EVENT: Day of the Dead Festival (El Festival del Dia de los Muertos)
DATES: Thursday, November 1, 2012
TIMES: 5:00 – 9:00 PM
LOCATION: Living Arts & Science Center and Old Episcopal Burying Ground (corner of E. 3rd Street and Elm Tree Lane)
COST: Suggested donation of $2.00 per person (includes all activities)
Traditional food available for purchase –
Complimentary Pan de Muertos (Bread of the Dead) will be served
The Living Arts & Science Center partners with the
Old Episcopal Burying Ground
to present a traditional Day of the Dead Festival
(El Festival del Dia de los Muertos)
On November 1, 2012, the “Night of the Angels”, the Living Arts & Science Center will present the 7th annual Day of the Dead Festival with a participatory celebration at the Living Arts & Science Center as well as at the Old Episcopal Burying Ground at the corner of E. 3rd Street and Elm Tree Lane. This event is a fun, participatory experience for the entire family.
Join the celebration and experience the rich visual, musical, dance and culinary traditions of this holiday that is celebrated in Mexico and other parts of Central and South America.
Traditional Mexican dance will be performed by men’s dance company, Matlachines, as well as Danza Azteca. Mexican singer and guitarist Jose Rivera will perform throughout the evening, a Day of the Dead Art Car display will be outdoors, and a variety of hands-on crafts, typical of Day of the Dead celebrations will take place indoors and out. These participatory activities include decorating Sugar Skulls, creating sand murals, making tissue paper flowers and papel picado (cut paper streamers) as well as making tin ornaments and decorating monarch butterfly wings to wear in the candlelight parade. Participants may keep their crafts to continue to enjoy at home.
Visitors may also view Danse Macabre, new work by local artist Robert Morgan, in the LASC art gallery. Robert Morgan is a native Kentuckian and nationally recognized artist who repurposes and recycles materials that others have discarded. His works of art often incorporate hundreds of items to express something entirely new. In this new body of work, Morgan draws from many cultures to show humans struggling with and being tricked by death. He tells all his stories with a great sense of humor.
The art gallery will also feature hundreds of skeleton masks, created by area school children, in the tradition of Day of the Dead.
At dusk, musicians and dancers will lead participants in a beautiful candlelight parade from the LASC to the Old Episcopal Burying Ground at 3rd Street and Elm Tree Lane.
In the cemetery, participants may view an exciting exhibition of altars in and around the gravesites of this historic cemetery. Viewers may talk with artists, school groups and community members who have created both traditional altars as they would be presented in Mexican cemeteries as well as altar designs inspired by this joyful celebration. A community altar will also be presented, inviting individuals to place photos, mementos or names of their own loved ones, or participate in adding the flowers, candles and other traditional offerings. In the cemetery informal discussions will take place to educate participants about the altars, Day of the Dead, and the traditions and symbolism associated with this important Latin American holiday.
Traditional food from area restaurants and caterers will be available for purchase at the LASC. The LASC will also serve complimentary pan de muertos, the traditional bread of the dead.
New this year! Day of the Dead Community Classes and Workshops
The Living Arts & Science Center invites children and adults to participate in classes and workshops which will delve into Day of the Dead and assist you in creating your own large-scale Day of the Dead parade skeletons. Participants may then join the LASC’s Day of the Dead parade entry in Lexington’s annual Thriller/Halloween Parade on October 28, as well as the LASC’s Day of the Dead candlelight parade at the Day of the Dead Festival on November 1. Participatory classes and workshops include:
#209 - Community Workshop: Skeletons on Parade
with Sarah and Charlie Campbell
Come dressed for a mess and help design and create paper mache masks inspired by Mexican folk art. All participants are invited to join with the LASC, wearing completed masks, in Lexington's Thriller/Halloween Parade on Oct. 28 and the LASC’s own Dia de los Muertos Festival on Nov. 1. Please register in advance.
Category: Workshops for All Ages
Date: Saturdays, Oct. 20 and 27
Summary: ALL AGES | 10 am to 1 pm | $3 member/ $5 non-member
**Children under 12 MUST be accompanied by an adult
#283 - Skeletons on Parade with Christine Kuhn
Learn about Mexican folk art and traditions while creating large scale paper mache sculptures. Then, you can show off your work and join the LASC in Lexington's Thriller/Halloween Parade on Oct. 28 and/or LASC's Dia de los Muertos Festival on Nov. 1.
Category: Teen & Adult Classes
Date: Thursday evenings – 6 – 8 PM, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25
Summary: Teens & Adults | $80 member/ $90 non-member
ABOUT the DAY OF THE DEAD (Dia de los Muertos) holiday:
Día de Los Muertos is an ancient festival that can be traced back to the Aztec culture with November 1st and 2nd as the traditional days to celebrate. The First of November is known as “Night of the Angels,” and it is believed that on this day the spirits of infants and children are reunited with loved ones. It is also believed that on All Souls Day, November 2, deceased adults come back to visit their families. Depending on the region in Mexico, as well as the United States, the way Día de Los Muertos is celebrated varies. In urban areas, festivities tend to be more of a social event, while persons living in rural areas may place more of an emphasis on the religious/spiritual aspects of the holiday.
The Mexican Day of the Dead holiday is one of the most popular times for altar building. Special altars called ofrendas (offerings) are built to honor loved ones who have passed. Altars create a sacred space in the home and are used as a place of prayer and worship, reflection and meditation or song. They can function as sites where family history is actively preserved, where loved ones are celebrated and remembered with pictures and artifacts.
The growing popularity of Day of the Dead celebrations in America is one reason that the home altar has begun to infiltrate mainstream culture. The rise of personal spirituality and ritual has also increased interest in home altar construction. Artists from many ethnic backgrounds are using the altar as an art form, bringing the practice into museums, galleries and books, exposing the tradition to even more Americans.
The new altar builders often mix different religious and sacred artifacts with secular effluvia like pop cultural icons and everyday items. A Buddha may sit next to a saint, all of which perches above a Mickey Mouse doll and a pair of running shoes—creating a personal collection that becomes a sacred space.
ABOUT THE LASC
The Living Arts & Science Center is a not-for-profit organization that provides creative and unique opportunities for exploration and education in the arts and sciences. Art galleries, a discovery gallery, field trip programs, and arts and science classes and workshops are provided year-round for children and adults of all ages. In addition, the Living Arts & Science Center presents numerous community art events throughout the year. The Living Arts and Science Center also partners with community agencies and organizations to provide free hands-on arts activities at community events and programs and classes for special needs and at-risk students.