ABOUT SFA                            DONATE                             MEDIA   

BorderLore March 2015  
Culture: Linchpin of Learning   

We are forever students, with power to collaborate on a living, global textbook.

Learning helps us become who we want to be.  It inspires us to be collaborators in a world that is an ever-evolving classroom.

Learning may start with questions. And then answers often follow from the messiness of everyday life, as we set out to discover and appreciate what is beyond the classroom walls.

Everyday life has a soundtrack, and if teacher-folklorists are at our side, they help us listen and channel daily enthusiasm into analysis of folklife that makes us think and learn. Experts sometimes may mislead us, but educators - academic or business, family or community elder - are often our wise curators, as we the public own our learning and determine what matters to us.

This Borderlore pushes beyond formal pedestals of learning, and acknowledges the creative remix of education often found in our streets and public places:

Festivals turn learning inside out and into a celebratory public realm. See how a city wanting to explore its folklife brought its Oro Valley Marketplace alive as a joyful cultural classroom, via Oro Valley Meet Yourself, here.

Likewise, Lisa Falk, Director of Community Engagement and Partnerships, Arizona State Museum, gives us examples of how museums are reaching out for new ways to encourage inquiry, collaboration and learning. See more about how one exhibit and its resulting resources, Through the Eyes of the Eagle: Illustrating Healthy Living, continue to inspire always-learning, healthy habits.

Linda Berzok, food scholar and editor of the Storied Dishes anthology, takes us into the immeasurable learning qualities of food. How is food part of folklife as well as academic pursuit? What can the study of food teach us? Read Linda's comments here.

Virginia Grise, author of the book and performance piece, The Panza Monologues, recently visited Tucson and participated in the Tucson Festival of Books. She harnesses her passion for blending performance and culture in this Q&A, and shares narratives of women, body image and learning as powerful community experience, here.

Joanna Schmit, director of the Lajkonik Polish Dance group, helps us unearth the power of community learning in traditional dance. She introduces us to a program where cultural dance is seen as a motivator of learning in each step of tradition, here.

Our News Round-up and other resources are here.
Editor's End Note... 


We create knowledge every day. May tradition always inspire a desire to learn. May it give our educational processes wings.

"Today the entire planet has become home ground. Global information networks are its radiating trails...Both the known and the unknown, the two worlds of our ancestors, nourish the human spirit. Their muses, science and the arts, whisper: Follow us, explore, find out."   

Edward O. Wilson, 1999, Vantage Books  (Consilience, the Unity of Knowledge
2015, Southwest Folklife Alliance. All rights reserved. BorderLore is the monthly e-news magazine of Southwest Folklife Alliance. The study and documentation of folklife involves the accurate representation of people's viewpoints in their own terms; quotes and opinions expressed in interviews with individual tradition bearers do not necessarily reflect the sentiments and opinions of BorderLore editors, the Southwest Folklife Alliance or any specific person or entity at the University of Arizona. 
Managing Editor:   Monica Surfaro-Spigelman 

Thank you for reading this newsletter. We welcome your feedback, commentary and any suggestions or ideas. Write to us at:  swfolklife@gmail.com

Previous issues of BorderLore Newsletter are archived  here and here.