Ofrendas For the Future Womxn Who Rock invites you to remember loved ones and prepare for generations to come with this collective altar and virtual convivencia, May 30th, 2020. Scroll Down.

Welcome to our Virtual Womxn Who Rock: Making Scenes Building Communities Ofrendas For The Future. During the past month we have invited our extended community to participate in building this virtual altar with our friends, families, communities, ancestors, and generations yet to come. Join us live on Zoom May 30th 2020 from 1-3pm (PST) for our annual convivencia with featured guests Doña Ofelia Esparza and Rosanna Esparza Ahrens and many others.

To get started, we recorded a short series of workshops beginning with "Altarista Theory" featuring this year's keynotes and elders Doña Ofelia Esparza and Rosanna Esparza Ahrens. The first section of this altar highlights workshops that were created in the spirit of inspiring collective creativity, sharing deep traditions, and building visions for the future. The second segment of this virtual altar are the collective ofrendas of original artwork, songs, videos, photos, personal and community stories, written poetry and more.

Spend some time in the pages of this altar and then come back and sign our Guestbook with your own reflections. If you sign the guest book before or during our live Ofrendas for the Future event from 1-3pm on May 30th, you can be part of a $25.00 giveaway. You must be present at the online event to win prize. We will give away 4 gift cards throughout the event.

Scroll down to view all 120+ ofrendas that have been created for this altar.

Remembering those who have come before ... gives us knowledge of resilience and sustainability for the future. - Doña Ofelia
Each year, we welcome visiting artists who are not only practitioners of their traditions or genres but have also devoted their careers towards building their communities’ wellbeing and resilience. This year, we are honored to be working with the National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellow, Ofelia Esparza and her daughter Rosanna Esparza Ahrens as our visiting artists. Doña Ofelia is a beloved elder Altarista from East Los Angeles who practices the Mexican traditions of ofrenda and altar making to simultaneously facilitate a process of collective grief and celebration of life. Rosanna has been practicing with her mother and is an accomplished Altarista builder herself. Our original vision of the May 9th event was an in-person workshop with Doña Ofelia and Rosanna in which participants brought materials to create ofrendas to contribute to a collective altar. Doña Ofelia and Rosanna have graciously agreed to move this workshop and process online. Thus, we are inviting you to participate in creating an intentional virtual space via building a community altar with your friends, families, organizations, communities, ancestors, and generations yet to come. To facilitate this process, we are posting this workshop by Doña Ofelia and Rosanna where they will share about the tradition of altar making and their own creative process in doing this work. We encourage you to watch their workshop in order to understand the roots and branches of this Indigenous Mexican tradition. Doña Ofelia and Rosanna will participate in our virtual gathering on May 30th to celebrate our collective work building Ofrendas for the Future in this virtual platform.

Watch the video above to understand the roots and branches of ofrenda-making traditions, then submit your own ofrenda to build this virtual altar.

Altars for Daily Intention Workshop with Milvia Pacheco and Dr. Naomi Macalalad Bragin.

Watch this video for ways to create daily intentional altars, then submit your own virtual ofrenda to help build this virtual altar.

Photo above is of Rebecca's altar from the workshop. Photo behind is of Milvia's altar from the workshop.
Daily Altar Meditation by Sonnet H. Retman - workshop participant. "My altar was focused on grief and the beginning of spring using shells and seeds, meditating on what is left from the past (shells) and opens up future possibilities (seeds)." - Sonnet
Corn Husk Dolls Workshop with Jovita Mercado

Watch this video on how to make a corn husk doll, and then submit your own virtual ofrenda to help build this altar for the future.

Amaranta y Muñeca Maíz
Vivi y Muñeca Maíz

Watch this workshop on the meaning of adding layers in altar structures, and then submit your own ofrenda to help build this living virtual altar.

Join us in the kitchen for a pozole workshop, then share your own recipe in honor of your links to generations past.

Posole Verde by workshop participant Sonnet H. Retman

The pages below are our collective virtual altar and visions for the future...

As we celebrate 10 years of Womxn Who Rock: Making Scenes, Building Communities, here is an offering from the archive that provides an overview of the vision and initial launch of the Womxn Who Rock Project ten years ago.

"Womxn Who Rock" by Milvia Berenice Pacheco Salvatierra

Womxn Who Rock: is a 16 inches X 12 inches canvas made with acrylic, fabric and crepe paper. This piece is a painting inspired by the Womxn Who Rock Lady logo. It is my own interpretation of the image that has been representing the 10 years of the amazing work this collective of women have been doing. It is a piece to celebrate and honor the process.
"Every story I write , creates me. I write to create myself." - Octavia E. Butler (1947-2006)

"A Constellation of Dreams" by Michelle Morado

This song is called Constellation of Dreams and it is a song for our ancestors, our living relatives, and future relations. Video by aNdi pUzL.

"Say Their Names" by Rebecca Simms

This altar is honoring Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Tony McDade.

"Loving Healing Art" by Delia Pinto-Santini

With gratitude for the organizers of this beautiful, empowering activity, to the Womxn Who Rock.
This piece came as a inspiration while attending the virtual workshop by Milvia and Naomi about the habit of making daily altars. During meditation the words love, art and healing came to mind surrounded by the color green (light green) that has accompanied me as my healing color since many years ago. Nature came to my mind and various objects around my home started calling me to be part of it: music, flowers, nature around me came to me, the inanimate (rocks) and animate together, abstract art, geometry, a female figurine, protective images (""La Virgen del Valle"") claimed their space and allowed me to reconnect with who I am, giving me power. A tool to manifest in the world what I want to world to be.

"Rounding the Corner" by Jade Power Sotomayor (she/her/hers)

This altar was made following the altars for daily intention practice. I want to soften the anger I sometimes feel even as I recognize it as both righteous and at times misdirected. I worked with multiples of 3, a number that in its roundness opens onto creativity and a clearing of channels. I am grateful for this practice and the opportunity to create.

"window altar" by Brianna Martinez she/hers

This was an effort to demonstrate to myself that I could make an altar for womyn out of scrap materials I already owned. This is all to symbolize the powerful potential energy that we are all capable of finding within ourselves, to suture together something beautiful out of what may seem crude, fragmented, torn. So, it's called 'window altar,' and it's currently hung up in my bedroom window. It catches the light nicely from behind.

My Home Ofrenda by Deborah Wong (she/her)

My home ofrenda, containing images of my father’s parents; drawings of my parents; a photo of a Chinese immigrant to Riverside, California names George Wong; several of my mother’s favorite objects, including her pin cushion; a citrus offering and incense.

"Come Out The Wilderness" Song by Aina Braxton

To honor my ancestors, who sung spirituals to ground themselves in hope when all was hopeless. This music reaches into my DNA and I feel I know these songs before I ever “learn” them. I was inspired by The Como Mamas, a trio of sisters from Mississippi, who recorded this song, “Out of the wilderness” with The Daptones. We are in a time of wilderness and need to ground ourselves in hope like our ancestors. I worked with my brother, Adrian Braxton to record this song. It is for Mable Harris, Freddie Braxton, and Dorothy Johnson who all walked through the wilderness led by God.

In memory of Janice Scroggins, beloved musician who performed at Womxn Who Rock 2014 with keynote Evelyn Harris.

"Little Brown Language Altaristas Project" Altar elements alchemically con'spired by Milvia Pacheco Salvatierra y Naomi Macalalad Bragin

Sampalataya is a Tagalog word meaning acts of faith.

Our virtual altar building/cellular collaboration emerged from a Tarot reading for the Little Brown Language performance project—to help move our creative process forward. The Tarot’s message spoke of waking up from a dream. We decided to rise early every morning to build altars over the phone. Our questions—how do we shift aspects of identity that do not serve us? How do we adjust to be in flow with the urgency and stillness of this moment? We called down the number “9” reminding us of earthly completion, moving on to a new phase of spiritual reflection and growth. The message called us to bring our ideas down to earth—the altar project became our daily practice of material creation to shake off stagnancy, trapped anxieties and fears. In the midst of collective disease, how are we moved to respond?

The altars are activations that focus the charge of the moment and makers. The idea is to work quickly and let intuition guide. Altars are living entities—they transform each day, birthing new altars. The altar is an energy map that bears witness to your process. As you arrange the altar, how are you breathing? How are you moving? Where do you feel your body in movement?

