Maribel Alvarez is an anthropologist, folklorist, curator, and community arts expert who has documented the practice of more than a dozen of the country’s leading emerging and alternative artistic organizations. She is Associate Dean for Community Engagement for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, is the Jim Griffith Chair in Public Folklore and Associate Research Social Scientist in the Southwest Center, and Associate Research Professor in the School of Anthropology. She founded, and until recently served as executive director of the Southwest Folklife Alliance. In the last few years, Alvarez has written and published essays about poetry and food, intangible heritage, nonprofits and cultural policy, the theory of arts participation, artisans and patrimony in Mexico, and popular culture and stereotypes. Maribel was the co-founder and executive director for seven years of MACLA--Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, a contemporary, alternative urban arts center in San Jose. Alvarez is a trustee of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress; in addition, she has served as faculty for ten years at the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture’s summer Leadership Institute in San Antonio, TX. Currently, she is completing two book manuscripts for the University of Arizona Press, one on the verbal arts and lore of workers in the Mexican Curios cottage industry at the US-Mexico border, and another on the cultural history of wheat and flour mills in the state of Sonora in northern Mexico.