Good news for those who missed out on Day of the Dead festivities this year: The Erie Associate Board (EAB) is resurrecting a beloved Día de los Muertos-themed fundraiser later this month.
Una Noche de Muertos: A Day of the Dead Celebration will take place on Thursday, November 16, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the National Museum of Mexican Art.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Erie Neighborhood House READS program in Little Village, a literacy intervention initiative that works with children in grades 1-3 to develop reading, writing and language skills.
The Day of the Dead fundraiser—previously dubbed Noche de Calaveras—had been on hiatus the past couple years, but the EAB felt strongly that the event fit in with the strong Mexican-American roots and identity found at Erie House.
Hosting this year’s event at Pilsen’s National Museum of Mexican Art is a perfect fit, according to EAB secretary Marlene Diaz.
“El Día de los Muertos is very important in Mexico, and the museum has embraced that with its exhibits and the special events it hosts,” says Diaz, who works in consumer and small business lending at Beverly Bank & Trust, a Wintrust community bank.
Tickets are available online at www.eriehouse.org/noche for $55 through November 15—a $10 savings off the at-the-door cost. Admission includes a private viewing of the museum’s special Day of the Dead exhibit, Tilica y Flaca es la Calaca. The evening will also feature music, food and drinks.
“The READS program helps families support their children’s learning. There’s a real need for this kind of service in Little Village.”
– Marlene Diaz, Erie Associate Board member
A live DJ set will be provided by Jr Lopez DeeJay, and Mexican folk ensemble Cuerdas Clasicas will perform. Four Star Creations, a social enterprise fueled by the creativity of youth in the Visionaries program at Erie House, will have apparel available for purchase at the event. Diaz says that the EAB will also hold a 50-50 raffle to raise additional support for the READS program.
Last year, 92% of students enrolled in the READS program improved an entire grade level in reading. This fundraiser will enable READS to purchase additional books and supplies to encourage growth and learning in the after-school program, which meets Monday through Thursday during the school year and supports reading retention through an all-day program during the summer months.
“It feels good for us to be able to contribute to the different programs at Erie House,” says Diaz. “The READS program helps families support their children’s learning,” says Diaz. “A lot of parents work multiple jobs and long hours, so it’s difficult to find time to read with their children. There’s a real need for this kind of service in Little Village.”