May we open all caminos. May we cut through all confusion. May we fortify our powers of intuition and interpretation to discern los mensajes que nos traen nuestros antepasados. May we destroy our enemies external and internal and cultivate 360 degree sense of insight. May we remember our unaccounted debt to our eggun. May we awake our creative capacity to transform transactional forms of relation, with each other and all entities in and more than the world.

#morningmeetings #virtualvigilantes #wildtongues #conspiracion

"“Amandla! Ngawethu!”: An Altar to Miriam Makeba Created by Sierra Craig I chose to dedicate my altar to the late South African singer/activist, Miriam Makeba. Makeba used her popular songs to convey socially conscious messages to her audience. During Apartheid in South Africa, this Xhosa phrase (“Amandla! Ngawethu!” (“The power! It is ours!”) was commonly used by protesters of the mistreatment black people and people of color faced during the Apartheid era. Makeba was an outspoken activist in her country, and made many songs about Apartheid and its effects on her and her people. Songs like “Soweto Blues” documented injustices that the black majority faced in South Africa, like enforcing the colonizer’s language (Afrikaans) in South African schools. Although Makeba died 12 years ago, her legacy lives on through her powerful messages, and through this altar. "

Motherhood - Nicaragua to Seattle

I decided to dedicate my altar to the women on the maternal side of my family, specifically focusing on the idea of motherhood. I feel that sometimes in modern, popular feminism, the idea of motherhood is pushed aside, it is thought that the only true way to fight the patriarchy is to destroy the roles that women have historically been put in. Often this means pushing aside women who find motherhood appealing. I wanted to showcase the powerful, vibrant mothers that I know. I wanted to additionally highlight the strength that motherhood embodies through the representation of la virgen maria, an important symbol in my culture as she a mother to us all.

Patterns of Change by Elena Orlando

With this ofrenda, I represent the many lessons about social change and relationality that are present within nature. Fractals, complex patterns in nature created through repetition, are present in this ofrenda through shells, salt and smoke. By starting with small interactions, interdependence and love can expand to create new possibilities for the future. In this spirit, this ofrenda was built to honor the life and work of Octavia Butler.

Black Lives Matter - By Mary Hall-Williams

“Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women” by Zahra McKee

My altar is honoring missing and murdered indigenous women (MMIW) to try and raise awareness of this issue. In 2016, 5712 cases of missing or murdered indigenous women and girls were reported in the United States but only 116 cases were logged into the Department of Justice databases (Lucchesi 2). This altar is designed to encourage the viewer to actively remember these women. Included in the altar are traditional elements like candles, flowers, salt, and a water cup. Additionally, there are posters for missing indigenous women, the red fabric, as red is the color of the MMIW movement. There is also a feather to represent air, rocks to represent earth, shells to represent water, and the candles to represent fire. This combination of items is an attempt to acknowledge the history and traditions of altar building as a feminist resiliency practice, while also adapting to address the topic of missing and murdered indigenous women.

Lucchesi, Annita, and Abigail Echo-Hawk. “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls A Snapshot of Data from 71 Urban Cities in the United States.” Urban Indian Health Institute, Seattle Indian Health Board, 14 Nov. 2018, www.uihi.org/resources/missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women-girls/.

Queer and Trans People of Color (QTBIPOC) Ofrenda

To honor our resilience and all of our parts including our ancestors survival. We want to honor those that have passed due to violence and those we want to pray for during COVID-19 who are in harms way.

Sarah Kavage

Dona Ofelia's moving description of the three deaths, the final death being when you were forgotten, made me think of my grandmother and my great grandmother, who I share my name with. They worked almost constantly - and often invisibly, without thanks (the way women's work is) to surround their loved ones with abundance, nourishment, and beauty. I also thought of my husband's mother and grandmother, whose struggle and suffering did not end when they left their former Soviet country and came to the US. I wanted to honor the sacrifice, strength, and beauty of all these four women and keep their memory alive.

"Tshuva/Return" by Diana Falchuk. This piece honors my ancestors Emanuel, Jean, Jeanne, Gershon and Dorothy.

"A Reconnection to Roots and Family" by Karen Velderrain-Lopez

This ofrenda is honoring my grandparents, uncle, and cousin who have passed away.

"Resilience of Traditional Medicine" by Alexis Taber

This altar honors the generations of Chicana women who maintained the traditional medical knowledge of midwifery. Despite pressure to submit to the male and european - dominated practices of medicine, these women remain resilient and continue to serve the women in their communities with their long-maintained knowledge.

Diaspora Experiences: Old and New by Angie Lai

The more contemporary usage of the term diaspora generally describes migrants, or the dispersion/spread of any people from their original homeland. I arrived at this topic because as a daughter of two immigrants, I’ve witnessed what it means to be away from your homeland. This altar explores the concepts of cross-cultural identity and the resilience of migrants across the world, bridging the past, present, and future. I dedicate this altar to the diaspora groups everywhere, and to my mom.

An Ofrenda for Mother Earth by Grace Grotz

In an era of social injustices, the slow death of the environment can be easily overlooked. For my ofrenda, I wanted to create a reminder of humanity’s deeply rooted relationship with the natural world. At the top of the ofrenda, I planted some seeds that are just beginning to grow and I added cut leaves and flowers to demonstrate the balance of life and death. Tree stumps and fishing hooks were added to represent the human-caused destruction of this balance through deforestation, overfishing, etc. Along with other natural materials such as pine cones and shells, I included a pearl necklace and feathers to honor my grandparents. Through honoring their memory, I can remember to have faith in the cyclical pattern of nature and life, and use their strength to heal my own relationship with Mother Earth.

The Selena Ofrenda - created by Nina Ulbrich

In the Selena Ofrenda, I am honoring the late Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, one of the most influential Mexican-American singers. Selena was known as the Queen of Tejano music, which is a mix of folk and popular music originating from Mexican-Americans in Texas. Selena was viewed as revolutionary to Tejano music because at the time, Tejano music was male dominated. Nevertheless, Selena reinvented Tejano and made it her own. In an interview about punk music Maylei Blackwell says “it helped me imagine another world was possible, because we created it. We created it with the music. We created it in the way we occupied space.” Just as women in punk created a space for themselves, Selena created a space for herself within Tejano music and for women in Latin music. Ultimately, she became one of the most influential Latin artists. A feminist icon, Selena paved the way for many female artists while also being a role model for many Latinas, including myself. Throughout my childhood, my mother and I often sang Selena’s songs. For me, she was a connection to my Latina heritage and her music was a way for me to practice my Spanish. Later on, I found out Selena only improved her Spanish once she became famous and as a Peruvian-American, I related to this as I speak broken spanish as well. Not only was Selena known for her music but also her fashion. She wore clothes that accentuated the Latina figure, embracing her Latina background. Just as Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Big Mama Thornton were trailblazers for Rock and Roll, Selena was a trailblazer for Latin Music. In Gayle Wald’s “Rosetta Tharpe and Feminist ‘Un-Forgetting’”, she writes “forgetting, like memory and remembering, is a social practice, not merely a function of the passing of time”. Selena is very famous within the Latinx community; however, as time passes she has started to be forgotten within the new generations. While Selena’s album Dreaming of You sold over 300,000 copies in one week, the third female artist to do so after Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey, she is not as widely known as the other two artists. I created this ofrenda not only to honor Selena but also to share her accomplishments in music and as a feminist.

In my ofrenda, I incorporated the four elements along with other traditions from Dia De Los Muertos altars such as papel picado, paper flowers, salt, and a skull pattern to pay homage to Selena’s Mexican heritage. To represent earth, I included flowers on the upper level as well as a flower pot on the lower level. I included candles to represent fire as well as the fire in Selena’s soul that can be felt as she performed on stage. To represent water, I included a water fountain. This is also to quench her thirst when she visits the altar. To represent wind, I included papel picado and paper flowers, both of which flow in the wind. Additionally, I included an outline of Texas, the Whataburger logo, a motorcycle, a horse, and a pot of flowers. Selena was from Texas, just as Tejano music is from Texas, and her favorite restaurant was Whataburger. After researching more about Selena, I found out she owned a motorcycle and her dream was to live on a farm that had horses. She had already bought a ranch in Texas where she was planning to live, at the time of her death. I included the color purple in the cloth background as well as the flowers because her favorite color was purple.

