New York’s Glitterati Come Out to Celebrate “Day of the Dead” at El Museo del Barrio

Last night I was invited to celebrate Día de los Muertos at El Museo del Bario for their annual fundraising benefit. I’ve always thought that this holiday was so fascinating. Celebrating your loved ones that have passed with a party seems like a much healthier way to deal with things! Or maybe I just always am looking for an excuse to party!

All event proceeds went to benefit El Museo’s arts and education programs supporting Latino, Caribbean and Latin America art and culture in New York. It was a stellar evening–I was blown away by how well-organized and classy it was. The makeup, the energetic Latin music and the spirit of the “Day of the Dead” holiday were wonderful. Usually–and especially at most of the museum benefits I’ve attended–there are a few mediocre appetizers and less-than-stellar wine served. But at last night’s sold-out event, guests were treated to a spread of special holiday food and drink, including Pan de Muertos, vegetable tamales, guacamole and several passed apps like shrimp ceviche, chorizo empanadas and rolled zucchini. I noticed there was plain bread being passed around. We couldn’t quite figure that out, but perhaps it serves some cultural significance that we were unaware of? Otherwise, strange appetizer, no?

But I digress. Veuve Clicquot provided the evening’s full complement of spirits. There was of course champagne and then unlike most largescale events, bartenders were mixing specialty cocktails including mango mojitos, tamarind beverages and a couple others. They were even muddling the mint on-site. The cocktails were delicious, although bizarrely there was no tequila? Seemed funny to me? However, I didn’t miss it at all–in addition to the cocktails there was also a crushed ice bar that served Grey Goose on the rocks with your choice of flavored syrups: coconut/almond, mango/passion fruit or strawberry. That was what got me into trouble…

el museo del barrio

The event was so high-energy, as guests entered they were greeted by a man wearing a giant two-story skeleton in the plaza of the museum. Then upon entering the museum they were greeted by DJ David Lipke and Kyra Caruso’s music in the foyer. Here there was a step-and-repeat, large bar and then waitresses passing appetizers and neon glasses of Veuve Clicquot. Several people did their makeup for the occasion and MAC Cosmetics was responsible for the model/waitstaff’s looks and costumes (which were styled by artist Susan Jaramillo). I loved the spirit of the evening and it seemed like everyone had a fabulous time–I know we did!

Later in the evening there was a performance by Latin–fusion star Xenia Rubinos. There was also a fabulous silent auction, which took place throughout the evening.

Siempre Mujer was the Official Media Partner. The Mexico Tourism Board was an event partner as was Veuve Clicquot. The Junior Council (JC) of El Museo del Barrio did a fabulous job at this event and it’s definitely one I would attend again next year. JC is a membership group composed of young, philanthropic art lovers who assist the museum in presenting and preserving the best of Latino, Caribbean and Latin American art and culture.

To find out more about visiting El Museo del Barrio, visit them online or at 1230 5th Ave, NYC, 10029.

How did you celebrate Day of the Dead? Let me know in the comments!

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