(New York, NY) Last year, at seven o’clock throughout New York City and its surrounding areas, you would hear a crescendo of sound emerging from the silence of empty streets, as people appeared at their windows with makeshift instruments and cheers to welcome healthcare workers, building staff, and other frontline workers home. Every day, without fail, the sound of solidarity and hope that has come to define the people of New York would rise in the evening in the face of escalating death tolls with unwavering courage and compassion.

“No matter how dark some days seemed, we remained united in our unwavering faith in God, knowing that He would bring light out of the darkness, hope from despair, life from death.” Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York

PORTRAITS OF GRACE is a project born of that spirit. Its purpose is to remember those indelible moments that got New Yorkers through the staggering losses, the shared triumphs, and to honor our city’s anonymous heroes, “the saints next door.”

The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture in partnership with the Anglosphere Society, the Knights of Columbus, and contributing members the Archdiocese of New York, America Media, and the National Review Institute, is producing a multi-media digital experience comprised of photographs, testimonials, videos, and hybrid events intended to honor our frontline workers and commemorate this shared chapter of unimaginable loss and commensurate heroism in our city’s history. This exhibit seeks to capture the profoundly human and transcendent moments in the pandemic experience that the city witnessed every day in 2020.

Phase one of the launch will focus on the acts of service performed with immediacy and selflessness throughout the Archdiocese of New York in parishes, schools, neighborhoods, hospitals, and food pantries at the peak of the pandemic. “This exhibition shows the beauty, the mission and the heroism of the Catholic Faith in action,” observes Jeffery Bruno, creative director, photographer and the curator of the phase one launch. In phase two, we will see and hear from the nurses, doctors, priests, religious, lay personnel, and caregivers who ensured that the people of New York, especially the most vulnerable, had the services required to survive the crisis –  some of whom returned home to cheers in the evening and others who never made it back. Through this digital exhibition, we celebrate them both, as we endeavor to make our way forward, in solidarity.

PORTRAITS OF GRACE will be released in stages with the first phase of retrospective photographs and videos published this summer on the digital platform https://www.portraits-of-grace.com and the second phase of expanded storytelling and hybrid events planned for the fall of 2021.

The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture announces this project today, July 7, 2021 to unite our voices with those of our fellow New Yorkers who are honoring our frontline workers at today’s parade. For updates on PORTRAITS OF GRACE, please visit sheencenter.org

The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture (www.sheencenter.org) is a New York City arts center located in NoHo that presents a vibrant mix of theater, film, music, art and talk events. A project of the Archdiocese of New York, The Sheen Center serves all New Yorkers by presenting performances and artists that reflect the true, the good, and the beautiful.  Named for the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, best remembered as an inspirational author, radio host and two-time Emmy Award-winning television personality, The Sheen Center reflects his modern-day approach to contemporary topics. The Sheen Center is a state-of-the-art theater complex that includes the 270-seat off-Broadway Loreto Theater, equipped with five-camera high-definition TV and live-stream capability and a multi-track recording studio; the 80-seat off-off-Broadway Black Box Theater; four rehearsal studios; and an art gallery.