The Longmont Museum: Dia de Los Muertos 2021


The Dia de Los Muertos exhibit (Joe Green)

Joe Green, Staff Writer

The City of Longmont celebrated its 150th year anniversary this year.  For this occasion, the Longmont Museum opened and exhibit that included the annual Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) exhibit. It ran from October 9th to November 7th. The exhibits included altars, offerings to the dead, foods, and crafts. 


Dia de los Muertos is seen as a happy way to remember those who died, and it encourages people to place mementos on the alters that remind them of lost loved ones. At the museum exhibit, the altars show people of Latino heritage who died recently. The altars contained photos, food, and objects that were important to the person. Phyllis Stenger, a person viewing the exhibit says, “I recommend the exhibit because it shows the more personal part of death rather than the sad.” She adds, “[The altars are] dedicated to ordinary people, whose lives are normally remembered by a statistic in the local paper.”


The exhibit this year had another theme incorporated into Dia de los Muertos: COVID-19. The organization called Salud America, a Latino-focused organization, says that Latinos are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Many of the photos and altars at this exhibit were dedicated to people who passed away from COVID. “Death is certainly in the forefront of life during a pandemic because most times we rarely think about it,” says Stenger. 


Community members as well as the friends and family of those who passed away helped decorate the alters and make Dia de los Muertos something we can all celebrate. Stenger says, “This exhibit was personal with each altar dedicated to a person who still ‘lived’ in the family. 


The exhibit also has a mural from a talented artist, Mario Olvera. The city of Longmont’s website says, “Using art as a vessel to foster self-acceptance and respect among marginalized populations, Mario has become an influential teacher in Longmont and the surrounding region.”

The afterlife is a question we all have thought about at one point or another. In Mexican culture, it is widely believed that Dia De Los Muertos is the one day a year when the spirits of the dead come to the land of the living. “[Dia De Los Muertos is] an ode to the afterlife and a reminder that death is nothing to be afraid of,” says CNN on their website.  “What happens in the afterlife is a question that faces all of us.”, Stenger replies.

An altar at the exhibit (Joe Green)