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Festival de los Muertos


November 1 – 9, 2018

In 2018, the Durango Arts Center will launch a dynamic annual Festival de los Muertos; recognizing and affirming the artistic and cultural celebration surrounding the beloved Latin American holiday, Día de los Muertos, (the Day of the Dead).  With Durango’s significant and vibrant Hispanic population (11.5% of Durango residents according to the 2014 Census), DAC endeavors to promote multiculturalism and embrace inclusivity through several creative events for community members of all ages and backgrounds to participate. Historically, Durango hosts several disparate events associated with Dia de los Muertos. El Festival de los Muertos  will unite collaborative efforts and embolden the cultural tradition across our community.

Proudly presented by

2018 DAC Festival De Los Muertos Events


At its heart- DAC champions the mixture of art, art making and artists in our community. Soup is often used as a metaphor related to community. The mindful mixture of ingredients enhances the overall dish’s taste; exceeding the benefit of any one particular food source or nutrient. The act of combining flavors promotes connection and leads to transformation within a single pot.  Likewise, celebrating the diversity of unique cultures of those who live and work among us can lead to a transcendence of differences. On October 19, 2018 (6:00PM- 8:30PM) we plan to celebrate the rich diversity of our extended community and their artistic tastes and talents with a recipe for fundraising success- Pozole!  DAC will offer a variety of time and taste tested Pozole (soup derived from the Mexican heritage and tradition) for attendees to enjoy; created by local restaurants. Winning recipes will be celebrated.  An event entrance fee will entitle guests to a hand-crafted bowl and all the pozole they care to try.  The bowls have been created by community members at free workshops from April-July. Proceeds from this fundraiser will support the launch of DAC’s annual event in our primary gallery: The Festival De Los Muertos.  Join the Parade!


Throughout October leading up to the Festival opening, building momentum, awareness and involvement, DAC will host several workshops on traditional art forms related to the holiday including skeleton building, papel picado and sugar skulls.  Workshops will solicit modest registration fees in order to compensate teaching artists.


DAC will release an open call inviting community members to create an ofrenda (altar) that will be displayed in the Barbara Conrad Gallery.  Commitment will include participation in a preliminary contextual workshop/dialogue session on the cultural significance of the Dia de los Muertos tradition.  There will be no charge for participants.

DAC will also reserve space in the gallery for Durango School District 9R student and teacher participation.


An evening of lively fiesta, including:

  • Opening of the Barbara Conrad Gallery ofrendas presentation
  • Performances on stage in the DAC theater: local ballet folklorico, and Hispanic and Latino musicians
  • Traditional artists and food vendors (churros, pan de muertos)
  • Activities for children and families


To embolden local Hispanic and Latino culture in a contemporary format, DAC is pleased to bring an internationally recognized Mexican performance group to the stage on the second night of the festival, Sur Oeste Arte Escenico.  The six member performance group will perform, “11:11,” which explores the cycle of life and death and the search for meaning in both.


After the opening reception of the Festival de los Muertos at DAC (Nov 1st, from 4 PM-10PM), continue the celebration into the evening at Cantera – 1150 Main Ave.

2018 Festival Sponsors


Festival Partners