Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

altar_diogenes_and_dancer

A Community Collaborative Celebration - Altar of Freedom - In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the 50th Anniversary of His Historic Visit to South Bend

The Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican tradition that gives honor, tribute, and celebration to the lives of deceased loved ones.

In recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr’s 50th anniversary of the march on Washington, D.C., as well as his visit to the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University South Bend; a collaboration to present several Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) events are scheduled.


Dia de los Muertos


Schedule

The following three festivities are free and open to the public:

 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture

1045 W. Washington St., South Bend

Sueños Sin Fronteras/Dreams without Borders: Ofrenda in Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Part of the Africana World Program Series)

For students, faculty, and staff there will be a FREE campus shuttle to this event.  Pick-up will be at the Notre Dame Ave Circle beginning at 5 p.m. and running to and from this event every half-hour.  

Installation and presentation by internationally acclaimed Puerto Rican artist Diogenes Ballester and musical performances by renowned percussionist Luther Gray and student group Mariachi ND

 

Friday, October 25, 2013 – 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Indiana University Civil Rights Heritage Center at the Natatorium

1040 W. Washington St., South Bend

Porque he amado, que soy el guardián de mi hermano/Because I've Loved, I am my Brother’s Keeper: Ofrenda

Presentation and poetry reading by Ofrenda artist Jake Webster

 

Friday, November 1, 2013 – 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

Notre Dame Institute for Latino Studies, Día de los Muertos Altar in West Lounge of McKenna Hall (Notre Dame Avenue on Campus)

The traditional Día de los Muertos Altar (Day of the Dead): Ofrenda

Presentation by Ofrenda artists Notre Dame Students who will welcome guests and Father Joseph Corpora will offer a special blessing

 

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About

In recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr’s 50th anniversary of the march on Washington, D.C., as well as his visit to the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University South Bend, a collaboration to present several Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) events are scheduled.

What is the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)?

The Día de los Muertos is a Mexican tradition that gives honor, tribute, and celebrates the lives of deceased loved ones. Celebrated between October 31 and November 2 by people in Mexico, parts of Central and South America, and increasingly throughout the US, the Day of the Dead is not a mournful occasion, but a festive remembrance in celebration of loved ones that have passed.

Bringing food and music, families visit the graves of their loved ones, cleaning the headstones and decorating them with flowers all in loving memory. Images of skeletons dancing or doing other comical things are common and a part of the philosophy that death is not to be feared, but a natural part of life.

What is an Ofrenda?

The celebration of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in homes, creating altars are calledofrendas that display portraits, favorite foods, or personal possessions of their deceased loved ones. Ofrendas are also decorated with candles and marigolds (cempoalxóchitl), whose light and scent are said to attract the souls of the deceased and draw them back for a brief time to take part in the pleasures they enjoyed in life. The symbolism is that they live on in the memories of the living and are not forgotten.

Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture Artist: Diógenes Ballester:

diogenes_ballester

Diogenes Ballester will create an ofrenda in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., an American clergyman, activist, and leader in the African American civil rights movement. This installation will include many of the traditional elements but will have a more contemporary style. Diogenes Ballester is a visual artist, educator, and writer. He holds a M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.F.A. from the Catholic University of Puerto Rico. As a youth, he attended the prestigious art preparatory School of Visual Arts Miguel Pou and studied at the Ponce Museum of Art in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Ballester works in various artistic media including painting, printmaking, drawing, new media, and installation art. Recognized as a master encaustic painter and printmaker; he has received numerous honors for his artistic work. He has exhibited widely in the United States, Europe, Asia, Latin American and the Caribbean. For more information about this artist, visit his website at:http://www.diogenes-ballester.com

 

Indiana University Civil Rights Heritage Center Artist: Jake Webster

jake_webster

Jake Webster is a popular local artist, sculptor, mixed media artist and spoken word performer. His work speaks about his community and the environment in which he lives. He uses the tradition of direct carving, and applies a contemporary attitude by creating art with whatever is at hand to tell his story. “I use simple tools to cut simple shapes to make a simple statement about a simple world we have made more complex.” J. Webster

In 1974, with generous support from the Vatican, Jake spent a semester aboard studying art in Italy. Webster later received his Bachelor of Science in 1975 from Mississippi Valley State University in Art Education. He continued his studies at Purdue University Summer Institute (1982), The Art Students League of New York (1991), and DePaul University – Office of Applied Innovations (1999).

