Des Moines Art Center hosts 19th annual Day of the Dead celebration


DES MOINES, IA (October 2019) On Sunday, November 3, noon – 4 pm, the Des Moines Art Center will host the 19th annual Day of the Dead / Día de los Muertos celebration. The event will take place at 4700 Grand Avenue and is free and open to the public. Parking at the Art Center is free, and a complimentary free shuttle and parking will be available at Merrill Middle School, 5301 Grand Avenue, Des Moines.


Day of the Dead is a Latinx celebration that honors the lives of deceased members of the community with a festive day of music, dancing, food and drink, art activities, and remembrances for the entire family. This year’s celebration will honor Richard “Chico” Perez, community leader, United Mexican American Community Center co-founder, and restaurant owner; and Connie Quijano, translator and advocate of the Latinx immigrant community. According to Ila Plasencia, longtime volunteer for the event, “Día de los Muertos has been a great way to remember those who made a contribution to our Latino Community and that their work has not been forgotten. After 19 years, our community still looks forward to this wonderful celebration that the Des Moines Art Center sponsors.” 

The festival will feature all of the beloved Day of the Dead traditions – mariachi music, art activities, traditional refreshments, Day of the Dead merchandise, and a film chronicling the lives of the honorees. This year a poetry reading of original works will be performed by student members of Movement 515, an entity of RunDSM in Des Moines Public Schools.





Celebration Activities


Noon – 3:30 pm             Art activities in the studios        

Noon – 4 pm            Mariachi music by Mariachi Los Aguilares | traditional Day of the Dead bread |                     Mexican hot chocolate by Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure | food available for                     purchase by Tamale’s Industry in Art Center café | cash bar | Day of the Dead                     merchandise available for purchase in the Shop at the Art Center       


12:30 and 2:30 pm        Museum tours (Spanish and English)

12:45 pm             Mariachi procession from lobby to Levitt Auditorium

1 pm                Poetry reading by Movement 515 Des Moines Public School students,
                Levitt Auditorium
1:15 pm            Honoree film by Vince Valdez in Levitt Auditorium

3 pm                Rescreening of honoree film by Vince Valdez in Levitt Auditorium


On Exhibit

Day of the Dead Altar                November 3 – 10, 2019, lobby

Monument Valley                Through January 12, 2020, Anna K. Meredith Gallery
                        and Pamela Bass-Bookey and Harry Bookey Gallery

Of Our Time: Contemporary Art            Through January 5, 2020, Blank One Gallery
by Indigenous Artists from the
Permanent Collections

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