News

Hart Island Could Be Temporary Burial Ground for Coronavirus Victims

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Some have called it a home for mass graves, but for more than a hundred years, Hart Island has been the city’s public cemetery.

Melinda Hunt, president of the Hart Island Project, a nonprofit which works to increase access to the island said the site is a well-managed public burial ground which has operated for generations.

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NY1

New York City hires laborers to bury dead in Hart Island potter's field amid coronavirus surge

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 New York City officials have hired contract laborers to bury the dead in its potter’s field on Hart Island as the city’s daily death rate from the coronavirus epidemic has reached grim new records in each of the last three days.

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REUTERS

The Transformation of Hart Island

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At least once a week between January and March, J. Crawford woke up around 5:30 A.M. on Rikers Island, the city’s largest jail complex, and changed into work boots and an orange and white jumpsuit. Around six o’clock, he boarded a bus operated by the Department of Correction, which carried incarcerated workers and a few correction officers to a ferry on City Island, in the Bronx.

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John Minchillo/AP

Cry Across the Sound: a memoirist's chant

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They died poor and unclaimed and before their lives began. They died but before they died, they left their flesh, their eyes to science. They died lost to themselves or lost to others, loved or barely liked, in secret or on the street or without telling anyone that they were dying.

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North America Review

Erosion, floods make some final resting places not so final

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On an island off New York City, authorities in 2018 found 174 bones unearthed on a site that holds the remains of more than 1 million people. The culprit was shoreline erosion.

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Seth Wenig, AP
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Events

The Hart Island Project AIDS Initiative presents: Everybody is Somebody

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This workshop features a video with Martha Wade whose cousin Shawn Ross was buried on Hart Island in 2005 when his mother refused to collect his body because he was gay. Martha learned about Hart Island in 2019 while watching the television series Pose. 

View Film: https://www.hartisland.net/aids_initiative

RSVP: staff@hartisland.net


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Everybody is Somebody/The Hart Island Project

The Hart Island Project Annual Meeting

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The Hart Island Project Annual Meeting is open to the public and will take place on Zoom unless NYPL Thompkins Square Branch reopens on time. 


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Past events

The Hart Island Project AIDS Initiative presents: Ghost Kid Beats

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This workshop features a video with Rafael Ortega Jr who composes music under the name Ghost Kid Beats, an homage to his father who died of AIDS in 2012. Filmmaker Edward Heavrin donated footage showing burials three months before Rafael Sr was interred in Plot 355 on Hart Island. 


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Ghost Kid Beats/The Hart Island Project

The Hart Island Project AIDS Initiative presents: Remembering Carmen Perez

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This workshop features Carmen Vasquez who lost four family members to AIDS. Her mother, Carmen Perez, died at Elmhurst Hospital at the peak of the AIDS epidemic in 1990. Carmen asked to see her mother’s body and was only shown photos. I met Carmen last year on the ferry ride to Hart Island for her first visit to her mother’s gravesite. 


Please View Film and RSVP for passcode join us Saturday, May 2 at 2:30 PM Zoom Meeting ID: 856 4630 3181 to discuss. 


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Remembering Carmen Perez/The Hart Island Project

The Hart Island Project AIDS Initiative presents: Norberto Soto

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The first workshop features a webisode with Elsie Soto who lost her father Norberto to AIDS in 1993. Her family was unable to find a funeral director. This is a problem many families are facing today.  

Please View Film and RSVP staff@hartisland.net for passcode join us Saturday, April 18 at 11 AM Zoom Meeting ID: 914 3402 3709 to discuss.


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AIDS Burials on Hart Island: Norberto Soto/The Hart Island Project

HDC Preservation Conference: Open to the Public

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The Hart Island Project will have a table at HDC Preservation conference. Please stop by and let us answer you questions about the transfer of Hart Island to Parks: 524 W 59th St, New York, NY 10019


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Bronx Parks Speakup

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Please visit The Hart Island Project table at the annual Bronx Parks Speakup. We will have a table from 11 am to 12:30 pm to answer your questions about the newest Bronx park: Hart Island. We look forward to seeing you soon.


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