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Crafting Local Commemorations: Honoring Día de los Muertos in the Shenandoah Valley

Engage in dialogue and artistic expression related to the celebration and appreciation of Día de los Muertos. Estela Diaz Knott, a musician and cultural arts organizer, will share her experiences commemorating Día de los Muertos in the Shenandoah Valley.  Attendees will have the opportunity to view and craft ofrendas, guided by local artist Marissa Kalo, and experience cultural practices while reflecting on their own cultural celebrations of their ancestors. This year, participants are encouraged to bring personalized items to remember their loved ones as part of the crafting process and collaborate together to create a sonic altar. Attendees might also consider sharing a song that is connected to their loved ones as the event will also include conversations around the role of music and memorialization. Join us as we expand our conversations about how JMU can create and support spaces that are authentic and respectful to honor Día de los Muertos in our communities.

Join us to make progress towards:

  • Developing an understanding and appreciation, with a lens of cultural awareness, for how Día de los Muertos can be celebrated.
  • Learning about the specific experiences of a cultural arts organizer and local artist with a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and justice.
  • Experiencing the integral component of artistic creativity in the celebration of Día de los Muertos.

Food: Light refreshments will be served.

Parking information: Anyone attending this event may park in the JMU Grace Street Parking Deck (no voucher or permit necessary) between 4:30pm and 8:30pm on October 5. View a PDF of the JMU parking map.

This is event is part of Be)Holding Love and Loss: An Interdisciplinary Arts and Humanties Series on Grief.


Madison Union Ballroom, James Madison University

Sign up:

Please sign up by selecting "Begin Registration" below. Signing up ahead of time is so helpful for our planning! Anyone is welcome at this family-friendly community/campus event.

Event co-sponors:

JMU Libraries, The Honors College, College of Arts and Letters, College of Visual and Performing Arts, and Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies

Thursday, October 5, 2023
5:30pm - 7:30pm
Madison Union Ballroom
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Registration has closed.

Event Organizer

Elaine Kaye