Día de los Muertos – Altar Celebration and Procession
Join Fleisher and the official Día de los Muertos committee Calaca Flaca (Skinny Skeleton) as we hold our seventh annual Día de los Muertos celebration. On this special night, join the community for a procession through South Philadelphia, which departs at 5:00 p.m., ending in the Sanctuary. Explore the elaborate altar installation designed by local artists with help from Fleisher students, browse wares created by local artisans, and enjoy special performances. The procession will depart from Southwark School (1835 S 9th St.) and travel north along 9th Street to Christian Street. The procession will end on the steps of the Sanctuary. This celebration is free and open to the public!
This year, the altar draws inspiration from the canals of Xochimilco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site adjacent to Mexico City. Often called the Venice of Mexico, Xochimilco was named by the Aztecs and translates to “flower garden.” Its famous canals were engineered by the Aztecs for agricultural purposes, and chinampas, small floating islands, were created and used to grow crops and flowers. Due to the varied flora in these passageways, the area became a local attraction in the late 19th century and the demand for better water vessels to tour the canals led to the fabrication of small colorful boats called trajineras. Today, Xochimilco is a destination for both locals and tourists and a ride in a trajinera is a fiesta on the water that includes music, food, and drinks.
About the Día de los Muertos Artists:
Claudia Peregrina is an artist, advocate, community organizer, and art therapist deeply proud of her cultural identity. A native of Mexico City, Claudia holds several art degrees and works with the community and various organizations in the Philadelphia area that empower Latina women. She has worked with Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR) and the Bring Your Own Project (BYOP) program at Fleisher. She is also an active member of the board at the Morivivi Foundation as well as the La Calaca Flaca committee. She has developed and implemented many workshops based on a diverse range of Mexican traditions which she shares with both children and adults in our area.
Alexis Nutini is a cross-cultural artist who has been a resident of Philadelphia for more than 10 years. Born in Mexico and having lived in Pittsburg, Spain, and Italy, he is currently an adjunct professor at the Tyler School of Art in the printmaking department. He also runs Dos Tres Press, a printshop in South Philadelphia where he produces limited edition woodcuts influenced by his environment and diverse cultural upbringing. He also collaborates with various local artists and organizations through print-based projects. Growing up, Nutini celebrated El Dia de los Muertos by creating ofrendas with his family. He continues this tradition by working as one of Fleisher’s lead artist in our annual celebration.
Mauricio Pérez studied art at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He has been highly influenced by the Mexican Surrealism movement and uses this point of reference to create large papier-mâché sculptures that commingle craft skills with academics art practices. With 20 years of experience of working in this medium, he currently teaches various papier-mâché workshop throughout the Philadelphia and New York City areas and participates in local craft fairs in both regions.