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Day of the Dead Festival

Celebrate the art, music, and culture of Mexico at the annual Día de los Muertos Festival. Add your own special remembrance to our altar featuring traditional elements – including butterflies, flowers, and a Catrina figure – created in collaboration with local artists, students, and the Mattie Rhodes Center.

Performances and Activities

Kirkwood Hall, Plaza Level

Altar Installation
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Add your own special remembrance to our altar featuring traditional elements – including butterflies, flowers, and a Catrina figure – created in collaboration with local artists, students, and the Mattie Rhodes Center.

Traditional Día de los Muertos Preparation and Performances (10 minutes each)
11 a.m. & 12 p.m. | Members of the community prepare the altar for the celebration
1 & 2 p.m. | Danza Mexica Calpulli Iskalli ceremonial performances
3 & 4 p.m. | Live music by Mariachi Aguila of Kansas City

11:30 a.m.–12 p.m. & 1:30–2 p.m.
Maria Vasquez Boyd and Latino Writers members read selected poetry.

Atkins Auditorium, Lobby Level

El Grupo Folklorico Atotonilco
10:30 a.m.–11:15 a.m.
Enjoy traditional Mexican dances with El Grupo Folklorico Atotonilco, a Mexican folkloric dance group made up of 20 dancers of all ages.

Cornisa 20: Mariachi Clown
12:15– 1 p.m. & 2:15–3 p.m.
*Special welcome at 12:15 p.m.
Enjoy a unique mariachi-inspired show! This performance is supported by the Consulate of Mexico in Kansas City and the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation.

Room 6, Lobby Level

Live Printing
10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Pick up a free print by local artists Erick Felix and Nic Ortega fresh off their mobile printing press. While supplies last.

Artist Demonstrations
1-4 p.m.
Demonstrations by Virginia Oropeza and more.

Bloch Building

Rockhill Room, Level 2
Apply a monarch butterfly temporary tattoo.

Spencer Art Reference Library, Level 2
Book Display and Bookmark Decorating
1–4 p.m.
Enjoy a special book display and color a Day of the Dead themed bookmark.

Lobby Level
The Adventures of Rabbit and Coyote by Mesner Puppet Theater
10:15-10:30 a.m., 11:15-11:30 a.m. & 12:15-12:30 p.m.
Poor Coyote! All he wants is to enjoy a delicious rabbit dinner, but clever Rabbit has other plans. Based on traditional Tio Conejo trickster tales from Mexico and Central America, this lively story follows Rabbit’s adventures as he outsmarts Coyote again and again.

Bloch Lobby

1-1:30 p.m.
The Dancing Calacas wear elaborately designed dresses and perform dances choreographed to the folklore “La Llorona.” Pose for pictures with the Dancing Calacas throughout the day.

1:45–2:45 p.m.
Enjoy the lively music of Mariachi Aguila of Kansas City.

3–4 p.m.
Dance the cumbia to the acoustic stylings of Aztlan.

Lens 2

Art Activities
10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Create a mini Día de los Muertos paper altar to take home.

Noguchi Court

Story Time for Preschoolers
1-1:20 & 2:30-2:50 p.m.
Hear stories inspired by Mexican culture with storyteller Joyce Slater during this special story time for preschoolers.

Food for Purchase

Dine in Rozzelle Court Restaurant
11 a.m.–4p.m. Prices vary.
Try Mexican-inspired fare
Bloch Lobby | 11 a.m–4 p.m. Prices vary.

Find sugar skulls and special Día de los Muertos bread from local bakery Panaderias de las Americas
Bloch Lobby, Plaza Level | 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Prices vary.

Enjoy tamales from The Tamale Kitchen, supporting opportunities to the Hispanic community in the Northeast Kansas City area.
Classrooms 4 & 5|  11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tamales $3.50, sodas/water $1.50.

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View, share, & print photos from this event! Available soon at flickr.com/nelson-atkins.
Special thanks to members and volunteers of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Thank You
Support for the festival is provided by Sally and Ramón Murguía and W.K. Kellogg Foundation Trustee Donor Advised Fund.

Museum volunteers and members make our festivals possible. To become a member, visit the Info Desk in Bloch Lobby desk, call 816.751.1278, or visit nelson-atkins.org/membership.

Thank you to the University of Hull and Soundcamp for access to the Cerro Pelón Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. To visit the livestream, follow the link below.

Listen to butterflies

The long and complex migration routes of the Monarch butterfly (Mariposa monarca) Danaus plexippus are subject to various pressures, including loss of the specific forest habitats they use for their Winter roosts. This project explores the possibility of supporting the development of dispersed networks of experts, lay experts, activists and others by setting up live streams to create a link with the butterflies when they are elsewhere.

Next Community Festival

Chinese New Year
Sunday, January 27 | 104 | FREE