Tucson Meet Yourself
Food. Music. Dance. Folk Arts. Safely distanced. Online. October 2020!
Tucson Meet Yourself Folklife Festival "Reframed"
Ready for a month long celebration? Welcome to Tucson Meet Yourself. This grassroots event celebrates food and culture in the Southern Arizona borderland. The festivities -- vendor booths, entertainment stages, culinary and cultural activities, and a lowrider car show -- are normally clustered around Jácome Plaza and surrounding streets in the heart of downtown Tucson. This year, due to COVID-19, things will look a little different. But innovation and adaptation are mainstays of shifting traditions and culture.
Instead of a three-day single weekend event, TMY 2020 will happen throughout the entire month of October, with dozens of online events and a handful of safely distanced, in-person events. Upholding the spirit of festivals past, all programs highlight the uniqueness of the TMY experience and long-lasting relationships with community tradition holders. Visit their calendar to see the virtual performance schedule.
Tucson Meet Yourself began in 1974 before words like “multicultural” and “diversity” entered the mainstream American vocabulary. It was started by some forward-thinking Tucsonans led by a young University of Arizona anthropologist named Jim Griffith, who went on to win a National Heritage Fellowship. The annual event has grown into a three-day block party with hundreds of home cooks, artisans, dancers, musicians, and exhibitors participating. It is still dedicated to honoring and sharing the living traditional arts of local ethnic and folk communities. It is still admission-free and alcohol-free and staged in the downtown heart of Tucson.
Think of a festival as a ritual, a time when things shift their normal order–people transgress their comfort zones by eating different foods, dancing on the streets, talking to strangers, seeing what is familiar in a new light. In this way, we are able to imagine what a more democratic, equitable, and just world might look like.
Video: Arizona Profile: Tucson Meet Yourself
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