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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Tucson Meet Yourself returns

Courtesy+of+Students+for+SustainabilityAttendees+at+last+year%26%238217%3Bs+Tucson+Meet+Yourself+check+out+the+array+of+different+tents+and+activities.+Tucson+Meet+Yourself+focuses+on+teaching+others+about+how+to+be+environmentally+conscious+and+live+sustainable+lives.

Courtesy of Students for Sustainability

Attendees at last year’s Tucson Meet Yourself check out the array of different tents and activities. Tucson Meet Yourself focuses on teaching others about how to be environmentally conscious and live sustainable lives.

The Southwest Folklife Alliance is hosting the 42nd Tucson Meet Yourself, an annual festival of the traditional arts of Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico’s cultures.

The event features artists, chefs, dancers and musicians who celebrate “beauty in all its diverse, informal and everyday forms,” according to the TMY website.

The SFA is a nonprofit organization of the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. According to the SFA website, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is an affiliate of the Folklife Alliance and of the festival. The College of Humanities also served an important role for the SFA as the public folklorist’s teaching unit for 13 years in the Endowed Fund position.

Besides the festival, the SFA also supports the economic development of cultural artists and professional institutes by spreading awareness of folklore and cultural practices in the border region.

Maribel Alvarez, executive director of the SFA and public folklorist, moved to the school of anthropology in 2013. Alvarez also helped expand TMY into a self-sustaining nonprofit organization.

According to Alvarez, the words “diversity” and “multicultural” were barely beginning to enter the vocabulary of American popular culture in cities like Tucson when the festival began in 1974.

TMY changed the way Tucsonans shared beauty, tradition and honor across distinct cultural enclaves.

“It literally brought neighbors out of the shadows to meet in the public square to dance, eat, sing and taste each other’s cultures,”Alvarez said. “A festival is not a pill that cures all social ills; we folklorist like to think that it is a bit of preventive medicine for the wounds of social inequality.”

SFA said they are pleased to announce this year’s festival will carry 110 folk artists, 95 musical performances and 55 food vendors including cultural clubs, associations, churches and families. Every year, a “Cultural Kitchen” takes place, and this year, it holds a contest of family recipes staged with students from City High School.

The three-day event takes place in downtown Tucson where the city of Tucson handles the disposal of the recycling and landfill waste from the event. Compost Cats take care of the compost collected throughout the event.

Students for Sustainability also participates in the annual three-day event to provide recycling and compost coaching to all sponsors.

SFS members, Compost Cats and a few Tucson community volunteers are stationed throughout the festival and are in charge of waste bins for compost, recycling and actual landfill waste.

“Our duty is to ensure anything and everything that can be diverted from the landfills, while at the same time educating patrons on what is recyclable, compostable and why,” said Trevor Ledbetter, chair of the SFS marketing committee. “We do this in an effort to push TMY-goers to increase proper recycling and composting in their personal lives.”


Follow Gabriella Vukelic on Twitter.


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