The energy was high at the 2022 YES Prep Día De Los Muertos Art Showcase on November 1, hosted by YES Prep’s Visual Arts department. After hosting the event virtually due to the pandemic, this year we were happy to welcome families, students and staff across YES Prep back in person to honor and celebrate our annual Día De Los Muertos —otherwise known as Day of The Dead — at The Agora at YES Prep Fifth Ward Secondary. Día de Los Muertos is a Mexican holiday now observed throughout the world to honor and celebrate the lives of deceased loved ones.
Student performances spotlighting Mexican culture
The showcase kicked off with six student performances that highlighted significant leaders and events from Mexican culture. On the stage, students honored Mexican soldiers from the Mexican Revolution and spotlighted the late civil rights and labor leader Cesar Chavez, engineer and former astronaut Ellen Ochoa and Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor. “Showcases such as these,” shared Craig Wisniewski, Instructional Technology and ECTE Specialist, “align with YES Prep's goal of creating an inclusive environment where we can learn about, celebrate and embrace each other's identities, communities and history as we continue our work towards equity and social justice.”
Skull art and paintings
Afterward, there was a formal public viewing of skull art and paintings created by students. The Mexican skull art represents death and rebirth and is associated with Day of the Dead celebrations. Each skull figurine is an original work of art, one-of-a-kind, crafted by a student from one of our secondary schools. The art paintings were just as captivating featuring the work from students at Fifth Ward Secondary, North Forest Secondary and Northline Secondary.
YES Prep is proud to celebrate Día De Los Muertos in order to bring awareness to our community's cultural diversity and demonstrate the role visual media has played in creating culturally specific works of art. We appreciate everyone who participated and showed support to our students. We cannot wait to put on a bigger and better event for next year!