La Ofrenda

June 10, 2019

La Ofrenda

An altar installation by César Viveros with inspiration and input from members of South Philadelphia's Mexican community

1135 S. 9th Street, Philadelphia


Across diverse communities and throughout the world, altars have been spaces for veneration and introspection. They are structures that assist individuals and communities during moments of celebration as well as during times of need or despair. The Philadelphia Folklore Project’s La Ofrenda initiative captures stories of hope, resilience, faith, fear and strength that are pillars of home altar-making practices within Mexican immigrant communities in our city. Renowned artist César Viveros has collected the stories behind the altars of local community members as a way to preserve and celebrate a sense of belonging. These stories, and the aesthetics of these home altars, serve as inspiration for Viveros as he creates a large-scale altar in the 9th Street commercial corridor in South Philadelphia. This exhibition/installation explores one aspect of Mexican immigrants’ cultural life, and celebrates the memory of Ana Guissell Palma, Viveros’ late partner, award-winning artist and former collaborator on this project.


Saturday, September 7: Opening celebration/3:00-6:00 pm

Thursdays, September 12, 19 and 26: Open houses/5:00-7:00 pm

Saturday, September 28: Presentation by visiting national award-winning altaristas from California, Ofelia and Rosanna Esparza/5:00-7:00 pm

César Viveros will also be at the site, with doors open, much of the month, so people can walk in. Check back for schedule updates.