Day of the dead celebrations in Kansas City

A display from the 2012 Day of the Dead celebration at the Nelson Atkins Museum.

This year’s Day of the Dead celebration at the Nelson Atkins Museum focuses on popular Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and the museum is collaborating with the Mattie Rhodes Center on other activities.

The Day of the Dead is a Mexican tradition that encourages gatherings of family and friends to honor and remember deceased relatives and popular figures.

This year, the Nelson’s Day of the Dead honors two artists who were recently featured in an exhibit called Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Masterpieces of Modern Mexico from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection.

Here are more details from the museum about the planned activities:

  • A community altar will be constructed in Kirkwood Hall from Oct. 20–24 and will be open to the public Oct. 25–Nov. 10. A family festival will be from 1–4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3. The festival features a dance performance by El Grupo Atotonilco, music by Los Musicos and Trio Aztlan, printmaking by the Print Factory, and readings by the Latino Writers Collective. Related programs include a special performance by Mazuka in Bloch Lobby on Friday, Oct. 25 from 6:30-8 p.m. and the Kansas City premiere of the film La Camioneta on Friday, Nov. 1 from 7–8:30 p.m. in Atkins Auditorium. Director Mark Kendall will attend and will take questions from the audience in a discussion after the film.
  • Mattie Rhodes Center began celebrating its 15th Day of the Dead on Oct 4. The center will have receptions, a street festival and an art exhibition.

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