In an effort to remember the lives lost to COVID-19, NYCNext teamed up with Floral Heart Project to host a socially distant healing ritual and concert at Rockaway Beach on Saturday, Nov. 14.
NYCNext, a volunteer organization with a mission to bring spontaneous joy to the city, and Floral Heart Project artist Kristina Libby, in collaboration with leading floral provider 1-800-Flowers.com, wanted to give the nearby community a moment to recognize and relieve the collective grief that’s resulted of the pandemic and to make room for hope, joy and possibility.
Queens quickly became the epicenter of the epicenter, with more than 7,000 deaths since the pandemic forced the city to go on lockdown in March. Now, several neighborhoods, including Far Rockaway, are seeing recent spikes in COVID-19 cases.
The organizers of the event wanted to commemorate those who have passed. Libby brought messages of love as well as a floral heart arrangement presentation.
The Black Surfing Association of Rockaway helped release the heart into the ocean.
There were performances by The Salvation Army Queens Temple Corps & Worship, based in Jackson Heights, and noted musicians Willie Martinez and Friends. Queens activist Ruben Cruz, co-chair of the Latin American Intercultural Alliance (LAIA), also supported the event.
This is the latest in a series of events organized by NYCNext. Previous events include “A Moment for Broadway” in Times Square with Broadway stars and a poetry reading on the steps of New York Public Library with Min Jin Lee, Nancy Mercado and Daniel J. Watts.