Solar One (East River just south of 23rd St. under FDR Drive, Manhattan)
6pm both days

H U G is a public performance installation that effects social change by spreading a healing message of compassion and human connection. H U G is the distillation of one powerful human gesture that is understood universally and without bias. Surprising park-goers in the midst of their day, H U G travels through Stuyvesant Cove Park. Appearing without warning, pairs embrace in stillness surrounded by dramatic urban nature. They create a seamlessly choreographed grand gesture that sparks a jarring moment of vulnerability easily discernible to those who happen upon it.

H U G relies on two common avenues of communication: personal interaction and electronic messaging. Prior to the performance, personal stories of loss and conflict are collected from the public in order to be honored and commemorated. At the performance, the audience is invited to add themselves into the installation and contribute their own memories. The project is an artistic act of public compassion which presents the body as the location where difficult memories dwell. Healing takes place through the physical interaction of individuals immersed in the transformative natural environment of the riverfront park setting.

H U G promotes community and individual healing and creates an opportunity to replace painful memories with new memories of hope. It supports small acts of kindness as the cornerstone of global social change. H U G creates opportunities for the people of a community to practice compassion for others, to collectively mourn its lost members and to memorialize tragic events.