Thursday, November 03, 2011

Smithsonian LVM Dia de los Muertos Festival Highlights

The Smithsonian LVM wishes to thank everyone who attended and participated in the third annual Dia de los Muertos Festival in Second Life. We congratulate the winners of our Costume Contest: Xico (First Place), Harleywood Guru (Second Place), Adrn (Third Place), and runners up ZeroPercentBodyLead and DonConejo. The winners and runner-ups received prize money in Linden dollars, the currency used in Second Life. The contest, hosted by LVM’s creative director Pennelope Wiggles, and Ninfa Blackheart, took place at the Sin Fronteras Café in front of La Placita. While the audience cheered on and voted with applause, the contestants displayed ingenious creativity in costume design and also proved to be very talented dancers. Congratulations!

Costume Contest winners

Visit from La Muerte

La Placita on Nov. 2nd


On Tuesday poets and musicians took the stage at the Dead Poets Reading. Readers included Ire’ne Lara Silva, author of furia; musician and writer Nancy Lorenza Green, Juan Manuel Portillo, author of passwords_; Amit Ghosh and Moisés S.L. Lara, and audience members like BluSky. Artist and musician César Ivan played guitar live from El Paso, Texas. The reading was followed by a CD Release Party with Radio La Chusma at the Drink Cultura Cabana
Dead Poets Reading

Radio La Chusma in-word presentation

Congratulations to team Muertos del Sol for being this year’s Ballcourt Tournament champions. Team Muertos del Sol triumphed with a score of 2-1 over mighty opponents- the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. The 3,500 year-old, Mesoamerican game was played at the Ballcourt of the Sun, an accurate pixel by pixel  reconstruction of the court, from its “I”-shape to the walls made of cut stone.  

Team Muertos del Sol and Team Notre Dame
Game play

Muertos del Sol members
Team Notre Dame at Opening Remarks

Another festival highlight was a tribute to Chicano artist  Gilbert “Magu” Luján (1940-2011), the exuberant artist whose exploration and incorporation of Chicano imagery helped to promote and advance Chicano culture and aesthetics into the mainstream arts. Luján was  known for his mixed-media car sculptures, or carritos. Visitors rode replicas of Magu's carritos during the festival.

Gilbert "Magu" Lujan

Carritos Race

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Final Day of Dia de los Muertos Festival!

The Smithsonian LVM in Second Life continues its Dia de los Muertos programming with a Ballgame Tournament at 3 p.m. EST. The Mesoamerican game is known to have been played as early as 1000 B.C. by people of Mexico and Central America. To learn more about this game, visit Mesoamerican Ballgame: An Educational Website

At 9 p.m. EST the fun commences with a Costume Contest and Calaveras on Wheels, followed by a tribute to artist Gilbert "Magu" Lujan, and Calaveras and Carritos Race.

Come mingle with us during the day, learn the traditions of this long standing celebration, enjoy the ofrendas, cultural videos, and art exhibits and interviews.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Dia de los Muertos Festival Continues Today!

It was a great turn out yesterday at the Smithsonian LVM island in Second Life. Visitors streamed in and out all day, and many stayed well into the night, lingering at La Placita with friends and visiting the various cultural displays. The atmosphere was energetic and festive.  The elaborate display of Halloween costumes was a true display of the spirit and creativity surrounding these days. The opening procession, orchestrated by Smithsonian LVM's Creative Director Melissa Carrillo, was exquisitely curated, and touched upon all the historical and cultural elements of the Dia de los Muertos celebration. The participating artists, musicians, and authors represented the various facets of this tradition in their presentations.

The Smithsonian LVM continues to celebrate the spirit of Dia de los Muertos today with a great line-up of authors and musicians, starting at 8:30 p.m. EST with the Dead Poets Reading and guitar session with Cesar Ivan. The event will be followed by El Paso's Radio La Chusma. Sounds like a party to me!

Follow the link and we'll get you started: Dia de los Muertos Festival.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum Day of the Dead Festival Starts Today!

For the next three days, Smithsonian LVM has a great line-up of festivities in Second Life. The Day of the Dead Festival, or Dia de los Muertos Festival starts today with a procession at 8:30 p.m. EST and culminates with a Costume Contest and Carritos Fiesta on November 2. Please see  Schedule of Events for comprehensive list of events.

Tomorrow, we invite you to come and share a poem or two, or excerpt from your favorite writer/poet who has passed on to another life. Part of the tradition of Dia de los Muertos celebration is to honor the life of loved ones who have died. Tradition holds that our loved ones return to us on this day, and we, in wait, honor them with ofrendas or altars, spreading their favorite food and items. Although we can not set up an altar for each and every one of our favorite authors, we will honor them by reading one of their poems. So come and join us tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. EST in Second Life and read with us. Special musical guest is Cesar Ivan. Cesar is artist and guitarist from El Paso, Texas. His music is a fusion of world beats.

For more infomation on this and other events, you can visit our Dia de los Muertos page.  We also invite you to give us feedback on your virtual experience. Feel free to leave a comment.

Photo of Cesar Ivan courtesy of Eurydice Saucedo.