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Roses River Memorial at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Jan 19, 2021   

Rose River Memorial to create a temporary installation on the Fairbanks Lawn and Reflecting Pool at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on January 19, 2021 to memorialize lives lost in Los Angeles to Covid-19. 

The installation, which is not open to the public, will be included in live streamed programming produced in collaboration with non-profit organizations Marked by COVID, co-founded by DNC speaker Kristin Urquiza and Let’s Reimagine and shown prior to the special lighting ceremony conducted by President Elect Biden at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington D.C. The ceremony, part of the first national recognition of COVID loss will memorialize the nearly 400,000 people in the United States lost to COVID.


Over five-thousand handcrafted red felt roses made by members of the public will be displayed in the installation at Hollywood Forever Cemetery and will be filmed for the live stream program. Each rose symbolizes a loved one whose life was taken by the virus. During the live stream at the cemetery, there will be several guest speakers including families who have lost members to the virus, CD 13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell and installation artist and co-founder Marcos Lutyens. 


The Rose River Memorial project was conceptualized by acclaimed artist Marcos Lutyens as a way for those who have suffered losses to grieve collectively during the pandemic. Lutyens, whose work has been included in such museums as the Guggenheim, MoMA PS1, LACMA and the Royal Academy of Arts, intends to bring the memorial art installation to Washington DC in March 2022. 


Following the Biden lighting ceremony, an expert panel discussion about the importance of permanent memorials and the need for ongoing memorialization to heal, unite, and move forward. These include the celebrated architect Daniel Libeskind known for his design of the World Trade Center in NY, and Colorado Senator Julie Gonzales.

Prayer by Megan Hollaway of Episcopal School of Los Angeles


Marcos Lutyens states “We are honored to be part of this first national recognition of US COVID victims, and be aligned with this ceremony conducted by the incoming administration. We have worked with various COVID affected communities to make the felt roses that will be on display at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, a process that has helped with the grieving process.” 

Produced by Michelene Cherie

Thanks to Julia Johnston

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