Arts Learning Lab @ Home: “Making Ofrendas” with Paulina Sahagun


Learn about the MesoAmerican Dia de Muertos Tradition with artist and performer Paulina Sahagun. This workshop will introduce participants to the basic philosophy of this sacred cultural ancestral ritual celebration of life and death. Participants will be guided to create an essential Ofrenda/Altar for your ancestors and recently departed loved ones, adapted for our present times of Covid-19.

Materials: Photo or photos of departed loved ones (can be copies of originals)
Know the favorite food and drink that your departed liked
Candles (tea lights, birthday candles, any type of candle), small glass, small bottle cap or lid
½ teaspoon of salt, A paper towel, toilet paper, sewing thread or thin cotton twine (about 30 inches), glue or glue stick or tape, scissors

Optional: shoe box lid or file folder, crayolas, watercolors
Recommended Ages: All ages.

Paulina Sahagun has performed on both sides of the Mexico / U.S. Border. She began her theatrical career as a member of the Mexican Theater Company: Los Mascarones and was a founding member of Grupo Cultural Zero. With these companies she toured extensively throughout Mexico and the U.S. performing original theatrical works. Her credits with El Teatro Campesino and Luis Valdez include the play “La Pastorela” and the PBS Special “El Popol Vuh.” Sahagun has worked with TENAZ, The Inner City Cultural Center, Plaza de La Raza, UCLA Mexican Art Series, the 1990 Los Angeles Theater Festival, and CARA. She co-directed the Young Conservatory, a training program for young actors and was a Drama Instructor at Inner City Arts. Sahagun is a graduate of the Del Arte School of Physical Theater and received her master’s degree in the World Arts and Cultures program at UCLA.

This workshop took place on October 24, 2020. It was originally conducted in English but was available in Spanish through live interpretation. Access the Spanish dubbed version here:

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