Día de los Muertos Community Altar

A pop-up exhibit featuring a community-made altar created in celebration of Día de los Muertos.

Artboard 1

October 19–November 5, 2023

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1st Floor

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In celebration of Día de los Muertos, the MAH is collaborating with Luna HighJohn-Bey to create a Community Altar to be displayed in the museum's atrium.

Luna HighJohn-Bey is a local resident, historian and activist leading the London Nelson Legacy Initiative, a Black-led coalition that seeks to recover the stories of Black pioneers in early Santa Cruz, to memorialize them for their role in the city’s early development, and to educate the community.

“Sacred rhythm has been interrupted as a result of colonization, and healing has become something we do in private. This community altar is a way for us to return to our sacred practices by allowing us space to gather and heal together. We invite you to contribute something that represents your ancestral gifts.” —Luna HighJohn-Bey

All through September and until October 15th, we welcome and encourage you to contribute towards the community altar. We ask for items to be no larger than a shoebox. These items can be dropped off during our open hours at the front desk. Digital contributions (photos, letters, etc.) can be sent to Tahnee at tahnee@santacruzmah.org with attached files.

How to participate in the Community Altar at the MAH

  • Pick an item no bigger than a shoebox
    • Provide your name
    • Provide the name of the piece
    • Provide the name of the tradition or culture it comes from
    • Provide the year it was created
  • Digital files can be sent to tahnee@santacruzmah.org

  • Drop off items at the MAH all through September to October 15th, 2023
    • Our open hours are Thu-Sun, 12-6pm

  • Community Altar will be on display in the Atrium from October 19 to November 5, 2023

Please keep in mind that these items may not be returned to you, so replicas, copies, and items you don’t mind parting with are preferred. Fresh flowers/fruit will not be accepted.

Meet the Collaborator


Community Organizer

Luna HighJohn-Bey

Read Bio

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