Tucson Meet Yourself adds new tent to help community

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 10:50 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Following a yearlong hiatus due to the pandemic, Meet Yourself Tucson is back with a new resource for the community.

“This year it felt right to create a space for remembrance and loss that was not a space of sadness but a space of honoring the things we have had to learn the things we have had to endure,” said Maribel Alvarez, the festival’s organizer organizer.

The community has been through a lot since the last time Tucson Meet Yourself tents filled downtown. So, event organizers like Mariela Alvarez wanted to make space to honor those hardships.

“There’s walls where you can write what you have lost and you will see people writing a range of different emotions and things,” said Alvarez. “Sometimes it’s a family member but sometimes it’s the sense of community that you are missing.”

The tent may have been originally intended to serve as a remembrance for those who have died at the hands of COVID-19 but, the space is now much more than that. Amy Copler, a festival attendee is proof.

“It made me instantly think of one of my best childhood friends his name was Ronnie we grew up together and this month is his birthday,” said Copler.

She’s thankful for this space because its allowing her to keep Ronnie’s memory alive.

“I wrote his name and happy birthday goofball,” said Copler. “It’s great to write it out even if you’re not sure who’s going to see it it just feels good to express it somehow and knowing that people might see it and it might spark something in someone.”

Copler says she hopes others in the community take advance of the safe space to grieve and remember.

“Regardless of their reasons for having it weather it was the pandemic or just it’s a new thing they’re doing its really cool,” said Copler. “I told them it would be really great if this were here going forward.”

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