Día de los Muertos Festival at Tacoma Art Museum

25 Oct

A traditional sand painting. Photo courtesy of Tacoma Art Museum

The Día de los Muertos Festival is on now through Sunday, November 4 at Tacoma Art Museum! Centro Latino and Proyecto MoLÉ are joining with TAM to celebrate the Day of the Dead with more than a week of fabulous Latin American cultural activities. Now in its eighth year, this popular event, which will culminate in a free community festival on November 4, will welcome more than 3,700 visitors with art, live music and performances, and several hands-on art-making activities for all ages. You could decorate a beautiful sugar skull, watch a performance of Aztec dance, and taste the zesty flavors of Latin cooking.

Día de los Muertos is an ancient celebration of the eternal cycle of life. Today, the holiday combines centuries of indigenous practices with contemporary traditions and spiritual beliefs. Observed in Mexican and other Latin American communities on November 1 and 2 (All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day), it is a powerful, symbolic way to honor relatives and friends who have died.

The TAM lobby features a festival centerpiece – a colorful, round, floral-inspired tapete (sand painting), with 27 ofrendas (altars) installed by community members in the atrium. This year’s tapete is an exploration of flowers in honor of the marigolds so important to the Día de los Muertos celebration – as well as the upcoming exhibition Andy Warhol’s Flowers for Tacoma, opening November 3.

Photo courtesy of Tacoma Art Museum

The colorful ofrendas and tapete will remain on view through Sunday, November 4, when the Día de los Muertos celebrations take over the entire museum as part of a free community festival. Friends and neighbors will join together to create and enjoy Latin American art and culture from 10 am-4 pm in honor of this holiday. Visitors will be able to meet with tapete artist Fulgencio Lazo, dance to live music from Tacoma’s Mariachi Ayutla, see a performance by the Aztec dance group Grupo Quetzalcoatl de Olympia, decorate sugar skulls, stencil and paint a terracotta pot, and more!

Schedule of Día de los Muertos Events at Tacoma Art Museum 

  • Día de los Muertos Exhibition Installation
    Sunday, October 21, 10 am-5 pm
    Artist Fulgencio Lazo and his team of professionals and volunteers will create two large tapetes (sand paintings) in the museum’s lobby while community members install altars remembering loved ones and raising social awareness. Free with museum admission.
  • Ale ‘n’ Altars
    Thursday Ignite, October 25, 5:30pm
    Learn about the history and culture of Día de los Muertos(Day of the Dead) as celebrated in Oaxaca, Mexico, and create your own personalized skeleton figurine, or calaca, honoring a beloved family member or pet. Toast the cycle of life and death with jovial libations at this fun and festive workshop. Cost: $35 ($25 for members) includes all art supplies, light Mexican fare, and a beer sampler.
  • Create a Día de los Muertos Bracelet with The Bead Factory
    Join Tacoma Art Museum and The Bead Factory to create a Day of the Dead bracelet! Cost: $30 ($20 for members), includes admission and all materials. Click here to register.
  • Día de los Muertos Free Community Festival
    Sunday, November 4, 10 am-4 pm
    For the eighth consecutive year, join your friends and neighbors to celebrate Día de los Muertos at Tacoma Art Museum with art-making, performances, exhibitions of community altars and two large tapetes as we honor the cycle of life. Museum admission free.


About Centro Latino

Centro Latino’s mission is to create an environment in which the rapidly growing Latino community has opportunities allowing them to participate in and contribute to the success of Pierce County. Learn more at www.CLatino.org.

About Proyecto MoLÉ

An initiative of Northwest Leadership Foundation, Proyecto MoLÉ provides youth in grades K-16 with opportunities that promote academic achievement, positive personal development, and pride in culture and community. The core components of MoLÉ are its after-school tutoring and support services. Initially started as a program to serve predominately Latino youth, MoLÉ’s participants speak 11 different languages and represent 15 different countries. Learn more at www.northwestleadership.org.

TAM HOURS – Wednesdays–Sundays 10 am–5 pm, Thursday Ignite 5 pm–8 pm
ADMISSION – Adult $10, Student/Military/Senior (65+) $8, Family $25 (2 adults and up to 4 children under 18). Children 5 and under free. Third Thursdays free from 5-8 pm. Members always free.
CONTACT253.272.4258, www.TacomaArtMuseum.org, info@TacomaArtMuseum.org

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