Artistories on KXCI – September 25, 2019
Leia Maahs — Southwest Folklife Alliance
In this episode of Artistories, we hear from Leia Maahs, Managing Director of Southwest Folklife Alliance, the non-profit behind Tucson Meet Yourself, happening Oct. 11, 12 and 13 (2019). Leia describes this iconic, namesake festival and its history. The festival has outgrown its original footprint since its foundation by Dr. James “Big Jim” Griffith in 1974. This year, 48 food vendors, 500 artists, and 100-120,000 people will come together to celebrate the richness of culture in our region. A festival rooted in the realization that many in our community were doing incredible things but that were unknown to the rest of the city beyond their club, church, cultural center, etc.–now the festival invites participants to share their culture with the public at large through an event that is coincidentally a major fundraiser for the area’s ethnic organizations.
We talk at length about different ways Southwest Folklife Alliance folds the highest ethical standards of ethnographic practice into all its relationship building, planning and design and activities–even beyond the festival.