Provincetown’s 1st 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, an ofrenda exhibition, a Day of the Dead procession and an evening of performance art.

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. For despite Spanish and Catholic colonization and other forms of cultural invasion, including the influences of U.S. Halloween customs, the commitment to honoring the dead remains central to El Día de los Muertos and its traditions continue to enrich Mexican lives as well as our own.

The Festival provides the Provincetown community with an opportunity to come together to celebrate the lives and honor the deaths of those we love. For 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.