Jake’s work can be found in many private and public collections. His studio is located in Elkhart, Indiana and is usually open to the public on weekends, or by appointment. He is co-owner of and curator for Artpost in South Bend, Indiana; a gallery and performance space that specializes in regional contemporary and folk art. For more information about this artist, visit his website at: www.artpostblog.com/jakewebster/vita

October 16, 2013: Musical Performance by Luther Gray

Renowned percussionist Luther Gray from New Orleans, LA, (originally from the Midwest), now is considered by many- as a “Native Orleanian”. He received his B.A. in Radio, Television & Film from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a Masters in Communication from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. This drumming sensation has created two major musical groups: Percussion Incorporated and Bamboula 2000, for which he has won the Big Easy Music Award in the World Music Category twice. He is also credited with the founding of the Congo Square Foundation, which began in 1989. The foundation is to bring cultural activities and drumming back to the historic Congo Square in New Orleans. In 1994, the foundation was successful in registering Congo Square on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information about this artist, visit his website at:http://www.positivevibrationsfoundation.org/musicians/detail/5/Luther-Gray

October 16, 2013: Musical Performance by Notre Dame Students, Mariachi Band ND

For a sample of their performance, visit this website at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpfsOz8Dpqc

 

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Presented by:

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Press Release

 

Sueños Sin Fronteras / Dreams without Borders:

Ofrenda in Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

(Part of the Africana World Program Series)

Dia de los muertos / Day of the Dead Celebration

~ Altar of Freedom ~

 

SOUTH BEND, IN. In recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr’s 50th anniversary of the march on Washington, D.C., as well as his visit to South Bend and the University of Notre Dame, the Crossroads Gallery for Contemporary Art of the Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture (NDCAC) cordially invites you to attend Sueños Sin Fronteras / Dreams without Borders: Ofrenda in Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. This Day of the Dead celebration will be held on Wednesday, October 16, 20135:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at 1045 West Washington Street, South Bend, IN. The MLK Ofrenda will be created by Diógenes Ballester, an internationally renowned Puerto Rican artist from New York City. Musical performances will be provided by Luther Gray and Mariachi ND. Mr. Gray, an internationally acclaimed percussionist from New Orleans, LA, will perform along with band members from Chicago.

Dia de los muertos in Mexico and now in the U.S., where large Latino/a populations are found, is a day to celebrate, remember and prepare special foods in honor of those who have departed. It is believed that the spirit of the dead visit their families at midnight on October 31 and leave on November 2. On this day in Mexico, the streets near the cemeteries are filled with decorations of papel picado (perforated paper), flowers, candy calaveras (skeletons and skulls), and parades. The Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico can be traced back to a pre-Columbian past.

As part of these celebrations, families make altares (altars) and place ofrendas (offerings) of food such as pan de muertos (bread of the dead baked in shapes of skulls and figures), candles, incense, yellow marigolds known as cempazuchitl (also spelled zempasuchil) and most importantly a photo of the departed soul is placed on the altar.

For this year’s NDCAC Dia de los muertos celebration, Diógenes Ballester will create anofrenda in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., an American clergyman, activist, and leader in the African American civil rights movement. The title of the installation is: Altar de la Libertad /Altar of Freedom: Opening Paths in all Directions. Using many of the traditional elements, Mr. Ballester has created a contemporary style altar and would like to extends an invitation to the community to participate in adding objects to the installation that symbolize MLK’s leadership and spirit, such as keys, shoes and rosaries.

