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Día de los Muertos: Free Community Event

October 27, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm |

Traditional Mexican ofrenda, photo by Carlos Hernández Chávez

Join us to celebrate Día de los Muertos at the Connecticut Historical Society! This joyful Mexican celebration takes place among families to welcome their departed family members, to celebrate life, and to poke fun at death.

The Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program will partner with the Mariachi Academy of New England, a statewide, non-profit, community music and education organization, to present a traditional Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead celebration at the CHS on Saturday October 27, 2018. The event is free and open to the public, and will run from 10 am to 5 pm.

Come to visit with local families who will set up ofrendas, or small altars, in the same way they would do at home or with their community. Artist Carlos Hernández Chávez will create a traditional altar similar to the ones he grew up with in Mexico, which will be open to everyone to donate a memento or message that will stay with the altar. All ages are welcome to learn how to decorate sugar cookie skulls, make papel picado (cut paper designs), and do other art activities with Mexican artist/educator Adam Romo.

The Taco Tequila food truck will be on site with delicious food. At noon, we will screen the Academy Award-winning film Coco, an animated story about Día de los Muertos in Mexico. After the movie, return to the ofrendas to learn about the arts and deep meanings of this tradition from Carlos Hernández Chávez, who will lead an interactive discussion with families telling audiences about their altars and their experiences with the Day of the Dead. Visitors will be encouraged to ask questions, visit each altar, and talk to the families. The event will culminate with a special concert by students from the Mariachi Academy of New England and the popular touring group Mariachi México Antiguo, who will regale spectators with familiar music played during Día de los Muertos celebrations in Mexico. Dancers from the group Alma de México will accompany them, and audiences will be invited to join in.

The event is supported by the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign with major support from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; the National Endowment for the Arts; and the CT Office of the Arts/DECD.

Ofrenda visits, 10am-12pm & 2-5pm
Special presentation at 2pm

Art activities, 10am-12pm & 2-4pm
Sugar cookie skull decorating
Face painting
Papel picado

Food Truck, 11:30am-5pm

Special presentation, 2pm
Día de los Muertos traditions with Carlos Hernández Chávez

Movie Screening, 12-2pm

Mariachi Music & Dance, 3-5pm
Mariachi Academy of New England
Alma de México
Mariachi México Antiguo

To learn more about the event, please call 860-236-5621 or email kate_schramm@chs.org

Photos © Carlos Hernández Chávez.

The Connecticut Historical Society is closed to the public through August 18. All on-site programs and events are canceled during this time.
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