Dia de los Muertos


By Kathy Dumlao

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Cazateatro Independent Theatre

Cazateatro Independent Theatre operated actively from 2006 to 2009, under the leadership of Gio López. In 2010 there began a new adventure, when a group of women with a shared dream gathered together to make it come true. That dream was animated by love of theater, and at the same time love of their Latin culture and its vast inner diversity.

These women began to gather weekly under the direction of Mónica Sánchez, strengthening their work as artists and as a theater company. After evaluating various alternative names, they decided to identify the group by the name Cazateatro, but with a variant that would stress inclusiveness: thus Cazateatro Independent Theatre evolved into Cazateatro Bilingual Theatre Group. What is Dia de los Muertos? Dia de los Muertos has its origins in Aztec traditions honoring the dead. The Aztec Empire’s influence extended throughout present-day Mexico and Central America, while few Native Americans of the present-day U.S. shared Aztec traditions.


Dia de los Muertos celebration comes to Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and Overton Square

Parade and Festival organized by Brooks Museum and Cazateatro focuses on cultural heritage

MEMPHIS, Tenn., October 17, 2018 – Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and Cazateatro are collaborating for a free Dia de los Muertos celebration on Saturday, October 27. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a traditional Mexican holiday that celebrates and honors friends and family members who have died. The mission of the Memphis event is twofold: to preserve and communicate the cultural heritage of Dia de los Muertos and its importance, and to strengthen the cultural identity of Memphis’ Latino community.

The second annual Dia de los Muertos Parade features festive floats and performers making their way to the plaza at the Brooks Museum beginning at 11 a.m. Information about road closures, suggested alternate routes and a street map is included at the bottom of this release.

The community celebration at the Brooks will offer art-making activities, face painting, costumed performers, musical and dance performances, food trucks, information tables from local organizations, and a Catrina/Catrin costume contest. La Calavera Catrina is an elegantly dressed skeleton, first depicted in the work of Mexican printmaker, Jose Guadalupe Posada in the early 20th century. Please come dressed in your best Catrina/Catrin-inspired attire! The contest has four age categories: 6 and under, 7-12, 13-18 and 18 and over. The winners will be announced at 2:30 p.m.

Performers include Cazateatro, Danza Azteca Quetzalcoatl de Memphis, Stax Music Academy, Herencia Hispana, Los Matachines, Mariachi Guadalajara, Los Viejitos, and Alexis White. The festival begins at the Brooks Museum 12:00 p.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Admission is free. There will be a small charge for face-painting. A complete schedule of activities is included below.


Throughout the day, Mariachi Guadalajara and several Catrinas from Cazateatro will also appear at the Brooks. Additionally, Flickering Lights: Days of the Dead an educational film about the traditions of the holiday will play throughout the event in the Dororthy K. Hohenberg Auditorium. Memphians are invited to join the celebration by bringing a copy of a photograph of a deceased loved one to place on a community altar.

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Important Times

11:00 a.m. – Parade leaves Overton Square, Tower Courtyard

12:00 p.m. – Parade arrives at Brooks Museum, Overton Park

12:00 p.m. – Mariachi Guadalajara, Flickering Lightsfilm, art-making activities begin

12:30 p.m. – Danza Azteca Quetzalcoatl (dance)

1:00 p.m. – Stax Music Academy (music)  1:30 p.m. – Los Matachines (dance)

2:00 p.m. – Cazateatro Bilingual Theatre Group (music)

2:30 p.m. – Catrina/Catrin Costume Contest – Winners Announced

2:35 p.m. – Herencia Hispana (dance)

3:00 p.m. – Los Viejitos (dance)

3:30 p.m. – Alexis White (music)

4:00 p.m. – Event ends

Parade Route

Parade line-up begins at 9 a.m. on Trimble Place between South Florence Street and Cooper Street.

Parade begins at 11 a.m. heading west on Trimble.

North (left) on S. Florence St to Madison Avenue.

West (left) on Madison to North Tucker Street.

North (right) on Tucker to Poplar Avenue.

Parade crosses Poplar at 11:45 a.m. onto Morrie Moss Lane.

North (slight left) on Morrie Moss to the Brooks Museum plaza.

Traffic Information

Please use the following alternate routes if you will be traveling eastbound or westbound on Poplar Avenue between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 27.

 Traveling eastbound on Poplar:

                  o   Turn right on North McLean Boulevard, then left on Union Avenue to continue heading east

 Traveling westbound on Poplar:

                 o Turn left on North Cooper Street then right on Union Avenue to continue heading west

Please use the following alternate routes if you are planning to visit Overton Park or the Memphis Zoo between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 27.

 Traveling eastbound on Poplar:

                o Turn left on North McLean Boulevard to enter Overton Park via Prentiss Place.

 Traveling westbound on Poplar:

                o Turn right on Veterans Plaza Drive to enter Overton Park Consider using North Parkway to North McLean Boulevard to access the Memphis Zoo’s main entrance.

Mission: Founded in 1916 and located at 1934 Poplar Ave. in historic Overton Park, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is home to Tennessee’s oldest and largest major collection of world art. More than 10,000 works make up the Brooks Museum’s permanent collection, including works from ancient Greece, Rome and the Americas; Renaissance masterpieces from Italy; English portraiture; American painting and decorative arts; contemporary art; and a survey of African art. The Brooks Museum enriches the lives of our diverse community through the museum’s expanding collection, varied exhibitions, and dynamic programs that reflect the art of world cultures from antiquity to the present. For more information about the Brooks and all other exhibitions and programs, call 901.544.6200 or visit brooksmuseum.org.

For more information, contact:

Kathy Dumlao

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

Office: 901.544.6246

Cell: 901.827.0414


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