Each fall the Latin American & Iberian Institute (LAII) partners with the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) to celebrate and promote K-12 and community awareness of Día de los Muertos, the important cultural celebration that takes place November 1-2 in many countries throughout Latin America, with particular resonance for many communities in Mexico.
This year, the LAII and NHCC partnered once more to hold professional development workshops for K-12 educators, and develop curriculum resources and online materials to support educators who integrate Día de los Muertos into their classrooms. In addition, the LAII, along with 24 other community organizations and K-12 classrooms, created an ofrenda exhibition to display from October 14 through November 2. The various ofrendas serve to articulate the ways in which Día de los Muertos can be expressed through local vernacular, adapted to particular regions and area customs. The LAII ofrenda was completed to complement the exhibition currently on view (through January 2014) in the NHCC's Art Museum, "Stitching Resistance: The History of Chilean Arpilleras," an exhibit which the LAII proudly co-sponsored. The LAII's ofrenda recognizes and honors victims of the Pinochet dictatorship.
Community members are encouraged to visit the NHCC (1701 4th St. SW) during the month of October to view the colorful and dramatic ofrendas on display. On Friday, November 1, 2013, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., the NHCC will also host their annual despedida - an evening celebration consisting of music, poetry, Mexican chocolate, and pan de muerto. This free, family-oriented event provides an intimate opportunity to "tour the ofrendas around the NHCC campus, enjoy music, traditional foods, and sharing of special and heartfelt memories."
--Printed Monday, October 21, 2013.