Although the pandemic continues to upend festivities, you won't have to attend Tucson Meet Yourself exclusively through a computer screen. The Southwest Folklife Alliance recently announced that TMY 2020 will take place through the whole month of October, with dozens of online events and a handful of socially distanced, in-person events.
TMY 2020 includes food to-go, pre-recorded performances, a folk arts marketplace, as well as online conversations and demonstrations. The festival still aims to represent the diversity of Tucson, including more than 50 folk artists, dancers, musicians, and food producers representing nearly 30 countries and regions.
“We will miss the social chemistry born out of density in the civic center of Tucson, the social metabolism that happens when cultures bump into each other and ‘meet.’ But it is still an affirmation of sense of place for dozens of ethnic heritage artists and enclaves that make up Tucson. We are here and we are your neighbor,” says festival program director Maribel Alvarez.
This year's festival will include six "program tracks" in multiple locations around town:
- Cruise for Healing: Saturday, Oct. 3, starting at 5 p.m. Led by the Dukes Car Club, this organized 19-mile cruise around Tucson celebrates the legacy of lowrider cars. Community members are encouraged to join in or watch along the route with signs of encouragement. The route begins and ends at Rodeo Park, 5001 S. Nogales Highway.
- “Tucson Eat Yourself,” pop-up food-to-go stands: Saturdays and Sundays for three weekends in October, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 10 & 11 pop-ups take place at Mercado San Agustin (125 South Avenida del Convento). Oct. 17 & 18 pop-ups at Café Santa Rosa (2615 S. 6th Ave.). Oct. 24 & 25 pop-ups at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 1145 E. Fort Lowell Road.
- Lit Up: Traditional Artists on Public Walls: Fridays in October, Dusk - 10 p.m. Locations to be decided. Video projections of traditional dancers and manual artists including Japanese traditional dancers, Polish folk dancing, Henna artists and more.
- TMY Virtual: Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays in October, at various times on TMY's Facebook and YouTube pages. These online events include demonstrations and discussions of Tohono O’odham and Pascua Yaqui people, Japanese dance and drumming forms, capoeira, Celtic traditions, local sites of food production, and more.
- Folk Arts Online Marketplace: Every day in October. This pilot marketplace features the work of eight folk artists sharing works of material culture distinctive to the southwest. Artists receive 100 percent of the sales revenue.
- Drive-in Concert: Friday, Oct. 30, 6:30-8 p.m. & 8:30-10 p.m. Location: 1055 W. Grant Road. Pascua Yaqui performer Gabriel Ayala closes the 2020 festival with an on-screen and drive-in concert, with an opening act from Yellow Bird Indian Dancers. Suggested donation: $10
For more information visit TucsonMeetYourself.org