Dia de los Muertos Dayton!

elegant skeletonAre you one of the 300+ people that made our first El Dia de los Muertos Dayton celebration a huge success last year? We’re doing it again on November 1st 2013!
Dia de los Muertos is a special day celebrated throughout Latin America, on which people remember loved ones who have died. The Dayton celebration will be in the Mexican tradition of celebrating with bright colors, imagery of calaveras (skulls) and more, but recognizes all Day of the Dead and All Saint’s Day traditions. This is a free and family-friendly event.


The centerpiece of this celebration is the month-long exhibit at Missing Peace Art Space, commemorating work that local artists have shared, in honor of their loved ones. The exhibit runs through December 1st at 234 Dutoit St. The gallery hosts many exhibits throughout the year, lifting up the human family and our yearning for peace!


Dia de los Muertos Dayton is the opening event for this exhibit, a community celebration of size, distinguished by a community parade through the Oregon District! This year, we are proud t be sponsored by Welcome Dayton, an Initiative of the City of Dayton’s Human Relations Council. Look for their float in the parade!


Our new event partner, Synergy Incubators, has jumped in big time, hosting the pre-parade party with Zombie Dogz, El Meson Mobile  and other food sunflower galtrucks, selling sustenance for your soul. Special beer tappings from Cavalier Distribuitn include Zombie Dust and Zombie Killer.   It is First Friday after all!


While you enjoy delicious food and brew, get your face painted for the parade! We might even have a few masks and t-shirts for sale! Plan on picking up one of Gracie’s cookies! They are works of art. And delicious!!!

The parade will line up on 5th St. in front of Synergy Incubators, stepping off promptly at 6pm! All are invited to join the parade!!! Lots of music, color, dancing skeletons, bicycles, motorcycles, floats and more!


The parade will end at the Missing Peace Art Space at 6:45pm where there will be more food for sale, performances in the street and the beautiful Community Ofrienda exhibit inside the gallery!


Huge thanks to all who donated online to make this event happen!!! What great community support!!! Special thanks to the Dia de los Muertos Committee for their hard work in planning this event!!! This event is proudly sponsored by: Welcome Dayton, Missing Peace Art Space, The Compassionary and Synergy Incubators.


Learn more:


bride-groomThe Day of the Dead is a Mexican tradition dating from Pre-Hispanic times. The Ancient Aztecs honor their Dead loved ones along with the goddess Mictecacihuatl. With the arrival of the Spaniards and Catholicism into Mexico, the ancient tradition became a syncretic form of celebrating All Saints Day.  Celebrating the Day of the Dead has transcended religion and has become a cultural tradition that honors the dualities of life and death, happiness and sorrow, day and night.

Indigenous Mexican homes are decorated with altars ornamented with flowers, photos of departed love ones, candles, and a variety of objects that our love ones enjoyed in life. The idea is to invite them to join us in a celebration of their life. The ancient Mexicans believed that for one day, the souls of our ancestors would come and visit and celebrate with us.

The Missing Peace Art Space will display a variety of altars with typical Mexican altars decorated by a multicultural array of Daytonians. Each altar will display items that tell a story about a love one and their special relationship with those who honors them.

In addition, the walls of the gallery will display artwork featuring artists Magda Bowen. Born in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico, artist Magda Bowen discovered a passion for painting  “Calaveras”.  “La Calavera Catrina” has become a staple of Mexican Day of the Dead celebration. Popularized by Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada, the Catrina is the skeleton of an upper class woman. The Catrina or Calaca soon gained iconic status as a symbol of Mexican folk art. Inspired by José Guadalupe Posada, these paintings are festive skeleton characters with bright colored costumes representing a cheerful afterlife. They are properly dressed for a celebration. With their elaborate costumes, they joyfully parade with dignity leaving the physical world and embracing the afterlife. Death is not the end, but a new beginning.


For more information, contact:

Gabriela Pickett at Missing Peace Art Space, 369-1373

Jean Berry at The Compassionary, 369-8532!



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avatar About Jean Howat Berry

Jean Howat Berry is the Education and Outreach Manager for Cityfolk. She had been a teaching artist for over twenty years, using interdisciplinary arts strategies to share curricular content and life skills. She worked extensively through Ohio Arts Council in the Artist Residency program, mentoring student artists through drama strategies and mask techniques and using curricular content to promote multi-level learning. Jean participated in the Lincoln Center Institute’s National Educator Workshop this summer, taking part in the conversation about imagination as a primary, cognitive capacity. Her residency with Cincinnati Recreation Commission received national recognition with the Dorothy R. Mullen’s Arts & Humanities award, given for arts programming by the National Recreation and Parks Association. She was also fortunate to study mask making with the Stratford Festival of Canada, funded by Culture Works.