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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Local art, jewelry and crafts for sale at annual Holiday Festival

    Rebecca Marie Sasnett
    Rebecca Marie Sasnett / The Daily Wildcat Joel Rubiner, artist, sets up his leather bags and belts booth outside of the Tucson Museum of Art on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, in preparation for the Holiday Artisans Market at the Tucson Museum of Art. Rubiner started in Tucson in 1965.

    The Tucson Museum of Art will host its annual Holiday Artisans Market this weekend.

    The event will feature the work of around 140 local and Southwestern artists. The market will also include jewelry, painting, ceramics, pottery, sculptures and other arts and crafts. Around the market, there will also be food trucks, and on Saturday and Sunday, the Kitchen Musicians from the Arizona Folk Festival will provide music for the guests as they browse the different stands.

    According to the museum’s website, the market serves as a fundraiser for the museum, which “offers free arts education to more than 20,000 students a year across Southern Arizona, and provides the region with world class exhibitions.”

    One of these exhibits is El Nacimiento, which will open this weekend at the market. The exhibit, a large nativity scene, has been a tradition in Tucson for over three decades. Maria Luisa Tena made the piece to honor her mother, and it contains around 800 figurines that depict biblical stories. El Nacimiento will be unveiled Saturday at 10 p.m., and there will be a mariachi celebration to accompany the reveal.

    This year, the Holiday Artisans Market is partnering with Local First Arizona to kick off Buy Local Month.

    “We’re very excited about kicking off Buying Local Month with Local First Arizona,” said Michael Fenlason, director of marketing and public relations for the Tucson Museum of Art. “Buying local is such a big part of our community economy, and our artisans are local and regional.”

    Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will be present at the Holiday Artisans Market on Saturday to kick off the celebration of Buying Local month, alongside Kimber Lanning. Lanning is the executive director of Local First Arizona, a nonprofit organization working to strengthen local businesses.

    Erica Pederson, spokesperson for Local First Arizona, said she believes the Holiday Artisan Market will help get people involved in buying locally. Although the official statewide Buy Local Month campaign does not begin until Black Friday, Pederson said the company saw the annual holiday market as a great way to help kick off the event in Tucson.

    “At the event, we can further engage with attendees to talk with them about the many other ways they can keep their spending local,” Pederson said, “such as for their holiday meals, for entertaining visiting family, and much more. By investing more money in locally made products, more money will stay in Arizona’s local economy.”

    The hope of Local First Arizona is that by expanding Arizona’s economy, more jobs will be created, more money will be placed into government institutions, and the communities will become more vibrant and sustainable in general.

    The Holiday Artisans Market is a satisfying shopping experience that is free and open to the public all weekend long.


    Follow Chelsea Cook on Twitter.

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