Tucson City of Gastronomy is holding the third annual Pueblos del Maiz from April 11-14, with the main fiesta on April 13 at John F. Kennedy Park.

One of the organizers and co-owner of Galeria Mitotera, Melissa Brown-Dominguez, has been helping produce the festival all three years. Last year was the first year it was at John F. Kennedy Park, and they had over 4,600 people attend.

Throughout the fiesta last year, we had people stopping me and saying oh my gosh, I cant believe we are having concerts here again, this feels so good because I have memories here of previously coming here with family, and its just so nostalgic to revitalize that space. So it felt really good and validating that the community has been welcoming it, said Brown-Dominguez.

The festival features local artists, musicians, and organizations to bring the community together to celebrate corn and it’s significance to Tucsonans.

Theres just an array of ways we use maiz in our culture. And its not just Mexican cultures its in our indigenous cultures here, she said.

Many of the businesses and organizations chosen to help with the event share that same appreciation, including Ensenada Street Food on the Southside.

The corn the texture its so good, it basically feels like home you know,” said co-owner of Ensenada Street Food, Rachel Alvarez. We sell Mexican food, you know. Authentic Mexican food from Baja. So its great to be part of something who like celebrates it.

For this women-owned small business, it created new opportunities to grow.

Its just beautiful to have that collaboration and community, said Melissa Brown-Dominguez.

Brown-Dominguez also had the opportunity to showcase a project coordinated by her business, Galeria Mitotera.

Galeria Mitotera had previously created this art project with artist from Tucson, Phoenix, and Nogales. They were all commissioned to create this 7 foot by 7 foot mural panel, that depicts their feeling of living in the borderlands, she said.

Each panel will have a QR code linking to interviews with the artists, sharing how they felt when creating their pieces. This is just one example of the interactive art that will be at the festival.

Pueblos del Maiz kicks off April 11 and will have different activities and events throughout town. The events can be found at pueblosdelmaiz.com.

The Pueblos del Maiz Fiesta is at John F. Kennedy Park on 3357 South La Cholla Boulevard. It’s April 13 from 4 PM to 10 PM and is completely free, including parking, for the community of all ages. It’s encouraged to bring chairs and blankets to enjoy the afternoon and evening.