Virtual El Día de los Muertos

Virtual El Día de los Muertos

Welcome to Cheekwood’s virtual celebration of El Día de los Muertos! While we can’t celebrate together this year with the typical sights, sounds, and tastes of Cheekwood’s Day of the Dead festival, we want to create a memorable experience for the Nashville community. Please explore the hands-on activities, enjoy the videos, visit the virtual marketplace, and more.

El Dia de los Muertos at Cheekwood

For 21 years, Cheekwood has hosted an annual El Día de los Muertos festival on the weekend closest to November 2. Under the guidance of a dedicated advisory team made up of members of the Latinx community, the celebration has grown and evolved and become an autumnal favorite for many in the Nashville area. Over the years, the hands-on activities have changed, except for the steadfast calaveras mask, entertainers have performed for audiences of all ages, and vendors have sold beautiful goods to visitors who braved all types of weather. Enjoy this look back in time as we relive El Día de los Muertos at Cheekwood.

Altar and Tapete

Each year at Cheekwood’s El Día de los Muertos, Mexican artist Jose Vera plays a key role. He is a member of the Advisory Committee, he is a vendor selling beautiful art and painting faces, and he works with University School of Nashville to create an altar in Massey Auditorium. This year, while the festival couldn’t happen, we wanted Cheekwood to have at least a corner dedicated to the traditions of the Day of the Dead. Vera graciously agreed to create an altar and tapete, which were installed in the Great Hall of the Frist Learning Center on Sunday, October 25 over a period of six hours. Using rice and salt for the tapete, or carpet, in front of the altar, along with flowers, and the more traditional elements of sugar skulls, candles, and images of the dead on the altar, Vera created a stunning installation which will delight Cheekwood visitors throughout the week leading up to the holiday. Be sure to stop by the Frist Learning Center and see it before November 2.

Entertainers & Vendors

While we hoped to celebrate El Día de los Muertos in person this year, we are excited to virtually promote a variety of entertainers, food vendors, and artisans! Visit the link below to watch videos, visit websites, and learn more.

Learn more


We’re sharing activities to activate at home to celebrate the Day of the Dead. Use our files to create your own art projects at the links below!

Calaveras Masks  La Catrina Puppets

Shoebox Altar  Monarch Butterflies

Sugar Skulls

Community Celebration  

Cheekwood’s El Día de los Muertos wouldn’t be the same without support from so many in the Nashville community, and this year is no different. Thank you for sending in information about your celebrations, either at Cheekwood or beyond!

Cheekwood thanks Arcelia Vazquez, David Julseth, Colleen McCoy, Jose Vera, and Maricruz Flores for their time and dedication in planning this year’s virtual El Día de los Muertos.

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