Home » Souls of the City Returns for a Series of Dia De Los Muertos Events This October
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Souls of the City Returns for a Series of Dia De Los Muertos Events This October

Photo by David Alvarez

Sol Collective and the Sacramento History Museum are coming together to make October the month to experience cultural workshops celebrating Dia de Los Muertos as well as a traditional and large-scale Day of the Dead ceremony highlighted by altar building, Aztec dance, sugar skulls, and more.

Since 2011, Sol Collective has worked to bring the ancient tradition of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) to the Sacramento community. Shrouded in mysticism for many Americans, Day of the Dead is a Mexican tradition celebrating and honoring the lives of relatives and ancestors past. Sol Collective’s annual Souls of the City festival and cultural arts programming offer hands-on education about the deep-rooted history and traditions of Dia de los Muertos.

Sol Collective believes that it is through open education and sharing of cultures that respect, understanding, and equity are cultivated. Community members of all ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds are encouraged to come out, learn the history, and participate in honoring their loved ones passed.

All cultural workshops will take place at Sol Collective (2574 21st Street in Sacramento) whereas the Honoring Our Past and Souls of the City Festival take place inside or outside the Sacramento History Museum (101 I Street in Old Sacramento).

Following is the 2018 Souls of the City schedule:

Honoring Our Past – October 18th // 6:00pm-8pm // Sacramento History Museum

Join community members as we collectively delve deeper into the meaning and history of Dia de los Muertos, its traditions and origins. Every year we honor community members who are working to make a community impact through cultural arts, community empowerment, and social justice. Find out who will be honored this year.

October 20 // 11am – 2pm // Mini Altars with Florentina Favela

Florentina Favela, local artist and teacher, will be instructing the Mini Altar workshop at the Sol Collective this year for the seventh year running. Participants will help prepare to honor our loved ones with a miniature altar to display in the home, office, or classroom. Participants are encouraged to bring a personal photo (smaller sized photocopies work best) and other items in remembrance of loved ones. This workshop is suitable for all ages.

October 21 // 2pm – 4:30pm // Sugar Skulls

Sugar skulls are a traditional offering used to celebrate the Mexican holiday Dia de Los Muertos. Usually placed as decorations to recognize those who have passed away, the sugar skull represents a departed soul and can have the name written on the forehead to be placed at a home altar or gravestone to honor the loved ones no longer with us. In this workshop Sugar Skulls will be colorfully decorated with icing, tin foil, glitter and colorful sugars. Fun for the whole family and, if cared for and kept dry, they can last for years.

October 27 // 11am – 2pm // Plaster Masks with Amar Azucena Cid

This workshop will teach the traditions of creating Dia De Los Muertos masks using plaster. These masks are traditionally used to hide one’s identity during Dia De Los Muertos ceremony. Participants will learn the techniques behind plaster mask making and decoration. This workshop is hands-on and communal. All participants will leave with a custom created plaster mask they have created.

Souls of the City Festival – November 3rd // 4pm-9pm // Sacramento History Museum

The entire community is invited to come watch as the mesmerizing Sacramento Aztec Dancers Maquilli Tonatiuh lead the official Day of the Dead ceremony at the annual Souls of the City festival in Old Sacramento with arts and crafts vendors, traditional face painting, sugar skull making, community altars, and live music performances for the whole family.

For more information about the Souls of the City events and activities, please visit sachistorymuseum.org or solcollective.org.

About the author

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

Traci Rockefeller Cusack has 25+ years of media and public relations experience.  Her work experience includes News10 (ABC) as Promotion Manager from 1989-1998 (where she developed and launched “Coats for Kids’ Sake,” a winter coat drive that lasted 20+ years plus coordinated Oprah Winfrey’s first ever visit to Sacramento) and Fleishman-Hillard as Vice President from 1998-2005 (where she led the wildly successful statewide “California Grown” program and also produced the five-minute video that played on the Jumbotron on Opening Day at Pac Bell Park). In 2007, she launched T-Rock Communications and currently handles a wide range of marketing activities for a number of top-notch organizations.

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