Provincetown’s 2nd Annual Day of the Dead Performing Arts Festival is a community event honoring life and death through art.
Inspired by the Mexican traditions of El Día de los Muertos the Festival includes art workshops, a procession, an ofrenda exhibition, an evening of performance art and a dance party.
Workshops begin in mid-October. The procession, ofrenda exhibition, performance event and dance party all take place on November 2.
The intention of the Festival is to recognize and honor the Mexican and Mesoamerican roots of El Día de los Muertos while simultaneously creating a community event that is unique to the lived lives of Provincetown residents and other Festival participants.
It is especially important to honor the Mexican roots of the Festival in light of the current national climate of xenophobia and anti-immigration rhetoric. Honoring the Festival’s Mexican roots is an opportunity to recognize the enriching contributions of Mexicans and Mexican culture.
This year’s festival is dedicated to the “Dreamers,” the nearly 800,000 “undocumented” immigrants who arrived in America as children and whose lives are being thrown into turmoil and fear as the White House threatens to end DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals which protects Dreamers from deportation and allows them to legally work and study in America. Nearly 80% of DACA recipients are originally from Mexico.
For the Provincetown community, the Festival provides an opportunity to come together to celebrate the lives and honor the deaths of those we love. In addition to our experiences of personal loss, to live in Provincetown is to share a communal history and experience of life and death.
When someone in Provincetown dies, we all mourn. Whether a fisherman is lost at sea, an AIDS or cancer patient dies, a teenager’s life is cut short by addiction, or any resident – from artist to community worker to retired grandmother – dies of natural causes simply because it is their time, we all feel the loss.
The Festival provides us with an artistic avenue to express our grief while simultaneously celebrating life and honoring death.
The Provincetown Day of the Dead Performing Arts Festival is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit community event.