Dear Curiosity Journal,

Nearly one month has passed since I sat down to write the Curiosity Journal. It has been a moon cycle which filled my moments to the brim with planning, art, and passion for the Third Annual Driftless Region’s Dia de Muertos Celebration. The connections we’ve cultivated through this event are seeded in the soil of my heart and continue to grow and nourish me. My beloved friend, founding board member, and fellow Capricorn Queen, Gabriela Marvan, never ceases to astonish and downright dazzle me. The combination of her ambition, artistic skill, and ability to bring people together is second to none and she is an absolute joy to work with. On October 7th, we hosted almost 500 participants for the Driftless Region’s Dia de Muertos Celebration with a stunning fanfare of sunny autumn weather, thousands of brilliant marigolds, and an array of artistic exposition. To all of the artists of the Mexican Folk Art Collective, every volunteer who put in time, everyone who prepared food, donated, brought photos to the ofrenda, and gathered on the land to honor our loved ones who have passed away, I’m sending big love and gratitude for helping us make this year so special. The loss of someone you love is a universal feeling and we believe that understanding traditions from other cultures is a way to create empathy. Every year we push ourselves to grow and improve this event, and each year I learn a million lessons on how to make it better. As the hostess/organizer/person who holds the answers to the litany of questions that come with event production, I experience the day in a whirlwind of logistics and problem solving, so I truly soak up the narratives of those who live the celebration from the other side. The amalgamation of secondhand stories makes a multifaceted mosaic, painted from perspectives near and far from my own. This is the ethereal art of co-creating experiences, holding space, having a vision mirrored back, and building something better together. It is a beauty to behold, a never-ending story, a lifetime of lessons, a microcosm of our mission, and the bundle of nerves and joy I hold dear. Mil gracias a mi comunidad!


Special Thanks & Photo Credit to Peter Cozad @petercozadphotography