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Celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with Ohio State’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Latinx Studies Program, and Wexner Center for the Arts.
This celebration combines two events: Día de los Muertos and a book launch for Ohio State Professor of Latin American Cultural and Literary Studies Paloma Martinez-Cruz. Titled Trust the Circle: The Resistance and Resilience of Rubén Castilla Herrera (2023), this new publication is a biography of a Latinx Columbus activist who made lasting and profound contributions to the community and was instrumental in the city’s observances of the Día de los Muertos holiday. Join us for community conversations; a book reading and signing; snacks, including tamales, pan de muertos (Mexican bread of the dead), and hot chocolate; ofrendas (altars); button making; and a limited-edition 2023 calavera (sugar skull) poetry book for all ages. All are welcome to celebrate departed loved ones and participate in this tradition.
Community ConversationsThu, Nov 2 | 4–5 PMLower Lobby and Heirloom CaféRegistration required Join a hosted circle of life community conversation following the style of Herrera’s Día de los Muertos practices.
Book ReadingThu, Nov 2 | 5:15–6 PMWexner Center StoreMartinez-Cruz reads from her book Trust the Circle: The Resistance and Resilience of Rubén Castilla Herrera with contributors Nicholas Pasquarello, Pranav Jani, and Erin Upchurch.
Book Signing and CelebrationThu, Nov 2 | 6:15–7:30 PMLower Lobby and Heirloom Café Enjoy snacks, beverages, and family-friendly activities.
View of an ofrenda (altar) during a Día de los Muertos celebration. Courtesy of the Ohio State Spanish and Portuguese Outreach Committee.
Paloma Martinez-Cruz and a colleague celebrate Día de los Muertos with colorful decorations and skull-style makeup. Courtesy of the Ohio State Spanish and Portuguese Outreach Committee.
The Ohio State University mascot Brutus participates in Día de los Muertos as a calavera (sugar skull) coloring sheet. Courtesy of the Ohio State Spanish and Portuguese Outreach Committee.
A group of young students drawing at a Día de los Muertos celebration. Courtesy of the Ohio State Spanish and Portuguese Outreach Committee.
Paloma Martinez-Cruz speaks with a colleague in front of an ofrenda (altar) at a Día de los Muertos celebration. Courtesy of the Ohio State Spanish and Portuguese Outreach Committee.
Paloma Martinez-Cruz is an interdisciplinary writer, scholar-activist, and artist based in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to Trust the Circle, she is the author of Food Fight! Millennial Mestizaje Meets the Culinary Marketplace (2019), Women and Knowledge in Mesoamerica: From East L.A. to Anahuac (2011), and editor of A Handbook for the Rebel Artist in a Post-Democratic Society by Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Saul Garcia Lopez (2021). A professor of Latin American Cultural and Literary Studies in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and Latinx Cultural Studies in the Department of English at Ohio State, Martinez-Cruz curates and hosts Onda Latinx Ohio, an arts initiative showcasing Latinx arts practices. Her performance pedagogies and artivist interventions prioritize radical safety and border knowledge. Learn more about the author.
Cosponsored by Ohio State's Department of Spanish and Portuguese and Latinx Studies.
LEARNING & PUBLIC PRACTICE PROGRAMS MADE POSSIBLE BYAmerican Electric Power FoundationHuntingtonMartha Holden Jennings FoundationBig Lots Foundation
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BYIngram-White Castle FoundationThe Ohio State University Office of Outreach & EngagementOhio Arts CouncilMilton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation
WEXNER CENTER PROGRAMS MADE POSSIBLE BYOhio Department of DevelopmentGreater Columbus Arts CouncilThe Wexner FamilyInstitute of Museum and Library ServicesOhio Arts CouncilCampusParcOhio State’s Global Arts + Humanities Discovery ThemeThe Columbus FoundationNationwide FoundationVorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BYMike and Paige CraneAxium PackagingNancy KramerOhio State Energy PartnersOhio History Fund/Ohio History Connection Larry and Donna JamesBruce and Joy SollJones DayAlex and Renée Shumate
Día de los Muertos