The name of my piece is "Remembering the Queen of Tejano Music." It is honoring Selena Quintanilla. Selena influenced my upbringing in a multiracial home. My mother is Hispanic and Selena's music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. In my piece, there is a painting of Selena with all of my favorite songs of hers, as well as traditional items of symbolisms for ofrenda/altars. She has opened doors for many young women within the music industry, and brought much needed attention to Latina Music. For this, I chose to remember her life and how much of an amazing person she was.

Memory, justice, and dignity.

This altar honors the women who lost their lives from femicide in Juarez. It is centered around the lives of the missing women, the most important aspect is to illustrate the faces of those that have been harmed. I included images of both the lost women and their families because these crimes have a ripple-effect of trauma and to celebrate their memory and impact. In this altar, I intend to use many candles of all shapes and sizes to demonstrate the uniqueness of women to convey that the existences of these women will burn in our memories forever and will guide society towards a state of justice. Because each candle is a different size, shape, or color, it shows that women cannot be understood in one context, but rather they take on many different forms and roles in society. To represent earth, I want to honor their earthly presence and impact that these women have had on their communities through a series of linked chains/bracelets. These pieces of jewelry are traditionally worn by women, but by linking them together it shows that women will stand together in the face of injustice and it redefines female strength. I included a bottle of perfume to remind viewers that these women were dignified and should be treated with respect. The element of water in the altar is traditionally used to quench the souls of the departed on their long journey. Because these women were abused or murdered inhumanely, the water will be placed in an extravagant glass chalice to illustrate the worth of these women despite the tragedies that they have endured. I included bright orange flowers to contrast to the rest of the altar to demonstrate the bright lives these women have lived and will never be lost or forgotten. -Kimia Preston

Remembering the Women of Juarez by Caroline Johnson

I created my altar to honor and remember the women who have disappeared and been murdered in Juarez. I also created this in an attempt to gain awareness for this problem and the lack of government action. My altar incorporates the traditional three layers and objects: incense, skulls, a glass of water, bowl of salt, a plant, four candles, lights and streamers used in replacement of paper banners, and yellow flowers. These objects also cover the four elements. I added a cross on top of a pink background as black crosses on top of pink is painted in Juarez in remembrance of the women who have disappeared or been murdered. Finally, I added a guardian angel that my grandmother gave my mother. These traditional and sentiment objects all carry their own meaning that add to the overall message of remembering the women of Juarez.

"The Roots of Computing" by Noah Krohngold

My ofrenda is dedicated to Grace Hopper, a computer scientist that pioneered computer programming. In today's tech space, the women who set up important foundations for today's computing don't get enough recognition. I wanted to incorporate different items that I felt properly exhibit Hopper's work while also recognizing how she maintained her voice in a male-dominated field. I included several traditional elements in my altar, like fruit, flowers, water, candles, and incense. Then, I included items relating to technology, with wires and batteries to represent the infrastructure of today's technology and what people may overlook, Android figurines represent the concept of being together instead of the same, the laptop represents the progress we've made since Hopper's contributions, and the speaker represents the fluidity of Hopper's voice as necessary to speak to large audiences with different viewpoints. All of these elements combine to demonstrate the importance of Grace Hopper's work on our society and illustrate the progress we've made since her innovations and where can continue to venture towards because of her resilience to stay in a male-dominated field and make a name for herself."

More than a Statistic by YuYu Madigan

This altar is to honor the survivors of college campus sexual assault by highlighting messages from the MeToo movement. The number of cases reported by women and men regarding campus related sexual assault cases is absurd and the numbers are not even accurate as many incidences go unreported. The only way to combat social death and change the statistics is by being a voice to men and women who were silenced and highlighting their profound resilience.

"On the Path to Understanding" by Nick Roberts

This piece was made to honor those lost on the path towards greater equality and understanding for all people.

Honoring Vietnamese Immigrants by Albert Lam

My altar is dedicated to the many Vietnamese and, like my own family, Chinese-Vietnamese immigrants who escaped Vietnam during the height of their civil war against an invading communist regime. Many families from Vietnam are Buddhist and have altars of our own, which made this relatively straightforward - I was able to use an urn and incense that we had at home. The burning incense pays respect to the many immigrant families who struggled to escape and struggled to make ends meet in a new country. The urn holding the ashes represents how the families essentially had all of their possessions burned away as they left them behind to rise up again and start anew in a foreign land. I chose to use a plastic water bottle specifically because the cap of those water bottles held the amount of water that was rationed to each person a day on many of the boats that Vietnamese refugees rode to escape. The mango and the flowering basil plant are foods that are common in Vietnamese cuisine and I thought the flowers, although small, had ties to ofrendas as well. Finally, the picture of Mì Hoành Thánh, or the Vietnamese interpretation of a Cantonese noodle soup, represents the fusion of cultures that 1. Chinese-Vietnamese families like my own experience and 2. all immigrants face when arriving in a new country.

In Loving Memory of Becky Drazba

This altar is in honor of my beloved grandmother and I, Alicia White created it jointly with my partner: Marcy Inclan.

Aretha Franklin

This ofrenda offering, a collage, honors Aretha Franklin, regarded as one of the greatest singers of all time. Franklin was a black female singer, songwriter, actress, pianist and civil rights activist who came to fame in the 1970’s. She passed away in 2018.

The creator of this collage, Jaelin O'Halloran, chose to focus on Franklin first and foremost because she was an undeniable powerhouse in her industry but also because her legacy helps us to envision and create a more just and free future.

This ofrenda is honoring Aretha Franklin, and is named: Respect for Aretha. The creator is Emma Hurring.

This ofrenda is honoring Ana Castillo: Chicana Feminist Fiction Writer - by Eric Fong

Much like other mediums of art, Fictional storytelling is a great way to bring awareness to the theoretical, social, and historical context of feminist altar making in the borderlands. Castillo’s creation of realistic fiction humanizes the lives of women living on the borderlands. Fiction serves as a great vehicle to create distance from the issue to make stories more readily accepted by viewers. Much like the works of artivism with Maya Jupiter, Castillo uses another form of art – writing – to engage audiences that are unfamiliar and might otherwise not engage with the ideas of Chicana Feminism. She paints the everyday social lives of Chicana Feminist living on the borderlands, she humanizes them in their struggles and triumphs, and she can rid the narrative that women are weak victims to their situation. Castillo’s writing is a great way to understand the importance of altar making as fiction serves a similar goal: provide evidence of one’s’ existence, connects transgenerational communities, and act as a sacred place for contemplation and learning.

This altar is to remember those who carried music across the Middle Passage and those who used it to reach back across. To remember the roots of music as we know it today. Those who survived the journey and continued to sing, drum, dance and tell our stories. Africans who were kidnapped and transported to the Americas have influenced contemporary music around the globe. Music has also been a means of reconnecting and reaching back to our ancestral influences and homelands. 20 Feet From Stardom mentions the “call and response” traditions of song. Black people have used music in spiritual practice, as a form therapy, and a rallying call for community. -Danisha Jefferson-Abye

Africa Book: Represents the origin and birthplace. Kebero Drum: The drum is talked about as the voice of the people. The Kebero drum is an instrument that is used primarily in East Africa. Balafon: An ancient percussion instrument that is primarily used in West Africa. The balafon is an instrument that would have reminded the new captives of home. I imagine some heard it in the wind. *represents wind. Water: Represents the waters of the Atlantic known as “The Middle Passage” where people were packed like Cargo and brought from West Africa to the Americas. Stories suggest that people sung in order to stay sane and locate other people who knew their songs on the ship. Also, an offering to the spirits. *represents water. Pitchfork: Represents enslavement and keeping the song tradition alive. Tobacco: An offering to the spirits and also a plant that many harvested and cured on plantations. *represents earth. Cigar Box: A main crop that many Black people were forced to farm for plantation owners. Most certainly music was sung for sorrow, hope, inspiration and spirituality while enslaved on plantations. Combination Lock: A combination lock was chosen to represent the way music was and continues to be used to gain freedom and emancipation from oppression. Directions to freedom were disguised in song. Music offered the combination that opened the lock. Candle: Represents shining the light for those to come after. The candle is for those who were passed down musical traditions and teachings. *represents fire. Native Hand drum: Represents the people whose home we occupy. The new grounds on which the music traditions continue. Red/Black/Green Fabric: Colors of the Black flag represents African people in America attempting to reconnect with Africa and their cultures through music. Records: Miles Davis, Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane, Mombasa; Jazz artists that represent reaching back to Africa through music. Mombasa is also one of the records my Dad recorded. Records also represent the recording of (accurate) history and telling a story of origin and remembering. CD’s & Cassettes: Aretha Franklin, African Unity, Arrested Development, Shabazz Palaces: Additional artists who use music to relearn/reteach Africa to themselves and listeners through music. CDs and cassettes represent changes and evolutions, while remaining authentic.

