The light we shine with our attention, when we listen to others…

The Ships in the Night is a living archive project that reclaims and reframes pandemic experiences, asking “what do you want (your community) to remember?” This project addresses the impact of Covid-19 by creating bridges between people of diverse backgrounds in New London County, Connecticut, connecting their shared pandemic experiences, and celebrating their resiliency.

The project manifests as co-authored poems created by Jessica Cerullo through one-on-one interviews with community members, a performance, a public lecture, a community walk, a book, a series of intimate conversations, and a living archive.

Inspired by a line in a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem, The Ships in the Night describes what happens when ships unexpectedly pass in the night and shine a light to announce their presence. The project’s goals are to shine a light on pandemic experiences, amplifying voices in New London County, Connecticut that are typically not heard.

This living archive uses collaborative authorship, performance, and engaged transformative listening to create opportunities for deeper community relationships. Its creative manifestations engage participants on affective (emotional), as well as cognitive, and embodied levels.

Audiences and co-authors of the project, are repeatedly invited to participate in the work of re-imagining a future that is ripe with opportunities for connection, creation, and collective meaning making. Ongoing engagement with the living archive through activation exercises, readings, and re-enactments formulates pathways that enable the stories to circulate through the communities and the individuals and organizations that comprise it.


The Ships in the Night is a project by artist Jessica Cerullo created in collaboration with social choreographer Tia Kramer.

The following community partner organizations have collaborated with and supported the project:

Waterford, Groton, Mystic and Noank, and Stonington Free Libraries; ArtReach; Connecticut College, James Merrill House, La Grua Center for Arts and Culture, Literacy Volunteers of Washington County; The Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation, Michael Chekhov Association; Michael Chekhov Europe; More Than Words: Inter-High School Diversity Club; OutCT; Mystic Paper Beasts; Stonington Historical Society; SECCO, Southeastern Connecticut Community Orchestra; Thames Valley Council for Community Action Senior Volunteer Program; and UCFS Health Care.

If you would like to activate the “The Ships In The Night” archive, our creative team is ready to collaborate with you. Contact us to arrange a living-archives workshop, lecture, or performance for your students or community.