Día de los Muertos.

 Día de los Muertos.  | Visiting the Creative Alliance’s 17th Annual Great Lantern Parade & Festival 

by: Shyria Ushry

Día de los Muertos. Day of the Dead. “We’re really happy when everybody can come together and celebrate culture,” says Maria G. Aldana. Creative Alliance 17th Annual Great Lantern Parade and  Festival took place this past-weekend on Oct 29. It began mid-afternoon the sounds of live Latin music throughout the park. Lantern workshops began, Day of the Dead alter making, costumes contest, and hayrides for the children. And for the adults they enjoyed Zumba, a beer garden and more live music as the night went on. Many people throughout Baltimore came to the Highlandtown/Patterson area to enjoy the festivities men, women, of all ages, and families. Creative Alliance was founded by volunteers in 1995 they started operations out of an old Fells Point row house as an artistic sanctuary.           For artists, actors, writers, performance artists, musicians and all people with the passion of creating great things. Creative Alliance helps curate artistic talents they also, help to educate the community on aspects of art and history.

I got a chance to speak with Creative Alliance Education Director Maria Gabriela Aldana briefly about more of the history of Creative Alliance and what she loves about the her job. I spoke with her briefly she had quite a busy afternoon but seemed to enjoy every minute of it. “We are a twenty-one year old non-profit organization, we primarily work with artists, musician and people with passions for art. The Great Halloween Lantern Festival Parade is a seventeen-year old community celebration that we absolutely enjoy. The parade started as a way to take back the park for families in the year 2000. So in the fall, the lantern parade included musicians and artists to gather the community for an unforgettable night. Families come meet at the park before the parade starts to make decorative lanterns and have fun during the day. Once the night came the community lit the lanterns for the parade, and the celebration began. It transformed the feeling of the space in the community, it was a dangerous place before but not anymore. . . ” says Maria Aldana. Much of the community that attended the festival knew her and happily greeted her. After years of community work the neighborhood has become a safer place now thanks to Creative Alliance and other suporting organizations. People are able to enjoy themselves, enjoy Patterson park, community activites and just have fun!

She went on to say  “I love working with artists and people who are really talented and haven’t had the push, motivation and inspiration. I think we really limit ourselves  and we think of art as certain way. As we grow we think art is for certain people and it really isn’t it’s for all people of all ages.” As you can tell she is very into her work and wants provide an exceptional experience for everyone in the community. Laura Getty twelve-year resident of the Highlandtown / Patterson community says, “I come on by and bring my dog during the day to check things out, Its pretty awesome it’s really beautiful I definitely enjoy that. . . “ They were all in celebration of Día de los Muertos , Halloween and the gathering of a historic community. As the sun set the moon rose and the lanterns lit up the sky,  giving a brighter view to the neighborhood.


BMoreArt photographer Tim Klement captured the community’s best lanterns and Día de los Metros spirit ! 

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photographs by Tim Klement | BMoreArt photographer.

These are various crafts from artisans and crafters from the Highlandtown / Patterson community. . .

photograph by Shyria Ushry | processed with VSCO

photographs by Maria Aldana.


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