Thank you to everyone who made the 2014 Dia de los Muertos Festival so memorable!
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
On November 1st and 2nd the souls of our loved ones come back to us for two days filled with love, laughter and appreciation. Marked by music, bright colors, and sacred traditions, Dia de los Muertos is a special holiday that unites families and honors the departed.
There are many traditions and customs associated with Dia de los Muertos. One of the most important customs is the creation of altars.
Families come together to build altars for the souls of their loved ones. Altars are prepared in homes or at family grave-sites; they are a place of prayer and family unity. Each element of an altar has its own significance and meaning. The arches of an altar are representative of the passageways between life and death while candles lit are symbols of light, faith and hope. Candles are also lit for each lost family member; there are four candles placed on the top level of the altar to represent the cardinal directions.
You will often see Papel picado, colorful tissue paper, strung around altars. Family members cut the papel picado into intricate and beautiful designs. Each color used has its own special representation:
Black is for the Preshispanic religions and land of the dead
Purple is from the Catholic calendar to signify pain, suffering, grief and mourning
Pink is for celebration
White represents purity and hope
Yellow and orange symbolize the marigold, the sun and light
Red has two different meanings; for Christians it symbolizes the blood of Jesus.
Indigenous people use red to symbolize the life blood of humans and animals
Flowers are also an important piece in altars and symbolize the brevity of life. Often strewn in garlands, marigolds are the most traditional flower found during Dia de los Muertos. In Aztec times, it was called cempasuchil, the flower of 400 lives and its scent leads the spirits home. You can even find paths of marigold petals lying about the floor to guide the spirits.
Ofrendas, are offerings placed at the altar for the spirits of our loved ones. Ofrendas are favorite items of loved ones, like favorite foods, photos, toys, tools or instruments. You will find special treats, sweets, and the favorite food and drinks of loved ones at each altar. But they will also have water, salt and bread.
Water is there to quench thirst and offer purification for spirits.
Salt is there to season the food and offer purification, as well.
Bread represents the food needed for survival.
Celebrate and recognize other cultures:
Dia de los Muertos is a beautiful holiday that can be celebrated by any person, regardless of religion or background. It is intended to bring families together and rejoice in the lives of deceased loved ones. Unlike Halloween, it is not dominated by ghosts, ghouls, zombies and werewolves. Firmly rooted in its traditions, Dia de los Muertos truly is a happy holiday.
Join Mesa Arts Center at our annual Dia de los Muertos Festival on Saturday October 25th and Sunday October 26th! There will be delicious foods, a colorful mercado featuring an assortment of Dia de los Muertos merchandise, jewelry, arts and crafts. Two stages of live entertainment with a variety of excellent performing groups and much more. If you have never celebrated Dia de los Muertos before, this is a great way to experience it for the first time.
Come to this free family friendly festival! We can’t wait to see you there!
By Katie Selph
Monday, October 20, 2014
When you envision the typical life of a 13-year-old girl, your mind probably doesn't jump to piano super talent and composer. But that is in fact what Emily Bear is; a musical phenomenon.
By the age of eight Emily Bear had composed more than 350 pieces. At age 5, Emily made her concert debut at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, playing a 40-minute solo comprised of classical pieces, jazz standards, and her own compositions. She was invited to perform at the White House at age 6. Her orchestral debut came at age 7, playing Mozart Piano Concerto no. 23, K488 and by age 8, she was playing concerts abroad in Italy and China. At the age of 9 she played at Carnegie Hall with a 110-piece orchestra, a 220-voice choir, and R&B soloists.
That’s more than most musicians can accomplish in a lifetime!
“She’s the most delightful human being I’ve ever met in my life,” says Quincy Jones, Emily’s mentor and manager. “And her music is the same way. I am at once astounded and inspired by the enormous talent that Emily embodies. With the ability to seamlessly move from Classical to Jazz and Be-bop, she shows as much musical prowess as pianists/composers twice her age, and I am thrilled to be working with her. She’s astounding, man ... she’s astounding. She plays like she’s 40 years old. She is the complete 360-degree package, and there are no limits to the musical heights she can reach.”
Don’t miss this truly amazing young musician when she performs with cellist Zuill Bailey on October 30, kicking off Mesa Arts Center’s 2014-15 Classical Series. Check out a few of her television appearances…she has been featured on The EllenDeGeneres Show six times!
By Kayla Dorvel
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Mesa Arts Center has been nominated in three categories of AZ Central’s Best of 2014!
You can vote for us in the following categories:
Best Place to See Art
Best Performing Arts Theatre
Best Place to Watch a Concert
We are also excited to share that TheStore at Mesa Arts Center has been nominated in the category “Best Place to Find Arizona Made Gifts.”
How can you vote? First, go to this site & find the categories in which we are nominated. Then click “VOTE” next to Mesa Arts Center. You will be asked to register with your email address. You can vote once a day. Go ahead and tell your family and friends vote too!
Voting ends on October 26th so there isn't much time left!
If you are a fan of Mesa Arts Center, show your love and give us your vote!
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Painting By: Melody Smith
Ghoulish gifts and devilish delights await you at TheStore at Mesa Arts Center!
Members of the MAC Artists Co-op have created special themed artwork in conjunction with the Dia de Los Muertos Festival at the MAC on October 25-26.
Jewelry By: John Finkey
Perhaps best known is co-op member Melody Smith whose colorful paintings evoke the images of stylized skulls that are most closely associated with this celebration. Co-op artists LaDonna Adair (ceramics), John Finkey (jewelry), Kyllan Maney (painting), and Genie Swanstrom (ceramics) have also offered special merchandise designed for El Dia de Los Muertos and Halloween celebrations.
Painting By: Melody Smith
Come visit TheStore at Mesa Arts Center to see what spooky surprises our co-op members have for you!