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Grand Park's Seventh Annual Downtown Día de los Muertos to Honor Culture With Ceremony, Remembrance and Celebration

From a Noche de Ofrenda to L.A.’s Homecoming Selena for Sanctuary Concert, Grand Park’s Nine-Day Presentation of Altars and Art Celebrates This Uniquely Angeleno Tradition and Expands to The Music Center Plaza with Free, Family-Friendly Activities

Photos in Press Gallery

LOS ANGELES (September 25, 2019) – Grand Park brings Día de los Muertos—Day of the Dead—alive with free festivities from October 26, 2019–November 3, 2019 including altars, events and performances. The seventh annual Grand Park’s Downtown Día de los Muertos, a presentation by TMC Arts, The Music Center’s programming engine, expands to include the newly renovated Music Center Plaza as well as a one-night only Selena for Sanctuary concert. Raising awareness of social justice issues concerning immigration in Los Angeles, the concert will feature an all-female line-up of Los Angeles-based artists, including Empress Of, San Cha and Ceci Bastida. Grand Park’s Downtown Día de los Muertos is a community-wide event that upholds this cultural tradition, remembering those who have passed away and inviting all Angelenos to experience and learn about the observance.

While the Día de los Muertos commemoration takes place on November 2, 2019, Grand Park and The Music Center’s remembrance is a nine-day art and performance gathering designed to honor people, places and ideas that merit reverence, support or tribute. Throughout the entire nine days, visitors can stroll among 35 altars organized by Self Help Graphics and large-scale art installations curated by LORE Media and Arts, which explore themes that Los Angeles’ diverse communities find relevant and moving. Additionally, The Music Center will host Día de los Muertos-themed film screenings on its Plaza. In partnership with Self Help Graphics, Grand Park’s commemoration begins with Noche de Ofrenda (or Night of the Offerings/Altars) on October 26, 2019, a traditional ceremony of reflection and blessings marked with performances by poets and musicians.

“As people, we are shaped not only by our personal heritage and history, but also by our interactions with others outside our immediate circle who enrich our lives with traditions we can learn from and appreciate,” said Josephine Ramirez, executive vice president, The Music Center Arts (TMC Arts). “What better way to become a true Angeleno than to embrace the myriad of cultures and experiences found in Grand Park’s Downtown Día de los Muertos, where art serves as a unifying force to make us stronger as one community.”

“Through our Día de los Muertos programming, we celebrate the spirit of Los Angeles by curating hometown artists with unique identities and viewpoints who reflect the many corners of the county,” offered Julia Diamond, interim director, Grand Park. “We are thrilled this year to continue our artistic associations with Self Help Graphics and LORE Media, and especially look forward to hosting a major Selena for Sanctuary concert as part of our Día de los Muertos festival that not only remembers those who have passed but also provides a platform to all of the vibrant communities represented.”

Grand Park Downtown Día de los Muertos Events:
Noche de Ofrenda
October 26, 2019
7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
Location: Grand Park Performance Lawn (Near Hill Street)

For the seventh year in a row, Grand Park partners with Self Help Graphics to present a traditional Noche de Ofrenda ceremony honoring the dead and featuring a communal circle and blessing led by the indigenous community. The joint event of reflection and remembrance will unveil a master altar ideated by artist and educator Ofelia Esparza, a 2018 NEA National Heritage Fellow; both she and her family continue to be instrumental in preserving and conserving Día de los Muertos in Los Angeles. Throughout the evening, and the entire nine days, park-goers are invited to contribute to this community altar as part of the reflective remembrance. The ceremony will also include dancers representing Aztecan, Oaxacan and Michoacán traditions as well as performances by Los Angeles-based poets and musicians, including Latin music artist CAVA from East Los Angeles.

Grand Park’s Día de los Muertos Altars + Art Installations
October 26, 2019–November 3, 2019
5:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.
Locations: Grand Park (North Broadway) to The Music Center Plaza

On their own or through free guided lunchtime tours, guests can experience, discuss and learn about the traditions of Día de los Muertos and stroll through 35 altars, curated by Self Help Graphics located throughout Grand Park as well as the newly renovated Music Center Plaza. All personally and culturally relevant to Los Angeles, one of the altars by ARza Ozo Community will honor former Dodgers players and family members who grew up avid fans since the team’s arrival from Brooklyn in 1958. Additionally, Grand Park will display large Día-themed sculptures produced by LORE Media and Arts and made by professional artists, craftspeople and community organizations in the park’s Fountain Overlook area and in the popular splash pad.

