This is an educational and interactive Community
Please feel free to download any information that may benefit a community arts program in your area. We would love your input...


Mission and Goals

Guiding Practices


Peace Event



Click on images to see a larger version.

Pages Created by:
Paul Hillman

01714 hits
since 11/1/2013

Dia de los Muertos Phx. Festival

Sunday, Oct. 27th, 2013, Cultural Coalition's Dia de los Muertos Phx. Festival

This amazing festival occurred at Hance Park. Phoenix has never experienced such richness and celebration: Dia de los Muertos Phx. Festival. Carmen and Zarco have created this signature event in the community for more than 30 years through the artistry of Zarco's masks and performance.

This ritual is not unique to the SW. Communities across the U.S. have joined to Honor Self and Others at this harvest time of the year. This meets a Shared Human concern and need to support, promote and celebrate United Families through a grass-roots experience of the Dia de los Muertos (Honoring of Ancestors) tradition brought to life by masked performers and musicians.

Cultural Coalition artists have been creating programming and activities for Dia de los Muertos in the Valley for over three decades in street processions giving honor to children who have died from violence, community parks and the Heard Museum. As artists, this is not simply an observation of a tradition, but an artistic reinterpretation that keeps the celebration culturally relevant to our diverse communities.

A celebration of honoring and respect for ALL participants: Through ceremony, we celebrate the achievements everyone has made and the successful impact they have on their chosen communities. The sustainability for a single life, or a community, now rests in relationships built, the beneficial and purposeful partnerships created, the vision pursued with intent, and the confident acceptance of responsibility for one's future. Community rituals of celebration assist participants to examine and explore their authentic self and discover that "Just to be is a blessing." (Hustedde & King, 2002, pp.338-347)

INTEGRATING "STORY" INTO COMMUNITY: "It has been argued that we are not Homo sapiens but Homo narrans, the only species that tells stories," (Hustedde, 1998, quoted Fisher 1987, p.157). Hustedde continues by stating, "Stories are how we organize our thoughts and experiences and how we share them with others. They tell us who the community is and what it is not." Within the work of these community artists, participants may create an environment for all to be heard through the traditional storytelling of performance and mime…

QUESTIONS & SYMBOLS STIMULATE THE REVEALING OF STORIES: "Community developers can work with public artists to help people tell their stories: art can act to build solidarity and can be a prelude to community action" (Husteddde, p.159, quoted Jones, 1988). The arts embody the human experience, in a sense "interring" our concepts and ideas in the materials of our creativity and laying our explorations to rest.

The activity of creating a beaded bracelet with meaning is an ancient means of symbolic communication to answer those questions of life that bring us closer together.

Through the Cultural Arts Coalition over 150 beaded bracelets were made with all ages and cultural backgrounds of children and adults. It was so much FUN!!! Once again we are so thankful for all the community organizing efforts of Carmen and Zarco and all of their helpers…Gracias!

Photo Narrative by judy butzine, October 31, 2013

Hustedde, Ronald J., 1998, "On the Soul of Community Development", Journal of the Community Development Society, 29:2, pp.153-165.

Hustedde, Ronald & King, Betty, 2002, "Rituals: Emotions, Community Faith in Soul and the Messiness of Life", Community Development Journal, 37:4, pp. 338-348.