The City of Austin’s Emma S. Barrientos-Mexican American Cultural Center will have a variety of activities associated with their seventh annual Día de los Muertos event, including sugar skull making, altar building and a car show. The culminating event, dedicated to Anthony Quinn Ortiz, Jr., will be held on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 3-7 p.m.
This is the largest annual event at the ESB-MACC, and is free, open to the public and a great outing for families (feel free to bring chairs). The event will also include live music and entertainment, family art activities, a costume contest and more. Performers will include Clemencia Zapata, Susana Torres, Johnny Degollado, Accordion & Conjunto All-stars, and Las Corbetas, Anthony Ortiz, Jr.’s family mariachi band.
Anthony passed away last July after a 10-month battle with cancer. The young, talented musician made an invaluable impact at the ESB-MACC as an artist, teacher and friend. Anthony’s introduction to the ESB-MACC was in 2008, when he performed at the Texas Folk Life Big Squeeze competition. He graduated from Austin High School in 2014 and was studying at Austin Community College. He performed with his father and his grandfather with Las Corbetas.
The ESB-MACC also invites the community to participate in their annual Day of the Dead celebration by displaying customs or classic cars or bikes. This colorful community event grows every year, and it continues to provide an opportunity to celebrate Latino culture. Altars are also suggested and may be placed inside or outside a vehicle. Display your pride and car or bike this year for a chance to win a special prize.
The public is also encouraged to install a temporary altar outside along the perimeter of the zócalo. As part of the Día de los Muertos tradition, altars, or ofrendas, are built to commemorate loved ones who have passed away including family, friends, or even well-known leaders and activists. Ofrendas can also function as artworks in their own right. Altar applications are available online.
There will also be family activities throughout the month of October, including workshops for making sugar skulls and a special storybook performance (see below for dates and times). These are hands-on workshops where both children and adults are invited to create traditional Days of the Dead crafts. Participants will learn more about the significance of Día de los Muertos and the beginning process of the sugar skull construction.
Dia de los Muertos Workshops:
Saturday, Oct. 7: Bella Muerte, Dulce Vida Sugar Skulls Workshops (10 a.m.- 12:30 p.m., Black Box) / Dia con las Calaveras Storybook Performance (3 – 5 p.m., Black Box)
Saturday, Oct. 14: Bella Muerte, Dulce Vida Sugar Skulls Workshops (10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., VA Room)
Saturday, Oct. 21: Bella Muerte, Dulce Vida Sugar Skulls Workshops (10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., VA Room)
For more information and to apply for the community altar contest, please visit maccaustin.org.