Honoring Ancestors at the Delaware Art Museum

Free Día de los Muertos Event Offers Performances and Activities

The Delaware Art Museum presents the fourth annual Día de los Muertos: Walking Among the Ancestors event on Saturday, October 30, 2021, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Guests of all ages can experience a variety of activities, such as an Indigenous ceremony, labyrinth walk and contribute to ofrendas by bringing pictures of loved ones and food to leave at the altars.

Community Engagement Specialist Iz Balleto says, “We are grateful that the Museum continues to open doors to the Indigenous community and properly educate people on traditions.” He adds, “There has been an explosion of knowledge and now more people than ever are aware of some of the elements of Día de los Muertos. It’s important for us to demonstrate that it’s not just a party, it’s a ceremony.”

Día de los Muertos is observed in Mexico and other countries in the days leading up to All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, and, therefore, is often conflated with a Halloween traditions. However, the holiday combines the celebration of those who have passed with reverence for the act of mourning, and is neither scary nor prank oriented.

This year’s event honors ancestors and pays respect to people lost through gun violence in Wilmington. The Museum has engaged Catrinamia, the skeletal embodiment of a well-to-do woman who has passed, as host of the ceremony planned for 11 a.m., with emcee India Colón.

Balleto says, “It’s magical to see Catrinamia performing in front of you, especially for the children. Catrinamia is a symbol that lets people know that death doesn’t miss a house, and that it’s all how you honor death. You see the beauty and not the fear.”

Dance performances by “Campantlanezi” Danza Azteca del Anahuac and Nanticoke Jingle Dancers will honor Indigenous culture and represent different tribes, with more performances by Ballet Mexico Lindo, Seylin Abarca, Mariachi Arrieros and the Black Diamond Dance Collective. In the auditorium, the Museum is screening “CatrinaMia” by Irving Viveros, a short film which documents Rosa Ruiz’ artistry. Arts and crafts tables will be available and La Payasita Ranita will be on site to entertain children.

Food by Los Gallos Mexican Taqueria and Los Taquitos de Puebla and beverages will be available for sale.

Most of the event takes place outdoors, however, proof of vaccination is required to explore the Museum galleries. The Museum’s COVID-19 policies are listed here.

Although this is a free event, registration is strongly encouraged. To register, or for more information on the event, delart.org. In the event of bad weather, the program will either be delayed or canceled.

Sponsored by the Center for Interventional Pain & Spine, Hoy en Delaware, Nuestras Raices Delaware, Salon Ruby, the Latin American Community Center, Black Diamonds Dance Collective, Guerrilla Republik, and 302GUNSDOWN. This program is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.

About the Delaware Art Museum

For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the most comprehensive Pre-Raphaelite collection on display outside of the United Kingdom, and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.

Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org to for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.

WHAT: Día de los Muertos: Walking Among the Ancestors
WHEN: Saturday, October 30, 2021, 11 a.m.—4 p.m.
WHERE: Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806
COST: Free; registration required.
INFO: delart.org