Families are invited to celebrate Dia de los Muertos by creating a “Day of the Dead” altar for the 2012 Altar de Muertos Contest taking place this October at Mesa Arts Center. The contest is being presented by MAC and the Consulate General of Mexico in Phoenix.
Families and organizations can apply to participate in the contest through 5pm on Oct. 19, but space is limited. Display space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. An 8-foot long table will be provided for each participant notified of their acceptance.
Altars should feature “various materials and elements that embody the theme of death,” reflecting the fact that Dia de los Muertos is a day set aside in Mexico for remembering the dead. Families celebrate by creating altars filled with flowers and favorite objects of the deceased loved ones being honored.
Review contest rules and guidelines in MAC’s online brochure before applying so you’ll know what materials can’t be used in making or displaying altars for the MAC exhibit. Also set aside time to set-up on Oct. 24 and take-down on Oct. 29. If your altar is displayed, you’ll need to complete a form noting the altar’s theme and the names of those who made it — plus a description of what your altar represents.
Displayed altars will be judged by a panel of people affiliated with the Hispanic cultural community in the City of Mesa. Judges will consider several criteria including creativity and artistic design, written dedication and meaning, and more. The altar inauguration and awards ceremony takes place at 7pm on Oct. 25 in the MAC’s Farnsworth Theatre.
Certificates will be awarded to all participants, and Fiesta Mall is presenting a surprise award to the contest winner. First-, second- and third-place winners receive 8, 6 or 4 tickets to MAC performances, the Arizona Museum for Youth and the Arizona Museum of Natural History.
Check the MAC website for contest details and an application. Completed applications should be returned to: Consulado General de México en Phoenix, Attn: Ginny Montaño/Ana Bertha Iberri at 1990 W. Camelback Rd., Ste. 110, Phoenix, AZ 85015.
The Altar de Muertos contest is part of MAC’s Dia de los Muertos: Spirits Connect festival taking place Oct. 27 & 28, which will feature a community altar, live music and performances, and a mercado complete with merchandise, jewelry, arts and crafts and children’s activities.
Learn more at mesaartscenter.com.