Eiteljorg Día de Muertos Community Celebration returns Oct. 30

Joey Amato | October 21, 2021

The annual Día de Muertos Community Celebration returns to the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art on Saturday, Oct. 30, bringing cultural performances, music, art and dance to the popular holiday festival also known as Day of the Dead. The Eiteljorg will be open extended hours that day, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and admission is free. Visitors are strongly encouraged to reserve tickets in advance at Eiteljorg.org/diademuertos.

Onstage music and dance performers and presenters at this year’s celebration include Ana Cisneros and Esteban Martinez, Global Prep Academy students, Grupo Folclórico Macehuani, Metropolitan Youth Orchestra and Ballet Folklorico Mosaicos. Día de Muertos performances will be livestreamed Oct. 30; visit Eiteljorg.org/diademuertos or Eiteljorg.org/dayofthedead for livestreaming and a complete schedule and online resources.

At the museum celebration Oct. 30, visitors can learn about Spanish Colonial tinwork with artist-in-residence Richard Gabriel Jr. and create handmade art with visiting artists. Several vendors will be on hand in the mercado (marketplace) offering original artwork, sweets, pan de muerto (Day of the Dead bread) and cultural items.

With roots going back thousands of years to Indigenous traditions in Mexico, Día de Muertos is a holiday where people gather and remember friends and relatives who have passed on. Day of the Dead has evolved into a diverse festival, celebrated not only in Mexico but in the U.S. and many other nations. Often Día de Muertos is celebrated with parades of Catrinas with elaborate skull face paint and costumes, and through decorating the graves of loved ones with marigold flowers.

Also at the Eiteljorg is the Community Art and Ofrenda Exhibit, open now and free to visit in the museum’s Lilly Theater daily through Nov. 2. Curated by Arte Mexicano en Indiana, this year’s exhibit features the work of artist Eduardo Robeldo, a Mexico City-based printmaker who creates mythic images utilizing the stories of past and present Mexico in his finely wrought linocuts. The elaborate decorated ofrendas (altars) in the exhibit are designed by local organizations to honor and remember deceased loved ones. Visitors can add a personal note to the community ofrenda, or submit a photo of a loved one for inclusion in the digital slideshow by sending the photo to museumprograms@eiteljorg.com.

“The Día de Muertos celebration is one of the most beloved annual family events at the Eiteljorg, something we look forward to all year that brings the community together. While we offered it virtually in 2020 out of public health considerations, we are pleased to again present this year’s celebration as an in-person event, with livestreaming options for those who prefer to join us online,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said.

For the safety of all guests and visitors, the building capacity will be limited, so advance ticket registration at Eiteljorg.org/diademuertos is recommended. This is a rain or shine event; performances will take place on the outdoor stage throughout the day, and other activities will be spread indoors and out. In accordance with current and evolving COVID pandemic and health guidance, visitors are required to wear masks while in the museum.