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Arts Focus: Lively Annual Dia De Los Muertos Celebration today

This column is sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Come out for the popular annual Dia De Los Muertos Celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 1 (today) at the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington!

Enjoy the crisp fall weather with an evening picnic featuring family-friendly art projects. Spread your blanket on the lawn, then grab a warm beverage and a hot Mexican meal from a local food truck, while you enjoy performances and art activities in the park.

A Mexican cultural tradition celebrated on Nov. 1 and 2, National Geographic describes Dia De Los Muertos as a combination of “the ancient Aztec custom of celebrating ancestors with All Souls’ Day, a holiday that Spanish invaders brought to Mexico” in the early 1500’s. Today, it is a day of remembering departed loved ones through joyous celebration rather than mourning.

Arlington artist David Amoroso will build a large-scale altar on the front portico of the building, and you are invited to bring a photo of a loved one who has passed away to be included.

There will be music from Grupo Fénix, known for their appearances everywhere from the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage and the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art to Glenn Echo Park. You’ll also enjoy a performance by the folkloric Mexican dance ensemble Los Quetzales, and poetry readings from Cristi Donoso. Raices Culturales will also present artisan mask maker Rafael Jiménez López’s work for view and purchase. Tasty beverages and bites will be available from pop-up cafe, Rossana, and delicious tacos will be available from local food truck, La Tingeria.

The Museum of Contemporary Arts Arlington (formerly known as Arlington Arts Center) has a long collaborative history with Arlington County Government. The independent nonprofit holds a long-term lease with Arlington County to operate within the County-owned former school building. Designed in 1910 by noted school architect Charles M. Robinson, the school closed in 1975 and the building became home to the Arlington Arts Center in 1976. After an extensive renovation in 2005, it now boasts Tiffany Windows salvaged from the former Abbey Mausoleum by Arlington Arts and the County’s Office of Historic Preservation. The Clarendon School is a designated Arlington County Landmark and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Come celebrate Dia De Los Muertos on Wednesday, Nov. 1 (today) from 5-8 p.m., at Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington, 3550 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22201. For details, visit the website!

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