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Dia de los Muertos Workshops, Music to Honor Mexican Traditions
Members of La Cabanita Mex created one of the Dia de los Muertos for last year’s celebration.
Wednesday, September 21, 2022


Learn how to create and decorate clay objects for a Dia de los Muertos community altar during free bilingual workshops on Thursday, Sept. 22, and Saturday, Sept. 24.

Ceramic artist George Rodriguez, a native of El Paso, will demonstrate and teach how to make small portraits, alebrijes and flowers with wet clay utilizing several building techniques. There also will be pre-fired objects available for participants to decorate.

The first workshop, open to all ages, will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday at The Hunger Coalition in Bellevue. The second will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Sun Valley Museum of Art’s Hailey Classroom, 314 South Second Ave. in Hailey. The third will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at The Museum, 191 Fifth St. East in Ketchum.

The workshops are part of two months of programming by the Sun Valley Museum of Art called “Honoring Traditions: Dia de los Muertos.” Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is one of Mexico’s most significant holidays, with families gathering to welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives for a reunion that includes food, drink, prayer and parades.

  • On Saturday, Oct. 1, Carlos Lecanda will offer a bilingual workshop on “The Making of an Artisan Catrina” for those 21 and older from 10 am. to 4 p.m. at the Hailey Classroom. Cost is $10 and pre-registration is recommended. The Catrina is an elegantly dressed skeleton that has become the most recognizable symbol of Day of the Dead.
  • On Thursday, Oct. 6, Regina Marchi will offer a free presentation on “Day of the Dead: An Ancient and Modern Multimedia Celebration” at 6 p.m. at The Community Library. She will discuss the altars that families and communities create to honor loved ones they have lost.
  • On Tuesday, Oct. 18, “The House on Mango Street” author Sandra Cisneros will offer a lecture at the Wood River High School Performing Arts Theater in Hailey at 6 p.m. Cost is $15 for adults and $5 for students.
  • On Friday, Oct. 21, Las Cafeteras will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Wood River High School Performing Arts Theater in Hailey. Tickets are $15 for SVMOA members, $25 for nonmembers and $5 for students 18 and under.
  • On Saturday, Oct. 22 SVMoA will invite the community to gather at The Hunger Coalition’s Bloom Community Food Center in Bellevue from 1 to 4:30 p.m. for music and craft.

    Participants will make paper flowers, flower crowns and sugar skulls for Day of the Dead altars. They’ll get an opportunity to participate in a Mexican folk dance class. And Las Cafeteras, a modern-day troubadour group from Los Angeles, will cap the day’s festivities with songs in Spanish and English.

  • On Saturday, Oct. 29, a free Dia de los Muertos celebration will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at SVMoA’s Hailey House. Day of the Dead altars created by community partners will be displayed. The Hunger Coalition will serve up traditional food and Jarabe Mexicano will serve up a blend of Mexican folk, rock and Tex-Mex music.

The Museum has been working with Hispanic/Latinx valley residents over the last two years to generate bilingual arts programs for adults and families and to create opportunities to honor cultural traditions. Its offerings have included a series Mexican folk dance classes for youth.

“Last year we held our first Día de los Muertos celebration, and it was a huge success,” said Kristine Bretall, performing arts and lectures director for Sun Valley Museum of Art. “This year, we are excited to build on that momentum with a two-month-long program to engage both Spanish- and English-speaking members of our community in making, learning and celebrating this important and diverse holiday while cultivating an understanding of its meaning.”

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