Arts & Life, Events, Fine & Performing Arts

Return from the Dead

Happy death day to you.

Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a holiday that celebrates the lives of relatives deceased. The holiday is most often recognized by colorful “sugar skulls,” which are usually adorned with vivid colors and traditional Day of the Dead patterns.

The Museum of Latin American Art will be hosting its annual Dia de los Muertos family festival Sunday. The event will feature several activities that celebrate the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead. Notably, there will be several altars exhibited that have been constructed by families from the local area honoring deceased family members.

“The goal is to have the community see themselves in the artwork,” MOLAA Education Curator Gabriela Martinez said.

According to Martinez, the event saw 3,500 attendees last year and the museum is hoping for 5,000 this year.

There will be free parking in front of MOLAA on a first come, first serve basis; however, there will also be an auxiliary parking lot set up by the Terrace Theater at the Long Beach Convention Center. Parking will be $10 and MOLAA will be providing a free shuttle service to and from the auxiliary lot from 11a.m. to 5:45p.m.

The museum will host several art workshops, musical performances, and docent-led tours through the museum. Attendees can also expect to see an altar dedicated to Mexican pop star Selena, in honor of the 20th anniversary of her death. There will be a large exhibit in front of the museum featuring various photographs of her family as well as messages from her fans.

The exhibits inside the museum will feature pieces from the private collection of Cheech Marin, along with other pieces from artists in the Los Angeles area. The pieces will be exhibited next to the community-built altars honoring the dead.

Many of those who participate in the festivities surrounding the holiday also can have their face painted with the sugar skull theme in honor of the dead. The Mexican holiday is a way for MOLAA to reach out to the community to make them aware of Mexico’s rich cultural heritage.

“We hope that the community comes out,” Martinez said. “We are really looking forward to seeing everyone.”

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