Community Dia de los Muertos Celebration

Community Dia de los Muertos Celebration

The Chinati Foundation and the Blackwell School Alliance invite everyone to a special Día de los Muertos celebration on Sunday, November 3, 2013, from 2 – 7:00 PM. All activities are free of charge and take place in the Chinati Arena.

The celebration will include traditional Mexican food, music, and folk art activities centered on the building of a community altar to honor and celebrate the lives of deceased loved ones. Everyone is encouraged to participate by bringing photos and memorabilia of those they wish to remember.

The event begins at 2:00 PM with a hands-on workshop led by Bertha Zubiate, assisted by her son José Grajeda, both of Presidio, teaching traditional arts and crafts to decorate the Día de los Muertos altar. Instruction, provided in both Spanish and English, will include making papel picado (cut paper) banners, costumed calaveras (skeleton) figures, alfombras de aserrín (sawdust carpets), and colorful crepe paper flowers. As the workshop progresses, participants will combine their hand-crafted objects to create a community altar, collectively decorating it in keeping with the customs and traditions of the holiday.

As part of this year’s program, Ms. Zubiate is working with local first, fourth, and sixth grade students from Marfa Elementary and Jr. High. From these workshops held during the school day, students will learn the folk art, symbolism, and cultural richness of Día de los Muertos, and contribute their crafts from the workshop to the community altar on November 3.

In addition to photos of their departed friends and relatives participants are invited to bring loved ones’ favorite foods, beverages, and other objects of remembrance to place on the altar. Candles, pan de muerto (bread of the dead), cempasúchil (orange marigolds), and calaveras de azúcar (sugar skulls) will be provided.

Once the altar has been covered with decorations, flowers, photographs, and candles, the celebration will continue with a community meal of traditional Mexican food, beginning at 5:00 PM, with music by the Milan Brothers of Alpine.

For more information contact Chinati at 432 729 4362 or  To learn more about Blackwell School Alliance visit

Tune in to Talk at Ten, on KRTS, Marfa Public Radio, Friday, November 1 to hear an interview with Bertha Zubiate and representatives of Chinati and the Blackwell School Alliance.