La Doce Space Activation Celebrates Culture and Neighborhood Pride on Tucson’s South Side
Saturday, July 16, 6-9pm
Parking lot of Vida Nueva Community Center, 5245 S. 12th Ave Tucson, AZ
The Southwest Folklife Alliance (SFA) in partnership with Regeneración announces “La Doce Space Activation,” a public event July 16, from 6 to 9 pm in Tucson’s “La Doce” area, South 12th Avenue from 44th Street to Drexel Road. The event will showcase recent work by community leaders who have documented talents and skills of neighborhood residents to recognize and celebrate the wealth of local cultural practices and traditions. It takes place in the parking lot of Vida Nueva Community Center on 5245 S. 12th Ave.
Celebrating community assets, local knowledge, and culture is the heart of Regeneración’s work in the cultural and culinary corridor of La Doce. Favorite food businesses that also serve as cultural institutions – Alejandro’s, La Estrella, and Raspados Oasis, among others – have helped draw attention to the area for years, but this community of mostly Indigenous, Latine, immigrant neighbors has faced decades of disinvestment. Community members express deep concern about increasing patterns of gentrification and its impact on families, residents, essential workers, and local business owners. Regeneración is working with an intergenerational cohort of south side community leaders to share their cultural assets and learn about forms of community land ownership via research on city zoning and community design.
This ongoing work and the July 16 La Doce Space Activation event centers community knowledge as a viable tool to build regenerative wealth and to amplify community members’ visions for a Community Land Trust (CLT) with an urban environmental focus addressing the symptoms of environmental injustice including lack of green spaces, heat island effect, and shade equity. The event will include food and artwork for sale as well as live music and dance performances from Nihil Escapism, YMP, and Ballet Folklorico Tapatio. Additional project support comes from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, City of Tucson, Monument Lab and Vitalyst Health Foundation’s Spark Grant.
Regeneración is a grassroots organization working to build power among working-class folks through intergenerational emergent strategies in regenerative community development, civic education, and community-led design in South Side Tucson, with a focus on the intersections of sustainability, education, and equity building.
PHOTO: Miriam Ramirez, a community leader from La Doce, designs a skate park with green infrastructure using Legos during a recent planning workshop. Photo by Jenny Pompa