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The Shed Presents PASSING NOTES by Troy Anthony and Jerome Ellis

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The Shed Presents PASSING NOTES by Troy Anthony and Jerome Ellis

For one evening only, on Sunday, May 17 at 6 pm ET, artists Troy Anthony and Jerome Ellis will open a space for the public to honor the healers in our communities, address the racialized and gendered injustices exposed by the coronavirus, mourn those who have died during the COVID-19 crisis, and celebrate new habits, practices, and relationships that have been born during this time. Above is a short film about how the artists developed their concept for a virtual sanctuary on the Zoom digital platform.

PASSING NOTES is the third installment of UP CLOSE, The Shed's digital commissioning program. The concept arose out of a conversation between the artists and The Shed's program team shortly after Ellis's grandfather passed on April 4, 2020. Like many families, Ellis's relatives have not been able to hold a funeral due to restrictions on gatherings, and Anthony and Ellis began to ask themselves how they could intentionally use Zoom's digital platform to bring grieving loved ones together. Inspired by sources including Assata Shakur's poem "Affirmation," Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and David Kessler's On Grief and Grieving, and the hymn "His Eye Is on the Sparrow," with original music composed for this event, the artists have imagined a new way to use online communication platforms as alternative spaces for collective mourning.

PASSING NOTES is intended to be experienced as a live, participatory event, making space to share grief in real-time while separated from each other. Documentation of the ritual will be posted online after the event as digital artifacts so that future visitors might build on the healing power of the work.


In advance of the ritual, the artists will welcome participants by email and provide detailed instructions to prepare for PASSING NOTES. To receive this email and participate, please reserve a free ticket at Zoom meeting information will be provided in a follow-up email on the day of the event.

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