Festival celebrates the dead

The Mulvane Art Museum is currently home to a collection of woodcuts created by Yucatán artist, Alberto Garcia M. This exhibit is a partnership between the Mulvane Art Museum and the Dia de los Mũertos group in Topeka and will be displayed through Nov. 23.

Christina Valdivia-Alcala is one of the main volunteers for the group and described the partnership between her group and the Mulvane as a delightful one.

“Working with Connie Bishop has been a delight. With her 15 years of experience with Dia de los Mũertos in Texas, she has come here already immersed in Latino culture and we are so incredibly grateful for her connection and the future we have with her and the Mulvane,” said Valdivia-Alcala.

Dia de los Mũertos is a celebration of the Latino community, celebrated throughout the world. The Tonantzin Society in Topeka was created in 2011. The society’s aim is to educate and celebrate the local and worldwide Latino community.

They are partnered with the Topeka Community Foundation for their non-profit status. The society members are all volunteers and from a cross section of the Topeka community and northeast Kansas.

“Specifically for Dia de los Mũertos, art is the main component of educating others about this beloved holiday in Mexico. The motif of the skull in artwork is representative of our indigenous heritage and is something that many Latinos don’t know is even part of their culture. This is a way to carry on the heritage and teach the cultural traditions,” said Valdivia-Alcala.

To further celebrate this beloved holiday in Topeka, the group is putting together street fairs in the NOTO arts district where vendors from as far away as Japan will be presenting their wares. There will also be classes at the Topeka and Shawnee County Library about the Aztec culture.

Through the Multicultural Affairs office, there will be mask decorating from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 17 on the main level of the union and a free concert given by Huiteilopuchtli Aztec Danzantes on the North side of the Union from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.

A list of all events can be found on their website at www.ddlmtopeka.com or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/diadelosmuertostopeka.