Richmond museum creating Dia de los Muertos film to honor COVID victims


By Kathy Chouteau 

The Richmond Museum of History & Culture (RMHC) is appealing for community help for a Dia de los Muertos-related project it’s partnering on with Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia’s office and Contra Costa Health Services to honor people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taking place each Nov. 1-2, Dia de los Muertos is a traditional Mexican and Central American holiday that celebrates the lives of deceased friends and relatives. As part of the project, the RMHC is creating a film for Dia de los Muertos which will memorialize community members who have been impacted by the pandemic. But first, community help is needed.

“We ask the community to come forth with personal stories about the impact of the pandemic on their family and friends,” said RMHC Executive Director Melinda McCrary in a statement. “The goals of the film are to provide collective healing and share personal stories of the pandemic in order to further encourage healthy practices to reduce transmission.”

To this end, the RMHC is asking for people to provide the names and photos of community members throughout Contra Costa County who have been lost due to the pandemic. In addition, anyone interested can also submit the names and photos of people our community has lost due to other causes, such as old age, violence, overdose, suicide, etc. 

Community members are encouraged to share warm memories in text form with photos or brief videos (maximum 2 minutes). Original photos in .jpg format of Dia de los Muertos-themed art, ofrendas, traditional dress, etc. are also appreciated by the museum.

To participate in the film project, email submissions to RMHC Community Engagement Manager Evelyn Santos at [email protected] by Oct. 28, 2020 and include your contact name, city of residence, email address and phone number. According to the RMHC, by submitting materials for the film, you are providing consent to RMHC and Contra Costa County to make those materials public. 

Learn more about the RMHC here.