Heritage celebrations help bring the “hidden in plain view” aspects of folklife and folkways into the public square, drawing communities together in shared experiences of culture, tradition, history, and expression. The Alliance fosters this kind of public sharing through regional heritage celebrations.
Founded in 1974, Tucson Meet Yourself is an annual celebration of the living traditional arts of Southern Arizona’s and Northern Mexico’s diverse ethnic and folk communities. Each October, the three-day event takes place in downtown Tucson and features hundreds of artisans, home cooks, dancers, musicians, and special exhibits that celebrate and honor beauty in all its diverse, informal, and everyday forms.
The Town of Oro Valley invited the Southwest Folklife Alliance to present the first annual Oro Valley Meet Yourself Festival in March 2015. The festival showcased the local cultural diversity and folklife of Oro Valley, informed by a cultural assets map/inventory created by anthopologist Katie O’Brien. We are exploring future heritage celebrations in Oro Valley.