Jenni Rivera Ofrenda by Leslie Munoz.

For my altar, I chose to honor Jenni Rivera because she is a well-known Mexican American artist that has been a part of my childhood growing up. Also, I wanted to honor her because she is a feminist icon. She has done many songs that deal with fighting against machismo. Additionally, she was very outspoken in her own struggles with domestic violence. To me, she is a good model of resilience. Even though she dealt with a lot of terrible things in her life, she continued to move forward, became successful, and inspired others. The butterflies signify the wind aspect of the ofrenda, and it is also Jenni Rivera’s symbol.I added some quotes throughout the altar to show how persistent and resilient Jenni Rivera was throughout her life.

Altar honoring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman, by Mia Gasero, for my Great-aunt.

Jessye Norman

I love opera. Therefore, the story of Jessye Norman is an important one. She was not just an amazing singer with multiple Grammy’s to show for it, but she was also a powerful force to reckon with in the opera community with her distinctive soprano voice. Norman was very determined to not be seen differently because of her African American heritage and fought to be put in operas with French and German lyrics and as well as large vocal ranges. She knew that the color of her skin often discouraged people for seeking her out for those roles and yet her voice was so pure and harmonic it often broke racial divides.

"Healthcare Workers Are Our Heroes" by Bilal Manzer

This ofrenda honors the healthcare workers who are risking their lives for the sake of society during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Healthcare workers are dealing with an excessive amount of stress and are underappreciated by the public as numerous individuals forego the recommended precautions to help our community stay safe. My ofrenda is divided into three parts with the bottom level containing a vase with flowers and a picture of a healthcare worker. The flowers and picture symbolize the love and care these workers demonstrate in protecting the public. The first level contains the elements of fire and earth with a medical mask and scented candle symbolizing the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and martyrdom of the brave healthcare workers who died fighting against the virus. The top level contains the elements of water and wind or air with hand sanitizer and a tissue. The hand sanitizer symbolizes protection against COVID-19 and the tissue resembles how the virus is a respiratory infection of the body. All of these components collectively signify the importance of healthcare workers and why they should be more appreciated.

Homemade Resistance by Grace Burchett

With this ofrenda, I aim to recognize efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 through the creation of homemade masks. Homemade masks highlight the gaping hole in the government's response to the crisis, and show how citizens found a creative solution to protect their family and community even when faced with PPE shortages. My parents are both part of the healthcare field, and so the base of the altar is the computer stand where they conduct much of their work remotely. The three masks in this ofrenda were made by my grandma, which shows how we rely on each other during these trying times.

Migrant Loss by Emily Eckey

With this ofrenda, I hope to honor migrant deaths along the Mexico–U.S. border. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 7,216 people have died crossing the U.S–Mexico border between the years of 1998 and 2017. This altar humanizes these deaths and is a memorial to the lives that have been lost. My altar also provides a narration of the hardships these migrants have faced through the elements of earth, fire, water, and wind in the form of food, candles, a goblet of water, and papel picado. The spirituality of this altar making practice will forever keep the migrants that have been lost in our memory.

Stop Femicide by Carter Rowell

My altar is honoring women, specifically Chicana and Latina women, who have been victims of femicide in relatively recent times. The bottom level represents the past while the top level represents the future, and the two levels come together to represent their unity and interdependent nature. The candles represent the element of fire and serve two purposes: to respect and remember the women who have been failed by society and to also give hope for the future. To represent diversity and fight back against homogenization and social death, I utilized different grains in the bread that I placed in the altar. The bread is a representation of the element of earth. Water glasses are included on both levels to represent the importance of life that came before us and the life that will come after us. Finally, the tissue paper designs (which represent the element of air) symbolize the opportunity for future change and forward movement.

Remembering the Mother of Rock

This piece was created by Matthew Johnson and honors Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thronton's life.

"Two Moods: Honoring Duke Ellington" by Allison Bennett

To honor the resilience practices of Duke Ellington, I prepared two cakes, or “records,” connected by musical notes. One record, Ellington’s “Mood Indigo” is devoid of color, with flames creeping up the sides. Like the lonely tune, this cake is intended to evoke feelings of sadness, coming from the part of Ellington’s story which involved “exploitation,” “marginalization,” separation,” and “erasure,” as denoted on the record. The other, Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood,” is colorful, with a vibrant river flowing around it. By contrast, this side is intended to evoke feelings of joy as the song does, causing the viewer to recall the empowering parts of Ellington’s past as well as his “legacy” of “acceptance,” “celebration,” and “unity”. Between the two, musical notes float though the air, gradually becoming more colorful as they go across. I added flames to the side of the “Mood Indigo” cake to symbolize the destructive component of exploitation, which many Black musicians, including Ellington, have been victims of. Specifically, this cake embodies how white owners of the Cotton Club profited off of Ellington, a performer at the segregated venue. By contrast, I decorated the “In a Sentimental Mood” cake with a blue river flowing around the sides to represent the healing that comes with remembrance, and Ellington’s everlasting ability to bring diverse groups together through the shared enjoyment of his music. This record captures the various ways in which Ellington empowered listeners of color, and how his legacy continues to unite people from all different backgrounds today. "

Aqua Moon by Candace Chang

My ofrenda honors South Korean singer songwriter Jonghyun Kim. He used his songs and platform to advocate for acceptance and resilience. I hope to remember him for his contributions rather than his passing. The ofrenda is titled aqua moon because that is the color associated with him.

This ofrenda by Parker Grosjean honors the impact that Nipsey Hussle, Big Mama Thorton, and Whitney Houston had on communities around the world by exploring their sounds and stage presence that made each of them unique. To do this, techniques from machine learning were used to explore and create visual representations of the artists' sounds. These visualizations were then combined with a portrait of each artist that includes aspects of their aesthetic that made them a unique and impactful artist.


The title of my piece is IGOR, inspired by Tyler, The Creator's alter ego, Igor. The story of IGOR in connection to Tyler is inspiring. Tyler struggles with unrequited love, and Igor represents someone who is trying to protect Tyler. Tyler has used music as an outlet to express what he has experienced and I wanted to honor Igor as he helped Tyler move on from his failed relationship and showed him how that relationship, in its entirety, helped him grow as a person.

Womxn Who Rock Altar - Ben Williamson - In honor of my father.

"The Modern American Dream" by Sarah Yang, honoring Helen and Merced Valmeo

This altar is a love letter to my mother and grandmother, two strong immigrant women. With this altar, I wanted to honor the hardship and struggle they have gone through and celebrate their strength, courage, and resilience. The suitcase, rosary, and prayer book featured are the same ones that she used when traveling from the Philippines to the United States. In addition to representing the past with this altar, I wanted to extend the meaning to the future by including a computer, as my mother is in the technology field and continues to raise up other women of color, shaping the look of the future from the inside out.

A Song Forgotten: Made by Monique Sternik and Celebrating the Life of her Babcia!

This Ofrenda celebrates the memory of my grandmother. Unfortunately, my grandmother suffers from Alzheimer's and we try to give her pieces of reality through Polish folk music. As I remember her history I hope you all do the same!

"For the Women Who Have Come Before"by Sadie Van den Bogaerde

My ofrenda honors those who have paved the way for women today. As women continue in our struggle for equality, I believe that it is crucial to take a moment and remember the women before us who have helped us reach the point we are at today. Without the contributions of countless women before us, we would have to be fighting that much harder than we already are. My ofrenda is dedicated to all of these women, whether they be famous for their fights for equality or nameless victims of the patriarchy. I've included the photos of my two grandmothers, who are women who have profoundly shaped my life personally, but this altar isn't just for them. I believe that is our fight for a more equitable future for all, it is essential to always recall our past.

