On March 1, the BloomStudios Cut Flowers team participated in public commemorative events in Milwaukee, Wisc., San Diego, Calif., and Evanston, Ill., as part of The Floral Heart Project. The March 1 event was a national day of mourning in alignment with Marked By COVID, and industry support from 1800-Flowers and BloomStudios. It featured hundreds of volunteers laying more than 125 hearts at locations from Maine to California with events that included floral heart displays and vigils, mayoral proclamations, musical accompaniment, and speeches by families who lost loved ones to COVID-19.
The Floral Heart Project is a COVID-19 memorial effort that began in April of last year by New York City artist Kristina Libby. It is a way to publicly help people acknowledge, grieve, and memorialize those lost to COVID-19 through floral displays and social amplification.
“I didn’t start out to create a nationwide effort; I laid a heart because I was grieving and I wanted to do something to recognize our losses,” said Libby in the event’s announcement. “From there the project has grown as others want to recognize the losses in a way that is beautiful and compassionate. Community matters now more than ever and one way we can grow a community is by grieving together.”
BloomStudios portfolio manager Mary O’Connor brought The Floral Heart Project to the attention of general manager, Scott Rusch. They worked hand in hand to help Kristina bring her project to a nationwide audience, connecting volunteers, growers, and suppliers to the efforts.
“It was an honor to have BloomStudios collaborate with the movement built by Kristina and to provide memorials through The Floral Heart Project,” says Rusch. “It was inspiring to see the beauty of flowers help heal the communities around us. Many thanks to all the volunteers who pitched in and got involved.”
Communities are encouraged to continue to lay floral hearts beyond the March 1 event and to reach out to participate in future activities, including efforts to create living memorial gardens and permanent memorial installations.