The Mexican holiday El Día de Muertos, the Day of the Dead, will be recognized at the Indianapolis Art Center in conjunction with their exhibit of Day of the Dead altars. A free public fiesta will be held Saturday, Oct. 30 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
'Jason Baker, Star Among Stars' is an altar created by Richard McGowan (a neighbor) along with Gabrielle Baker and Wesley Baker (Jason's sister and brother). Baker was a Marion County sheriff's deputy who was killed in the line of duty in 2001. The commemorative altar is part of the Day of the Dead exhibit at the Indianapolis Art Center. El Día de Muertos honors deceased ancestors and loved ones. Mexican villagers prepare for the holiday by cleaning and decorating their graveyards, baking special pastries, making humerous toys and building altars in their homes for their departed loved ones. Nov. 2, the living invite the dead to join them in a festival of communion.
Mexican Consul Sergio Aguilera and IAC Executive Director Joyce Sommers will open the Art Center’s celebration with a special welcome note. Events to be included in the celebration are performances by the Motus Dance Theatre to music by Mexican composer Gerardo Tamez, accompanied by guitarist John Alvarado; the creation of a community altar; a performance by Mariachi Sol Jaliscience (12:30 p.m.); a pan de muerto (bread of the dead) demonstration by Merry’s Bakery (12:30 p.m.); and performances by strolling musician Jesse Quitana around the altar exhibition (1:45-2:45 p.m.). Plus, hands-on activities will be available for all ages, including sugar skull decoration and the opportunity to contribute to community altars and a traveling altar exhibit.
The Indianapolis Art Center is located at 820 E. 67th St. Call 255-2464 or go to www.indplsartcenter.org for more information.
Following the activities in Broad Ripple, travel to Fountain Square, where the free celebration will continue from 3-7 p.m. Activities will include performers, displays of cultural activities and works by artisans, merchandise and refreshment vendors, hands-on cultural arts and crafts activities for families, altars by neighborhood artists, presentations by the Mexican Consulate and an interactive and boisterous procession through the neighborhood to St. Patrick’s Church. Again, the public is welcome to add their own mementos to a community altar. For more info: www.discoverfountainsquare.com.
The Indiana State Museum will offer Day of the Dead activities Oct. 28, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Oct. 31 the Indianapolis Museum of Art will feature films from 1-3 p.m. that center around the Day of the Dead theme. Oct. 29, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. the Eiteljorg Museum will offer visitors the chance to decorate a ribbon or memorial card and attach it to the community ofrenda to remember a loved one.
On the official Day of the Dead, Nov. 2, Crown Hill Cemetery, 700 W. 38th St., will host a celebration from 3-7 p.m. with an altar competition, mariachi music, food, candy calaveras and workshops for all ages. A commemorative procession will take place at 5 p.m. For more information, call 339-3657.