During the last few years our community has faced immense trauma, from the physical loss of life, to loss of employment, loss of home and continued uncertainty. Through the pandemic, the City and the region have come together to support our residents by understanding that not only do they need economic or health support but emotional support as well. Our collective grief is something that must be recognized.


This led the City of Detroit Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and the Cranbrook Art Museum to create a permanent, living memorial to this time to promote healing and show support for our community.

We call it The Healing Memorial. 

The project was conceived by world-renowned and Cranbrook-educated artist Sonya Clark as an interpretation of her Beaded Prayer exhibit, which has traveled the world for more than a decade.

For this project, residents were encouraged to create small memorial pouches (fits in the palm of the hand) using fabric from their loved ones or donated material. These fabric pouches were gathered by the thousands to create a tapestry of memories and displayed at Detroit’s Huntington Place downtown. 

Throughout the summer of 2021, making stations were set up at various community events, churches, day camps, shops and along the Dequindre Cut to give all residents across metro Detroit an opportunity to contribute to this collective memorial. The completed work was unveiled on the City of Detroit’s official Covid Memorial Day in Septemer of 2021. Funding for this project is made possible by the generous support of the Ford Fund, TCF Bank, the City of Detroit, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, and Cranbrook Art Museum. 

To attend a free screening of "Afterthought: Remembering a Pandemic" on April 9, 2024, click here.