"My Educator" by Linda Barragan

My father was the person who truly taught me everything I know today. My father was an immigrant that came from Mexico from a very young age in search of better opportunities. My father grew up around the sexism that is implemented in Mexican culture and he made it his goal to not carry it on to his children. When he had my siblings and me, he taught us how that idealogy is wrong and can damage the way a woman thinks of herself. From there on, I learned how society works and how I would not let it affect me. My father also taught me how truly important education is and how much it is needed to move up in this society. He has shown me how to build from absolutely nothing and for that I am forever grateful.

Honoring the missing and murdered women in Ciudad Juárez by My Pavithra Prabhu

The photo I have used is to honor Dana Lizeth Lozano Chavez who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in Juarez, Mexico at the age of 18. The flowers, which represent earth, symbolize the women’s beautiful souls that also touched and graced the earth. The candles, which represent fire, symbolize hope, something which I want the families of the missing women to have. The glass of water is representative of quenching the thirst of the deceased. A dream catcher, which represents the sky, brings good luck; similarly, I wish the souls of the women good luck in their journey to the afterlife.

“Black Women Navigating Prison Cultural Thread”

Dedicated to Angela Davis by Jeanne Zierten

I wish to honor Angela Davis whose activism works on behalf of the Black Women Prisoners singing in sewing sweet shops from 1930 to 1/2020 while producing commodities for the industrial prison complex. My Altar draws from the life and work of Activist Angela Davis; the work of Shobana Shankar’s Parchman Women Write the Blues? What Became of Black Women's Prison Music in Mississippi in the 1930s; Law Professor Derrick Bell’s Race, Racism & American Law, 6th ed, Prison Profiteers; Who Makes Money from Mass Incarceration, 2007, edited by Herivel & Wright; and visual inspiration found in the collective work of Cultural Threads, Textiel Museum & Textiel Lab, October 2018.

Music and labor thread elements of Air, floating altar; Water (tears of women prisoners represented in their voice and music; Fire, Derrick Bell and Angela Davis passion to end injustices; Earth, death of women’s voices and women’s bodies in prisons caused by the injustices of our culture that feeds into the prison complex while making money off of the Coronavirus-19 masks. The backdrop is original songs written by women in prison in the 1930’s.

3rd level of the 2020 prisoner women sewing masks for the Coronavirus-19 in Prison Sweat Shops, many of these women will die in prison due to poor health care and lack of the masks that they make for Corporate America.

Remembering the victims of Covid-19 by Lucas Beidler

My altar honors the victims of Covid-19, particularly black and brown people of communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Legends: In Memory of Juice WRLD

Estelle is offering a watercolor painting in memory of rapper and songwriter Jarod Anthony Higgins who is better known as Juice WRLD. Water is the foundation to bring life and color to illustrate Higgins’ 21 years of life. Though he faced challenges with trauma and drug abuse growing up, he speaks on the injustices and the untold stories people of color experience. So, to remember the why to his music and his life stories, I used water to bring his soul back into existence.

"untitled" by: Reagan Grieser-Yoder

My offering is a portrait to portray resilience practices of men and women of the past. My paintings are meant to honor resilience against imposition of gender norms and resilience against racism. Those who I chose to highlight are: Big Mama Thornton, Little Richard, Memphis Minnie, Darlene Love, Lisa Fischer, Prince, David Bowie, Joan Jett, N.W.A, Left Eye, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, and Missy Elliott."

Collage honoring Beyonce's "Freedom", highlighting how she uplifts and remembers artists from the past. By Molly Deal.

Janelle Monae by Masami O'Malley

Janelle Monae is a queer Black female artist who dedicates her music towards empowering those who are in marginalized groups, with a focus on black power, women empowerment and sexual freedom. She acknowledges the history of specifically Black women being silenced and hidden. To quote one of her songs, “[y]ou kept in the back of the store: we ain't hidden no more” (Monae, 2018). She is redefining music from the source, demanding not only a seat at the table, but a voice and a spotlight. I created a collage painting as my offering and including different representations of different elements in my multi-media piece.

"Ofrenda Por Selena" is an ofrenda created for Selena Quintanilla-Pérez by Sara Gustafson.

Created virtually with her iPad, this graphic art piece honors the impact that Selena left on the world. Using flowers, red lipstick, a white silhouette, and Selena's signature, this art piece represents earth, fire, sky, and water respectively.

"An Image to Remember" by Lizzie Bensussen

This small embroidery I created is devoted to Sister Rosetta Tharpe that depicts her playing her guitar. It represents the influence that Tharpe had as a women who in all sense of the word "rocked". This image was inspired from the videos of Tharpe performing and is one that I think more people should remember.

Whitney Houston the Queen! by Gabriele le

I used Whitney signature to represent keeping alive the artist and using her signature as an archive to immortalize her. Pointing to the mechanisms of erasure that we learned about through our lectures I thought this re-creation of Whitney‘s famous signature could be used as a representation of an alternative archive of keeping an artist alive. Whitney Houston as you already know has been an iconic artist in our time and has had everlasting impacts on the music industry and music as we know and listen to today. Her tunes and her voice carry-on through the years from the day she started as a young girl. Her story resonates with many and even her death sadly clouds the amazing journey she had taken as an artist. To showcase this cloud I placed a gray overlay over her beautiful canvas to show how this once beautiful vibrant young and healthy young woman was swept up by fame and the negative aspects that come with it. The use the blues of water and stars to show the glitz and glam her Whitney’s life. The use of fire in the orangey backgrounds to show again how vibrant her fame was in her music and the positive light she spread with her song and voice. I didn’t wanna build an altar just around Whitney but instead showcase her and use her creation as an addition to the larger altar. Hopefully adding to more women and remembering more women in music in history whose memory should live on forever. I also thought of how black women throughout history have been undermined and clouded by irrelevant factors like what she has. The death and the story of her drug addiction I feel truly clouded her beautiful career as an artist and discredited her in many ways. This happens all the time and has happened throughout history especially to women of color. Their work and creativity and artistry have been discredited and systematically erased from the dominant narratives and history of music. By using this art of her I hope to keep Whitney’s legacy alive and remember that at one point before all the mess and the drama and the drug abuse that life was beautiful and her music was thriving.

Whitney Houston: Legacy by Caroline Roe

Celebrating Unseen Queer Activists by Georges Motchoffo Simo

I made this video to celebrate queer artists and queer POC that have not received the praise for all the work they have done for people like me to be where I am at right now. I made a rainbow crepe cake (that did not work as well as I planned) and multiple collages throughout the video.

Matzah Ball Soup honoring Great Grandmother Sarah Hizami by Sarah Hizami

This is the soup that my great-grandmother learned to make from her parents (who lived in Yemen and grew up in Israel), who she taught to my grandmother (living in Los Angeles), who taught the recipe to me (who goes to school in Seattle). This soup helps me to remember where I come from and it allows me to appreciate my family more.

"Remembrance for Classic Bollywood Songs" created by Malikah Nathani. An offering to the song "Zindagi Ek Safar" sung by Kishore Kumar.

A Traditional Southern Black Meal - An offering to the black female pioneers of rock and roll by Cole Pugliano.

Biggie Smalls Memorabilia

La Gran Diva de la Banda honoring Jenni Rivera by Maricruz Maldonado

My offering for remembering La Gran Diva de la Banda is a plate of frijoles. It may seem like a simple meal, but it represents her very well for the following reasons. To begin with, it is a sign of humbleness and her mom said that it was her favorite meal. Jenni Rivera never forgot her roots even when she climbed to fame. Furthermore, beans begin as a solid and transform into a soft meal. This represents Jenni Rivera because she changed the lives of many women with her songs empowering them. She was also the only woman in the genre Banda.

Offering to Whitney Houston by Shiena Carmen

I am offering an assorted platter of sushi to Whitney Houston. Whitney Houston is an inspiration to many people. She was raised around singers, her mother and cousin were both known in American gospel. Not only is Whitney Houston a wonderful singer, she was also one the first African American to be featured on the cover of Seventeen magazine. Early exposure to the industry and success is what garnered her legacy and success. We remember Whitney Houston for not only her contribution to music, but also hope and inspiration that she was able to overcome some boundaries of a white favored music industry. Whitney Houston helped create charities and opportunities. Whitney Houston was known for her music, charity works, awards, and family ties. She built her success and her power is what reverberates her fans to keep her legacy and history alive. Whitney Houston is an inspiration because regardless of the hardships she faced throughout her career, she was able to live her success beyond just recognition, but inspiration to many to still use her music even after her death. Her favorite food was sushi. I made a platter of a variety of sushi to remember her favorite dish. Offering her favorite meal is respect in remember her. The small things such as meals is what helps live her legacy, every small detail counts as history in her legacy.

