Loma: Festival Origins

Loma. Faces of the Festival 2019. Steven Meckler photo

I was born in Santa Barbara, California. I met my husband, Jim, when I was about 20, and he was an archaeologist drifting toward art history. We took our honeymoon through Arizona and visited various Indian tribes and saw a lot of culture. In 1963, we wound up in Tucson. He got a degree, and we said goodbye to everybody thinking we were going back to California permanently. By September, we were back in Tucson, and we’ve been here ever since. 

Of the two of us, I am more apt to be an activist, to work for social justice, to work to help people. Jim has always been fascinated with culture and art, and you would think those passions wouldn’t intersect anywhere. But apparently they do in Tucson Meet Yourself. When we started the festival 45 years ago, I thought it was an arts festival. I didn’t think that I had much of a role to play in it, but I discovered I could do the logistics.While Jim was very good with the people, he really wasn’t all that organized about porta potties and garbage collection. That’s what I did for the festival. After about 10 or 15 years, I caught on that this was actually social activism. What Jim was doing in the community was bringing people together, increasing understanding, and working for a more just, respectful community. And here we are 45 years later, still doing it. 


2 thoughts on “Loma: Festival Origins”

  1. Hello Loma,
    Good to see you and thank you and Jim for all you guys have done for Tucson. I wanted to ask how I would go about being one of the vendors for Ticson Meet Yoirself for 2022. My husband is Argentine and would love to share Argentine empanadas with our Tucson family. Thank you

  2. Loma, you and Jim are so much more, you introduced Tucson to its own beautiful diversity, you are the heart and soul of the cultural embrace we can all experience through TMY. “Thank you” is hardly enough to say. This wonderful event that was birthed 45 years ago is unique to our own rich “Tucson” culture! I am so glad we still participate in this rich and wonderful event.


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