Michigan State University masthead

Day of the Dead Ofrenda (Frida in Mictlan, Mictlan in Frida)

October 28 - November 12
Community Gallery (ground floor)

Images Courtesy of Juan Javier Pescador

The Michigan State University Museum will host and coordinate activities in celebration of the 2009 El día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in connection with the Cristo Rey Community Center in Lansing. Featured Oct. 28 - Nov. 12 will be a twin ofrenda (multimedia installation) on exhibition at the MSU Museum Community Gallery and the Cristo Rey Community Center in Lansing. The ofrenda is dedicated to the border-crossers fallen while pursuing a better life in the United States.

El día de los Muertos, an ancient Mexican celebration in which families reconnect with departed ancestors, provides a special opportunity to remember and celebrate the life and legacy of those who have moved ahead into the sacred lands of Mictlan, the realm of the "fleshless" or the dead. El día de los Muertos is observed Nov. 1 and 2, in connection with All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. The MSU Museum and the Cristo Rey Community Center Day of the Dead celebration will enhance understanding of Mexican American culture while providing a unique opportunity to experience artistic expressions and traditions. In addition, faculty in the history department and other units at MSU will focus on the diverse Day of the Dead traditions in Mexico and the United States.

Performances include:

Sunday, Nov. 1 - at sunset (approx. 5:30 p.m.)
"Mictlan in Aztlan" Performance at MSU Museum Auditorium

Wednesday, Nov. 4 - at sunset
"Mictlan in Aztlan" Performance at Cristo Rey Community Center (1717 N. High Street, Lansing)

Also of interest for kids: "Dia de los Muertos sugar skulls"
Sunday, Nov. 8, 2-4 p.m., Community Gallery

A drop-in activity at the MSU Museum: try your hand at making and decorating sugar skulls made for ofrendas to celebrate Dia de los Muertos ($1 suggested donation).

The MSU Museum Store also features assorted handmade, fair-trade clay Day of the Dead figures from Mexico.

The project is developed by MSU Professor of History Juan Javier Pescador, who has included segments studying Day of the Dead cultural traditions in his MSU history courses. Pescador also created a Day of the Dead installation for the MSU Museum's Great Lakes Folk Festival this past summer for a special program featuring Latino traditions.

"Visitors will gain a better understanding of Mexican American culture and a unique opportunity to experience how academic, artistic, performance and outreach work comes together in the process," notes Pescador.

The MSU Museum features three floors of special collections and changing exhibits and is open seven days a week free of charge (donations are encouraged). Located on West Circle Drive next to Beaumont Tower on the MSU campus in East Lansing, the MSU Museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. Hours are Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. -5 p.m.; and Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Visitor parking is available in front of the building and at metered spaces at the Grand River Ramp, one block away at the corner of Grand River Avenue and Charles Street. For more information, call (517) 355-2370 or see http://museum.msu.edu .