Because Labor Day weekend is an important and a very much enjoyed holiday in the U.S., I would like my first thoughts to go the team members that were working at the DIA over the weekend and on Monday. Please know that our Board, staff, and visitors appreciate all that you do to keep the museum open and our collection safe and secured. Your work is noticed and greatly appreciated, especially during these times where we continue to apply our COVID-19 protocols to keep everyone safe in the building.
With September we start a new season, gaining a perspective of what the last quarter of 2021 will bring to all of us. The DIA has much going on during the upcoming months, and you can check out our exhibitions page, where you will find a wide range of opportunities to visit the museum and enjoy art from our own community, our nation, and beyond. While you will be hearing from us about these wonderful activities, I would like to focus on our present month, which brings together history, art, and remembrance in a significant fashion.
On September 15th we will start observing National Hispanic Heritage Month and will celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of individuals whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. For obvious reasons, this has a special meaning for me and my family, and we try to keep our traditions current through the power of the arts, language, and of course cuisine. Detroit has much to offer in this area and our Mexican town – Southwest Detroit, for example, is a treasure with history, art, and great food. The Diego Rivera murals, a National Historic Landmark at the DIA, remind us, among many things, of the crucial role that immigration played in the history of the city, its cultures, as well as the creation of the automotive industry.
The traditions of those communities continue to enrich our lives and the DIA is committed to highlighting them so visitors can experience and learn from the many cultures that make up our society. For the ninth consecutive year, we will be celebrating el Día de Muertos (The Day of the Dead), with our ofrenda altars (Offerings) exhibition. This year we received 27 proposals from local artists and with the help of our community we selected 9 of them. Furthermore, three additional ofrenda altars will be on view at the DIA, two of them by our exhibition partners (the Mexican Consulate and the Southwest Detroit Business Association) and one by the DIA staff.
This exhibition brings the community together and honors the lives and memories of lost loved ones. The pandemic has and continues to hit hard our communities. This year is also the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. We have lost members of our extended DIA family over the past several months. Through the power of art, we hope this ofrendas exhibition will offer some warmth and comfort to all as the DIA continues to be more than a museum, a place where all of you can find peace of mind and a time for calm and healing.