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Overture Hosts Community Altar Project Beginning This Week

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The creations will be on display in Overture's Rotunda Gallery from Thursday, Oct. 28 through Sunday, Nov. 14.

Overture Hosts Community Altar Project Beginning This Week

Handmade shadow box altars made in memory of loved ones have been created by members of our community and contributed to the 2021 Community Altar Project. The creations will be on display in Overture's Rotunda Gallery from Thursday, Oct. 28 through Sunday, Nov. 14. Stop by Overture Center during open hours* to learn about this cultural tradition and to view the altars.

The Community Altar honors our ancestors and all those who passed, especially in this year when we have lost so many to the pandemic. This participatory project draws on the Day of the Dead altar-making traditions in Mexico and remembrance traditions worldwide. The community altar exhibition and celebration bring our diverse community together-to honor our ancestors and keep their memories alive.

"Rooted from Mexico and brought here by immigrants, this tradition allows many of us to recognize those who have passed on to the next world by providing a memory and tribute of their lives that impacted us. Sharing this culture with love and respect allows people from all backgrounds to find peace through offerings. We decorate, we offer, we memorialize, we love and honor them through celebration. Decoramos, ofrecemos, conmemoramos a los que amamos y los honramos a través de la celebración," said Roberto Torres Mata, one of the organizers of the project and a UW-Madison MFA graduate.

The Community Altar Project leadership team works in collaboration with the Latino Community, both here in Madison and in rural Mexico. Through this project, they aim to cultivate a deeper understanding and appreciation for this important cultural tradition.

The project is supported by Overture Center for the Arts, Garver Feed Mill, Dane Arts, Madison Latino Chamber of Commerce and Wisconsin Conference on Latinx Art and Culture. UW partners include Center for Design & Material Culture, Chicano and Latino Studies Program, Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program and FH King Student Farm. International partners include El Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano. Additional thanks to members of the community of Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca Mexico and San Antonino Castillo Velasco Oaxaca, Mexico.

Story Sharing and Celebration - Monday, Nov. 8, 6 p.m., Rotunda Gallery

Join altar creators as they share stories to honor their ancestors and loved ones.

Overture Galleries are sponsored by The Arts Access Fund, a component fund of the Madison Community Foundation and by contributions to Overture Center for the Arts.


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