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Baltimore County Plans A COVID-19 Memorial

Baltimore County's temporary COVID-19 memorial, March 25, 2021
Baltimore County
Baltimore County's temporary COVID-19 memorial, March 25, 2021. Credit: Baltimore County

Baltimore County plans to build a permanent memorial to remember those who have died from COVID-19 in the county and statewide. There will be a nationwide search for the artist.

Helene Luce, the county’s Arts and Culture Coordinator, said the idea for a permanent memorial came earlier this year when the county marked the one-year anniversary of the pandemic with a temporary memorial of American flags.

Luce said this life-defining year has affected us in different ways. She said a permanent memorial will give people a place to gather and reflect.

“It seems just as appropriate as having a memorial for 9-11 or World War II or something like that,” Luce said.

More than 1,600 people have died from COVID in Baltimore County. The toll statewide is more than 9,400.

The memorial will be at Lake Roland and is expected to be unveiled next spring. Luce envisions a free-standing work of public art, not a mural.

“Something not super colorful, kind of simple and appropriate for a memorial,” Luce said.

While they are searching nationally for the artist, Luce said they would like to pick someone from Maryland.

“Fortunately, we do have a lot of artists in the area, so we’re hoping one of those great people will apply,” Luce said.

July 1 is the deadline to apply. You can find out how to do that and more details here.

Whoever is chosen will receive up to $100,000 for the design, creation and installation of the artwork. County spokeswoman Abigail Vitaliano said that money will come out of the county's tourism budget. She said they also will pursue a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.

Baltimore County is working with the Baltimore County Arts Guild to launch the memorial project.

John Lee is a reporter for WYPR covering Baltimore County. @JohnWesleyLee2