Maribel Alvarez

March 5, 2016, 10:30 – 11:45 am, Issues and Insights 1: Gaps and Inequality in Expressive Life (Concurrent Session)

Dr. Maribel Alvarez, is an anthropologist, folklorist, curator, and community arts expert who has documented the practice of more than a dozen of the country’s leading emerging and alternative artistic organizations from Maine to Hawaii to El Paso and Los Angeles. She holds a dual appointment as Associate Research Professor in the School of Anthropology and Associate Research Social Scientist at the Southwest Center, University of Arizona.  Maribel is a Trustee of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. She teaches courses on methods of cultural analysis with particular emphasis on food, objects, oral narratives and visual cultures of the US-Mexico border. She has written and lectured widely about poetry and food, intangible heritage, nonprofits and cultural policy, the theory of arts participation, artisans and patrimony in Mexico, and popular culture and stereotypes. Her publication on the “informal arts” of Silicon Valley is widely taught in art classes and seminars throughout the nation and considered an important contribution to the understanding of cultural equity. In 2009 she was a Fulbright Fellow Conducting research in rural Mexico. Through an exclusive affiliation agreement between the University and the nonprofit organization Southwest Folklife Alliance, she serves as the Executive Director of SFA, a regional organization in support of the traditional arts and vernacular cultures of the Southwest. Maribel was the co-founder and served as Executive Director for seven years of MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, a contemporary, alternative urban arts center in San Jose, California once described during her tenure as a “lab for intelligent cultural interventions.”  For eleven years, she has served as core faculty in the annual Leadership Institute presented by National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC). Maribel was born in Cuba and came to the United States at the age of 7; she lived in Arecibo, Puerto Rico for 11 years before moving to California in 1980 where she became active in the Chicano arts community and multicultural arts movement of that decade.