For my tribute, I have chosen a song and a video from my video archives that takes me back to my first trip to Nigeria. In 2018, I visited my motherland after my grandmother had passed to learn about my roots, culture and to understand my family history. It was a life-changing trip; as I had learned that my grandmother’s resilience is what was attributed to the fruition of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She paved the way and worked diligently to provide for her family after the passing of her husband. Looking for a way to make an income, she began selling fruits and vegetables in bulk to local markets to make money. In turn this small hustle launched her into a path of entrepreneurship.

A few months after I had returned from Nigeria, I heard this song called, Abia Rue Lam by Shalom Elohim Ministry. It took me right back to the days I had spent at my grandmother’s house in the village taking in the beauty and becoming aware of the impact my grandmother had on future generations due to her preservenace and obedience to God. Abia Rue Lam is a traditional Nigerian worship song that proclaims the grace and guidance of God in our lives. The song is sung entirely in Igbo, which is an Nigerian language and tribe, which my family is a part of. My grandmother is one of many black women, who rewrote the narrative when they were provided with the resources to do so.

Succeeding in business as a woman in a patriarchal society redefines the norm. By leading by example my grandmother was able to build a platform of power that others were able to stand on. This can be relied back to concepts of black and hip-hop feminism. The hip-hop feminism movement encapsulates the authority that black women take to rewrite their own narrative. In the essay, The Stage Hip Hop Feminism Built, the authors dismantle the stereotypes and boxes that black women were placed within. Though feminism can be seen differently within cultures and societies there are similar aspects that can be drawn for this movement despite the cultural context. Deeply analyzing i black femininity it is apparent that being a black woman in position can not only change and shift the way black women are viewed but it also gives others an opportunity to write their own life story and supplies them with the tools to build their own platforms. Throughout history, black women have been oppressed by those inside and out of their communities yet they have always found a way to rise up and bring others along with them. Historic figures such as Harriet Tubman, Madam C.J. Walker, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou and my grandmother embodied the phenomenon of black feminism before the movement began. Abia Rue Lam is a “mechanism of remembering” because it reminded me of those who have come before me and I am able to be where I am today because of them. - Chisomaga Eke

"Altar for speculative fiction and imaginary worlds" by Haleh Mawson

I built this altar out of the speculative fiction books I have read and loved. Science fiction, from its start in the modern world with Frankenstein, has always been a genre for questioning conventions and humanizing the strange, breaking down doors in our minds and showing us the world in new ways. It's a take-all-kinds genre, a thousand different modes of thought and questions about life that get lumped together in the same place because of their fundamental curiosity about how our world is constructed, the basic need to poke at reality and see if there is more there than meets the eye. I made this altar to thank the books which have shaped me and made me believe that the only boundaries of our existence are the bounds of our own imagination. The authors featured are Ursula K. Le Guin, Joanna Russ, Jorge Luis Borges, T.H. White, Samuel R. Delany, Naomi Mitchison, V.E. Schwab, and Amar El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone.

Sounds of Freedom: An offering by Matthew Berhe to Yemane Barya, Eritrean artivist.

Ethel Waters (1896-1977)

My ofrenda was an altar to Ethel Waters (1896-1977), an influential singer, performer, Broadway actress, and film actress. Though she is not as widely known in the current era as performers such as Bessie Smith, Josephine Baker, and Billie Holiday, she sang and performed alongside them. She was very popular in her time, and was acknowledged, criticized, and praised by her peers. Songs like “Stormy Weather” solidified her ability as a blues singer, while songs like “I Got Rhythm” proved her chops as a jazz/swing performer. Waters developed and sang in a style that many jazz and swing singers would soon adopt.

Altar for Lesley Gore by Nadra Fredj

"Altar for Lesley Gore" recognizes Lesley Gore's contributions to music as well as queer and feminist movements. It celebrates the many womxn and LGBTQ people who came before us, who demanded equality and respect. Today we celebrate Lesley Gore, who challenged conceptions of feminine inferiority through her music, and heteronormative expectations through her own life and love.

Nipsey Hussle Ofrenda by Philmon Tesfaye: A look into a rising LA artist and black activist.

The Honoring of Micheal Jackson by Tammy Louangsyyotha

An Altar for Dolly Jones by Jane Callaghan

I honor and remember Dolly Jones with my altar. Dolly Jones was a jazz trumpet player born in Chicago in 1902. She was an early example of women in the jazz world who were instrumentalists rather than vocalists. She was also the first female trumpet player to be recorded and was an inspiration to many jazz-enthusiast women of her time and certainly still today. Because she was able to become a figure in the jazz industry despite it being mainly men up until that point, she is a perfect example of resilience and persistence in the face of sexist ideals of what women cannot do. She is important to me because I did jazz band in middle school and for part of high school, I played the tuba and the bass, however, not the trumpet. To this day though, jazz remains incredibly important to me. Jazz was fundamental to me when it came to growing my confidence and facing my anxieties, as our band teacher pushed us to improvise solos. And so I owe a lot of that positive experience to Dolly for leading the way for women to be jazz instrumentalists.

Billie Holiday Ofrenda by Steven Antonio Dean

"Mambo at the Palladium Ballroom - 1948." Created by Nathan Novy to honor Tito Puente, Tito Rodríguez, Machito, and the Palladium Ballroom.

Segregation may not have ended until 1954, but in 1948, in New York City, the Palladium Ballroom was a cultural hotspot where people danced together regardless of race or class. Tito Puente, Tito Rodríguez, and Machito used their talents to bring people together in a time where they were otherwise forced to be separated.

"The Buddy Rich Ofrenda" by Yichi Zhang

My ofrenda built for honoring Buddy Rich, one of the most influential drummer in the world. I created this ofrenda with flowers, cymbals, water, and candle.

Honoring Memphis Minnie: I chose to create a tap dance to Memphis Minnie’s song “Kissing In The Dark”, as an offering for the communal ofrenda. I chose to honor Memphis Minnie by doing a tap dance, because tap dancing also came from the roots of blues music.

Hi, my name is Natalie (she/her) and I am an undergraduate at the University of Washington. I have created an altar for Frida Kahlo. Known for her self-portraits, Mexician Artist Frida Kahlo depicted both the female experience and the culture of Mexican and Indigenous people in the early 1900’s. Kahlo was multicultural, with her father being from Germany and her mother was part Mexican and part Native American. Kahlo was also disabled for most of her life, having had Polio at a young age and then having been in a serious bus accident as a teenager. Kahlo’s fame grew in the 1970’s when the feminist movement began to recognize her work in portraying the female Mexican experience. Being a multicultural, disabled artist, Kahlo is able to run parallel to the Chicana experiences that are showcased in altars. Kahlo’s altar displays many elements of her self-portraits, including parrots shown in her self portrait Me and My Parrot, roots that reflect mother earth and were shown in her self portrait Roots, and a paintbrush for her historical impact on art. Elements of Chicana Altars were used for four key elements: fire, water, wind and earth and represented by a candle, flag, glass with water, plants/flowers, bread, and stuffed animals. The backdrop and cloth for Kahlo’s altar is bright, vibrant fabric similar to the colors used in many of her paintings and serve to further represent her Mexican identity. Overall, I created an altar in memory of Frida Kahlo and her importance in remembering Mexican Women’s lived experiences in the early 1900’s as well as creating a route for more women to have this space.

Alcoholism on the Colville Reservation by Khani Priest

This ofrenda is in honor of the resiliency practices that my tribe does in order to combat alcoholism on the Colville Reservation. It's in honor of those who have overcome it and those who have lost their lives too soon because of it.

