Southwest Folklife Alliance and Arizona State Museum Present Exhibit
on Cultural Practices at End of Life
Tucson, AZ—The Southwest Folklife Alliance (SFA) presents “Walking Each Other Home: Cultural Practices at End of Life,” an exhibit at the Arizona State Museum. This exhibit shares stories and traditions that were documented as part of SFA’s End of Life: Continuum project, eight years of public programs, documentation, and community engagement around cultural practices at end of life, supported by the Arizona End of Life Care Partnership with funds from the David and Lura Lovell Foundation.
This public exhibit celebrates both private and public practices and traditions of caregiving, grieving, memorializing, and preparing and planning for end of life. With videos, images, stories, installations, and interactions, it invites viewers to contemplate their own relationship with and communal practices around death and dying.
Significant in breadth and depth, the exhibit explores private at-home traditions as well as public communal responses to death and dying. A special section aims to bring dignity to end-of-life caregivers, highlighting five home caregivers whose life and work was documented over nine months by five SFA ethnographers.
The goal of the exhibit and related public programming is to help people feel more comfortable thinking about and discussing end of life practices. A virtual panel discussion program series and an in-person community program will delve deeper into the topics covered in the exhibit. These include practices, traditions, adages, and rituals that address end-of-life planning and preparation, loss, grief and how we memorialize those who have passed on. Looking closely at these can help us understand both ourselves and one another and bring dignity to an event we will all experience.
Public programming begins in November 2022 and will engage community members, Arizona End of Life Care Partner organizations, and scholars in discussion about topics such as: Cultural Considerations, End-of-Life Care Giving/Home Care & Hospice vs Palliative Care and Planning for Death.
“It’s important to honor our feelings around loss, no matter when and where they happen. This exhibit invites us to think about how we can create space in our living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms to honor the dying and the dead. It also celebrates the power of communal practices at end-of-life, from how we plan and prepare mourning ceremonies to how we create public memorials to those we’ve lost,” says Kimi Eisele, SFA Folklorist who co curated the exhibit
IF YOU GO:
What: Walking Each Other Home: Cultural Practices at End of Life, an exhibit at the Arizona State Museum
When: September 10, 2022 – February 25, 2023, Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4pm
Where: Arizona State Museum, 1013 E. University Blvd., Tucson, AZ
(on the University of Arizona campus, just inside the Main Gate at Park Ave and University Blvd. in the north building, the Raymond H. Thompson Building)
About the Southwest Folklife Alliance
The Southwest Folklife Alliance (SFA) is an independent non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Arizona Commission on the Arts’ state partner for folk arts, as designated by the National Endowment for the Arts. The organization works to build equitable and vibrant communities by celebrating the everyday expressions of culture, heritage, and diversity rooted in the Greater Southwest and U.S. Mexico Border Corridor. Nationally, SFA amplifies models and methods of meaningful cultural work that center traditional knowledge, social equity, and collaboration.
About the Arizona End of Life Care Partnership
The Arizona End of Life Care Partnership (EOLCP), anchored at United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, is the largest funded end-of-life community-based partnership of its kind in the United States thanks to the David and Lura Lovell Foundation and Community Foundation for Southern AZ. Since its inception in 2017, nearly $8,000,000 has been awarded to the Partnership. Our 19 Grantee organizations and 30 Investing Partners span healthcare, legal and social services, with a strong emphasis on diverse communities, and cultural and religious traditions. Partners provide education, resources, services, and support to people of all ages in our community, helping them to navigate the challenging issues of serious illness, death, and dying.