An example of an Ofrenda (Altar)

The Newport Art Museum today announced two free community workshops and a free community event to honor and celebrate the Day of the Dead holiday.

These events are organized in partnership with Conexión Latina Newport, educator Jesús de la Torre, Newport Art Museum Director of Education Seamus Hames, and Newport Art Museum Artist-in-Residence Orlando Almanza, according to a press release from Newport Art Museum.

The workshops and celebration event will be free, family-friendly, bilingual (English/Spanish), and all materials will be provided.

The workshops will be held at Conexión Latina Newport, and the celebration event will be held at the Newport Art Museum. RSVP is appreciated.

Newport Art Museum says that the ¡Qué Vivan los Muertos! workshops and celebration event are made possible through funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

More information can be found on the Newport Art Museum’s website: 

Storytelling Workshop (¡Qué Vivan los Muertos! Taller de Cuentos)
Monday October 17, from 4:30-6 pm, at Conexión Latina Newport
Día de los Muertos, which originated in Mexico, is an important and joyful annual celebration honoring friends and family members who have died. Newport Art Museum and Conexión Latina staff, and Museum Artist-in-Residence Orlando Almanza, will invite attendees to share pictures and stories of loved ones, and of their favorite holiday traditions. These stories will serve as inspiration for two original paintings that will become the backdrops for the Day of the Dead altars.

Art Making Workshop (¡Qué Vivan los Muertos! Taller de Creación Artística)
Saturday October 22, from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, at Conexión Latina Newport
Newport Art Museum and Conexión Latina staff, and Museum Artist-in-Residence Orlando Almanza, will host a community art making afternoon to create traditional decorations for two community altars – one for Conexión Latina and one for the Newport Art Museum – that will be displayed for the Day of the Dead celebration on November 1. Orlando Almanza will share his progress on the altar backdrop paintings he is creating.

Long Live the Dead! Celebration (¡Qué Vivan los Muertos! Una Celebracion del Dia de los Muertos)
Tuesday, November 1, from 5:30 – 8:00 pm, at the Newport Art Museum
The Newport Art Museum will host ¡Qué Vivan los Muertos!, a traditional Mexican celebration of loved ones who have passed on. Organized by Newport Art Museum and Conexión Latina staff and Jesús de la Torre, with artistic support from the Museum’s Artist-in-Residence Orlando Almanza, this event is open to all who celebrate or are curious about the Día de los Muertos holiday.

Jesús de la Torre, a seasoned educator from Mexico, will lead the festivities including performances, music, art-making, ceremonial foods and more. We’ll learn from Jesús and our neighbors the cultural significance of the traditional home altar (ofrenda) decorations such as papel picado (punched paper), calaveras (decorative skulls), and cempazúchitl (aztec marigold flowers). Together attendees will create the decorations that will embellish the community ofrenda, and Orlando Almanza will share the stories that inspired his painted ofrenda backdrop. Attendees of all ages will be welcome and encouraged to share poems, memories, and epitaphs honoring friends and family members who have passed, placing their photos on the ofrenda. Traditional foods will be provided from Diego’s Cantina. The event will conclude with Jesús leading attendees in thanking the ancestors and the community for celebrating the holiday together.

This programming and collaboration with Conexión Latina Newport supports the Newport Art Museum’s mission to share a diversity of voices in its galleries and to spark conversations inspired by art and our community.

The Newport Art Museum is located at 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI.
Visit or call 401-848-8200 for details.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in...