I know that Random Hero has posted the cold hard facts about Self Help Graphics & Art’s Day of the Dead workshops starting this Saturday at 11am (right below this). All his data you can get from FBing Self Help Graphics or going to their website. VyalONE’s Saturday aerosol spray-paint class has made a sign announcing this fact too (see Random’s blog). Random always says he can write better, if he gets paid for it. Me? I have a passion for art and everything Self Help Graphics, so I will give you a more personal account as to why this is one of the greatest events taking place in the heart of East LA. Above (and below when you click on “more”)) are some images of joyous Day of the Dead workshops past and the kind of artisan skills you and your little ones can gain by attending.
If you believe that our family spirits come home to guide us and help us—that could not have been more obvious (to us) when in 2005 —right after the then SHG board of directors closed its doors leaving Self Help’s future to the community and artists– Sister Karen came to us, full-force. Each of the volunteers in 2005 had attended the Day of the Dead festival, but had never organized it. Not wanting to break the 32 year history of Day of the Dead celebrations–bringing this important community festival together with no financial resources, and in the tradition of past years, was a nail-biting challenge. On cue–artists, teachers, children, musicians, crafts people, performers, dancers, volunteers, food vendors, stage organizers, graphic artists, website people began calling to offer their special expertise for bringing this festival together. (In 2005) Then interim director Gabriel Tenorio said he just stopped worrying how to make the celebration happen and let the spirits take their own course. Everything was perfect, no wrinkles, on time—and no one was the wiser that the small staff and handful of volunteers had just let go to the spirit guides.
Now in our 37th year of Day of the Dead at Self Help Graphics, we again make a space for our beloved spirits to come and join us in celebrating their return with traditional crafts, friendship and community. Bring the whole family for a month of learning and creating art for your home altar and for the SHG Community altar. We will meet each Saturday in October (see the schedule in Random’s post). On Friday, October 29 evening, Self Help Graphics’ Annual Day of the Dead art exhibit curated by Slanguage will have its opening reception. (Note: LAeastside writer Doña Junta is a member of Slanguage). The next evening, Saturday, October 30, Master Altar Maker Ofelia Esparza will lead us on Noche de Ofrendas, when our collective community altar will be presented and we will have a time to share stories about our beloved spirits.
2010 commemorates the 100th year of the Mexican Revolution. In honor of our history of struggle and our continued struggles with border politics, Self Help Graphic’s Day of the Dead theme this year is Revolution Without Borders/Revolucion Sin Fronteras. Below is the commemorative poster image that artist Jose Ramirez has created for us this year.
We invite you to join us at the East LA Civic Center on Tuesday, November 2 from 5pm to 11pm. Coming on the metro is highly encouraged (Goldline, ELA Civic Center exit). We have a special evening of friends, music, crafts, day of the dead fashion, food and performance lined-up. I believe I can speak for the whole Day of the Dead committee when I thank those who continue to call year after year, guided by their love of Self Help Graphics and the spirit of Sister Karen to offer their special expertise. So many offers that we really need a two day festival to showcase everyone. The deepest thanks for your continued support that we know comes from a loving place for the East LA community—you are much appreciated.