Selena fans are in for a treat this year at MOLAA’s annual Dia de los Muertos festival.
That’s right, this year the Museum of Latin American Art here in Long Beach will be hosting a very special Selena tribute titled “Fotos y Recuerdos,” celebrating the memory and music of none other than the queen of Tejano music, Selena Quintanilla.
I was lucky enough to be able to speak with Diego Espinoza, the communications coordinator over at MOLAA. Here is what he had to say about the upcoming festivities.
Ok so, Diego what do you do here at MOLAA?
My current job title is of communications coordinator. I basically help get the museums message out to the general public, so we coordinate everting rom digital e-blast, to advertising and print magazine, websites, and then were starting to develop a more robust social media plan.
Awesome, I was looking on your website and I saw there is a Dia de los Muertos event coming up, can you tell me more about this event?
So every year the museum has like an annual day of dead festival, Dia de los Muertos, we celebrate in a very American way I would say, but it is very unique to long beach, and our style at MOLAA is that we have an altar that is built by the community and its dedicated to a different person every year, and this year it is going to be dedicated to Selena Quintanilla.
Why did you guys choose to do Selena this year, is there any reason in particular?
Really, I mean, what we want to do here at the museum is we strive to be an art museum, but also a cultural organization so we sort of see ourselves as a hub for Latin American art, but also for Latin American culture…and so celebrating the memory and the music of somebody who identified as both Mexican and American is important to us and our mission because we also represent that hybrid-ity within the United States. Our museum is one of the only in the US currently that exhibits Latin American art, particularly contemporary and modern art, so like were one of the only museums out there with this kind of mission, which is amazing.
That’s awesome, and, are you guys going to have Selena impersonators, or, how is it “Selena” themed?
Ok, so the festival, which is a free family festival, umm anybody can attend, you just simply show up that day there is no cost, so other than the musical performances and the altar itself, it’s really like a celebration of life and this time around Selena is getting that distinguished position.
Have you guys considered doing Jenni Rivera?
You know that, Jenni Rivera would be a great choice in my opinion, um, especially following you know, her tragic death…but…
And she was from Long Beach…
AND she was from Long Beach, yes, so to me it would make a lot of sense to do that next… That’s actually something that I’ll suggest now that you brought it up because I think it’s a great fit.
So back to the festival- from what I understand, the Dia de los Muertos is going to be a family event on Sunday, but the Selena event is going to be a separate event on Friday?
So the first umm, it’s a week-long celebration which ends with the Dia de los Muertos festival for the community, but in it we also have, were planning on doing a fundraiser. The whole idea behind “Fotos y Recuerdos” was again to pay homage to the artist, Selena. That night there is going to be more of a particular focus on the artist….so rather than just being able to experience the altar that night would be a little more “Selena-eccentric” in that we will have performances that are going to be sort of in tribute to the artist and her music, we will also have an appearance by Chris Perez, her widower, and there will also be various installations throughout the site. So you will be able to see that first on that night of the gala, and then on Sunday you will also be able to see those same installations, they’re just available first for the people who supported our fundraiser.
It’s a 21 and over event right, I did read that online, and that’s because obviously there’s going to be alcohol.
Yeah, and one of our sponsors is Korbel and Herdez so we can’t really promote an event to people who are underage.
So the Sunday event is geared more towards the entire family?
Yeah, so the way we construct the weekend is that it starts with the fundraiser, and then on Saturday the 31st, Halloween, umm, which we don’t really celebrate or recognize but, umm, Halloween we’ll have a reading and a book signing by the author Sandra Cisneros and then Sunday will be the day that everybody can come to the museum, show up and check out all the festivities that we have going on.
So there you have it, pack your bustiers and Bidi Bidi Bom Bom your way down.
Friday October 30th from 8pm-1am, and celebrate the life the legacy of Selena Quintanilla.
The exhibit “Fotos y Recuerdos” is going to be one to remember.
Again, a special thank you to Diego Espinoza over at the Museum of Latin American Art.
I am Aaron Valdivia, see you soon.