Selena for Sanctuary
November 1, 2019
7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
Location: Grand Park Performance Lawn (Near Hill Street)

Selena for Sanctuary is a free concert featuring an all-female line-up of L.A.-based Latinx artists designed to bring immigrants and allies together in a social justice movement. Performers include Empress Of, San Cha, Ceci Bastida, Maya Murillo, August Eve, and Loyal Lobos, plus the house band for the evening, Selenamos and DJ Zuri Adia (of Technocumbia). Organized by the L.A.-based, non-profit Solidarity for Sanctuary and hosted previously in Central Park and at Lincoln Center, Grand Park’s Selena for Sanctuary concert is a homecoming for the organization’s mission to raise awareness about issues concerning immigrant communities and offer resources to help them through the immigration process. Anahuacalmecac Danza Azteca Círculo, a student-led group from Los Angeles-based Anahuacalmecac International University of North America, will perform, honoring ancestors, during the opening ceremony for Selena for Sanctuary and Los Angeles-based Salvadoran poet Yesika Salgado will host the concert. Additionally, volunteers from numerous immigrant advocacy groups will participate: Las Fotos Project, an organization that inspires teenage girls of color through photography, will host a photo booth for event goers; while Kids of Immigrants, an L.A. street wear label utilizing fashion to express their roots and environment, and Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), a Central American immigrant rights organization, will host information booths during this concert. 

Grand Avenue Arts All Access
November 2, 2019
11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Location: Grand Park Olive Court and Performance Lawn; The Music Center Plaza

As part of its participation in the 5th Annual Grand Avenue Arts All Access, Grand Park, as well as The Music Center, will host free-art-making workshops open to adults and children using Día de los Muertos themes as inspiration. These family-friendly craft sessions invite event goers to use art as conversation in discovering a shared humanity and connection, while learning about this culturally important tradition. These activities will take place in Grand Park’s Olive Court and Performance Lawn, and also on The Music Center Plaza.

For more information about Grand Park Downtown Día de los Muertos, visit  Follow Grand Park on Facebook (GrandParkLosAngeles), as well as Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (@GrandPark_LA). *Artists and performances are subject to change.

About Grand Park
A vibrant outdoor gathering place, Grand Park is a beautiful public park for the entire community in Los Angeles County. With expansive green space for gatherings large and small, Grand Park celebrates the county’s cultural vitality and is host to community events, cultural experiences, holiday celebrations, and many other activities that engage and attract visitors from all communities. The 12-acre Grand Park stretches from The Music Center on the west to City Hall on the east and is easily accessible by Metro via the Red/Purple line to the Civic Center/Grand Park station. The park was named one of American Planning Association’s 10 “Great Public Spaces” in the U.S. for 2013. Working closely with the county, The Music Center is responsible for all operations and programming for the park. For more information, visit Follow Grand Park on Facebook (@GrandParkLosAngeles), as well as Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (@GrandPark_LA).

About The Music Center
The Music Center convenes artists, communities and ideas with the goal of deepening the cultural lives of every resident in Los Angeles County. The non-profit performing arts organization has two divisions: The Music Center Arts (TMC Arts) and The Music Center Operations (TMC Ops). TMC Arts, The Music Center’s programming engine, provides year-round programming inside The Music Center’s four theatres, on The Music Center Plaza, outside at Grand Park—a 12-acre adjacent green space—and in schools and other locations all over Los Angeles County. TMC Arts presents world-class dance with Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, free and low-cost public concerts and events, as well as K–12 arts education programs. TMC Ops manages the theatres, the Plaza and Grand Park on behalf of the County of Los Angeles. The Music Center is also home to four renowned resident companies—Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles Master Chorale, LA Opera and LA Phil. For more information, visit Follow The Music Center on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @MusicCenterLA.

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