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Oct. 28 – Nov. 2: Celebrate Mexican Day of the Dead at Macomb Community College

– Wednesday, October 22, 2014 12:00AM

Activities include free exhibits, films, workshops and presentations

The Mexican holiday of Dia de los Muertos – Day of the Dead – celebrates the lives of the deceased with a lot of fun, food and community activity. Macomb Community College’s Lorenzo Cultural Center has partnered with the Mexican Consulate of Detroit to bring Day of the Dead to Macomb County residents for a second year.

The celebration will be held Oct. 28 through Nov. 2 and share different aspects of the holiday using exhibits, presentations, workshops and films.  Activities will be held at the Lorenzo Cultural Center, on Macomb’s Center Campus in Clinton Township, and the South Campus Library in Warren.  All events are free, but preregistration is required and can be made by calling 586.445.7348 or online at www.LorenzoCulturalCenter.com.


The exhibits:  

  • De la Cocina al Ojo (From the Kitchen to the Eye):  Oct. 28 – Oct. 30, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. in the lobby of the South Campus Library. The exhibit features photographs taken between 1905 and 1940 that depict eating spaces, such as kitchens, dining rooms and improvised space, where people experience culture through food and make meals into art. The exhibit is on loan from the Mexican Consulate of Detroit.
  • Day of the Dead Collection:  Oct. 29 –Nov. 1, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Nov. 2, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., at Lorenzo Cultural Center. Photographs by Michigan journalist and writer Jerry Morton of images taken in Mexico, from small towns to Mexico City, during Day of the Dead celebrations, are featured.
  • Altar Display: Oct. 28-30, 10 a.m. -9 p.m. in the lobby of the South Campus Library. Also: Oct. 29 –Nov. 1, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Nov. 2, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., Lorenzo Cultural Center. The exhibit features altar displays that remember and honor the memory of those who have gone before, including traditional elements such as flowers and candles.  

Presentations, workshops and films:

  • Remembrance: An Altar-Making Workshop: Oct. 28, 9 a.m. South Campus Library, Room 221 and Oct. 29, 10 a.m., Lorenzo Cultural Center, Room 130. Maria Ramos, Macomb professor of Spanish language and Latin American culture, leads an altar-making workshop. Participants will learn about and create their own ofrenda, or altars, to welcome their loved ones home on the Day of the Dead. Limited supplies will be provided.
  • Film: “Food for the Ancestors”: Oct 28, 9 a.m. at South Campus Library, Room 221 and Nov. 1, 1 p.m. at the Lorenzo Cultural Center, Room 130. The hourlong film takes a look at Mexico’s Day of the Dead festival on the colorful streets of Puebla.
  • An Altar for a Friend:  Oct. 29, 2 p.m. at Lorenzo Cultural Center, Room 130. Gary Flemming, Macomb professor of international studies and Latin American culture, discusses the Dia de los Muertos tradition of altar-making. He will explain each of the elements necessary for an altar and display artifacts he uses each year to create a personal altar for someone he has lost.
  • Film: “Las Momias: The Accidental Mummies of Guanajuato”: Oct. 29, 2 p.m. at South Campus Library, Room 221. This film shows a range of customs surrounding death in Mexico, from Pre-Columbian times through today. It also covers the discovery of the accidental mummies in Guanajuato and the creation of an exhibit by the Detroit Science Center to honor the lives of the people who became the mummies.
  • Films: “Dawn of the Maya” and “Mountains of the Maya”:  Oct. 30, 10 a.m. at Lorenzo Cultural Center, Room 130. These two films by National Geographic, presented by Mary Meier, Macomb professor of anthropology and archeology, explore recent research on the Pre-Classic period of the Maya.
  • Essay Discussion: The Day of the Dead from “The Labyrinth of Solitude” by Octavio Paz, Oct. 30, noon, at South Campus Library, Room 229. Octavio Paz has long been acknowledged as among Mexico’s foremost writers and critics. This workshop will focus on one of Paz’s most famous works, “The Labyrinth of Solitude,” a book-length, nine-part essay first published in 1950. In it, Paz deals predominantly with the theme of Mexican identity.
  • Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead):  Oct. 30, noon, Lorenzo Cultural Center, Room 130. Chef Scott O’Farrell, Macomb Culinary Institute, shares examples of the traditional ofrenda item, pan de muerto, a sweet, egg-based bread, sometimes decorated with dough resembling bones.
  • Film:La Ofrenda: Days of the Dead”: Oct. 30, 2 p.m. at Lorenzo Cultural Center, Room 130. Viewers share director Lourdes Portillo’s personal journey to understand her culture, reflecting on the pre-Hispanic roots of the Day of the Dead. 
  • Presentation: Blending Religions in Central and South America:  Oct. 31, 1 p.m. at Lorenzo Cultural Center, Room 130.  Rev. Joseph Gembala, pastor at St. Malachy Catholic Church and former staff at a parish in Recife, Brazil, discusses the many different ways religion and cultures have blended in Central and South America.

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.

About Macomb Community College
Macomb Community College (www.macomb.edu) is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 48,000 students annually.  Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges.  The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.

Media Contact: James Melton, 586.445.7271, meltonj@macomb.edu