Scottsdale Public Art

Temporary Art

Our Stories Live On: Dia de los Muertos Community Altars

Dia de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead”, is a festive and joyful Mexican holiday,
celebrated the first two days in November. It blends pre-Hispanic indigenous beliefs and
traditions with modern life to celebrate and honor one’s ancestors. Creating personalized
altars signifying important memories and family stories is one important aspect of the
holiday. Telling personal stories about different cultural experiences can significantly help
in the development of mutual understanding and empathy between people.

Scottsdale resident Andreya Hernandez-Garcia and the non-profit group Cultural
Coalition received a Community Arts Grant from Scottsdale Arts to bring the Family
Stories and Altar-Making Workshop series to Scottsdale. A diverse group of 15
Scottsdale residents came together to share family stories and build altars, which are
displayed at Appaloosa Library. To facilitate the story sharing, participants engaged in a
family-themed story circle, and a workshop making altars, which represent and honor
their memories and loved ones.

Free events in the Appaloosa Community Room

Opening Reception & Day of the Dead Lecture
Sept. 7, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Meet the project participants, see their altars on exhibit, and enjoy light refreshments.

Local artist Zarco Guerrero will share the history and cultural splendor of the Mexican
holiday, Dia de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead”.

Altar Making “Cajita” Workshop
Oct. 5, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Make your own memory “cajita” (box) from recycled boxes, decorated for a special
person or theme. Please bring your own mementos or photos to include on your altar.
For more information on FREE workshops at Scottsdale Civic Center
Library and Mustang Library, visit

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