I want to thank Zootown Arts Community Center for sponsoring the Festival of the Dead the last six years, and welcome future organizers to continue this beloved community tradition.
A debate over the cultural misappropriation of Dia De Los Muertos has forced the ZACC to pass the procession and events to a new sponsor.
Every year my family participates in the festival. We spend time before the procession with our Mexican friends sharing food, stories and memories of our ancestors who come from a variety of ethnic origins.
No, I am not Latinx, but my best friends are, and Dia allows me to celebrate their culture and share my background and experience with loss.
Honoring our ancestors and loved ones lost is the right of all people. Traditions like Dia De Los Muertos enrich Missoula and celebrate the diversity that makes our nation great. Our community is rich with people from across the globe and a lively cultural exchange is one reason I love this town.
I encourage Missoula to embrace the Festival of the Dead as an opportunity to share more about who we are and what we have in common instead of allowing it to be another reason we’re torn apart.