AUSTIN, TX — The Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center is poised to host a virtual yet ambitious Día de Los Muertos celebration in keeping with a long tradition of commemorating the holiday.
For the first time in its history, the center will present a digital event given the ongoing threat of COVID-19 that precludes mass gatherings. Residents can participate in the festivities honoring Mexican heritage for free from their computers, tablets or phones. The event will be a collective one, with artists and members of the community partaking in myriad offerings leading up to Nov. 1 and Nov. 2.
Shared experiences in remembering lost loved ones are at the core of the holiday, yielding an unbreakable connection even in virtual form. To that end, the Mexican American Cultural Center asks participants to share images of their home altars and photos of their artwork, crafts or calavera-inspired attire.
Here's a special pilón (a little extra): Residents can drop by the Mexican American Cultural Center to pick up a free sugar skull kit.
PICK UP A FREE SUGAR SKULL KIT!
STEP 1: Fill out the registration form to pick up your free sugar skull kit by no-contact drive-through at the Mexican American Cultural Center during the second two weeks of October. The cultural center is located at 600 River St. Austin, 78701.
Kit includes: one blank sugar skull, one puff paint and decorations, a sheet of papel picado, and tissue paper / pipe cleaner for making a paper flower. Adult supervision is required when using the kit. The sugar skulls are for decoration only and are NOT EDIBLE. That's in capital letters for emphasis. To repeat: The sugar skulls are NOT EDIBLE. They might look good enough to eat, but please don't let the kiddos ingest them.
SHARE YOU OFRENDA
What are your Day of the Dead traditions? Who are you honoring this year? What do you place on your ofrenda? The Mexican American Cultural Center would love to see participation. Submit photos of your ofrenda or artwork to be shared during our digital program on Nov. 2.
Step 1: Share your photos/videos with the Mexican American Cultural Center. Include a description and your name. Submit your photos + videos on Instagram @esbmacc. You can also upload the image here or email email@example.com.
Step 1: Snap a photo in your Day of the Dead look.
Step 2: Upload the photo to social media and tag us: Facebook @AustinESBMACC, Instagram @ESBMACC. You can also upload it on drive here.
Step 3: Vote on social media and get your friends to vote.
Who is La Catrina?
Who is La Catrina? Why do people paint their face like skeletons? The original image was created by artist Jose Guadalupe Posada in Mexico City before the Mexican Revolution. The Catrina is a well-dressed skeleton that pokes fun at the brevity of life and the futility of materialism. She is a beautiful commentary on death. The image of La Catrina, or the fancy skeleton, represents a historical embrace of the life/ death cycle that was central to ancient Mexican beliefs and practices.
DIGITAL PROGRAMS NOV. 1 AND NOV. 2
The digital programs, which are free to view at dayofthedeadatx.net and on the Mexican American Cultural Center Facebook /Youtube on Nov. 1 and 2, will include presentations, programs, and performances all relating to Day of the Dead Dia de Los Muertos. Nov. 2 will be Diana Molina's visual art presentation, and Nov 2 will be the Mexican American Cultural Center's signature Day of the Dead program.
CALAVERA TUTORIALS WITH BIANCA!
Graphic artist Bianca Olivares Reyes will provide fun facepaint/ makeup tutorials. Look for these on the Mexican American Cultural Center Facebook page during October, leading up to the event on Nov 2. And don't forget to share your looks with the Mexican American Cultural Center by tagging #ESBMACC.
Please note: The Mexican American Cultural Center will not provide the makeup/facepaint this year, but we will provide plenty of inspiration and video guides for you to create your looks at home.
DIANA MOLINA: JUNTOS ART ASSOCIATION
Diana Molina from Juntos Art Association will present her visual art program for Day of the Dead. Giving a glimpse into her exhibition, XX Timeline at the Crossroads XX, Diana will also share her ofrenda as well as mask making and visual art practices.
Molina's program includes homage to the El Paso shooting victims in 2019, and will showcase music from Frontera Boogaloo. Her program will include a film screening of “La Catrina,” a beautiful art film that she produced.
LAS PIÑATAS ATX
Las Piñatas ATX will provide an outdoor art installation in the Gran Entrada of the Mexican American Cultural Center at 600 River St. (Hint- look out for piñata giveaways! Keep checking www.dayofthedeadatx.net!
The Mexican American Cultural Center building is closed to the public, but people walking by the grounds can still enjoy the ATX Piñata installation outside.
FRIDA FRIDAY ATX
Join Frida Friday ATX for their October Market (y más). The Frida Friday ATX Virtual Market will be open Oct 23 to Nov 3. Check out their website and their Facebook and Instagram to view more than 75 independent BIPOC artists and community creatives!
LA CATRINA MISTERIOSA
Who's this famous Catrina at the Mexican American Cultural Center? Spotted at Day of the Dead at the MACC in 2019, her photos have inspired teen artwork all year. Can you help us find this mystery Catrina? If you know her, send us a message on the MACC Facebook/ Instagram.
All photos courtesy of the Mexican American Cultural Center.