“Feels Like Home – A South Bend Celebration of Dia de los Muertos” premieres October 22, with a live screening to follow on October 26. Directed by John Reynolds, the documentary tells the story of the first city-wide festival to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, and how it was the South Bend Symphony, Dr. Marvin Curtis, and the Shein Trust came to lead the charge. The 42-minute documentary blends music, dance, festivities, and interviews with South Bend community members that celebrate South Bend’s Hispanic community and this vibrant holiday.

Held at the Morris Performing Arts Center on October 29, 2022, the festival featured nearly a dozen community partners, food trucks, children’s chorus and more, culminating in a free concert inside the Morris featuring the Symphony, South Bend’s Tierra Viva Mexican Folkloric Dance Company, and the award-winning mariachis Trio Chapultepec, led by mariachi opera singer Vanessa Alonzo. The festival served as an inflection point for wider community appreciation of Mexican and Hispanic culture in South Bend, and offered an opportunity for the community to come together through art.

“I set out to produce a work that informs, entertains, and nurtures a deep sense of pride within our city’s Hispanic community and the continuously shifting tapestry of our diverse culture,” John H. Reynolds stated.

The inaugural festival also featured fun on the John Hunt Memorial Plaza with food, the Children’s Choir from Holy Cross School, and the male vocal group Los de San Rafael. In addition to the Symphony and Shein Trust, the festival was supported by Barnes and Thornburg, South Bend Schools, Aloft Hotels, South Bend Alumni Association, Transpo, DTSB, St. Joe County Public Library, the Civil Rights Heritage Center, La Casa de Amistad, and Venue, Parks, and Arts, the South Bend Civic Theatre, and the South Bend Community School Corporation.

How to Watch

Digital Release

“Feels Like Home – A South Bend Celebration of Dia de los Muertos” premieres on the South Bend Symphony Orchestra’s YouTube channel on Sunday, October 22, at 7 p.m.

Viewing Party

“Feels Like Home – A South Bend Celebration of Dia de los Muertos” premieres at La Casa de Amistad on Wednesday, October 26, at 5:30 p.m.

Public Television

“Feels Like Home – A South Bend Celebration of Dia de los Muertos”  airs on PBS Michiana-WNIT on Thursday, November 2, at 8 p.m.

John Reynolds directed and produced the film, with Justus Zimmerman and Marvin Curtis from the South Bend Symphony Orchestra serving as Executive Producers.

2023 Dia de los Muertos

Sunday, October 29 at 3 p.m. Morris Performing Arts Center

Get your FREE tickets at www.morriscenter.org,