SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17 / NOON – 4 PM

15th annual Day of the Dead celebration

Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2015

For Immediate Release
Contact: Barbara Briggie-Smith
Tel: 515.271.0343
Email: bbsmith@desmoinesartcenter.org

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Des Moines Art Center hosts 15th annual Day of the Dead

DES MOINES, IOWA (October 2015) – On Sunday, November 1, 2015, noon – 6 pm, the Des Moines Art Center will host the 15th annual Day of the Dead / Día de los Muertos celebration. The event is FREE and open to the public. A free shuttle will also be available at Merrill Middle School, 5301 Grand Avenue, Des Moines.

Day of the Dead is a celebration that has been observed in parts of Latin America dating back to Pre-Colonial Mesoamerican times. A moving ritual, it is playful, yet respectful of death, ultimately affirming human life. Families honor their ancestors and the recently deceased with commemorative altars (ofrendas), special foods, visits to grave sites, and other activities. Children look forward to this holiday; it is not a melancholy occasion, but rather a festive time.

Along with a festive day of music, dancing, refreshments, and art activities, the Art Center’s celebration will honor the life of Aurora Bejarano Lumadue. Lumadue was a dedicated community volunteer who was active in many organizations. She served as membership chair for the Catholic Women’s League in the Des Moines Diocese. She was charter member of the Des Moines League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Council 306, council treasurer, and LULAC Woman of the Year for the state of Iowa. She also participated as a founding member of “Twelve Stars,” an exclusive Latina club. Aurora was an invaluable member of the
Art Center’s Día de los Muertos committee.

Festivities at this year’s event include entertainment by Mariachi Los Aguilares and folkloric dancers Los Jόvenes Embajadores; art activities; and traditional Day of the Dead bread and Mexican hot chocolate. Food from Tacos Andreas will be available for purchase, and a cash bar will also be available. New to the event this year, from 4 – 6 pm, the Art Center will host a dance party with the band, Latino Pride, which will perform popular dance tunes in the Tex-Mex, or Tejano musical styles.

Celebration schedule

Noon – 3:30 pm
Music by Mariachi Los Aguilares and folkloric dancers Los Jόvenes Embajadores | Art Activities | Traditional Day of the Dead bread and Mexican hot chocolate

Noon – 5 pm
Day of the Dead folk art and commemorative posters available for 
purchase in the Museum Shop

2 pm
Film: Perpetual Light Aurora Bejarano Lumadue

4 – 6 pm
Latino Pride dance band

The Day of the Dead altar will be on exhibit through Sunday, November 8.

About the Des Moines Art Center

Recognized by international art critics as a world-class museum in the heart of the Midwest, the Des Moines Art Center has amassed an important collection with a major emphasis on contemporary art. The collection’s overriding principle is a representation of artists from the 19th century to the present, each through a seminal work. This accounts for an impressive collection that ranges from Edward Hopper’s Automat to Jasper Johns’ Tennyson, Henri Matisse’s Woman in White, Georgia O’Keeffe’s From the Lake No. 1, Francis Bacon’s Study after Velásquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, Bill Viola’s Ascension, and Cecily Brown’s Half-Bind.

The Art Center’s physical complex marries with the collection for a totally integrated experience. The collection is housed in three major buildings, each designed by a world-renowned architect – Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei, and Richard Meier. With the exception of special events, admission to the museum is free.

In September 2009, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park opened in Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. Philanthropists John and Mary Pappajohn have provided funding for and donated 28 sculptures by internationally acclaimed contemporary artists to the Des Moines Art Center. The collection of sculptures by such artists as Louise Bourgeois, Deborah Butterfield, Willem de Kooning, Olafur Eliasson, Keith Haring, Ellsworth Kelly, Jaume Plensa, Richard Serra, Joel Shapiro, and Mark di Suvero, is the most significant donation of artwork to the Art Center in a single gift in the museum’s history. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park was created in collaboration with the Pappajohns, the City of Des Moines, the Des Moines Art Center, and numerous corporate and private donors.

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