free buffet, and family hospitality, Paris Blues became widely known as a great jazz  bar in Harlem. Visitors from all over the world were treated to a wide range of blues, jazz and Latin  jazz, and a regular jam night. Sam said that he named Paris Blues “to honor the city, soldiers and music  I grew to love,” as he served in the military in post-war Europe, where his grandfather had fought as a  member of the Harlem Hellfighters. 

Born in Demopolis, Alabama, in 1936, Sam Hargress, Jr. contracted the COVID virus and passed away  on April 10, 2020, one day past his 84th birthday. A civil rights activist throughout his lifetime, he had  received many awards and honors on federal, state, and local levels, and had received personal letters  from many community leaders, including Mayor Bill De Blasio, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Dr.  Martin Luther King, Jr. Sam’s jazz club had its last night on March 15, 2020; La Banda Ramirez was  the band that night. Paris Blues remains closed at this time.

DIANA TAYLOR Reparative Memory: Trauma, Memory, Accountability, and Repair Thursday, October 21

(Watch the video here)

Join us for this free virtual event by registering HERE

What can we do when it seems that nothing can be done and doing nothing is not an option? How do communities hardest hit by COVID-19 transform the traumatic memories of loss into practices of repair? This talk will explore some of the theoretical and practical implications of these questions.

Diana Taylor is a university professor and professor of performance studies and Spanish at New York University. She is the award-winning author of multiple books, among them: Theatre of Crisis (1991), Disappearing Acts(1997), The Archive and the Repertoire (2003), Performance (2016), and ¡Presente! The Politics of Presence (2020), and co-editor of Holy Terrors(2003), Stages of Conflict (2008) and Lecturas avanzadas de Performance(2011), among others. Taylor was the founding director of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics from 1998 to 2000. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and several other major awards. In 2017, Taylor was president of the Modern Language Association. In 2018, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Science. In 2021, she was awarded the Edwin Booth Award for “outstanding contribution to the NYC theatre community, and to promote integration of professional and academic theatre.”

Virtual Roundtable: Reparative Memory:   

(Watch the video here)

Featuring: Michael Arad, Susan Meiselas, Doris Salcedo, Hank Willis Thomas, Mabel Wilson Moderated by Carol Becker

How can the devastating but radically disproportionate losses caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic be memorialized? While acknowledging the social inequities and injustices the pandemic has exposed, might local memories of loss and neglect be transformed into a practice of justice and collective healing? What aesthetic memorial forms and strategies of engagement best foster the work of Repair?

This roundtable will approach the urgency of such challenges in conversations between noted artists who have responded to histories of violence and loss in vastly different geo-political contexts. Their visionary memorial projects have mobilized painful memories, leaving space both for mourning and for imagining potential futures. Each of these artists will discuss one project, sharing their process and the challenges faced in creating communities of memory.

This will be the first in a series of conversations on “Reparative Memory” in conjunction with Columbia University School of the Art’s theme of “Repair” and the “Zip Code Memory Project,” based at the Center for the Study Social Difference.