Welcome to the inaugural edition of what we hope will become a beloved tradition in this community: Oro Valley Meet Yourself.

This will be a dedicated time of the year when residents of Oro Valley come together to celebrate and cherish their diversity –the authentic and respectful learning of each other’s cultural backgrounds, without making any assumptions that any single culture is better than the others. In practicing this kind of civic engagement, we aim to honor the core values of democratic pluralism.

We hope to start small and grow over the years.

Each edition will be a kind of discovery about the richness of cultural knowledge and beauty hiding in Oro Valley kitchens, backyards and church picnics.

For example:

  • Did you know that several Masters of traditional arts (known all over the United States and internationally for their skills and high level of accomplishment in their traditional art forms) are actually residents of Oro Valley?
  • Did you know that religious diversity in Oro Valley includes representations of various strands of Christianity, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist faiths?
  • Did you know that in Oro Valley is located a site that the Tohono O’odham (the Native people of this region) consider an “ancestral village”?
  • Did you know that some of Oro Valley’s largest private companies employ people from dozens of countries around the world who now call Oro Valley home?
  • Did you know that despite this bubbling diversity everywhere most people still don’t know (or recognize) how the Town has been changing culturally?

The OVMY festival is produced by the same agency and folks who produce Tucson Meet Yourself — an iconic event going on for 42 years in the City of Tucson, attended by over 100,000 people, and considered one of the most respected folklife events in the nation.

TMY, just like OVMY now, are modeled after the Smithsonian Institution’s  “American Folklife Festival” (which takes place in the nation’s capital every summer).

The Southwest Folklife Alliance, parent company to both TMY and OVMY, is a non-profit agency affiliated with the University of Arizona’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.