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We are thrilled to announce that we are pairing with THE CITY, a nonprofit news organization covering New York City, for their annual winter community arts event. WWTNS? will host a free public writing workshop, “Writing Your Grief and Celebrating Life,” as part of THE CITY’S “MISSING THEM” virtual memorial event.

“MISSING THEM” is a virtual memorial event to tell and listen to stories about those felled by the coronavirus. The goal: to remember and celebrate lives at a time when the pandemic has changed the way we say goodbye. The free event marks an extension of THE CITY’s ambitious “MISSING THEM” project, an effort to name every New Yorker lost to the coronavirus and tell a story about them. THE CITY is inviting families and friends to share something — a memory, a song lyric, a poem or whatever feels appropriate — to honor those no longer with them. Their hope is that telling these stories will, in some small way, create avenues of connection and bring some comfort for those speaking and those bearing witness. Alongside WWTNS?, other partners include the Brooklyn Public Library, the Local Voices Network, Re-Imagine and the Interfaith Center of New York.

The writing workshop, delivered in both English and Spanish, will help people generate poetry, monologues and diary entries. After the workshop, in the space of just 24 hours, the WWTNS? team will edit the material into a script, and present it digitally with actors, as well as a soon to be announced musical guest. Performers include Co-Artistic Directors James Clements and Ana Cristina DaSilva, as well as Yvette Lu, Kayla Yee, Marnie Ponce, Matt Greenberg, Alexis Ingram, Melannie Vásquez Lara, Derya Celikkol, Xavier Reyes, Pablo Calderón-Santiago and Brigitte Williamson. 

To learn more and to register for the event, click here!



Schedule of Events

Friday, Dec. 11  //6 p.m. -8 p.m. ET

  • 6 p.m.: Opening remarks

  • 6:30 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.: Holding Space for Grief Poetry Reading, featuring poets Ellen BassRoss Gay and Aracelis Girmay.

  • 7:45 p.m.: Celebrating Life: Video presented by Brooklyn Public Library of New Yorkers who created a composite poem of the obituaries written for THE CITY’s MISSING THEM memorial.

Saturday, Dec. 12 // 10 a.m. -8 p.m. ET

  • 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Writing Your Grief and Celebrating Life: A writing workshop with What Will The Neighbors Say? and THE CITY

  • 1 p.m.: Opening remarks

  • 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.: A Mental and Spiritual Health Roundtable

  • 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.: Reflection Circle: The Open Newsroom and partners hold conversations with New Yorkers about grieving during the pandemic

  • 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.: Sharing Stories of Who We Lost: Families and friends share stories of the loved ones they lost

Sunday, Dec. 13 // 10 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET

  • 10 a.m. - Noon: Poetry Master Class presented by Brooklyn Public Library: A workshop on writing about personal trauma and loss during the pandemic

  • Noon: Opening remarks

  • 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.: Master Class Presentation + Sharing Stories of Who We Lost: Master Class attendees recite their work + Families and friends share stories of the loved ones they lost

  • 2:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.: Our Grief and Our Lives: What Will the Neighbors Say? performs community stories reflecting on grief and life during COVID-19