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Día de Muertos at Cleveland Public Theatre

Día de Muertos Ohio and Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) / Teatro Público de Cleveland (TPC) are presenting the 14th Annual Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) Festival in Cleveland’s Detroit Shoreway neighborhood on Saturday, November 3, 2018, from 11am to 10pm, to take place at Cleveland Public Theatre, 6205 Detroit Avenue in the Gordon Square Arts District.

This free, all-ages event opens at 11am and includes face painting for participants in the afternoon parade, pan de muerto (the traditional Day of the Dead bread), craft workshops, and holiday vendors. The main programming kicks off at 3:30pm with a community procession of “Skulls & Skeletons” along Detroit Avenue starting at Cleveland Public Theatre.


The festivities will continue through 10pm with live music and performance, Latin food, visual art exhibits, and a DJ to cap off the evening. This time-honored tradition of honoring the ancestors includes a colorful display of altars (ofrendas or retablos) created by local artists, as well as a main altar by Robin VanLear.

The Procession of "Skulls & Skeletons" has returned once again this year, and requires mandatory registration due to increased popularity. Participants must visit the Eventbrite page: Día de Muertos Ohio 2018 Celebration / Registration to sign up

According to CPT’s Executive Artistic Director, Raymond Bobgan: “This is one of our favorite times of the year. The CPT campus comes alive with incredible music, food, and art – and we are reminded that joy and celebration sit right alongside remembrance and loss. Día de Muertos is a beautiful event – and we are so grateful for our partnership with Héctor Castellanos Lara and Día de Muertos Ohio. The work they do in the community is exceptional.”

ABOUT “DAY OF THE DEAD”: Although its name may sound grim, the Día de los Muertos holiday has its origins in the Aztec rituals of Mexico and other indigenous tribes of Latin America. An Internet search of “Día de los Muertos” will yield any number of links to web sites explaining and promoting the holiday. But the primary elements of this celebration indicate that the special nature of the occasion is to honor one’s ancestors and commemorate beloved ones who have passed.

For the Aztecs and others with similar beliefs, honoring and calling upon the ancestors was integrated with harvest festivities, and gathering family to remember past family and friends with fondness and happy memories.

Traditional arts, flowers, food, music, dance, and fun are integral to the cultural mix, as are particular items specific to the holiday, such as the altars (ofrendas). Elements of the earth (salt), wind (cut paper decorations, papeles picados), fire (candles), and water are among the items included on some altars. However, the traditions and rituals are widely varied throughout Mexico, Latin America, Spain, and other countries. When the Spaniards conquered the New World, the indigenous holiday was commingled and integrated with the Catholic All Saints and All Souls Days.

The image of Catrina, the traditional “Lady of the Dead” goddess of the Aztecs, is a smiling skeleton. However gruesome or scary this or the idea of skulls is to Western culture, for the Aztecs skulls symbolized new life. Multiple colorful sculptures of candy skulls (calaveras) and skeletons (catrinas) are bursting with color and created with lighthearted and funny poses of the living. This deeply spiritual and yet exuberant celebration can often reflect more of an attitude about enjoying a higher level of consciousness and living life to the fullest.

For more information, visit Día de Muertos Ohio on Facebook or www.diademuertosohio.com, or call Cleveland Public Theatre (216) 621-2727 x501.        


All events take place at / Todos los eventos se llevarán acabo en:  Cleveland Public Theatre Church, Parish Hall, and surrounding area, 6205 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland OH 44102.
11:00am – 10:00pm | Altars Exhibition, Cemetery Installations, & Performances / Exhibición de Altares,

Cementerio de Instalaciones y Presentaciones Artísticas
11:00am – 2:45pm | Face painting & crafts workshops / Maquillage de calavera y talleres de manualidades
3:30pm – 4:15pm | “Skulls & Skeletons” Procession / “Procesión de Calaveras y Esqueletos”

MAIN ALTAR: Robin VanLear
ALTAR #1: Cynthia Penter
ALTAR #2: Amanda Plavan
ALTAR #3: Leticia Maldonado
ALTAR #4: Veronica Tomaschek
ALTAR #5: Ana Laura Avila Rivera
ALTAR #6: Comité Mexicano de Cleveland
ALTAR #7: Julia de Burgos Cultural Art Center in collaboration with the ArtHouse

Mark Jenks, Ian Petroni, Nina Huryn & Ted Olah, Lori Lane & Jay Bentoff, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center / Hogar Consuelo.

1:30pm – 2:30pm | Dueto Maravilla (Romantic Mexican popular songs)
5:00pm – 6:00pm | Kombilesa Asé (Music from the African diaspora)
6:30pm – 8:30pm | Rice & Beans Latin Jazz Band
8:30pm – 10:00pm | Free Music Form
REMARKS: 4:45pm | Councilman Matt Zone

Dance:  2:00pm – 2:30pm | Levity Dance + Physical Theater (Cemetery)
Music: 1:00pm – 2:00pm | Guitar by Wesley Washington (Cemetery)
7:00pm – 7:40pm | Duo of Violoncellos by Rachael & Maya Nieves (Church)

OUTDOORS – PARADE (3:30pm – 4:15pm)
“Skulls & Skeletons” Procession will take place along Detroit Avenue.
Open to the public. / Abierto a todo el público. Mariachi Music by Santa Cecilia.
All participants required to be registered. / Todos los participantes deberán registrarse.
3:30pm | Depart CPT’s Parish Hall (6205 Detroit Avenue)
1st Stop | Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church (West 70th Street & Detroit Avenue)
2nd Stop | Craciun Berry Funeral Home (West 72nd Street & Detroit Avenue)
4:15pm | Return to Cleveland Public Theatre

Facebook: diademuertosohio
**Please register at Día de Muertos Ohio 2018 Celebration on Eventbrite.

Día de Muertos 2018 Sponsors
Día de Muertos 2018 is made possible through support by Día de Muertos Ohio, Cleveland Public Theatre / Teatro Público de Cleveland, Ward 15 Councilman Matt Zone, Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, Cleveland City Council, Craciun Berry Funeral Home, Cleveland Museum of Art, and Riverside Cemetery.


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Revised: 10/31/18 00:17:50 -0800.




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