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Los Muertos Haunt the Nelson-Atkins Museum

Artists prepare the Kirkwood Hall altar. Photo by Kayla Regan/KCUR.
Artists prepare the Kirkwood Hall altar. Photo by Kayla Regan/KCUR.

For the past 14 years, the Mattie Rhodes gallery on the Westside has commemorated the Day of the Dead by asking local artists and community members to make altars in memory of ancestors and loved ones who've passed away. But this year, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is collaborating with the Mattie Rhodes Center, as well as the Guadalupe Center and the Mexican Consulate, to create a large community altar in the museum's central Kirkwood Hall.

By Sylvia Maria Gross


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Hear perspectives on the traditional Mexican holiday from Mattie Rhodes' director of cultural arts Jenny Mendez, writer Xanath Caraza, artist Jason Sierra, artist and writer Maria Vasquez Boyd, volunteer Maria Teresa Mendez Quick and Julian Zugazagoitia, director of the Nelson-Atkins Museum.

The Day of the Dead Festival at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, where community members can add mementos of their loved ones to the Kirkwood Hall altar, started on October 30 and goes until Sunday, November 6, 2011.

Meanwhile the prints of turn-of-the-century Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada will be on display until February 12th.

A related exhibit of Jose Guadalupe Posada's prints related to the Mexican Revolution will be on display at the Mexican Consulate, opening Friday, November 4 from 6-8pm.

And at The Writer's Place, there will be a reading, also on Friday, November 4, 2011 at 7pm with members of the Latino Writers Collective and Chicago's Proyecto Latino.Mattie Rhodes continues its month-long Day of the Dead Celebration until November 12 - with a reception on this Friday, November 4, 2011.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

Sylvia Maria Gross is storytelling editor at KCUR 89.3. Reach her on Twitter @pubradiosly.
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