Community Ensembles

Día de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday honoring family members that have passed away. Death is a universal part of the cycle of life and transcends cultures, times, and places. It is honored and celebrated in a variety of ways through the arts. Día de los Muertos is one such observance that has grown in popularity here in the United States. Many artists who explore death as a theme in their art incorporate the image of the calaca, or decorated skeleton, as a reminder of the joyful memories that encompass this commemorative holiday.

Calacas are an important part of Día de los Muertos imagery. They depict skeletons wearing hats, shoes, and clothing doing everyday things - playing music, celebrating with family, dancing, riding a bike, reading a book, eating favorite foods, etc. Calacas illustrate the Mexican belief that the joys of life continue after death. Family members echo this sentiment by celebrating their loved ones on Día de los Muertos with the foods, music, and activities their ancestors enjoyed.