This Saturday, you can delve into the topic of death on the Día de Los Muertos with a free, three-part event called “Full Circle,” hosted by the Confluencenter for Creative Inquirty at the University of Arizona. At the traditional Mexican holiday that honors the memories of the deceased, food is an integral part of the celebrations, with everything from family dinners, to food left on the graves and homemade altars.
The event incorporates music, food, and an artwork exhibit including performances by a baritone singer with piano accompaniment, dialogue with hospice chaplains, cooking demonstrations of Pan de los muertos from local bakeries, and an art installation exhibit of objects left by migrants found in the desert.
Maribel Alvarez, associate research professor, folklorist with the Southwest Center, and program director for Tucson Meet Yourself, will be discussing the Día del los Muertos tradition and cultural influences of associating food with death. Folklorist-in-Residence Nic Hartmann will join her to discuss traditions from around the United States as well as the southwest. Local baker Erica Franco from La Estrella bakery will demonstrate how to make the “dead bread” and will be offering samples.
“The Confluence Center is about cross-pollination between disciplines,” said Jamie Manser, communications and events coordinator. “With an event like this it’s right up our alley with our mission.”
The event begins with Changing the Face of Death, a musical performance by Welsh Welsh baritone, Jeremy Huw Williams and pianist Paula Fan, and a conversation with Hospice Chaplain Greg Griffey. The performance will be held in Hosclaw Hall at the School of Music at 11am. At 12:30 will be Death: Customs & Cuisine exploring traditions and comforts associated with food and death customs. Concluding the event will be an art installation at the Lionel Rombach Gallery at 1:30 pm exhibiting items found and collected in the desert from migrants crossing the border.
“Because of the eclectic nature of what we’re presenting, all three elements are unique,” Manser said. “It’s just really unique and cross cultural.”