Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day of the Dead 2011

Danza Azteca Xocoyote at the Autry's iVivan Los Muertos! Photo by Abel Gutierrez

It's that time of year when we pay tribute to our dearly departed and celebrate their lives. If you didn't grow up with the holiday and would like to learn more about it, now is your chance! There are many wonderful Day of the Dead events around town this year. So many organizations are putting on great celebrations and making this holiday THE Mexican holiday of the year. Forget about el Cinco de Drinko. That's just a Budweiser holiday about a battle that Mexico itself doesn't even celebrate. Mexican Independence is great, but I really despise the legions of vendors armed with single-servings ready to chuck them at you as you wait in a line 50-deep at these celebrations, or the heavy advertising for beer and cheese, much less the the large crowds clamoring for freebies or a turn at spinning a wheel to win a full-size bottle of Ajax. The enormous amount of corporate vendors dilute any ounce of culture these events attempt to inject into the celebrations. The entertainment is often some hoochie singer or a popular band that causes such chaos that you don't want to be anywhere near the mob. What has managed to stay cultural is Day of the Dead.
So please take a look at the list below. Self Help Graphics will be hosting workshops all month long. Rose Hills and the Autry are in their second year and have proven to be popular. I'm looking forward to seeing my friends at La Muerte Vive, Ruby Champagne and El Gavachillo, Wil-Dog from Ozomatli.  Hollywood Forever is probably the biggest but also more crowded and dark at night. Parking is crazy. Olvera Street will have altars up for a couple of weeks so you will have time to plan your visit to the historic site. Whatever your preference, one of these events will fit your style. I encourage you to attend at least one of these events this year. You and your ancestors thank me later!

Free Community Art Workshops at Self Help Graphics

Every Saturday in the month of October: 10/8; 10/15; 10/22; 10/29, 12 pm - 3 pm
Self Help Graphics, 1300 East First Street, Boyle Heights, CA
SHG is pleased to offer the following Dia de los Muertos Community Art Workshops. All materials and teachers are provided by Self Help Graphics & Art! Please be on time, wear clothes that are not too precious, enjoy a Saturday afternoon of fun & tradición with new friends and old ones too. Free for the entire familia! Information on specific workshops is forthcoming.

Día de Los Muertos Festival at MoLAA
Target Free Sunday
Sunday, October 16, 2011, 11am - 5pm
Explore Día de los Muertos, a vibrant celebration of life and loved ones at MoLAA's Annual Festival! Learn more about Día de los Muertos and Latin American culture through workshops, live performances, gallery tours, food, face painting, unique craft vendors, and an altar contest display.

Día de Los Muertos at Hollywood Forever
October 22, 2011, from 12pm-12am
Holllywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, CA
General Admission: $10 per person, children 6 years and under free (please bring exact change)
The 12th annual “Dia de Los Muertos“ will be held at Hollywood Forever, Los Angeles's oldest memorial park, on October 22, 2011, from 12pm-12am. Come join us this year as we welcome, honor and celebrate the memories of the beloved souls. Rejoice and observe the mystical beauty and wonder of this ancient spiritual celebration. Partake of various sacred ceremonial tributes and memorable altar creations on the grounds of the historic Hollywood Forever cemetery.Click here for more information.

2nd Annual Día de los Muertos Cultural Festival & Marketplace at Rose Hills

Sunday, October 23, 2011, 11 - 5:30 p.m.
Rose Hills Memorial Park located at 3888 Workman Mill Rd., Whittier, CA 90608
With activities for every member of the family - from children's activities, to entertainment and great food - the day will be full of color, music and rich heritage. And a special altar contest tops it all off so don't forget to enter the contest by visiting our website.

¡Vivan los Muertos! at the Autry

Saturday, October 29 · 3:00pm - 9:00pm
Autry National Center, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027
The Autry celebrates Day of the Dead with ¡Vivan los Muertos! This community festival invites the public to learn all about Día de los Muertos with hands-on activities, artists selling their calaca (skeleton) works, traditional food, elaborate altar displays, and an interactive community altar. Plus, artist Luis Villanueva will showcase his whimsical altars. Music and dancing will complete this lively event in honor of our dearly departed. Click here to view the event page on Facebook
Featuring Aztec Stories by Michael Heralda. See video below.

Noche De Ofrendas at Self Help Graphics
Self Help Graphics, 1300 East First Street, Boyle Heights, CA
Saturday, October 29, 2011
6 pm - 9 pm
A day of art workshops concludes with the construction of a large community altar in Self Help Graphics &Art’s ballroom. Lead by premier altar-maker and community resident, Ofelia Esparza, participants are invited to place their newly created offerings or those brought from home together in creating a community altar for display throughout our Dia de los Muertos festivities. This inspirational and important art of traditional altar making serves as a way for the community to contribute their memories with special tokens of remembrance. Poetry readings, Pan de Muerto and Xocolatl will also be a part of this special evening.

Fiesta de Muertos on Olvera Street
Mid-October to November 2
Olvera Street, Downtown LA
Children’s workshops, Fiesta de Muertos, Pre-Columbian Novenario procession and blessing. Beautifully decorated altars. Exhibits and Live Entertainment.

38th Annual Día de Los Muertos Celebration: Revival 2011 at Self Help Graphics

Wednesday, November 2 · 5:00pm - 11:00pm
Self Help Graphics, 1300 East First Street, Boyle Heights, CA
Self Help Graphics & Art was the first organization in the country to create a free public celebration of Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead through the leadership and initiation of local artists in 1973. As in the different Mexican regions, Self Help Graphics’ celebration is distinct to the East Side artistic community it represents. Every year, on November 2nd, Self Hel...p Graphics’ yearly day of remembering that life is a dream from which, one day we will awaken, celebrates our beloved who are no longer with us. Every year we paint our faces in duality -- half calaca and half ourselves, revealing the ancient comedy of life as our ancestors have taught us. Click here to view the event page on Facebook

La Muerte Vive at Million Dollar Theater
Wednesday, November 2, 2011, Door opens (exhibits) 3:00 p.m. Event will end at 11pm. This Event Will Sell Out! Tickets: $10.00 - $45.00, 18 and over (no kids)
Million Dollar Theater, 307 S. Broadway Ave., Los Angeles, CA90013
1st Annual Holiday Cabaret Show, Sponsored in Part by Corralejo Tequila, Inspired by the Mexican traditions of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) featuring the Nations largest collection of Giant Judas (Paper Mache Puppets ) created by artist Tony Dominguez, in a unique event of Cabaret (Teatro, Art, Music and Dance), hosted by Santos de Los Angeles at the Historic Million Dollar Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles. The “Rock Opera Cabaret” will feature performances by El Gavachillo (Wil-Dog of Ozomatli) y su Banda, The Wiseguys 18 peice Big Band Machine and will feature a Special Performance by Miss Ruby Champagne. Click here to view the FB event page.

Noche De Altares in Santa Ana
Saturday, November 5, 2011, 1:00-10:00 pm
4th & Birch Street, Santa Ana
Noche de Altares is a community-based event celebrating Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), one of México’s oldest, indigenous festivals. Organized by volunteers, the purpose of the celebration is to honor the ancient traditions of the festival and bring community members together through art, culture, and compassion. Traditional altars, visual art, artisan vendors, arts and crafts for kids, food and live performances.

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