Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a holiday often falsely referred to as a Latin version of Halloween. Global Gallery Coffee Shop in Clintonville plans to celebrate the Day of the Dead Friday in traditional style with music, food and festivities.
Global Gallery is a nonprofit, volunteer-operated organization based in Columbus that promotes fair trade practices and cultural awareness. The three Columbus locations — Short North, Easton Town Center and Clintonville — sell fair trade handcrafts and food from all over the world to help the artisans who produce the goods earn fair wages to support their families.
This year is Global Gallery’s fourth year hosting and developing the event. Connie De Jong, executive director of Global Gallery, came up with the idea for this event after being inspired by the Day of the Dead events that other Latin organizations hosted around Columbus.
Day of the Dead is usually celebrated on Nov. 1, right after Halloween, leading people to believe that it is related to Halloween. But Day of the Dead is a traditional celebration from Mexico that commemorates the lives of departed loved ones.
Global Gallery’s annual Day of the Dead Celebration is a combination of festivities and fundraising. All proceeds from the event go to the K’illallaray Project, an orphanage for homeless kids in Bolivia.
The directors that founded the K’illallaray Project are also the creators of Handicrafts Loreto, and Global Gallery carries a line of alpaca wool products produced by the organization.
“It made sense to highlight this Latin holiday that some Americans may not know about,” said Grace Chang, a Global Gallery intern and third-year in marketing at Ohio State. “Since Day of the Dead and the Bolivian orphanage project are both Latin in origin, it made sense to combine the two causes into one event.”
This year’s festivities will include live music from local bands Saintseneca, Trains Across the Sea, Old Hundred and Billy Two Shoes.
The artists are supportive, and it wasn’t hard getting them to participate for such a great cause, said Chang, also a member of Saintseneca.
Accompanying the music is a free potluck-style buffet dinner, Day of the Dead-themed crafts, and a guest speaker on Day of the Dead history.
“The Day of the Dead event will feature many winter-wear items made by Handicrafts Loreto, a sample of the soups made by the Women’s Bean Project, and various other skull-themed handicrafts relating to the Day of the Dead theme,” Chang said.
People of all ages can listen to local folk music, enjoy Latin food and drink specials, learn Day of the Dead tradition, and help support fair trade with Global Gallery from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Clintonville Global Gallery Coffee Shop.
Regular tickets are $12 at the door and $10 in advance. For seniors and students with ID, tickets are $7 at the door and $5 in advance.