Local non-profit organization hosts its 13th Annual Day of the Dead Festival; final year in historic venue

BIRMINGHAM, AL – October 20, 2015 - Bare Hands, Inc., presents its 13th Annual Day of the Dead Festival (Día de los Muertos número trece) on Monday, Nov. 2, 2015. The 2015 commemoration features guest visual artist Tim Kerr, from Austin, Texas, who has created the central memorial mural to honor departed Foot Soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement. Alabama artist, Anna Zoladz is painting a festive cutout for a new photo booth on 1st Ave. Birmingham’s Grupo Milenio is the headlining band.

Personal remembrances (ofrendas), kids’ crafts and puppet show, music, procession, memorial roll call, local artists’ market (mercado), food and beverage vendors, face painters and more will once again enliven the festival’s section of midtown Birmingham.

The annual procession, inspired by New Orleans Jazz Funeral marches, will be different this year. As always, the community is invited to join in or line the route to view the parade, which takes place in the middle of the festival, as day becomes night and somber reflection shifts to joyful celebration. The parade will depart from BridgeStreet Gallery & Loft (213 R. Arrington Jr. Blvd. S.) at 6:00 p.m. and make its way to the festival for roll call. Individuals who wish to walk in the procession should meet at BridgeStreet at 5:40 p.m. All participants are encouraged to dress in bones or bright colors and carry a photo of a lost loved one.

Due to exciting development in midtown and festival growth, this year marks the final time the centerpiece of the event will be in its traditional spot at 2115 1st Ave. S. The Bare Hands Board is investigating a fitting future location.

Support from individuals, organizations and businesses allows admission to remain low at $10 for adults, $3 for children aged 7 to 12 years, and free for children 6 years and younger. A major portion of festival proceeds continues to support Bare Hands Art Club at the downtown YWCA of Central Alabama.

Purchase tickets in advance:

Volunteer or learn more:

Schedule of Events on Monday, November 2, 2015:

Gates open at 4:00 pm. Gates close at 10:00 pm. No pets, personal food or beverages. Rain or shine. 2115 1st Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35233

4:00-7:00       Kids' Crafts – kid’s area in the alley
4:00-9:30       Magic City Face Art, face painting – lower 1st Ave
4:00-9:30       HICA, Henna, Photo Op, Mercado - upper 1st Ave
4:00-10:00     Food: Cantina, Greg’s Hot Dogs, Mi Pueblo, Taqueria Mexico – lower 1st Ave
4:00-10:00     Beverages: Event Concessions - 1st Ave
3:45-5:45        Internacional Mariachi Rioverde – central lot
4:30-5:00       Birmingham Suzuki Violinists – stage
5:00                Puppet Show – kids’ area
5:15 - 6:00      Grupo Milenio, norteño – stage
5:40                Procession Participants Meet at BridgeStreet Gallery & Loft
6:00                Procession from BridgeStreet
6:20-6:35       Memorial Roll Call – stage
6:35-6:50       Frida Kahlo Ceremony with Second-line musical celebration – stage
7:20                Introduction of Guest Visual Artist Tim Kerr - stage
7:30-9:30       Grupo Milenio, cumbia – stage

The Day of the Dead is a joyful, colorful remembrance of lost loved ones, which originated in Mexico centuries ago. Similar to Decoration Day in the southern U.S., the tradition combines flowers, music, food, stories, friends, family and memorials in honor of those who have gone before. The observance Bare Hands presents has become a cherished cultural celebration of life in Birmingham. Many say the gathering has brought them a stronger, broader sense of community. The festival comes to life through 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 Día de los Muertos commemoration 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 an altar for him each year.

About Bare Hands, Inc

Bare Hands, Inc is 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.

About Tim Kerr

Tim Kerr grew up with a love for and gift of art. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Beth. He earned a degree in painting and photography at the University of Texas in Austin. Tim was awarded a Ford Foundation Grant while at UT.

After college graduation, Tim became involved musically and artistically with the early stages of the DIY (Do It Yourself) punk/hardcore/self expression movement. His work created a momentum of followers, and Tim is now asked to exhibit his visual artwork in the US and abroad in galleries including PS1 in New York, 96 Gillespie in London, Slowboy Gallery in Germany, and Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago. He was honored to be selected as the first artist for Arlington Transit's Art On The Bus program in 2010. Summer 2015, he had a solo show at the Rosa Parks Museum. He was also given a residency through Void Gallery in Derry, Northern Ireland, AS220 in Providence, and I.A.M. in Berlin.

About Anna Zoladz

Anna Zoladz was born in Huntsville, Ala. and is studying art studio in the BFA program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  Though she primarily works with drawing and other 2D media, she hopes to experiment with zine fabrication, new media collaboration, and independent video game design in the future.  Anna's relatively immediate plans include participating in local group shows, crying about graduate school applications, and going to Japan in the summer.