Oct. 24, 2013
COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, firstname.lastname@example.org
WTAMU to Celebrate Fourth Annual Dia de los Muertos with Showcase and Gala
CANYON, Texas—The Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (PPHM) will be decorated with more than 75 ofrendas when students in the College of Education and Social Sciences at West Texas A&M University celebrate the fourth annual Dia de los Muertos—the Day of the Dead—Celebration of Life event, Oct. 29-Nov. 1.
Dia de los Muertos is one of the biggest holidays in Mexico, where families and friends celebrate and honor those that have passed. Memories of a loved one contribute to the development of offerings (ofrendas) that celebrate who their loved ones were on earth. Altars or ofrendas are constructed with love and can be decorated with pictures of the one being honored or remembered. Spiritual items, favorite foods or beverages, marigold flowers and other items specific to the deceased that illustrate their personality also are included.
WTAMU faculty, staff and students, along with participating community members, will fill the Derrick Room of the PPHM with their own specially-created ofrendas—altars to the dead—in a project designed to help them better understand the Mexican culture way of mourning family and friends lost. Area schools and the community are invited to view the ofrendas Oct. 29-Nov. 1 at the museum. WTAMU students will provide a gallery talk, and interactive art activities will be available for children attending. Dia de los Muertos T-shirts, priced at $15 each, will be available throughout the week at the museum.
The ofrendas will be judged, and artists will be awarded for their efforts in several categories: Most Traditional Altar, Most Creative Altar and Community Champion. The traditional third place, second place and Grand Champion Altar also will be awarded.
Several activities are planned to coincide with the event. There will be a silent auction featuring Dia de los Muetos-inspired works of art created by WTAMU art students and art faculty. All proceeds will benefit scholarships for students in fine arts and social sciences. On Thursday, Oct. 31, WTAMU students are invited to a reception co-sponsored by the WTAMU Hispanic Student Association. Students will view the ofrendas and a presentation on the cultural significance of Dia de los Muertos will be given.
The celebration will end with a Gala Fiesta on Friday, Nov. 1. The gala reception is from 5-7 p.m. at the museum with Mariachi Carino providing the strolling mariachi music. A gala dinner follows from 7-10 p.m. in the Jack B. Kelley Student Center, Legacy Hall. Music will be provided by grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Micky Cruz and his band.
Tickets to the gala reception are priced at $10 each. Tickets for the gala reception, dinner and dancing are $75 each. Students who created and submitted an ofrenda for the Dia de los Muertos event are invited to the reception from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 1 at the museum without charge. WTAMU students can purchase tickets to the gala dinner at a reduced rate of $50 per person.
For more information about the gala, call 806-651-2600 or visit wtamu.edu/academics/dia-de-los-muertos.aspx.