The popular Latin American family celebration, El Día de los Muertos, will be held at Cheekwood on Saturday, October 24 with activities including live performances, an international marketplace, and interactive art activities for everyone.
Now in its sixteenth year at Cheekwood, the day-long celebration is a premiere community event for Nashville’s Hispanic population as well as for families throughout the area. Translated as “Day of the Dead,” Día de los Muertos is a uniquely Latin celebration of families as they honor their ancestors.
The festivities, from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, include activities for families of all cultures to learn about this noted Latin-American tradition and participate in a wide range of activities conducted in both Spanish and English. Cheekwood members are free, regular gate fees apply to non-member adults, and children 17 and under are free.
For the eighth year, Cheekwood is holding a Tapete Display and Competition with 12 participating area schools. Tapete is the Spanish word for carpet. Usually made with colored sand, these “carpets” are a tradition for Día de los Muertos because, like life, they are temporary. Making the tapete is an art form in the Latin community and there are annual competitions in cities across Mexico. At Cheekwood, participants will use a similar temporary medium, chalk, to create the large-scale colorful murals to honor the deceased.
Live Performances include Serenatta, Duo Sedeste, the Nashville Public Library’s Puppet Truck, Aztec Dancers, Ballet Folklorica, Ruben Dario, Marcela Pinilla Band and Revolfusion.
Art projects and activities include decorating the memory tree, making paper marigolds, crafting colorful monarch butterflies, decorating calaveras masks, making sugar skulls, creating papel picado paper cut-outs, printmaking in the style of José Posada, and creating dancing calacas puppets.
The International Marketplace will include food from La Hacienda Restaurant, Las Paletas, Nelly’s Peruvian Sweets, food trucks such as Yayo’s O.M.G., Karla’s Catering and many others. The art and goods vendors will feature many local artists including Jacqueline Almaguer, Vera’s Innovations, Lucky Charm Jewelry, and EV Mex Folk Art.
History and Tours: Community altars or ‘ofrendas’ will be created by groups such as Vanderbilt Center for Latin American Studies, YMCA Latino Achievers, Conexion Americas as well as many others and displayed in Botanic Hall. There will also be bilingual tours of Cheekwood’s Museum of Art and Gardens given by our knowledgeable docents and guides. Cheekwood will also have a resource room which will feature various books, and materials documenting the history and culture of the Día de los Muertos holiday.
Tapete Display and Competition:
Tapete designs will be created by a variety of area schools, including: Graves County High School, Harding Academy, Harpeth Hall School, Lane Ridge Latino Achievers, Oakland High School, Station Camp High School, St. Bernard Academy, St. Cecilia Academy, STEM Prep, University School of Nashville, V.G. Hawkins Middle School, and Whites Creek High School.
Visit cheekwood.org for the full schedule.