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Smithsonian collaborates for Día De Los Muertos online exhibit

“It gives UTEP students and faculty the opportunity to add to…share our unique experiences and perspectives relating to living on the border.” – Janet Hill, multimedia specialist at Academic Technologies
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Special to The Prospector

The Smithsonian Latino Center has partnered with UTEP to create a Día de los Muertos-themed online exhibit and will celebrate the collaboration on Nov. 1.

The center will be using the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum to create an avatar-based 3-D world hosted by Second Life, a company that specializes in digital entertainment.

A festival celebrating Día De Los Muertos will take place with food, live performances and a catrina and calavera costume contest from noon to 4:30 p.m. at the UGLC courtyard and the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens.

Performances by students at the event will be streamed live into Second Life and recorded and archived for others to reference later.

A live streaming of the Second Life Meso-American Ball tournament will also be playing for everyone to view.

About a year ago, the Smithsonian Latino Center decided to move their content in Second Life to a university setting. Melissa Carrillo, UTEP alumna and director of technology at the Latino Center, suggested UTEP for the partnership.

Janet Hill, multimedia specialist at Academic Technologies, said the collaboration is important for the university.

“It gives UTEP students and faculty the opportunity to add to the Smithsonian’s collections and share our unique experiences and perspectives relating to living on the border,” Hill said.

Gaby Caballo, a senior double major in metals and graphic design, has been contributing to the organization of the exhibits and events. She invited the Rubin Center and the band Sonido Cachimbo to participate in the festival.

“We wanted to create a lot of material for the virtual world and as well as for the live event that we are going to have here,” Caballo said. “I do have a bit of experience planning and organizing events so I took it upon myself to try to drag some of my interests into the festival. I did pitch in some of my ideas that the staff later on developed more to become actual events.”

She said the Rubin Center’s collaboration would add a contemporary edge to the event.

Those interested in taking part in the festivities may create an account at join.secondlife.com to experience the festivities through the virtual world.

“Second Life is something you have to experience,” Hill said. “It is a virtual world and an immersive technology, so in order to understand it you have to be immersed in it.”

For more information about the festivities or to learn more about Second Life, visit latino.si.edu/education/LVMDayoftheDeadFestival.htm.

Amanda Guillen may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Amanda Guillen, Editor-in-Chief
Amanda Guillen is a senior multimedia journalism major with a minor in women's studies. She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and graduated from El Paso High School in 2011. She has been a part of The Prospector since summer 2013 and is currently Managing Editor. She has always had a passion for journalism and plans to become a television news reporter upon graduating from UTEP. In addition to being a full-time student and reporter, she is a part of two honor societies on campus, Alpha Lambda Delta and the National Society of Leadership and Success where she participates in community service regularly. Amanda also interns for KVIA Channel 7 the El Paso affiliate of ABC. Her love for the city of El Paso is something that led her to choose UTEP as her school of choice. She has enjoyed her past 3 years at the university and looks forward to an eventful school year.
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Smithsonian collaborates for Día De Los Muertos online exhibit