For Immediate Release
Contact: Jordan Powers
Tel: 515.271.0344

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DES MOINES, IOWA (MAY 2020) – For 21 years, the Day of the Dead at the Des Moines Art Center has been a way to honor and connect with Latinx members of the community. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted the Latinx community, as well as other communities of color. This year, the Art Center is remembering the names, faces, and stories of Latinx Iowans who have lost their lives as a result of COVID-19 with Dia de los Muertos: Recuerdo.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has left many communities all over the world grieving. We intend to honor the lives of those lost in Iowa by making their stories a part of our yearly Day of the Dead celebration, where the traditions of the Latinx community provide ways to come together and bring us closer to our loved ones who have passed,” Museum Educator Mia Buch said.

The 2021 celebration will be primarily virtual, kicking off in mid-September with a variety of activities and resources. Honoree submissions will be included in a memorial slideshow. Four submissions will be selected for feature honoree videos, which will be published to the Art Center website and social media channels.

The honoree submission form is available in Spanish and English at Submissions are due by August 1 to be included in the memorial slideshow and May 31 to be considered for a feature honoree video.

Honorees will be those who have lost their lives because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Honorees will be considered regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity or sexual preference.

For further information, interviews/quotes or images, please contact Director of External Affairs Jordan Powers at 630.470.5136 or

About the Des Moines Art Center

Recognized by international art critics as a world-class museum in the heart of the Midwest, the Des Moines Art Center, an AAM-accredited institution, has amassed an important collection of art from the 19th century to the present, with a major emphasis on contemporary art. Focused on quality and global in scope, it includes major works by Henry Ossawa Tanner, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Francis Bacon, Andy Goldsworthy, Henri Matisse, Wangechi Mutu, Ai Wei Wei and Kara Walker, among hundreds of others. The collection is housed in three major buildings, each designed by a renowned architect—Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei and Richard Meier. With the exception of special events, admission to the museum is free.

In September 2009, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park opened in Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. Philanthropists John and Mary Pappajohn provided funding for and donated 31 sculptures by internationally acclaimed contemporary artists to the Des Moines Art Center. The collection of sculptures by such artists as Martin Puryear, Louise Bourgeois, Deborah Butterfield, Willem de Kooning, Mark di Suvero, Olafur Eliasson, Keith Haring, Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly, Yayoi Kusama, Jaume Plensa, Richard Serra and Joel Shapiro is the most significant donation of artwork to the Art Center in a single gift in the museum’s history. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park is a collaboration of the Pappajohns, the City of Des Moines, the Des Moines Art Center and numerous corporate and private donors.

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