COVID-19 has cost our nation so much in 2020. It has cost many individuals and small business owners their financial security, while others are struggling to cope with major changes in their duties as parents, employees, and leaders. Even for those who have not been directly impacted by loss of income or life, physical distancing limitations have put daily routines on hold and replaced them with something foreign and uncertain.
However, for some of us, these limitations have sparked creativity. Humans crave connection and we need it now more than ever; but our ideas of connection are changing to meet the demands of COVID-19. One of the ways in which this is happening is through the annual Thornton Dia de los Muertos celebration in the City of Thornton.
Traditionally, the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is celebrated in Thornton with a festival of food, drink, traditional art, and other activities to celebrate Mexican culture. However, due to COVID-19, the celebration was almost canceled this year. In an effort to replace the live event, the City of Thornton reached out to Alt Ethos to see if we could create something new.
Our team decided that instead of looking to replace the event with a substitutional virtual experience, we’d create something entirely new. We created a hybrid design that allowed for flexibility in a time of changing circumstances. Due to the increasing COVID cases in Adams County, our hybrid event that included the drive by in the park projections paired with an interactive online engagement easily into an engaging multilayer online experience on short notice. The event information was changed and with ease we have maintained the community engagement through this important event.
We are happy to announce that this year, from November 1-3, you’ll be able to enjoy Dia de los Muertos in a virtual interactive art experience from your home and engage in real-time with friends and relatives.
We’ve created an easy browser accessible app that allows participants to create collaborative works of art from any connected device. We present a live drawing tool that lets guests create fluid visual art virtually, in real-time, and in collaboration with other users. All artworks will be themed in traditional Dia de los Muertos styles, but feature modern concepts from at-home artists in Colorado. By using trusted technologies in modern ways, we are able to keep these traditions alive. All this while enjoying dancing and mariachi music.
Community engagement doesn’t have to be put on hold because of COVID-19. In fact, Alt Ethos is able to create 4x the participant engagement via virtual events as compared to traditional live events. Our original design included a drive by/park experience, but due to changes in country COVID regulations, we quickly and smoothly modified the project to fit the needs of modern times. Because Thornton residents don’t have to be physically present in order to enjoy the activities, more are able to tune in and make lasting memories and even connect with family and friends that are far away.