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Dia de Los Muertos bringing community inclusivity, support education for Latino youth

By Deann Armes - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Oct 20, 2021

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Las Cafeteras, a famed Chicano band from East Los Angeles, is performing at The Monarch on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, for Dia de Los Muertos.

A five-day celebration of Latino culture, community inclusivity and the arts — Dia de Los Muertos at The Monarch — begins Monday, Nov. 1, with the opening of a community altar dedicated to the victims of COVID-19, continuing with daily free events throughout the week that will conclude with a performance by Las Cafeteras, the nationally acclaimed Chicano band from East Los Angeles, on Friday, Nov. 5.

“A true community engagement and partnership,” is what event organizer Cirilo Franco strived toward for the celebration. “I wanted to bring an event to Ogden that would attract the Latino community since many of the art events in town are not geared toward this underrepresented community,” he said.

He also wanted the Dia de Los Muertos celebration to be free. Generous support from RAMP, Ogden City Arts, Utah Arts & Museums, WESTAF/NEA and other partners allowed them to offer all of the events to the community at no charge.

“Sometimes we forget that a $10 or $20 entry fee may not be a lot for most, but for some it can be the difference between having dinner on your table, so we were thankful to get enough funding,” Franco said.

In their efforts to bring art, film and music to the underrepresented Latino population (approximately 30% of city dwellers) and extended communities of Ogden, Franco and the Dia de Los Muertos organizing committee won the support of three organizations — Americans Coming Together for Immigrants in Ogden and Nationwide (ACTION), Latinos United Promoting Education and Civic Engagement (LUPEC) and Image de Northern Utah — along with the Mexican consulate in Salt Lake City and primary partner, Ogden Friends of Acoustic Music (OFOAM).

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Events schedule for Dia de Los Muertos at The Monarch.

The event organizers also launched the Support a Dreamer program to collect funds for Ogden City Latino students who are DACA recipients and/or first-generation college students to further pursue their education and have already collected over $12,000 in funding commitments, something Franco said they are “very proud of given it’s our first year.”

Franco brought the idea of the Support a Dreamer program to the organizing committee, which was immediately supportive of it, because education is important to him. “This allowed the committee to work on this free event, but at the same time also gave us an opportunity to help our youth with their education dreams. It’s a win/win for everyone in the community,” he said.

Their commitment is that 100% of the funds collected through the “Sponsor A Dreamer” initiative for DACA and first-generation students at Weber State University and Ogden-Weber Technical College, along with Los Dreamers, will be disbursed to these organizations “to be used by students who want to make their dreams a reality through education.”

Find more information and complete event details at ofoam.org/events/dia-de-los-muertos-at-the-monarch.


DIA DE LOS MUERTOS EVENTS

Nov. 1-5

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The Latino Film Festival, part of the Dia de Los Muertos at The Monarch, is happening Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, from 6-8:30 p.m.

Community altar in The Monarch lobby dedicated to victims of COVID-19

Oct. 1- Nov. 27

“Life, Death, Justice,” Latin American and Latinx art for the 21st century at OCA Center and WSU

Nov. 3, 5-7:30 p.m.

Ogden City School District student art and music showcase

Nov. 4, 6-8:30 p.m.

Latino Film Festival

Nov. 5, 6:15-9:45 p.m.

OFOAM Dia de Los Muertos Celebration featuring Mariachi Aguilas de La Esperanza, Las Cafeteras and WSU’s Ballet Folklorico

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