'Festival de los Muertos' begins Nov. 2

· 3 min read

‘Festival de los Muertos’ begins Nov. 2

Scene from "Dream Carver."
Scene from "Dream Carver."

The Sheldon Museum of Art, Lied Center for Performing Arts and Lincoln City Libraries will celebrate Dia de los Muertos and “Dream Carver,” an award-winning children’s book by Diana Cohn, Nov. 2-5.

The celebration, called Festival de los Muertos, will kick off with a free family workshop at Bennett Martin Public Library, 136 S. 14th St., on Nov. 2 and ends Nov. 5 with a main stage performance of “Dream Carver” at the Lied.

“Dream Carver” tells the story of a young boy named Mateo growing up in Oaxaca, Mexico, who carves his dreams into wooden toys that come to life. The Lied Center performance is a bilingual musical performance featuring Swazzle’s Broadway-trained puppeteers.

On Nov. 3, the Sheldon Museum of Art, 12th and R streets, will host its seventh annual Dia de los Muertos celebration as a highlight of the festival on Sunday.

The festival schedule:

Nov. 2, 10:30 a.m.-noon — Children’s workshop with Amy Cordova, Bennett Martin Public Library. Join Cordova, who illustrated “Dream Carver,” for this mini-workshop in which children create their own dream animal using the colors and patterns of traditional Oaxacan artists. This workshop is geared for children elementary school age and older and is free and open to the public. All materials will be provided. Call 402-441-8565 if you plan to bring a group of 10 or more children, or for more information.

Nov. 3, noon-4 p.m. — The Sheldon celebrates Dia de los Muertos. Entertainment for the afternoon includes music, a play performed by students from the Lincoln High School Theatre Department and folkloric dance. Additionally, there will be a community ofrenda, art-making stations, and traditional foods. The event is free and open to the public. Cordova will have a table at Sheldon signing copies of “Dream Carver,” which will also be for sale in the museum’s store.

Nov. 4, 4:30-7:30 p.m. — Teachers workshop with Cordova. Cordova will lead a hands-on teacher workshop that explores the concept of developing personal dream animal. The workshop will be in room 32, Henzlik Hall. Cost is $20. To reserve a space in the workshop, contact Nancy Engen-Wedin at nengenwedin2@unl.edu or 402-472-4707.

N**ov. 5, 5:30 p.m. — **Lied Famfest performance of Swazzle’s “Dream Carver” at 7 p.m, Lied Center. The FamFest event will begin 90 minutes prior to showtime. FamFest is a family-friendly pre-show party featuring food and hands-on activities such as face painting and games. Performers from Swazzle’s “Dream Carver” will also be in attendance to lead a puppet-making activity. Cordova will be on hand to sign books and lead educational activities.

The story of “Dream Carver” introduces audiences to elements of Mexican culture, such as the traditional folk art of Oaxacan carving small wooden animals called juguetes. Swazzle brings Mateo’s whimsical, brightly colored toys to life through masterful puppetry in this 55-minute bilingual performance that inspires students to think creatively, try new things and follow their dreams.

Cordova lives and works in Santa Fe, N.M., where she is an artist, author, educator and award-winning illustrator of children’s books.

Tickets for Swazzle’s “Dream Carver” are available at http://www.liedcenter.org, at the Lied Center Box Office or by phone at 402-472-4747. Adult tickets are $16, student tickets $8.

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