Explore the Mexican Day of the Dead tradition at Macomb Community College’s Lorenzo Cultural Center

– Wednesday, October 16, 2013 1:00AM

Dia de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased
Macomb Community College has partnered with the Mexican Consulate of Detroit to bring the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Celebration to the Lorenzo Cultural Center Oct. 30 – Nov. 3.  The celebration will share different aspects of the Mexican holiday, which honors the deceased, employing exhibits, presentations, workshops and films.   

“We’re pleased to partner with the Mexican Consulate of Detroit to bring the Dia de los Muertos Celebration to the Lorenzo Cultural Center,” said Christine Guarino, director, Cultural Affairs & Community Engagement, Macomb Community College.  “The cultural center is dedicated to exploring the influences and experiences that shape our community’s heritage, and it is exciting to share the key traditions of this important Mexican holiday with our community.” 

The exhibits that will be on display are:

• Day of the Dead:  Photographs by Michigan journalist and writer Jerry Morton featuring images taken in Mexico, from small towns to Mexico City, during Day of the Dead celebrations.

• De la Cocina al Ojo (From the Kitchen to the Eye):  Photos taken between 1905 and 1940 that depict Hispanic eating places, kitchen, dining room or an improvised space, where people experience culture through food and make meals into art.

• Altar Display: Examples of altars and elements of the traditional Day of the Dead offering, including flowers and candles.

“Day of the Dead is a festive holiday in which families celebrate the lives of their relatives who have died,” said Maria Ramos, professor, Spanish and international studies, Macomb Community College.  “A huge part of the celebration is the creation of an ofrenda, or altar, that features items representing the deceased – favorite foods, a photo, personal items, candles and flowers.  Altars are a traditional remembrance that families create to welcome their loved ones home on Dia de los Muertos.”

Highlights of the celebration at the Lorenzo Cultural Center include:

• Remembrance: An Altar-Making Workshop, Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 12 – 1 p.m., and Thursday, Oct. 31, from 10 – 11 a.m.  Professor Ramos leads the workshop. Limited supplies will be provided, but participants should bring a photo of the family member for whom they will create the altar.

• An Altar for a Friend,  Wednesday, Oct. 30 from 2 – 3:30 p.m. Gary Flemming, Ph.D., Macomb professor of international studies and Latin American culture, discusses the tradition of altar making,  explaining each of the elements necessary for an altar and sharing artifacts he uses each year to create a personal altar for someone he has lost.

• Food for the Ancestors, Thursday, Oct. 31 from 12 – 1 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 3 from 2 – 3 p.m.  A film that features Day of the Dead celebrations in Puebla, Mexico, highlighting traditions that include mask dancing, artisans creating skull artwork and the eating of Mexican meat grasshoppers, ant eggs and mosquitoes.

• Tamalada: Making Tamales, Thursday, Oct. 31 from 2 – 3 p.m.  Macomb Community College culinary arts instructor Chef Scott O’Farrell showcases this traditional Mexican food that is placed on altars and eaten during Day of the Dead celebrations.

• Las Momias: The Accidental Mummies of Guanajuato, Saturday, Nov. 2 from 1 – 2 p.m.  This film shows the range of customs surrounding death in Mexico, from pre-Columbian times through today.  Mary Meier, Macomb professor of anthropology and archeology, will facilitate a Q&A following the film.

All events are free, but preregistration is required and can be made by calling 586.445.7348 or going online to www.LorenzoCulturalCenter.com.  The Lorenzo Cultural Center is located on Macomb Community College’s Center Campus, Garfield and M-59, Clinton Township.

Dia de los Muertos Celebration at the Lorenzo Cultural Center Exhibits, Presentations, Films and Workshops

Date: Wednesday, Oct. 30 – Sunday, Nov. 3 Time: Wednesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sunday, 1 – 4 p.m. Cost: Free Parking: Free
Registration:  www.LorenzoCulturalCenter.com

About the Lorenzo Cultural Center

The Lorenzo Cultural Center (www.LorenzoCulturalCenter.com) explores the influences and experiences that shape our community's heritage, examining topics from a variety of perspectives and creating interactive opportunities for learning, celebration and entertainment.  Located on Macomb Community College's Center Campus, Hall and Garfield Roads in Clinton Township, the cultural center is adjacent to the Macomb Center for Performing Arts.

 

Media Contact: Tish Wirth, 586.445.7560, wirthp@macomb.edu

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