Remembering Romanian Feminism by Paul Druta

This altar is dedicated to the underappreciated efforts of Romanian women throughout the history of Romania. Coming from a Romanian family, this is a topic that is important to me. The struggle for progress in regards to feminism has been a global one, but not all countries have made the same amount of progress as others. Though it is now a member of the European Union and has become increasingly economically developed in recent times, Romania has lagged behind other European countries in terms of gender equality. Romanian women are often excluded from academia and other institutions of power and a large scale feminism movement is virtually non-existent. This is despite the numerous contributions that women have made to Romania society. I created this altar in order to honor these underappreciated women and celebrate their importance and their march towards greater equality. The power of the altar is the ability to remember the contributions of those who have come before us so I chose to emphasize the rural village history of Romania with my artifacts, since in the village women contribute greatly to the survival of these small communities. In my altar, I feature several key artifacts that represent the four natural elements of fire, earth, sky/wind, and water. These are as follows: the clay plates in the bottom tier represent the earth, the pan flute in the bottom tier represents the sky/wind, the figurine water well on the top tier represents water, and the various candles represent fire.

Sex Work and the Borderlands by Clarissa Lunday

My Ofrenda honors the sex workers who have died while doing their work. My goal is to use my virtual Ofrenda to protest violence against sex workers because their work is not seen as work. Because of the passing of FOSTA/SESTA and the take down of the website Backpage, sex workers have had to adapt to the ever changing or more violent climate that these situations have caused. They ask for decriminalization of their work and for our government to listen to their wisdom on taking down sex traffickers. I hope that my Ofrenda gives a voice to the women who have died for this cause. Here is a link to the Ofrenda.

This is an ofrenda for Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo, who organized against the military dictatorship in Argentina. It was made by Emilia Garcia-Bompadre

"ni una mas" by Chloe Rabinowitz

The theme of this altar is a tribute to the women who have been and continue to be victims of femicide all over the world, with special recognition of the women in Ciudad Juarez. In honoring their legacies and breathing life into the souls who have been forgotten and ignored by the government in Juarez, we make a statement that we will continue fighting for justice. The phrases “ni una mas” and “convivencia” at the top of the altar make reference to the greater idea that as women, we are all in this together. This is a political form of resistance to the government that empowers those who have murdered and attacked these women, while also a social form of promoting the togetherness of women. The purple flowers, a reference to purple as the Mexican color of remembrance, along with the white flowers that reference the sky and the souls, invite the spirits of these women to come together in this space. The fabric I used as the basis of the altar is a blanket my grandmother knitted for me which represents how the altar as a remedio for women transcends time restrictions and is passed on as tradition through generations of women. The blanket also has many colors represented, which is an ode to Chela Sandoval’s idea of forming affinities within difference because it shows the interwoven colors all on the same blanket (as in the diversity of women coming together through their beautiful distinctions). The pink flowers and the black cross on the pink background are an ode to the activists in Juarez that use black and pink to show representation in their community of these women who have been harmed by the oppressive patriarchal system. The earth is represented through the yellow and pink flowers, the fire is represented by the incense, the water is represented by the glass of water, and the sky is represented by the candles and the white color scheme on the top tier of the altar.

"Remembering the Black Women Killed by Police" by Olivia Brunner-Gaydos

This ofrenda is honoring black women who have been killed by police. It honors their memory and lives they lived, and serves as a reminder of the fight we must keep fighting.This is a call to fight against discrimination and police brutality.

In Memory of Tupac Shakur by My Nguyen

I created my drawing in honor of Tupac Amaru Shakur, formerly known as 2Pac, who was an American actor and rapper until his death in 1996. This art is meant to demonstrate the injustices and travails endured by many African Americans. Tupac’s lifestyle and his message within the music industry was always a cry for justice for the Black community. My main focus is raising awareness about gang rivalry in Los Angeles because gang violence was prevalent in Tupac’s life and helped shape his character. He was trapped within this gang nihilism and even began to embrace it. This art production is meant to be a black-and-white portrayal within the Black and Brown community often due to gang violence and perpetuated by the police. We, as a collective society, have failed Black men and women repeatedly by refusing to listen to their pain and center their stories.

"2Pac's Legacy" by Teonn Potts Jr

My ofrenda celebrates the life of an artist that has much influence on both my family and my childhood. Tupac Shakur’s legacy seems to live on as one of the most iconic figures of the 90’s. Tupac has influenced hip-hop and its listeners, arguably, more than any other artist from the 90’s, and became an inspiration to many people around the world.

The piece is called "The Rose that Grew from Concrete" and it is honoring Tupac Shakur along with black lives.

Never Dies: A Tribute to Amy Winehouse

Never Dies: A Tribute to Amy Winehouse, is an ofrenda created by Eva Anderson which showcases the "troubled track" that Winehouse lived. She wrote and sang candidly about her struggles and showed resiliency throughout her short life. Her music and soul lives on in those that love the soulful sounds she has created.

Untitled by Chenyu L.

This offering is honoring Amy Winehouse as a talented, gifted, and beautiful Jazz artist that once existed in our generation. I find it hard to name this offering because I do not wish to over interpret her and her life.

Amy by Winter Roberts

This drawing honors Amy Winehouse's resilience in persisting through hard times under public scrutiny and recognizing, on more than one occasion, that she needed help.

Amy Winehouse

This Ofrenda, made by Katharine Landahl, is honoring and remembering Amy Winehouse, a voice of her - and future, generations of Jazz. A virtuoso of song writing, a unmatched unique voice and sound, Amy passed before the peak of her genius could be known. Amy wanted to write and sing at her pace, for the sake of creation. The public could not accept the privacy she pleaded for. She had shown the depths of her self through her music and we wanted more, causing her decent 'Back to Black'.

"Ofrenda for Amy Winehouse" by Daniela Velazquez

In my ofrenda for Amy, I have decided to add the four elements that cater to Amy's interest to honer her time here on earth. The items I have included are a hair dryer for air, a flower for earth, a cigarette for fire, and a glass of wine for water.

The Avicii Wall by Gianni Landby

Inspired by the “Lennon Wall” in Prague, I created my own to honor and present an altar of one of my favorite artists – Avicii. The world is still struck by the emptiness that Avicii’s death caused in our hearts, but the combination of his music and the Tim Bergling Foundation allow his legacy to live on forever, and I hope this altar captures that.

"Let's Talk About Sex" honoring: Salt-N-Pepa, by Siena Utt

Salt-N-Pepa were monumental for their contributions to the genre of hip hop and set the foundation for what was to become hip-hop feminism. Their focus on sex positivity and lyrics that empowered rather than objectified women set the stage for a new generation of hip hop, one with artists like Cardi B and Nicki Minaj.

Janis Joplin by Ray Alfonso

This is my ode to Janis Joplin, a pioneering woman of the Blues revival in rock music. Like Hendrix, Joplin soared through the earth like a comet and left an indelible mark on rock and roll.

“Juice Wrld”

I chose the hip hop artist “Juice Wrld” because he has influenced me a lot in High school of having pain and being heartbroken by girls and he was a big drug addict smoking weed and popping pills and sipping lean. Juice wrld died on of a drug overdose on December 8, 2019, and it really affected a lot of people who are going through depression and drug addictions and going through heart breaks, who were a big fan of him. Juice wrld still has songs that are being released after his death, songs that are still really good.

The items that I chose in the altar really represent the true soul and spirit of Juice. There are pictures of his albums that were really good and blew up big time and really spoke to me with his songs like “ All girls are the same”, “ Hear me Calling”, “I’m still”, and “Lean wit me”, those are the songs that really stuck with me. Another good piece of representation in that Ofrenda, is the cup and the Jolly ranchers and the cough syrup, because those are the ingredients to make a drink drug called “ Lean”. This was a big part of Juice wrld’s life, he was addicted to this drink, also with the pills he was on, it was the one of the reasons why he was a good artist because of the drugs tried to help with his pain and make him numb, but it wasn’t really helping, only made it worse by giving him a drug addiction. The last thing that I think was a good piece was the composition notebook , because Juice Wrld was a really good freestyler. One of the elements in the ofrenda is Earth, and that represents the rose. The rose represents Juice, a beautiful human being that only wants peace for the earth. That is why his name is Juice “Wrld” (World). Another element in the ofrenda is Air. I used my pet bird as air because they can fly just as Juice can when he is high from the drugs and how when he is dead he can fly like an angel. And he likes to have the angel coding, 999, it represents balance in life and how when there is bad, you will always finish it, to get to the good. Another element that I think is a big one about Juice wrld that represents Water, is the Lean, because that Lean is a big addiction that really made Juice wrld a good hip hop artist and someone that people can follow because they can relate to him, and he is a big role model for kids in high school that are going through bad times in their life. Lastly , the element of Fire: the candle. The candle represents the death of Juice Wrld, and that he can live forever in our souls.

