Community Day: Día de Los Muertos

Person wearing skull makeup, a poncho, and a straw hat in front of an altar.

Photo by Frederick Liang.


Celebrate Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with a full day of live entertainment, cultural demonstrations, and an eclectic mix of artmaking experiences. Gather your family and friends for this annual festive event that has been a highlight of SJMA family programming for over twenty years. Join us as we collaborate with local artists, partners, and organizations for this truly intracultural and multigenerational event! Museum admission is free all day.

Advance registration for fast check-in has ended. Tickets for the program will still be available at the door.


  • 12:30pm: Traditional dance performance by Folklórico Nacional Mexicano (FNM) in the lobby. Based in San José, CA, the FNM is a group of young people age who perform traditional dances of Mexico (ballet folklórico). They are dedicated to celebrating Mexican culture and history and sharing this with our community.

  • All day: Roaming Calacas Dancers. Skeleton performers will roam the galleries all day for photo opportunities and magical moments.


  • Calavera de Azúcar Decorating: Sugar skulls decorated with brightly colored frosting are often used to decorate ofrendas, or altars, celebrating those we have lost. Make your own with us. 

  • Mariposa Bookmarks: Every year millions of Monarch butterflies make their way to Mexico to overwinter, arriving during the celebration of Dia de Los Muertos. Celebrate their migration with these beautiful bookmarks. 

  • Handmade Flor de Muerto: Marigolds, also called cempasúchil, or flor de muerto, are a popular decoration during Día de Los Muertos, as their signature scent may attract the souls of the departed back to us. Make your own beautiful flowers to decorate your home.

  • Digital Ofrenda: Join us in creating a collaborative digital altar celebrating those we have lost. We invite you to share a moment of pause and reflection through photographs of your ofrendas, your altar and your loved ones. As you post your images and words, they will contribute to a digital altar in honor of our community.

Made with Padlet


  • Ofrenda by artist Lissa Jones. A lifelong resident of Northern California, Jones was born in San Francisco and raised in San José in a multicultural family. Artistically influenced by creative opportunities, travel, and academic studies–her work is a fusion of everyday life with cultural ritual. 
  • King Calavera by artist Rick Moreno. King Calavera has led the annual processions in celebrations of Día de Los Muertos, organized by the San Jose Multicultural Artist Guild since 2015.

Exhibitions On View


Man dressed as a skeleton playing a guitar in the galleries.