No matter what the holiday is, a common way for cultures and families to mark the occasion is through the arts — music, film and interactive options like pumpkin carving, tree decorating and even drawing or painting pictures.
For the 5th annual Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos cultural celebration, Thornton’s Arts & Culture Division is tapping into that creative impulse for a virtual event aimed at bringing people of all ages together.
Running from Sunday, Nov. 1 through Tuesday, Nov. 3, this year’s celebration offers a virtual option to mark the holiday.
Thanks to a partnership with Alt Ethos Experiential Design Studio, participants can download an app, create artistic designs on their devices and interact with other people’s creations.
“This is quite the experiment, but we know that many people engage celebrations through the arts, and we want to maintain that engagement,” explained Alisa Zimmerman, Arts & Culture manager. “There’s a lot of very vibrant art that is created as part of this holiday, so we thought this would be a great way to celebrate in a contactless way.”
The city’s Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos event has been gaining in popularity over the last four years, Zimmerman said. The organizers offer celebrations including performers and a food and gift market for people to explore. But most importantly, it was an opportunity for members of Thornton’s vibrant Hispanic and Mexican community to get together, which is why it was important the city still find a way to have a good time.
“We’re hoping that this year’s option will attract a large age group and will remind them to come back when we can get together again next year,” she said. “We want people to have an awareness of the culture and engage in a way that is unique for the holiday. And we hope this will be a meaningful distraction from everything going on right now.”
Visit ArtsThornton.com to download the app link to participate with others on any night.
Flick-or-Treat this Halloween in Lakewood
While Halloween is the perfect time for horror films, there are some brilliant family-friendly seasonal films that are cherished by all ages at this time of year. Two of the best - “Hocus Pocus” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” - will be screened at 7 and 9:30 p.m. respectively at the Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park Amphitheatre, 801 S Yarrow St., as part of the Flick-or-Treat event.
Tickets must be purchased online in advance at https://lakewood.showare.com. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own face mask, blankets, lawn chair and picnic items if they want food or drink.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week - Lu’s Jukebox
Lucinda Williams is one of the best living songwriters we have, spinning out southern gothic yarns that straddle the line between country and rock. Couple her impeccable literary writing with an unmistakable voice that imbues every song with a wry wit and world-weary wisdom, and it’s easy to see why she made it onto Rolling Stone’s list of the top 100 songwriters of all time.
Since Williams can’t tour, she’s announced a six-episode cover series called Lu’s Jukebox, which runs from Thursday, Oct. 29 through New Year’s Eve. Each episode will focus on a different theme - the first is a tribute to Tom Petty, and she’ll also perform selections from Bob Dylan’s songbook, 60s country highlights and more.
Tracked live by Grammy award-winning producer, Ray Kennedy, and captured in HD video by Neighborhoods Apart Productions, these shows shouldn’t be missed. Tickets to single shows or the entire series can be purchased at https://boxoffice.mandolin.com/pages/lucinda-williams-livestream-series.
Streaming style - ‘The Boys in the Band’
Mart Crowley’s “The Boys in the Band” was a cultural revolution when it debuted in 1968, putting the lives of gay men unapologetically front and center of the stage. The 50th anniversary revival of the play in 2018 took home the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. And now that Tony-winning cast can be seen in Netflix’s film version of the show.
The story centers on a group of friends who meet in an apartment in Manhattan for a birthday party. The cast is made up of all openly gay men, including Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer and Jim Parsons, and the performances and feeling the entire cast bring to the screen is uniformly fantastic. Plus, don’t miss “The Boys in the Band: Something Personal,” a documentary about the making the film that doubles as a tribute to Crowley, who died on March 7 of this year.
Check out the film and documentary on Netflix.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture apears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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