Mission

“The festival is conceived of as a dramatization of the fact that we live in a plural society.”
Jim Griffith, Founder

Founded in 1974 by folklorist Jim Griffith and his wife, Loma Griffith, 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. The free, three-day event features hundreds of artisans, home cooks, dancers, musicians and special exhibits that celebrate and honor beauty in all its diverse, informal, and everyday forms. Tucson Meet Yourself happens annually in Downtown Tucson during the second weekend in October.

MISSION

Our mission is to research, document, interpret and present the living traditional arts and expressions of everyday life of the folk and ethnic communities of the multi-national Arizona-Sonora region.

Through our folklife festival, we focus on presenting artists and communities that carry on living traditions rooted in a group’s own definition of identity, artistry, and cultural significance.

What is “folklife” and “folklore”? Folklife is the informal, familiar, common side of human experience not contained in the formal records of culture (often found in museums and universities). The study of folklore includes language, music, dance, games, myths, customs, handicrafts, architecture, food preparation, jokes and humor, and almost anything else that people say, make or do on their own, informally.

How do you define “traditional”? By traditional we mean practices and customs “transmitted” over time from people to people. We don’t mean “unchanged” or even necessarily “old.”

Who are the “folk” and “ethnic: communities? Any group of people (cowboys, Mormons, Mexicans, African-Americans, Yaquis, O’odham, gays and lesbians, the deaf, bikers, martial art students, low rider car owners, and more) tied together by some common interest and meaningful system of communication that makes sense to them (language, cooking, clothing/costume, decoration, dance, etc.)

Skip to content