Día de los Muertos ceremony takes place at Santa Cruz museum on October 25

Día de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday during which individuals, families, and communities gather together to remember and honor deceased loved ones, will be celebrated at a Santa Cruz museum on Tuesday, October 25. The event--open to the public--will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Museum of Art and History at the McPherson Center, located at 705 Front Street.

Public event is one of many scheduled around investiture of UCSC chancellor
Día de los Muertos ("Day of the Dead") is celebrated throughout Mexico on the Christian holy days of All Saints Day and All Souls Day (November 1 and 2). The annual celebration is believed to have begun several thousand years ago.

The centerpiece of the October 25 event in Santa Cruz will be a "community altar" created by local elementary schoolchildren and Jamie Abbott's sculpture students from Cabrillo College. Members of a Día de los Muertos art class at UCSC and the campus's Chicano Latino Resource Center also contributed to the project.

Attendees are encouraged to bring photographs or other mementos to place on the altar as an ofrenda ("offering"). Tamales, beverages, and other refreshments will be served following the ceremony.

Poetry, music, and dance performances directed by UC Santa Cruz theater arts professor Alma Martinez and theater arts lecturer Rosa Apodaca will be featured. Artists include the UCSC student group Los Babosos, which will perform mariachi music.

UCSC Chancellor Denice D. Denton will be the guest of honor, as the activity is one of a series of community events that the campus is organizing around her investiture on November 4 as UCSC's ninth chancellor.

Admission to the event is free, and shuttle service to the event will be provided from UCSC's Bay Tree Bookstore, beginning at 6 p.m.

The Día de los Muertos celebration is sponsored by El Centro (UCSC's Chicano Latino Resource Center) and the Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center.

For more information about the October 25 event, go to celebration2005.ucsc.edu or phone UCSC's Alumni Office at (831) 459-2530.