Celebrate Día de los Muertos with the Fort Wayne Museum of Art
Oct23

Celebrate Día de los Muertos with the Fort Wayne Museum of Art

This is not a Halloween event – it’s a celebration of life that is important to many people in Mexico, other areas of Latin America and the United States. Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead is being celebrated in many places, including right here in northeast Indiana at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. “Día de los Muertos is the biggest festival we have in Mexico,” said Fernando Zapari, editor and publisher of Fort Wayne’s locally-owned El Mexicano Newspaper. During Día de los Muertos celebrations in Mexico, the lives of loved ones are celebrated by families and friends who decorate their grave sites with cempasúchil (marigold-like flowers), food, mementos and other favorite things from their lives. “I love celebrating Día de los Muertos and remembering my loved ones,” said Zapari, who is remembering his own brother this year at this year’s celebration. “It’s important to keep the tradition alive in our own community.” The festival is a national holiday in Mexico and traces its roots to the pre-Colombian era before Spanish colonization. It has been misunderstood at times outside of Mexican culture and is not Mexico’s version of Halloween but a day a remembrance of loved ones. “When I grew up in Mexico, I used to go to the cemetery, clean the graves and just have a day there,” said Palermo Galindo, community liaison for the mayor’s office of the City of Fort Wayne. “There were so many colors of flowers and smells of incense.” Here in Fort Wayne the gallery of the art museum is filled with alter displays remembering deceased loved ones or groups of people who have died for a cause or due to persecution or injustice. Many of these displays feature traditional symbols like sugar skulls, dancing skeletons and other remembrances created by artists, families and community groups in northeast Indiana. “I’m really happy that the Fort Wayne Museum of Art has provided this opportunity to celebrate this important holiday,” Galindo said. Not only does the celebration provide learning opportunities for people unfamiliar with Mexican culture, it also provides a chance for younger Mexican-Americans to reconnect with the culture of their ancestors. “What I’ve personally seen are grandparents or parents bring the young generations and really explain, ‘oh, we used to do this back home,'” Galindo said. “It’s a connection that maybe was missing.” The Fort Wayne celebration is getting bigger and better every year according to Zapari. This year’s family celebration features traditional music, dancing, costumed characters, food and children’s activities. The celebration is from 2:00 to 6:00 pm on Sunday, October 29, 2017. In addition to the one-day celebration, “The Days of the...

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Wells Street Bridge to host RiverDrums
Jun15

Wells Street Bridge to host RiverDrums

It all comes back to our rivers. A celebration about the gateway to Fort Wayne is planned on the historic Wells Street Bridge this Sunday, June 19 from 12 to 9 pm. This free public event hosted by Three Rivers Art Center for Kids (TRACK) will feature artists, performers, speakers, and discussions on history, the rivers, and social issues. The theme of the day will be “we are one world, one people.” RiverDrums will also celebrate two important events: Father’s Day and freedom. June 19 is Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, which celebrates the abolition of slavery. RiverDrums will remember Kekionga, the capital of the Miami tribe, which was the last settlement of Native Americans in the area prior to the founding of Fort Wayne. “I’d like [attendees] to feel inspired,” said Terry Doran, co-organizer of RiverDrums. “We want to demonstrate the best of human nature.” As for “the best of human nature,” Doran sees all kinds of people coming together to freely share in both art and an appreciation for the river. The opening Ceremony will feature the poem “RiverDrums” by Patty Hunter with Cherokee artist Ken Noland on the flute. Abigail King of Save Maumee Grassroots Organization will be “sailing” down the St. Mary’s River. Fernando Zapari, publisher of El Mexicano Newspaper will lead the reflection, “Remembering Kekionga.” The rest of the day’s events are listed below. Performers and speakers Alicia Pyle and Trinell Armour – jazz music performance Ken Noland – flute performance The Chrome Cats – hip-hop performance Jain Young and the Fort Wayne Drum Circle – drumming Blind Uncle Harry – rock performance Fort Wayne Dance Collective – “Pineapple Project” dance performance Indianapolis Chinese Symphony Orchestra – Chinese and Western music performance Ken Noland and Teacher Ka – Native American music performance Kwan Hui – a short demo of traditional Chinese drumming by Shelley Septer – “Backpacks of Hope” discussion (on homelessness) Maleah Heck – “Surviving Child Abuse” discussion Group discussion – “On Being a Dad” Activities for children (and adults) Basche Martial Arts free mini classes Art projects with Peggy Tassler owner, SOZO Art Studio Create a RiverDrums mural with artist Frank Louis Allen Food will be available at the event from Food Not Bombs and King Arthur Trolley Food Truck. For more information, specific times, and updates to the event schedule, go to RiverDrums on Facebook. Make sure to bring a lawn chair or blankets, as the weather hopefully will be warm and sunny. RiverDrums is a presentation of Three Rivers Art Center for Kids (TRACK ), whose mission is to present public programs utilizing the power of art and community dialogue to raise awareness on subjects relating to abuse....

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