HOOD RIVER — Columbia Center for the Arts (CCA), in partnership with The History Museum of Hood River County and Arts in Education of the Gorge, will honor the Hood River community with a Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, celebration on Saturday, Nov. 6.

“The center will create a community altar to remember family members and friends who are no longer with us and in honor of the grief and loss our community is experiencing and has experienced through the COVID-19 pandemic,” said a CCA press release.

Community members will have the opportunity to honor their deceased loved ones with Ofrendas, or offerings, that can be placed on the community altar. Ofrendas may consist of Traditional offerings include orange marigolds, painted skulls, flickering candles (battery tea lights please), baked goods, salt, colorful paper cutouts, toys, photographs of family and friends who have passed and other symbolic offerings. Altars may contain all hand-made items or ones that have been purchased. The traditional Mexican celebration is held on Nov. 1, All Saints’ Day, which celebrates children who have passed; and Nov. 2, All Souls’ Day, which celebrates adults who have passed. Ofrendas are a place of gathering and are traditionally erected in homes, cemeteries, or community spaces —like Columbia Center for the Arts. The Ofrenda will be open to the public to honor their loved ones who have passed and grieve the impacts of the pandemic. CCA will install the Ofrenda on Oct. 31 and leave it open for public offerings through Nov. 6.

“In true CCA fashion, we encourage community members to be creative and bring items that hold meaning to who they are honoring,” said the press release.

On Nov. 6, the celebration will close with the film screening of Cemetery Tales. A component of the Día De Los Muertos celebration is the telling of stories to honor the history and life of the person(s) one is honoring. Cemetery Tales is a professional video production that is historical storytelling, through performance, of historical and influential members of Hood River’s history. Cemetery Tales honors the community’s history through storytelling.

After the screening talkback will be hosted by the cast and crew including Director/Producer Joe Garoutte, Writer/Producer Michael Friend and actors Jim Yue, Elisa Solis, Kathy Williams, Ann Williams, and Tom Burns.

Attendees to the celebration will also have the opportunity to participate in a collaborative visual art experience, hosted by Arts in Education of the Gorge, to pay tribute to or an homage to the people community members wish to honor with an aluminum embossing self-guided activity.

Proceeds of the Cemetery Tales Film Screening will benefit the non-profit organizations hosting the event. Help Columbia Center for the Arts and The History Museum of Hood River County in celebrating Dia de Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) and participate in the inaugural celebration!

COVID-19 theater protocol

Due to COVID-19 guidelines, the theater will be requiring all visitors for proof of vaccination during the screening, to wear masks, and requests that visitors maintain 6-feet social distancing. CCA provides free masks and hand sanitizer at the entrance door. Thank you for your understanding and continuing support for the Arts. For more information, please visit the CCA website at columbiaarts.org.