Touching Hearts, Not Hands

by Apr 3, 2020Blog, Fieldwork and Collecting, Folklore Scholarship

As we are confronting the coronavirus crisis, City Lore, in New York City, is putting out a call to collect creative responses to the crisis in song, poetry, video and other forms. New Yorkers are famous for coming together in community after September 11th. There were many creative responses to this sorrowful and challenging time including singing together and communal memorials on the street. Today we can’t get together and hold hands to sing — but we can be creative in other ways.

City Lore’s dedicated staff has the skills to document the myriad ways that people and communities express their identities, humanity and connection with each other.  After September 11th , City Lore documented the memorials that appeared on New York City’s streets.  This culminated in an exhibit at the New York Historical Society, Missing: Streetscape of a City in Mourning.  More recently, City Lore collected and documented signs from the Climate and Women’s marches nationwide. (An exhibit that features signs from the Women’s marches is just now being postponed!)
So to help us collectively and safely to find comfort, humor, and joy during this crisis, City Lore is putting out a call for poems, stories, songs, and videos that convey the experiences , encouragements, meditations, and innovations of this challenging time.   Please send your materials to with the subject line Touching Hearts, Not Hands”.     We all respond in our own way, we all do what we can, and this is the way a folklore center can respond.  The human spirit is irrepressible.