During the last year our community has faced immense trauma, from the physical loss of life, to loss of employment, loss of home and continued uncertainty. Through this 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 will be encouraged to create small memorial pouch (fits in the palm of the hand) using fabric from their loved ones or donated material. These fabric pouches will be gathered by the thousands to create a tapestry of memories to be displayed at Detroit’s TCF Center downtown. 

Throughout the summer of 2021, making stations will be 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 will be unveiled on the City of Detroit’s official Covid Memorial Day - August 31st. 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. 

Interested in helping?
We know that thousands of residents were impacted by the pandemic. With your help, we can make sure that the largest number of people have the chance to participate.

How you can help: 

  • Attend a making station workshop - Upcoming making stations - Tuesday, July 13, 8-11am at Cullen Plaza, or at the Sidewalk Detroit Festival at the following dates and locations -  July 24 | Dexter-Linwood, July 31 | Chadsey-Condon, August 7 | Joy-Southfield, August 14 | Jefferson-Chalmers. More making station dates coming soon! 
  • Spread the word!  We will send information will include the locations of making stations and places where residents can pick up free kits to craft their own Memorial pouch. Click here for instructions to make your own at home.  Or watch an instructional video with artist Sonya Clark
  • Volunteer!  Learn how to make a Memorial Pouch through an instructional video with artist Sonya Clark and/or zoom with project organizers and then take that knowledge back to your community to create them with your organization. Or volunteer to facilitate making stations on the riverfront or throughout the community. Click here to sign up to volunteer.
  • Host a creation station! Have a volunteer come to your organization and run a session to explain how to create Memorial Pouch with your community group. Click here to register your organization, church, block club, or group.
  • Donate to the project - Click here to provide a contribution towards the cost of materials for memorial packets  
  • Finished making a pouch? Drop off or mail completed pouches -
    Mail your pouch to by August 10th
    The Healing Memorial
    C/O Detroit Riverfront Conservancy
    600 Renaissance Center, Suite 1720
    Detroit, MI 48243
  • Drop off your pouch to Cullen Plaza or Valade Park by August 20th
    Drop your pouch off to the drop it off at the DRFC Ambassador Carts located at Cullen Plaza (1340 E. Atwater, Detroit, MI 48207) or Valade Park (2670 E. Atwater, Detroit, MI 48207) on Fridays from 4-7 p.m. or Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.  The DRC Ambassador Cart is a blue cart located near the restrooms at Cullen Plaza, and inside of the Shed at Valade Park. 

Click here to learn how to make a Memorial Pouch from artist Sonya Clark

Click to join the mailing list

Click to volunteer

Click to have your group participate

Click to donate