Maribel Alvarez

Associate Dean, Community Engagement

Photo of Maribel Alvarez

Maribel Alvarez, Associate Dean for Community Engagement, is an anthropologist, folklorist, writer, and curator. She holds the Jim Griffith Chair in Public Folklore at the Southwest Center and is Associate Research Professor in the School of Anthropology. She founded, and until recently served as executive director, of the Southwest Folklife Alliance, an independent nonprofit affiliated with the University of Arizona. SFA produces the annual Tucson Meet Yourself Folklife Festival in addition to more than 20 other programs connecting heritage practices, artisanal economies, foodways, and traditional arts to community planning and neighborhood-based economic development throughout the region. Last year she was named a Creative Placemaking Fellow at the Herberger Institute at Arizona State University. She recently completed a 6-year term appointment as a Trustee of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. She has been a Fulbright Fellow in Sonora, Mexico and co-launched with her colleague Gary Nabhan the Sabores Sin Fronteras/Flavors Beyond Borders initiative at the University of Arizona. She writes and lectures widely about social theory and the nonprofit sector, Latino cultural production and demographics, US-Mexico borderlands culture and tourism, and applications of traditional knowledge as an asset in community-based initiatives.