Des Moines Art Center Honoring Latinx Iowans Who’ve Passed from COVID-19 with Day of the Dead Exhibit


DES MOINES, Iowa– The Des Moines Art Center is getting a head start on creating its Day of the Dead exhibit and tradition that is celebrated in the fall. The Arts Center’s theme for the holiday this year is honoring those who died from COVID-19 complications.

“We know the Latinx community has been really disproportionately hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with many communities of color,” Director of External Affairs at the Des Moines Art Center, Jordan Powers said. “We really wanted to take the opportunity to honor those members of Latinx community and who have passed away due to COVID-19.” 

For this year’s Day of the Dead celebration, Des Moines Art Center will feature a memorial for Iowa’s Latinx community created by local artists. 

During a normal year, Des Moines Art Center has a big celebration for Day of the Dead where nearly 3,000 people crowd their lobby, enjoying cultural artwork, food, and music. 

Last year the event went completely virtual. This September there will be a mix of both in person and virtual events.

According to Powers there is a committee eying COVID-19 numbers in the state to see if more in-person activities can be added at a later date. 

“We’re looking at the forecast as we get closer and there’s a component maybe to do an outside endeavor you know we can certainly bring it outside. So we’re keeping it really flexible, keeping an open mind,” Powers said. “But least setting that framework so that we know we can set up a really great virtual experience. And then we can kind of throw out some great opportunities to engage more in person, as we get closer to the timeframe.” 

The deadline to apply for your loved one to be included in the Des Moines Art Center’s short-form video is August 1st. 

The deadline to apply for your loved one to be included in the Des Moines Art Center’s long-form video is May 31st. 

Application can be offered in English and Spanish.

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