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BorderLore, March 2016 
Culture is an architect's creative tool - extending dimensionality and illuminating our public and private spaces from within.

Rarely is there full appreciation of structures without knowing the cultural stories that fill them. When culture is used as an expressive architectural element, the built environment tells many stories.  

We all are builders of the vernacular traditions that give our lives and communities critical mass. We are architects of the metaphorical pathways to place-making.  When we visualize architecture not as something purely aesthetic or material, we understand how the built environment adds both structural anchor and cultural narrative to our landscape.

BorderLore this month is a diverse blueprint of cultural influences:   
Prototyping Cultural Grace: At Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson earlier this month, visitors learned that every movement, placement of utensil and tasting has meaning in the design of a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. Learn more here.   
Deconstructing Mosaic Tradition: 2016 Governor's Arts Award winner Susan Gamble of Santa Theresa Tile Works discusses an ancient traditional art and the storytelling behind its public arts applications, here.  
Cataloging Heritage: Little-known to the public, a state-of-the-art curation center in downtown Tucson is at the core of National Parks heritage, collections conservation and archival management. The center opens once a year to the public, during Archaeology Awareness month (March); learn more here.
Memorial Fences of Cattle Towns:
In part 3 of his BorderLore series, Jim Griffith invites us to explore Cow Country grave markers, here.

Bikes and Streets As Cultural Tools: Update from the Living Streets Alliance Executive Director Emily Yetman, as we approach Cyclovia and Bike Fest month. Check it here.   
  • SFA's 2016 Master-Apprentice Program Applications Now Open. Link here for guidelines and application.
  • Save the Dates: April 19 and April 22
    Final gatherings in the 2016 SFA
    Continuum: Multicultural Practices in End of Life program.
    Check topics, locations and details here.
  • The March roundup of additional news and resources is here.
End Notes... 
In blending our stories, we add distinctive physical, artistic and historical context to our community's fabric.  Diversified, everyday forces help us build models of unique place-keeping. And culture is the "leitmotif" inspiring us to design our most creative and sustainable models.

"The architect may design responsibly, but the process fails when he ignores the values, mores, building skills, experience and wisdom of the cultures whose housing needs are to be met. Housing that involves the active participation of the community, which accommodates its values, related to its vernacular traditions while meeting its aspirations. That which retains or remains substantially as the housing of and by the people, is the housing most likely to succeed."

2016, Southwest Folklife Alliance. All rights reserved. BorderLore is the 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.