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Tucson Portrait Story Art(ish) LIVE Festival, an Immersive Art Experience, is Coming to the Jewish Community Center

The Tucson J invites the entire community to campus Sunday, March 12 from 1-4pm for “Tucson Portrait Story Art(ish) LIVE Festival,” an immersive art experience in partnership with local artist and long-time community member, Lauri Kaye of Create for the People Ventures, and Southern Arizona Arts + Culture Alliance. The festival is all-ages, free, and open to the public.

Featuring 60 “Tucson Portrait Stories” illuminating the people, places, and events that make Tucson extraordinary, the event offers a myriad of ways to connect to the place we call home. Each of the digital media collages on metal include a short story about the subject. Over 15 of the subjects represented in the artwork/stories will be live at the event hosting interactive exhibits and activities sharing their talents and/or missions.

Chef Maria Mazon, Tucson Botanical Gardens, Sonoran Institute, UA Poetry Center, Guitarist Gabriel Ayala, Poet Sharon Byrd, The Loft Cinema, Bookmans, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tree-ring Research Lab, Tucson Audubon Society, Reproductions Inc., Monsoon Chocolate, and DeGrazia Gallery are among the exhibitors offering a variety of opportunities to taste, listen, watch, and learn about the rich culture of Tucson and its inhabitants including food tasting, live music and poetry readings, exotic animals and more.

“We have a collection of Lauri’s Tucson Portrait Stories pieces in the Wellness Gallery here at the J, and the response from our community is so positive. The story behind the work is deeply in line with The J’s vision to use art as means to connect people and ideas and broaden communal harmony, so we were excited to collaborate with Lauri on this larger event and really bring people from the whole community in to engage with these stories,” said Jennifer Selco, Senior Director of Jewish Living + Engagement at the Tucson J, adding that, “Through events like this, and our wide variety of arts and culture offerings, we aim to make creating and engaging with art accessible to all people of all ages.”

Kaye’s mission for the festival is for all Tucsonans to find one piece they find relatable, even if they have no interest in art. She hopes the festival will inspire others to create their own versions of Tucson Portrait Stories and exhibit them at other Tucson establishments as iterations of this event, creating a ripple of storytelling across the community, where all Tucson neighbors come together in a creative, interactive format.

Funds made from the sale of the artworks will be donated to Tucson nonprofits including Arts for All, Primavera Foundation, and Casa Maria.