National Portrait Gallery Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month and Día de Los Muertos with Festivals and Installation by Artists MasPaz and Guache

August 18, 2022
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Graphic with text: "Fotos & Recuerdos Festival. Celebrating the life of La vida de. Book series"

Credit information: Courtesy of Lil’ Libros

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 with virtual programs and an in-person festival highlighting Hispanic history, culture, traditions and stories. Following Hispanic Heritage Month, Nov. 2, the museum will commemorate el Día de los Muertos with an indoor festival and an outdoor video and music installation by artists MasPaz and Guache. Admission for both festivals is free.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, the Portrait Gallery is cohosting the Fotos y Recuerdos Festival with children’s book publisher Lil’ Libros. This bilingual celebration for all ages will take place in the museum’s Kogod Courtyard and surrounding galleries from 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. and will include story times, book signings, live entertainment and gallery tours. There will also be arts and crafts inspired by the Lil’ Libros book series “The Life of / La vida de,” which features Latinx sitters from the Portrait Gallery’s collection. 

Throughout September and October, the museum’s weekly virtual and in-person children’s programs will provide opportunities to explore portraits and hear the stories of Latinx sitters, including artist Frida Kahlo and choreographer José Limón. Programs for children and their adult companions include Young Portrait Explorers, which are in-person at the museum on select Mondays at 10:30 a.m. Virtual sessions take place on select Wednesdays at 11 a.m. Visit the museum’s website for more details.  

On Nov. 2, the museum’s annual el Día de los Muertos festival will take place from 5 to 8:30 p.m. There will be dancing, art activities, and a community altar in the Kogod Courtyard from 5 to 8 p.m. Then, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., artists MasPaz and Guache will project their live video artwork on the museum’s G and Ninth St. facade. “We were truly moved by the festival,” commented a local Washington resident about the museum’s 2021 outdoor Día de los Muertos festivities. “The imagery, the music and the community components were incredible. I hope we can make this a tradition. In D.C. tonight, we felt connected and embraced by our heritage.” 

National Portrait Gallery

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the multifaceted story of the United States through the individuals who have shaped American culture. Spanning the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the nation’s story.         

The National Portrait Gallery is located at Eighth and G streets N.W., Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000. Connect with the museum at, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube

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