We’re pleased to partner with the Arizona State Museum on a day of public programming in conjunction with “Walking Each Other Home: Cultural Traditions at End of Life,” an exhibit inside the museum presenting our work over the past decade with communities and individuals around end-of-life traditions
Saturday, Nov. 19
Arizona State Museum
10:00-1:00, Outside, on-going
- Arizona End of Life Care Partnership
- Death Doulas
- Roots and Roads
- Pima Council for the Aging
- Southwest Folklife Alliance
- Arizona End of Life Options
- Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, Inc.
- Make tissue paper marigold: Josefina Lizarraga
- Create a spiral mandala: Yvette Bredice, death doula
- Write love letters to those before: Marge Pellegrino, writer/educator
- Explore stories of love, songs, and aging, Dr. Jennie Gubner, ethnomusicologist
- Enjoy pan dulce and Mexican hot chocolate
- Song Care for Life’s Difficult Journeys – Tucson Threshold Choir
- 10:00-10:10 Welcome – ASM, SFA, AZEOLCP
- 10:10-10:25 Music as a Tool for Healthy Aging, Dr. Jennie Gubner
- 10:30-10:55 Carrying Their Absence: Learning from Love and Loss, Dr. Mary-Frances O’Connor
- 11:05-12:00 Día de los Muertos performance, Zarco Guerrero
- 12:10-12:45 Introduction to Tai Chi – Dr. Zhao Chen and Yunjia Yang (on lawn)
- 12:15-1:00 Serenate Trio performance
In Museum, on-going
- View the exhibit Walking Each Other Home: Cultural Practices at End of Life
Talk with a doula
- Record your story in the exhibit Story Booth
- Watch short films about Chinese, Jewish, LBGTQI and Muslim traditions
In Museum 12:00-12:30
- Film: Muslim end-of-life traditions, Q & A with Lynn Hourani, Muslim Community Alliance
Presentations and Activity Descriptions
Stories of love, songs, and aging with Dr. Jennie Gubner, ethnomusicologist, Assistant Professor of Music, UA College of Fine Arts
Dr. Gubner will introduce research projects she is building in Tucson to explore music as a tool for healthy aging. These include a website called “the music and creative aging story lab” being developed to promote Intercultural dialogue, connections and resources about music and healthy aging, and an applied project called “The Serenata Project” in which she has been documenting stories of love songs and aging in Latinx Tucson. After sharing about these projects, she will invite participants to share their own stories of music, aging, and intergenerational connections. Participants will learn how person-centered and culturally relevant music offers tools for promoting wellness across the lifespan and in dementia caregiving.
Learning from love and loss with Dr. Mary-Frances O’Connor, UA Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry
Dr O’Connor runs the UA Grief, Loss, and Social Stress Lab. Her research focuses on the physiological correlates of emotion, in particular the wide range of physical and emotional responses during bereavement, including yearning and isolation. She believes that a clinical science approach toward the experience and mechanisms of grieving can improve interventions for prolonged grief disorder.
Muslim end-of-life traditions with Lynn Hourani, Muslim Community Alliance
Watch short films in the exhibit that explore Muslim, Chinese, Jewish, and LBGTQI traditions for healthy living and end-of-life rituals. Discuss Muslim traditions with Lynn Hourani, a member of the Muslim Community Alliance.
Día de los Muertos stories with Zarco Guerrero, sculptor, muralist, and performance artist
Zarco Guerrero and his unique masked characters celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with hilarious and moving story telling. Among the characters making appearances are: the poetry spouting “El Vato Poeta,” the flirtatious “La Comadre,” the clueless “Special Ed,” the wise “El Abuelito,” and other beloved roles that Zarco, a prolific playwright, has created to express the humor and sadness of our lives. This storytelling puts life into perspective in a delightful and engaging way, helping us to accept and even to laugh at our most primal fears about death. As a sculptor, muralist, storyteller and performance artist, Zarco Guerrero has dedicated his career to creating positive social change through the arts. Born in Arizona, he has been instrumental in the development of Latino Arts statewide. His art has been exhibited in Mexico and throughout the United States. He has received international acclaim, and awards, such as a National Endowment for the Arts Japan Fellowship, a Governor’s Arts Award, a Zony Award, Southwest Folklife Alliance Master Artist award.
The beautiful works of popular art included in this program are representative of two of the most well-known Latin American romantic musical genres: boleros and tangos. Because of their extensive popularity and widespread circulation through films and recordings in the 20th century, these two genres have become transnational symbols of Latin American popular culture. Their beautiful melodies and intense lyrics continue to be passed from one generation to the next through listening, singing, and dancing. Trio Serenata consists of maxi Larrea from Argentina, singer Arnulfo Velásquez, and requinto player Javier Federico, both originally from México. This new trio was formed inspired in part by the work of ethnomusicologist Dr. Jennie Gubner who has been exploring romantic popular music traditions in Latinx Tucson in order to think creatively about how to use culturally relevant music to support older adults and build age-friendly communities.
Paper marigolds with Josefina Lizarraga, master traditional artist
Raised in Nayarit, Mexico, amidst rich vegetation and colorful flowers, Josefina Lizarraga learned about local flora and fauna from her mother, grandmothers, and elders. As a child she learned to make paper flowers from an artist in the pueblo of Ruiz and later from a Mexican-Chinese flower maker and dressmaker, who taught her to make paper flowers and to embroider. Lizarraga has been making paper flowers for 78 years and has demonstrated her craft at the annual Tucson Meet Yourself Festival and other community programs for decades. She is the recipient of a 2020 Master-Apprentice Artist Award from the Southwest Folklife Alliance.
Spiral mandalas with Yvette Bredice, death doula
Together we will be creating a colorful spiral mandala. Mandala is the Sanskrit word for circle and the spiral is the universal symbol for wholeness. This activity dates to the 1800s and continues to captivate us today. Our hope for this activity is to remind each of us that we are part of something larger than ourselves.
Love letters to those before with Marge Pellegrino, teaching artist and author
Letter writing is an intimate way to celebrate those we’ve lost. Letters can be a means to remember, a place to capture details and moments that would otherwise fade over time. Letters are a vehicle in which we can lift up those we’ve lost in gratitude and ask them for advice. And in a letter, we can release some of our grief. Marge Pellegrino has taught creative writing around all types of topics to at-risk youth, refugees, adults, and children at schools and community programs.
Song care for life’s difficult journeys with Tucson Threshold Choir
Threshold Choir honors the ancient tradition of singing a capella at the bedsides of people who are struggling: some with living; some with dying. The voice, as the original human instrument, is a true and gracious vehicle for compassion and comfort. Come experience this healing power for yourself.
Tai Chi for brain and body health with Dr. Zhao Chen, Professor and Associate Dean for Research, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, and Yunjia Yang, doctoral student in Applied Intercultural Arts Research and Public Health
Tai Chi, a form of ancient Chinese martial arts focusing on mind and body connection, is now practiced by millions of people around the world for health and wellbeing. Research has shown health benefits of Tai Chi practice on mental and physical aspects of people in diverse backgrounds. In this short class, Dr. Chen and Ms. Yunjia will introduce everyone to a brief Tai Chi history, different styles of Tai Chi, and basic movements used in Tai Chi practice. Participants will have the opportunity to follow the instructors to experience Tai Chi and the harmony of people and nature.