The Pearl in San Antonio reimagines Día de los Muertos with online and on-site offerings

click to enlarge Feliz Modern POP iss selling DIY skull piñatas designed by local artists Manola & Maria and Lua Bash. - COURTESY OF PEARL
Courtesy of Pearl
Feliz Modern POP iss selling DIY skull piñatas designed by local artists Manola & Maria and Lua Bash.
The Pearl is transforming its annual Día de los Muertos celebration into a virtual experience this year, though some in-person amenities will still be available.

The downtown development will host a community altar on site, while video of two offsite altars will be streamed on the its social media pages. Esperanza Peace & Justice Centera artist in residence Azul Barrientos will also stream a an online performance on Monday, November 2.

Those looking to celebrate at home can pick up special maker kits created by local artists — a DIY catrina collage by Regina Moya or DIY skull piñatas by Manola & Maria and Lua Bash — from Feliz Modern POP, and enjoy a Pan de Muerto offered by Hotel Emma.

One of the altars on virtual display, a collaboration between the the San Antonio-Mexico Friendship Council and Mexican Cultural Institute and the Consulate of Mexico in San Antonio, will honor esteemed abstract artist Manuel Felguérez, who died this summer from COVID-19. The second virtual altar, created by local artist Kaldric Dow at the invitation of the Carver Community Cultural Center, will honor those who have lost their lives to social injustice.

Pearl’s community altar is centered on the theme of Amor y Esperanza (Love and Hope), and will be on display at the complex's Shade Structure November 1-8. Dedicated to those who lost their lives to COVID-19, the four-sided altar was made by SAY Sí Artistic Executive Director Jon Hinojosa with help from SAY Sí alumni and staff. In-person visitors will be required to wear masks.

SAY Sí is also developing an interactive app so visitors can leave the names of loved ones instead of a physical mementos at the altar.

Hotel Emma and La Gloria will also have their own altars on display during the holiday.

The Pearl’s fall programming will include the continuation of its weekend farmers markets, a video series on pumpkin recipes featuring Hotel Emma chef John Brand and a curbside event for pickup of curated Thanksgiving boxes to help avoid crowded stores during the holiday season.

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