Dia de los Muertos in Boyle Heights!!

There are way too many DOD happenings all over town. So I am keeping it local, and real in my neighborhood — Boyle Heights (Aliso & Mariachi Plaza Goldline stops only). You are welcome to come down, we’ve got it all –music, art, food for the living y los muertitos, crafts, lagrimas y sonrisas, celebrities, new and old friends, timeless charm mixed with new adventures—but be warned, I predict it’s gonna get congested, so please take public transportation. Be sure to support the local merchants, artists and community spaces!

Dia de los Muertos in Boyle Heights!!

October 28, 29 & 30Boyle Heights Farmers Market Harvest Festival at Plaza del Mariachi (1st & Boyle) 3-9pm. Free. All ages. A cocktail of crafts, vegetables, mariachi music, Tupperware, kids crafts, haunted house, pumpkin patch and pushcart vendors, in a beautiful historical setting. Don’t leave without taking in the view of downtown from the eastside. (Mariachi Plaza Metro station).

October 28, Opening Night of “Revival” Day of the Dead art exhibit curated by Patssi Valdez, 7-9pm. Why go to LACMA to see what Patssi Valdez is up to? This year’s exhibit is an eye candy of installation and visual art which includes many notables. SHG, 1300 East 1st Street (right across from the Aliso Metro station).

October 29, Noche de Ofrenda, 6-9pm. Get the lowdown on what Dia de los Muertos is all about. Reflect and commemorate your dearly departed with the spoken words of Letras de Maguey and the timely history of this ancient custom by Master Altar Maker, Ofelia Esparza. SHG 1300 East 1st Street (Aliso Metro station).

November 2, Celebrate at the NEW Casa 0101 Theatre, 2102 E. 1st Street starting at 3pm. Enjoy a Burlesque & Calavera Show, 4pm and special art exhibit featuring classic SHG Day of the Dead artwork from previous exhibitions, as well as altars, masks, and works by Corky Dominguez, Josefina Lopez, and other local artists. Bring the kids and the whole family for fun, flowers, refreshments, and pan de muerto. Free. Then it’s off, in a procession along 1st Street to Self Help Graphics’ Festival at 4:20pm! (Aliso Metro station).

November 2, Self Help Graphics & Art 38th Annual Dia de los Muertos Celebration. Starting at 5pm with a Walking Procession gathering, face painting & ceremony at Mariachi Plaza (1st St. & Boyle) Joining en-route 4pm at Casa 0101, 4:30pm at Corazon del Pueblo, 5:30pm Pecan Park with Amigos from Dolores Mission/Proyecto Pastoral. Metro Procession led by Tochtli 7 the Aztec Bunny, 4pm at Union Station 801 Vignes Street to Aliso Station in front of SHG! Musical Performances by Maya Jupiter, La Resistencia, Lysa Flores , Chicano Son, Hard N Da Paint, Hello My Name Is Red, Son Muxeres, Mariachi Tesoro Los Angeles, Pio Pico Middle School, Stage Band (Brooklyn Music Center), Thee Paramounts (Boyle Heights Arts Conservatory Band) with ELA legend Ruben Guevara as Emcee. Traditional Danza, Food and Craft Vendors, Face Painting, Live T-shirt Printing, Children’s Workshops. What can I say? It’s the Mother of all Day of the Dead celebrations. SHG, 1300 East 1st Street (right across from the Aliso Metro station).

November 2, Eastside Luv Wine & Cheese (whine & ‘jeeez’) Bar, Dia de los Dead Oingo Boingo Dead Man’s Pari Tribute, 5pm. Featuring musicians John Avila, Steve Bartek, Sluggo Phipps & Johnny Vatos with art by Robert Vargas. An annual collision of Halloween costume dress code, hedonism and wine cocktails on top of a Day of the Dead altar squeezed into a phone booth. 1835 E. 1st Street. (Mariachi Plaza Metro station).

November 2, Orale!: An Evening of Boyle Heights Stories, 7:30 – 9:30pm at the Breed Street Shul, 247 N. Breed St. (and Cesar Chavez). Residents young and old are invited to record their neighborhood stories  for the Breed Street Shul’s oral history archives. Pictures and memorabilia of your favorite Boyle Heights memories are welcome. Special preview of new play Dia de los Dybbuk, a musical retelling of the classic story about a Jewish Exorcism, only this time set in the multi-ethnic community of Boyle Heights in the early 1940s. Please RSVP. The Breed Street Shul Project, the Jewish Historical Society of So-Cal & Libros Schmibros are co-sponsors of this Dia de Los Muertos program. (Soto Metro station).

November 4, 5, & 6 Dia De Los Muertos Festival at Plaza Del Mariachi (1st and Boyle).  More than likely starting in the afternoon. Featuring a live performance by Eziquiel Pena. Para variar vamos a celebrar Dia de los Muertos! (Mariachi Plaza Metro station).


Calavera Fashion Show and Walking Altars 2009


Even though I missed this years fashion show at Tropico de Nopal, which I continue to kick myself for, I found some pics on flickr from photog LA-dude-taking pics. He got some great shots from behind the scenes tambien, which I would do anything to be able to go back stage and do what he did. Anything !! Any-who, I noticed the new pics that were uploaded on the LAEastside flickr pool.

