Grand Park’s 3rd Annual Dia De Los Muertos Celebration
Los Angeles- Downtown skylines served as the perfect artwork to frame the beautiful, relaxing, well manicured lawn of Grand Park, on this equally beautiful Southern California day. Media were invited to Grand Park for an exclusive meet and greet of noted community artists and community groups, to learn the motivations and approaches in creating the beautiful and compelling Dia de los Muertos alters on display in Grand Park. Media were allowed access to the alters on display in advance of the park’s 3rd Annual Dia de los Muertos Celebration, which takes place on Saturday, November 1, 2014, from 3:00pm-10:00pm.
For the second year, Grand Park partnered with Self-Help Graphics & Art for non-traditional alters display with the themes of Social Justice, Diversity and Community. Fifty distinct alters including a community alter were exhibited in the park.
The alters continued the tradition of honoring friends and family who have passed, many of the alters explored issues of social justice, diversity and community.
The park also displayed alters created by Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar, District 14.
LA County Supervisor Gloria Molina dedicated her alter to Sal Castro. The alter was entitled Sal Castro “Luchador de Educacion.” Mr. Castro was a well know Social Justice Advocate, Inspirational Teacher, Chicano Leader and Humanitarian. He is well known for his role in the 1968 “Blowouts” student protest against unequal conditions at schools throughout the Southern California area. This was one of the largest movements for school reform in American history.
In collaboration with The Office of Mayor Garcetti, The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and Clinic Romero, created an alter “dedicated to the brave young boys and girls who have lost their lives seeking a better life.” The alter was entitled “Remembering the lives of unaccompanied minors.” More than 6,000 immigrants have died crossing the Southern U.S. Borders since 1998, and hundreds more have never been identified. Among the 4,905 current unaccompanied undocumented minors in California, 3,071 are in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
Los Angeles Councilmember Jose Huizar, District 14, dedicated his alter to Great Figures in Council District 14 History, entitled “Heroes de CD 14.” The heroes are Mr. Scott Wilson, Mr. Ezat Delijami, Frances Hashimoto, Manual Rojas, Lupe Ontiveros, Lou Santillan and Ray Bradbury.
The community is invited to view the alters on display now and will continue as part of the Grand Park’s 3rd Annual Downtown Dia de los Muertos concert on Saturday, November 1, 2014 from 3:00pm-10:00pm. This free festival features Latin Alternative music, the multi-ethnic tradition of creating and displaying alters to honor ancestors, face painting (kids 12 and under, free; $5 for adults), food trucks, ceremonial music and dance, and the opportunity to learn about the origins of the holiday.
“Grand Park’s approach to Dia de los Muertos put a different spin on the holiday from other local Dia de los Muertos events. “The use of Dia de los Muertos alters as a medium for creative expressions about compelling topics, combined with Grand Park’s open and welcoming environment as the ‘park for everyone,’ offers artists, community groups, and even elected officials a canvas to express their points-of-view in a novel way.” stated Grand Park Director Lucas Rivera. “Grand Park and Self-Help Graphics and Art have partnered once again to offer Grand Park guests an artistic and symbolic exploration of both contemporary and traditional elements of the holiday,” said Rivera.