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Media Release

Published: 10/16/2009

National Hispanic Cultural Center Kicks Off Annual Day of the Dead Celebration

Albuquerque, NM – The National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) announces its annual Día de Muertos (Day of Dead) Celebration with three weeks of activities throughout the city. Beginning October 17th through November 8th an extensive list of Albuquerque organizations and businesses will participate in this popular Latin American holiday and celebration. They include the following: National Hispanic Cultural Center, La Parada Mercantile, Masks y Más, OFFCenter Art Gallery, ¡Que Chula!, Santísima Art Gallery, South Broadway Cultural Center, Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice and Working Classroom. Activities include ofrenda (altar) installations by schools and the community, sugar skull decorating workshops, school day events, a family day with hands-on art and music, exhibits, lectures, costume contests, and the Annual South Valley Día de Muertos Marigold Parade. A complete list of city-wide activities can be found on the NHCC website www.nhccnm.org by clicking on Dia de Muertos 2009 button.
A few activities of interest taking place at the National Hispanic Cultural Center include:

·Monday, October 17 – Monday, November 8
Día de Muertos Ofrenda Installation
The ofrenda is a beautiful display of artistry and craftsmanship, along with genuine respect and dedication to the traditional celebration. Artist Catalina Delgado Trunk guides teachers and their classrooms to create traditional ofrendas. The public is invited to visit ofrendas during NHCC regular hours and special events.

Saturday, October 24, 9 am – noon, FREE
Ofrenda (altar) Workshop
Families and individual are invited to participate in this hands-on workshop led by artist and educator, Arturo Olivas, on the creation of ofrendas honoring loved ones who have died. Supplies will be available, but participants are also encouraged to bring their own items to include in their ofrenda projects. To register, contact the NHCC Education Department at 505-246-2261 ext. 166.

October 24, 12 pm – 4 pm
Día de Muertos Family Day

Families and community members learn about the Día de Muertos celebration, create traditional arts and crafts and view ofrendas that honor families and individuals. The afternoon includes presentation on the history of the holiday, hands-on art stations, student and artist ofrendas, and musical entertainment.

October 30, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm, FREE
Día de Muertos Community Ofrenda

Community members and families are invited to contribute to our community ofrenda on the outdoor stairs of the Plaza Mayor honoring families and individuals in an atmosphere of respect, honor and remembrance. The 2009 Ofrenda is presented as part of LAND/ART and is rooted in the theme of “Seed Souls” honoring the cycle of growing food which mirrors the cycle of human life. The evening includes a blessing, music and hot chocolate.

October 30, 8 pm, $15, $20, $25
Noche de Muertos: Welcoming our Ancestors Home with Sol y Canto
Noche de Muertos is a multimedia production combining dynamic live music with stunning photographic images of Día de Muertos celebrations in the Mexican state of Michoacán. The result is a heartfelt homage to ancestors as well as lighthearted excuse for family gatherings, creative crafts, food, floral arrangements, dance, pageantry, and poking fun at the Grim Reaper!

Throughout the ages cultures have developed unique means of coming to terms with death. Anthropologists have traced ancestor worship and death rituals back to ancient cultures such as Sumaria, Egypt, China, and Celtic Europe. In Mexico “Día de Muertos” celebrations have developed to such an extent that they are widely considered an integral part of Mexican identity. “Día de Muertos” traditions do carry a uniquely Mexican stamp, but in the essence they are a fusion of pre-Columbian rituals and European beliefs brought by the Spanish to Mesoamerica. “Día de Muertos” is a folk tradition reflecting the folkways and folklore of Mexico and the identity of its people. As such, it is continually evolving and integrating newer elements as it crosses borders or as newcomers cross over to adapt these Mexican rituals into their lives. At the core “Día de Muertos” traditions and ritual retain the primary mission of honoring, remembering and celebrating the life of all those who have come before us; as well as giving hope to our own inevitable mortality.

For a complete listing of Day of the Dead activities visit the NHCC website at www.nhccnm.org and click on the Día de Muertos 2009 button on the homepage. The NHCC is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Hispanic arts and culture at the state, national and international levels. The NHCC is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. For additional information on all NHCC programs call (505) 246-2261.
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