Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM) is honoring Día de los Muertos, highlighting the traditional Mexican cultural celebration of life and death, with a mix of live entertainment, art installations and family-friendly activities on the Third Street Promenade, Saturday, October 30 from 5 – 10 pm. Festivities include papel picado arts and crafts and face painting by Lil' Bitter Pixie, in addition to booths with goods from over 30 local BIPOC vendors with Angel City Market and Market Exchange, a collaboration between Santa Monica artisans Ines Garcia, Laura Hernandez, Carmela Morales and Cog•nate Collective, initiated by the 18th Street Arts Center.
A diverse lineup of performances begin at 5:30 pm on the Promenade Main Stage (located at the 1300 block of Third Street Promenade near Arizona Avenue) hosted by Normz la Oaxaqueña of Cumbiatón LA and will feature appearances from Santa Monica Ballet Folklórico who provide a traditional blessing and dance performance, students from Santa Monica High School Latinx clubs who will present on the importance of Día de los Muertos traditions, Ballet Folklórico Flor de Mayo, Santa Monica Youth Orchestra Mariachi Perla del Oeste, and DJ Funky Caramelo, and DJ Sizzle Fantastic of Cumbiatón LA who will host a dance party to conclude the day's events.
Sculptures by Los Angeles-based artist Ricardo Soltero of La Catrina, one of Día de los Muertos' most recognizable figures created by Mexican illustrator Jose Guadalupe Posada, will be viewable throughout three blocks of the Promenade beginning Friday, October 29 through November 2. Altars created by local organizations and artists will also be on display beginning October 30 through November 2.
Soltero's iconic La Catrina sculptures range up to 14 feet in height and welcome guests to the Promenade in brightly colored traditional Mexican attire inspired by Day of the Dead traditions, Mexican icons and embroidery. La Catrina was first born out of Mexican social satire and has become a well-known figure in celebration of the holiday.
DTSM remains committed to ensuring the health and safety of the community, visitors, and staff. Face coverings are recommended when visiting the Third Street Promenade and all guests are encouraged to practice physical distancing.
The Día de los Muertos Community Celebration is on Saturday, October 30 from 5 – 10 pm. La Catrina sculptures will be on display daily from 10 am to 8 pm, October 29 through November 2. Community altars will be on view October 30 through November 2.
The community celebration, altars and La Catrina sculptures will take place along the Third Street Promenade with performances on the Promenade Main Stage (1300 block of Third Street Promenade near Arizona Avenue).
Parking is widely available in the downtown structures including the Santa Monica Public Library or Parking Structures 9 and 10 just north of Wilshire Boulevard. Biking, walking and public transit are encouraged.
About Ricardo Soltero
Mexican artist Ricardo Soltero is the director and stage-set designer behind the largest Day of the Dead celebration in the United States, which takes place annually at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. Born in Nayarit, Mexico, Ricardo has introduced color and culture to exhibits and fundraisers throughout the country with papier-mâché, wood, fiberglass, recycled materials and most importantly, his heritage at the forefront of each piece.
Ricardo's current and ongoing creative project collaborations include: the annual Hollywood Forever Día de los Muertos celebration, Meet Me at the Metro, the 20-year running play of Frida Kahlo with the Synergy Theatre Group, 24th Street Theatre set design, Semblanza Latinoamericana, The Autry Museum, East L.A. Meets Napa, Denver Botanic Gardens, Santa Clarita Valley Festival for Day of the Dead, La Vista Memorial Park's annual Día de los Muertos celebration, UNICEF's Annual Gala, and the Metropolitan Fashion Show.
About Angel City Market
What started as a front yard sale in the Inglewood community, Angel City Market is now a fast-growing outdoor market in size and popularity. Angel City Market continues expanding into the greater Los Angeles area while providing culturally significant themed markets. This outdoor market is making a name for itself throughout Los Angeles as a community-focused event that places small business owners at the center. The Angel City Market team continues to work hard in creating a meaningful experience for local vendors and the surrounding community.
Cumbiatón is an intergenerational cultural movement that utilizes music and art as a vessel to heal and uplift oppressed hood communities. Founded by Dj Sizzle Fantastic and Normz la Oaxaqueña, Cumbiatón has rooted itself in the beautiful barrio of Boyle Heights, Calif. and has branched out to cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and New York. Cumbiaton's vision in all 4 cities is to center womxn, trans, and queer people of color both on the dance floor and in the Dj booth. More at Cumbiaton.org.
About Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM, Inc.)
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. is a private non-profit 501c(3) that works with the City of Santa Monica to manage services and operations in Downtown Santa Monica that promote economic stability, growth and community life within Downtown Santa Monica. DTSM, Inc. manages the Property-based Business Assessment District (PBAD) that encompasses the area bounded by Ocean Avenue (W), Wilshire Boulevard (N), Lincoln Boulevard (E) and the Santa Monica Freeway (S). For more info, please visit DowntownSM.com or follow us on Instagram and Twitter @dtsantamonica or Facebook at DowntownSantaMonica.