What is Bare Hands and its Day of the Dead Festival?

Bare Hands Inc is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, community-supported arts organization. Our core community event is the Día de los Muertos festival we present each November 2nd.  It is a beautiful gathering infused with performance and visual art that attempts to honor the ancient Mexican remembrance of lost loved ones and regional memorial traditions. Proceeds from the festival support our education outreach, Bare Hands Art Club, an art education program taught at the YWCA of Central Alabama for children living in transitional housing.  

Why join this Junior Board?

The Bare Hands Junior Board offers a unique opportunity to join a group of 10 to 12 passionate, young individuals who are committed to sharing the tradition of Day of the Dead, growing Bare Hands education outreach, and getting involved in the local community. Membership provides a way to gain interesting leadership experience, give back to the community, diversify your professional network, and gain skills useful for later service on a board of directors.


What will the Junior Board do?

Over the course of a two-year term on the Bare Hands Junior Board, members will:

  • Receive training on the benefits, duties, and responsibilities of board membership;

  • Have the opportunity to attend one meeting of the Bare Hands Board of Directors;

  • Meet with the Festival Director and Art Club Director;

  • Be a founding member of the Bare Hands Junior Board;

  • Help plan and execute various Junior Board events;

  • Learn about board member fundraising, including how to effectively and efficiently pitch your cause and solicit donations;

  • Take part in at least one Día de los Muertos Festival “Krewe”.

Día de los Muertos is a joyful, colorful remembrance of lost loved ones, which originated in Mexico centuries ago.  Similar to Decoration Day in the Southern United States, the tradition combines flowers, music, food, stories, friends, family and memorials in honor of those who have gone before. Bare Hands presents an observance which has become a cherished cultural celebration of life in Birmingham, Ala. Many participants say the gathering has given them a stronger, broader sense of community. The festival comes to life through the efforts of countless volunteer hours given to create an experience that respects the tradition and heart of Mexico's sacred remembrance while recognizing many memorial traditions.

Birmingham’s commemoration of Día de los Muertos began in November 2003 with a Day of the Dead inspired installation built by artist Tracy Martin in Bare Hands Gallery to honor her father who died earlier that year. Her father was noted Civil Rights photographer, James “Spider” Martin. Spider’s memorial was eagerly embraced by a small group of artists and friends and began the celebration at Bare Hands each Nov. 2.  In continuing memory of Spider Martin, toy spiders, Spider-Man action figures, and prints from his powerful photo archive are placed on a central altar for him each year.

The first celebration in 2003 drew a few hundred people in remembrance of one special man. Last year, in 2014, almost 6,000 attended to honor many lost loved ones. As this organization and this event continue, new voices and visions are needed to nurture and sustain it into the future.

Bare Hands, Inc - a 501(c)(3) community-supported, nonprofit arts organization dedicated to developing creativity and innovation in metro Birmingham and the region by creating opportunities and providing favorable environments in which artists and audiences play an active role in the creative process and engage in cultural dialogue.


Interested in joining?

Submit your resume to: JB@barehandsinc.org

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