"Purple Rain" by Marissa Kahler, a Tribute to Prince. The images above show a cake I made as an offering for Prince and the greater idea of music’s resilience. Prince represented a sound and culture that both challenged the present ideas of gender which persisted beyond his death, and for me, that is resilience.

Honoring one of the greatest guitarists of all time Jimi Hendrix, the piece is honoring him, by Gary Tran

Ofrenda Honoring David Bowie, by Emma Utley


David Bowie helped us create a more free and just future through his gender expression and contributions towards the global rock scene.

"Ch-Ch-Cherry" by Kylee Hauth

This piece is an offering for Rock n Roll artist, Joan Jett. Rock has been chalked up to a genre of music that is reserved for white men, at least in the past several decades, despite it being practically founded by women of color. Being a woman in the rock industry is a difficult feat and I believe Joan worked passionately in her line of work in order to achieve the amount of success she has received. Each aspect of this piece is a representation of her work and her fiery contributions.

Passion of a Legend, Honoring Freddie Mercury - by Autumn Freund

In Honor of Bob Marley by Moeilealoalo Tafisi

Nipsey Hussle by Lenell Bynum

"The Marathon Continues" by Julian Cooper

This offering recognizes the entrepreneurial spirit of Nipsey Hussle and signifies the importance of the memorial t-shirt in the African American community. Tragedy and trauma are expected life events in many African American communities and the memorial t-shirt is a way to honor community members and continue their legacy, however big or small.

"The Marathon Continues", honoring Nipsey Hussle a tribute to Neighborhood NIP by Lexis Withers

This Ofrenda honors the late Nipsey Hussle who created an image for young black and brown people to continue to support and further enhance their communities in a multitude of ways. Nipsey Hussle, also known as Neighborhood Nip, gave light to many young people in his community that can be more than just athletes or rappers but can also be scientists and teachers if they choose to be. He provided many different positive outlets through quality time and much of that is depicted through his music and continual time spent in the community.

Ofrenda for Chester, by Arjun Sen

Chester Bennington, of Linkin Park, has consistently been one of my go to artists throughout my childhood. Linkin Park in the 2000s led the nu-metal and rock genres in a way that few other bands were able to replicate, and had an exceptionally large following in India where I spent most of my childhood. His death was my first experience with the death of an artist, and was emotionally very tough for me. The parts of the ofrenda represent the various aspects of Chester's life- the candles for his last song, the broken guitar for the band he left behind, and the beer and pills symbolizing the overcoming of his struggles with addiction.

When you look at my ofrenda, you will see all ten of Mac Miller’s albums shaded in blue, orange, green, and red. I included the album, Circles, that was created after his passing, to show the impact he had on the hip-hop community both during and after his life. Layered over the album covers you can see the four (simplified) alchemy symbols for water, air, earth, and fire. Around the boarder I placed lyrics and song titles of his that discuss the four physical elements. The main concept for this piece is a representation of his metaphorical lyrics and musical diversity shown through physical elements. My ofrenda is also in the shape and design of an album cover which is meant to bring together all of his music in a celebration of his life and contribution to hip-hop.
This Ofrenda "Empowering Women in the Music Industry" by Bralen Trice honors women is and is meant to give all the tools necessary to women in order for them to be successful and have their voices heard.

"Sadness into Success" Honoring the artist SZA by Johnny Le

This brings the elements of her lyricism into physical objects that calm and soothe the mind.

"What's Going On?" by John Bato-Borja

For my ofrenda, I decided to choose the “Prince of Soul”, Marvin Gaye, as I grew up listening to his soulful, R&B hits and I wanted to honor an artist that not only had a massive impact on the development of the soul genre, my favorite genre by the way, but also on the development of two genres in the future that I enjoy today, quiet storm and neo soul.

Ofrenda for Marvin Gaye by Matthew Trajano

For my ofrenda I remember Motown legend, Marvin Gaye. An inspiration to myself and many others, Marvin Gaye led a life of great success, influencing future generations of musical artists, but also a life shrouded by an insurmountable cloud of tragedy that ultimately led to his death. In reference to the lyrics of Quetzal’s song “Barrio Healer”, I have chosen to make my altar with a hierarchy of levels, with the elements of earth, fire, water, and sky/air scattered throughout the ofrenda. When I built this, I was aiming to not take super traditional approaches to making an ofrenda like in the Chicago Tribune article “How Day of the Dead is Celebrated”, but rather my own take on an ofrenda. Though the items are quite random, I tried my best to build something to honor Marvin Gaye in the best ways that I could and make my “mechanism for remembering” as something of a celebration. The ofrenda itself is entirely made up of a midnight blue cloth, in reference for the last album Gaye made before he passed, Midnight Love. Firstly, the football is meant to represent earth, a game played on the field. It also represents his aspiration to be an American football player in the NFL: he did have a tryout with the Detroit Lions in 1970. Next to it is a candle, meant to be the item for the fire aspect. The ‘3’ is there to represent three of his number one singles to top the chart in the United States starting with his 1968 smash hit “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”, followed by his 1973 hit “Let’s Get It On”, and lastly his last single to peak at number one, 1977’s “Got to Give it Up”. Switching to the right side of the alter, I included a glass of wine, as a stand-in for water. I chose to have a glass of wine to represent Marvin Gaye’s single “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”. At the top of the ofrenda, I included a pair of drumsticks, a couple pieces of bread, and two rings. The two drumsticks are meant to represent Marvin Gaye’s humble beginnings as a talented Motown drummer. The two rings are meant to represent Gaye’s two marriages, both of them turbulent, but still an important part of his life. The two pieces of bread are meant to be a traditional offering, as I was hoping to emulate Ofelia Esparza and her ofrenda altars. Finally, the background of the altar consists of a piano as well as a bomber jacket. The piano is not important but does contribute as a testament to Marvin Gaye’s soulful sound. The bomber jacket is the final element representation, meant to represent sky/wind, as well as a representation for Marvin Gaye’s time in the Air Force. Overall, I’m proud of the altar I made, and I offer this altar not as a place for mourning, but rather a celebration of the life of Marvin Gaye through this mechanism of remembering.

“Remembering Modern Pop for the Future”, by Brendan Welzien, honoring artist, Pop Smoke

His life can be coined to the notion of live-fast and die-young. Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, he made his way through the ranks of hip-hop and rap with his breakthrough single, “Welcome to the Party”. Unfortunately, he passed away at age 20 in Los Angeles, California.

"Resilience in Rock" by Winona George

The artist displayed on the top of the ofrenda is Dolores O’Riordan (1971-2018) who is the lead singer of the Irish rock band “The Cranberries”. One of my favorite songs is called “Zombie” because of how soft the song starts and it progresses into a more powerful aesthetic sound. She is known for her very unique voice that people today try to mimic but are unsuccessful in doing so. Here is the link for the song "Zombie", by Dolores O'Riordan. I also recommend the Bad Wolves cover of her song, "Zombie" the was made in her honor when she passed away because it is just as good, .

Every year at the Womxn Who Rock Convivencias, an altar has been central to remembering and building together. These memories live in us and through us as embodied archives.

2019 Womxn Who Rock Altar at the Centilia Cultural Center
2018 Womxn Who Rock Altar at MOHAI
Womxn Who Rock Altar/Ofrendas 2017 at Washington Hall
Womxn Who Rock Yakima 2016 - The Yakima Valley Museum reclaimed as an altar.
Womxn Who Rock Altar 2015 at Rainier Valley Cultural Center
Womxn Who Rock 2014 Altar at Washington Hall
Womxn Who Rock 2013 Altar at Washington Hall

Please sign our guestbook with your reflections of this virtual altar.

Submit your own ofrenda of original artwork, songs, videos, photos of ofrendas, personal or community stories, written poetry and more. Your ofrenda can be created in any medium that holds meaning to you. If you will create a physical ofrenda, you can take a photo of it for your submission. All submissions should be accompanied by a title and short description of your ofrenda that includes the creator(s) name(s) and who the piece is honoring. Submit your virtual ofrenda through this form.

Created By
Womxn Who Rock Collective