October 28, 2022 - November 12, 2022

Día de los Muertos returns to Art Center East!

Art Center East’s annual Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead exhibit and community celebration will open with a community celebration on October 28, 2022. The exhibit features artworks created by K-12 students from throughout Union County inspired by Mexican folk-art traditions associated with Día de los Muertos. Join us for our family-friendly community celebration on October 28 at Art Center East and visit the exhibit through November 12. The exhibit and the community celebration are free! 

The community altar (ofrenda) at ACE will be open to the public beginning October 28. We invite you to bring in a photo and/or a memento of a lost loved one starting October 28 at 12:00 pm.  You’ll place these on the ofrenda to honor and celebrate your loved ones who have passed away. (Please plan to pick up your item(s) on November 10 or 11). Paper will be available for writing a message, or feel free to bring your own message. See the beautiful ofrenda with all its candles lit on Friday, October 28, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Visit the K-12 students’ Day of the Dead art exhibit and view the community altar (ofrenda) October 28 - November 12 during gallery hours: Wednesday-Friday 12:00-5:00 pm and Saturdays 10:00 am-2:00 pm. Gallery admission is always free.


Dinner for the Family


Purchase delicious tamales (chicken or vegetarian) prepared by La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant & Lounge in La Grande!

Tamales for sale only during Opening Reception: October 28 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm. Each box contains four tamales. Art kits and tamales are sold separately.


Teahouse Bakery in Cove

Sugar Skull Cookies from Teahouse Bakery

Each free youth Take & Make Art Kit will include two sugar skull cookies!


- October 14 - October 27, 2022 | Pre-order Día de los Muertos Take & Make Art Kits (while supplies last)

- October 28, 2022 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm | Community Gathering & Opening Reception for Youth Art Exhibit 

- November 1, 2022 from 8:00 - 9:00 pm | Candlelit Reflection

- November 2, 2022 from 7:00 - 8:00 pm | Candlelit Reflection

- October 28 - November 12, 2022 | Día de los Muertos Youth Art Exhibit Duration

ABOUT Día de los Muertos

Join Art Center East to experience this special holiday. Día de los Muertos is a Mexican national holiday that celebrates the joys of life and offers an opportunity to honor loved ones who have passed away. This celebration is cheerful and playful rather than mournful and sad, and its traditions highlight the importance of family, both living and dead. Día de los Muertos is traditionally celebrated in Mexico and Central and South America but has also become a widely celebrated holiday in the United States and other countries worldwide.

Though Día de los Muertos sugar skulls (calaveras) and costumed skeletons (calacas) have become more commonplace in the United States as an extension of Halloween imagery, they are not intended to be spooky. Día de Los Muertos came about as a fusion between the Catholic holidays All Saint’s Day (November 1) and All Soul’s Day (November 2) and the ancestor-honoring traditions of indigenous Mexico. Combining Mexican folk art, vibrant colors, music, parades, food, and family, Día de Los Muertos is a memorial holiday that encourages meaningful reflection on the beauty and fleetingness of life. UNESCO recognizes its unique traditions as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Día de los Muertos is about the transitory nature of life and the importance of remembering and honoring our ancestors. It is believed that on Día de los Muertos, the souls of our deceased family members will return to their final resting place for a one-day visit. 

Families prepare for this special day by cleaning and decorating their ancestors' graves, preparing a feast of foods their ancestors loved, and laying a pathway of marigolds. There is music, singing, lots of good food, and happy reminiscing. This annual event helps younger family members learn more about their ancestors and strengthens family bonds.

Día de los Muertos Take & Make Arts Learning Kits

For all ages! 


Order Día de los Muertos Take & Make Art Kits online starting October 11 ! 


Pick up your pre-ordered kits at ACE’s Día de los Muertos Community Celebration and Exhibit Opening Reception:

October 28 from 6:00 - 8:00pm.


This year ACE’s make-art-at-home Día de los Muertos Take & Make Art Kits celebrate Latinx artisans as well as the annual Día de los Muertos celebration. By popular demand, this year’s kits are labeled “youth” when suggested for ages 18 and younger. Choose the kits that you, family members, and friends will most enjoy without the need to follow last year’s specific age indications!


Note: Día de los Muertos Take & Make Art Kits labeled “youth” are free (or by donation) for children and teens ages 18 and under. ACE’s Take & Make Kits give children and teens an opportunity to learn about art and culture through fun activities.


Art Center East offers Día de Los Muertos Take & Make Arts Learning Kits as opportunities for community members of all ages to explore Latinx and Indigenous traditions, art, and culture. We continue to partner with Latinx groups on Día de Los Muertos community offerings and programming throughout the year. ACE will continue to seek input from Latinx people and groups, learn their histories, and hear their perspectives. We invite and welcome continued collaboration.


Combining Mexican folk art, vibrant colors, music, parades, food, and family, Día de Los Muertos is a celebratory holiday that presents an opportunity to honor our loved ones who have passed away. The holiday’s traditions highlight the importance of family, both living and dead, and encourage meaningful reflection on the beauty and brevity of life.

Book Table at ACE 


The following books — free or by donation — are available while supplies last at ACE’s Día de los Muertos Community Gathering and Opening Reception on October 28 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm:


- Jaguars and Butterflies by Catherine Russler (author) and Ely Ely  (illustrator). A self-empowerment resource for girls of Mexican heritage and an educational children's book for all. It presents an enchanting world of art and poetry that encourages girls to value and center themselves. Each colorful page is a celebration of strength and diversity that highlights cultures, art, and geography in Mexico. Proceeds support grants for authors working to increase the representation of their communities in children’s literature.


- Alma and How She Got Her Name by author-illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal. If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. This book opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names.


- Sarai and the Meaning of Awesome by Sarai Gonzalez (author), Monica Brown (author), and Christine Almeda (illustrator). Fourth grader Sarai Gonzalez can do anything. She can bake, dance, and run her own cupcake business. But when Sarai's grandparents are forced to move, even Sarai's not sure what to do. So she hatches a super-awesome plan with her younger sisters and cousin to buy back the house. But houses are more expensive than she ever thought, her sisters won't listen, and she's running out of time. Will Sarai find a way to save the day? Inspired by the life of viral video sensation and social activist Sarai Gonzalez with the help of award-winning children's book author Monica Brown.


- The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. In a series of vignettes, the book tells the story of 12-year-old Esperanza Cordero growing up in Chicago. Esperanza doesn’t want to belong – not to her rundown neighborhood and not to the low expectations the world has for her. Her story is that of a young girl finding her own voice and coming into her power. The book is taught everywhere and has been translated into more than 20 languages.