Volunteer at Self Help for Dia de los Muertos

SHG DOD INVITE_inside(Corrected)

This year, Self Help Graphics & Arts celebrates its 36th Annual Dia De Los Muertos in a new location–the East Los Angeles Civic Center, in Belvedere Lakeside Park. With so much space we are able to expand SHG booths to accommodate more of our faithful vendors, increase the kid’s arts space, and expand the entertainment area. This year, we need many more volunteers than ever before. As an experienced Day of the Dead volunteer, we are asking that you join our efforts by giving us your time to make our signature event a dynamic and memorable evening for all who participate. Our main event will take place on Monday, November 2, 2009 between 5 PM-11 PM. We can use your help with event set up, event design and décor installation, face painting, vendor assistance, entrance guardians and event breakdown. For those who cannot assist in the main event, other opportunities to volunteer at Self Help Graphics & Art (in the Upper Level of the building located at 3802 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave., Los Angeles, 90063) are:

· Workshop assistants on Saturdays in October between 12 PM – 4 PM

· Noche De Ofrenda, Saturday, October 24th, 2009 5 PM to 10 PM

· Deadly Stylish Art Exhibit Opening, Sunday, November 1st 4-8 PM

· Deadly Stylish Art Exhibit Docent, Tuesday, November 3-28*

*Additional training required, Docent schedules to be determined upon availability. As you can see, there are many opportunities for you to participate in. We are requesting:

· A three-hour commitment per shift and

· Attendance to one brief Volunteer Training Session at Self Help Graphics on:

Tuesday, October 20, at 7 PM or Thursday, October 22 at 7 PM. If you’re interested in volunteering, please read and fill out the attached volunteer form, email it to volunteer@selfhelpgraphics.com.

Click here to download volunteer application

Muy Agradecidos,

Day of the Dead Volunteer Committee

Self Help Graphics & Art

Dia de los Muertos 09 at Self Help Graphics & Art

~click on flier for bigger version ~ Image: Deadly Stylish by Diane Gamboa, 2009

I remember last years Dia de los Muertos. I got my face painted, got a kiss from Leo Limon, ate tamales, rocked out to the bands on stage and hung out with Viki D. and P-3000 through-out the night. I can’t wait to see what this years celebration will bring. That’s why I’m excited about the workshops because it’s like a count down to the big night on Nov. 1 and 2. These workshops are kick ass because you spend an afternoon creating art, something I suck at because the calavera I painted looked like crap. Any who, the workshops are on Saturdays from 1 to 3 p.m. and they’re always a lot of fun. So check self helps site for UP TO DATE INFO and what’s going on and mark your calender. No one does Dia de los Muertos like SHG. I wonder how many M.J. altars I’ll see ?? Continue reading

Calavera Fashion Show and Walking Altars 2008

Founder and co-director of
Tropico de Nopal Gallery-Art Space, Reyes Rodriguez said that he was first inspired to have a Dia de los Muertos inspired fashion show after seeing people in the Evergreen Cemetery in Boyle Heights celebrating Dia de los Muertos and dressing up in home made outfits.
“I would always see people getting decked out [for Dia de los Muertos.]
“It was never an attempt to recreate a calavera (skull) or specific image, it was always very contemporary, it was always very East L.A. and Chicano and I would say, ‘that stuff belongs on a run way.”

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Dia de los Muertos Continues at Self Help Graphics!

Self Help Graph​ics & Art presents

Day of the Dead Progr​ammin​g 


Join us in our conti​nuing​ community celeb​ratio​n in East LA.
Free for the commu​nity—donations accepted.

** A Call To Witness: All Is Not Forgotten Dia de los muertos exhibit, in SHG’s Brooklyn Gallery will be open for viewing ** 

KEEP READING! Details on these exciting evenings follows!

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Dia de los Muertos


~ Alter from Teocintlis Dia de los Muertos celebration ~

I love Dia de los Muertos. The beautiful art work, the food and of course the unity of family and friends remembering loved ones. It’s a celebration of life because your not really dead until people forget about you. As long as family and friends honor their loved ones, they’ll never be gone. Doña Junta knows exactly what I’m talking about because she built one of her own and it looks awesome. Whether it’s personal or communal,big or small as long as your heart is in it it’ll be a wondrous sight to behold. Ofelia Esparza and her family have been gaining recognition since 1980 for their beautiful alters at Self Help Graphics and all over the world. I never really knew the full meaning behind the celebration until I saw her give a presentation at ELAC last year. The following is excerpts edited together from the story I wrote for the school paper last year. 

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The Heroes of East LA

In Quantum Physics, there is a Law of Attraction in which similar objects are attracted to each other. Since we humans are also part of the physical world, that theory would also apply to each of us.
I am fortunate to meet many great men and women during my usual week. They work quietly and diligently in the background, always steady, always faithful—adding more than their share towards the whole. It is not then surprising that two such similar beings should succumb to the Laws of Attraction even on the eastside.
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