150x150_maribel_picsMaribel Alvarez, Ph.D.
Associate Research Social Scientist at the Southwest Center and Associate Research Professor in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona

Maribel is a Trustee of the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center and a nationally recognized public scholar named by Community Arts a “bridge” between academia and social engagement. She is also the Folklorist and Program Director of the largest folklife public event in the Southwest, . She co-founded and co-directs with ethnobotanist and local food movement pioneer Gary Nabhan the transborder foodways alliance “Sabores Sin Fronteras” (Flavors Without Borders).


Kimi EiseleKimi Eisele is a multidisciplinary artist who writes, dances, choreographs, makes visual art, teaches, and organizes. She is forever fascinated by how we humans interact with landscapes and is drawn to the many different ways artists express these interactions. Kimi holds a master’s degree in geography from the University of Arizona. She is the co-director of NEW ARTiculations Dance Theatre and is currently at work on a novel about love, loss, and adaptation in a post-apocalyptic America.


MonicaMonica Surfaro Spigelman is Program Manager for SFA’s multicultural Continuum program and an Arizona-based editor who moved to the Southwest after a successful, 25-year career in NYC-based corporate communications and non-profit management. As international communications manager for United Parcel Service (UPS), she produced global employee communications programs as well as speeches for three UPS CEOs. After retiring from UPS, Monica became Communications Vice President and officer of the national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful. Monica also is a former metropolitan stringer and published in The New York Times. Currently Monica is a contributing writer to BizTucson magazine.


peggy hazardPeggy Hazard comes to TMY from a career as an art exhibit curator at Tohono Chul ParkNative American, folk, and contemporary art-making traditions mingled in dozens of exhibits she curated on regional topics such as holy places of the Southwest, art from reclaimed materials, Four Corners landscapes, wildflowers, quilts and needlework, musical instruments, and award-winning accessible exhibits of touchable art. She earned a BA in art education from ASU and a MA in art history from the Uo fA where her thesis surveyed African-American quiltmaking in Tucson. She is honored to assist TMY in developing exhibits for the the Griffith Archives.



mariaM.E. Wakamatsu was born in the border town of San Luis R.C. Sonora, Mexico. The daughter of a Mexican mother and Japanese father, she writes from the border between cultures, between patterns of discourse, between first and third worlds. Her work appears in Cutthroat, A Journal of the Arts, Spiral Orb, The Drunken Boat, Southwestern Women New Voices and Cantos al Sexto Sol. She produced From the Lair, A Spoken Word Poetry CD and Speakwater: Regando La Frontera—A Multimaterial Visual Poetry Installation for the University of Arizona Poetry Center. She has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Mary Ann Campau Memorial Fellowship Award and the Ohio State Scarlet and Gray Award. She graduated from Arizona State University. She is currently working on a novel set in Baja California.


a_sandoAlex Sando grew up at Jemez Pueblo located near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Jemez is one of 19 Pueblo Nations in NM, and the Jemez people are the only tribal group that speaks the Towa language. It is estimated that 90% of children living in the community speak the language, which is unusual in this day and age of modern influences.

Alex attempts to capture the rich essence of his tribal heritage through his paintings in acrylics, oils, and watercolor. The delicate tapestries depict deep religious connectedness to the spirit, and he feels the sacred healing that emanates from this intricate work. Alex hopes that the beauty of his paintings fill the viewer with an appreciation of Mother Nature’s creation and healing power. Additionally, the significance of the sacred eagle and the buffalo in Native culture is captured in his bronze sculptures of the “Spirit Eagle” and “Jemez Buffalo Dancer”.

He is a retired educator. Most of his professional work was in higher education. Now he is a full-time fine artist and metals sculptor. Alex holds a BS degree in anthropology from Eastern New Mexico University and a MA degree in educational administration from New Mexico State University. Alex is a disabled veteran of the United States Air Force.