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Call for Altars: Día de los Muertos 2019

Burton Barr Central Library is seeking proposals for self-made altars inspired by the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) tradition for an exhibit at its @Central Gallery. The library invites participants to create altars that honor a figure of personal significance. The honoree can be someone from personal life or a public figure. The exhibit will be on display October 13 through November 2, 2019. A First Friday reception will be held on Friday, November 1.
The deadline for submission is 5 p.m. Friday, September 6, 2019.

Please see submission instructions below. For additional information or questions, email or call 602-534-7854 (for TTY dial 7-1-1).

Instrucciones en español

How to Apply

Please submit your proposal following these instructions:

  • In 200 words or less, describe your proposed altar. Your description should include your reason for creating the altar and the items you will place on it.
  • At the top of the page, include your name, complete mailing address, telephone number and email address.
  • Photographs and/or sketches of the altar design must be included.
  • Altar dimensions are required (width, height and depth).

Mail or deliver your proposal to:
Burton Barr Central Library, Third Floor; 1221 N. Central Ave.; Phoenix, AZ 85004
Attention: Laura Artusio

Or, email your proposal to:


  • Submission Deadline: 5 p.m. Friday, September 6
  • Artist Notification: by Friday, September 11
  • Installation: 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Sunday, October 13
  • Exhibit Dates: October 13 to November 2
  • First Friday Artists’ Reception: 6:30–8 p.m. Friday, November 1
  • Uninstall/removal: 9–11 p.m. Sunday, November 3  


  • Arizona residents 18 years or older may submit a proposal for consideration.
  • While non-traditional altars will be considered, all altars submitted should reflect the traditions of Día de los Muertos.
  • Up to 10 proposals will be selected for exhibition. Due to limited space, not all proposals will be accepted.
  • Altars must be freestanding, no more than 3 ft deep by 4 ft long and no taller than 8 ½ ft; you must supply a table or base for your altar. Anything placed on the floor must be contained within the 3 ft by 4 ft area. Small objects should be at least 36 inches from the floor.
  • Please do not include valuable or irreplaceable items.
  • Nothing may be taped, pinned or nailed to the gallery walls or ceiling. Any part of your altar that needs to hang must be suspended from the hanging rail located a few inches from the ceiling.
  • You must install and remove your altar on the dates specified. Please bring all supplies and tools needed to create/dismantle your altar. 


Download printable instructions (Adobe PDF).

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