A pile of piñatas awaiting their demise at the hands of children attending the Día De Los Muertos event at the MACC. Part of the Austin skyline looms in the background.

Austin celebrates Dia de los Muertos

The Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center hosted its 10th-annual Dia De Los Muertos festivities.

Audio story by Blayne Turner

Photos by Julia Pinto

Since 2007, the Emma S. Barriento Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) has stood ground right by Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas. The MACC is dedicated to the preservation, creation, presentation and promotion of Mexican American cultural arts and heritage.
The center constantly houses galleries that feature local, regional and national Latino/a artists. This fall, Vida y Obra: 5 Years of Art & Activism by Raul Valdez is being displayed in the Sam Z. Coronado Gallery from September 15 through November 25, 2017.
The City of Austin has started celebrating Dia de los Muertos by hosting numerous events throughout the city. The MACC has been culturally decorated with altars and colorful items.
Altars, also known as “ofrendas,” are constructed for the dead in order to place offerings for the deceased. Altars can be either simplistic or elaborate filled with pictures, food, religious statues, candles and flowers.
Fruit and bread are two of the most common foods, and people believe that the deceased consume the “spirit” of the food, so the living can then eat the actual food.
An altar at the MACC featuring multiple pictures of those passed to honor them on the sacred holiday of Dia de los Muertos, along with decorated sugar skulls. The altar commemorates the memory and the souls of people.
An artpiece created by a local Austin artist is displayed at the MACC. The painting features many local sayings and areas the emphasize the Latino community of Austin.
Piñatas hang under a glass ceiling at the MACC decoratively representing skeletons and Dia de Los Muertos.
An altar honors the fallen victims of Hurricane Maria, a terrible storm that deeply affected Puerto Rico back in September 2017.
A decorative piece built together by the community of Austin is displayed at the MACC. The colorful shape represents the unity of community with positive messages written all over it.


Photo Gallery by John Hernandez

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