Diógenes Ballester is a visual artist, educator, and writer and holds a MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BFA from the Catholic University of Puerto Rico. As a youth, he attended the prestigious art preparatory School of Visual Arts Miguel Pou and studied at the Ponce Museum of Art in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Mr. Ballester works in different artistic media including painting, printmaking, drawing, new media, and installation art and is recognized as a master encaustic painter and printmaker. He has received numerous honors for his artistic work and has exhibited widely in the United States, Europe, Asia, Latin American and the Caribbean.

This program will also include music by renowned percussionist Luther Gray from New Orleans, LA. Mr. Gray, who is originally from the Midwest, now is considered by many as a “Native Orleanian.” He received his B.A. in Radio, Television & Film from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and his Masters in Communication from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. This drumming sensation has created two major musical groups: Percussion Incorporated and Bamboula 2000, for which he has won the Big Easy Music Award in the World Music Category twice. He is also credited with the founding of the Congo Square Foundation, which began in 1989. The goal of this foundation is to bring cultural activities and drumming back to the historic Congo Square in New Orleans. In 1994, the foundation was successful in registering Congo Square on the National Register of Historic Places.

This is a community collaborative Dia de los muertos celebration with events also being held at the Indiana University Civil Rights Heritage Center at the Natatorium on Friday, October 25, 2013,  7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. and at the Institute for Latino Studies, McKenna Hall at the University of Notre Dame on Friday, November 1, 2013, 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

The NDCAC provides distinctly premier educational opportunities and inspiration via the creation and appreciation of art, the study of cultures, and community engagement. The NDCAC is located in the West-side of South Bend, in a neighborhood that is undergoing responsible change in community development.

This program is part of the Africana World: A Historical and Mosaic series coordinated by the Office of Community Affairs and Department of Africana Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

This event is made possible in part by support from the Institute for Latino Studies, Letras Latinas, Department of Africana Studies, Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Office of Community Relations, Office of First Year Students, Office of the Provost, and the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame. Special thanks to Entergy-New Orleans, and Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center for their sponsorship and support. We are pleased that this is a collaborative project with the Indiana University Civil Rights Heritage Center at the Natatorium.

 

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Altar de la Libertad / Altar of Freedom: Opening Paths in all Directions by Diógenes Ballester

 

altar

 

Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture

Crossroads Gallery for Contemporary Art

cordially invites you to attend

Sueños Sin Fronteras / Dreams without Borders: Ofrenda in Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

(Part of the Africana World Program Series)

dia de los muertos / day of the dead celebration 

featuring

Altar de la Libertad /Altar of Freedom: Opening Paths in all Directions

Installation by Diógenes Ballester

Internationally acclaimed Puerto Rican artist New York City, NY

Musical performances by Luther Gray

Renowned percussionist, New Orleans, LA

& Mariachi ND
 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

1045 West Washington Street, South Bend, IN

Free and open to the public. ~ Refreshments will be provided.

For students, faculty, and staff there will be a FREE campus shuttle to this event.  Pick-up will be

at the Notre Dame Ave Circle beginning at 5 p.m. and running to and from this event every half-hour.  

 

Installation exhibited from October 4 to November 15, 2013.

 

This event is made possible in part by support from the Institute for Latino Studies, Letras Latinas, Department of Africana Studies, Kellogg Institute for International Studies, Office of Community Relations, The First Year Studies, Office of the Provost, and the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame; Entergy-New Orleans, Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, and Indiana University Civil Rights Heritage Center at the Natatorium.

 

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Altar of Freedom Blog

This Altar of Freedom provides the structural elements for the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) Celebration of Martin Luther King and his visit 50 years ago to South Bend and Notre Dame.

The weblog portion of the installation helps to articulate the contemporary history of the movement after 50 years of struggle. Please join the online conversation by sharing experiences from the civil rights movement in South Bend, other parts of the U.S. and abroad. Your thoughts about your community and hopes for the future are a true offering for the Altar of Freedom. Visit the Altar of Freedom Blog to express your personal experiences.

 

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