Tucson Urban Scene Magazine / February 2012 / TheZMag.com
zó•ca•lo Mexican Spanish. 1. a public square or plaza, esp. in the center of a city. 2. a gathering place or the center of activity in a community. Zócalo Tucson Magazine is an independently published community magazine, showcasing Tucson’s urban arts and culture. EDITOR Jamie Manser PRODUCTION ARTISTS Troy Martin, David Olsen CONTRIBUTORS Arizona Historical Society, Marisa Bernal, Carli Brosseau, Andrew Brown, Sarah Burton, VK Embee, Gerald Gay, KXCI, Kelly Lewis, Jim Lipson, Jamie Manser, Troy Martin, Phoenix Michael, David Olsen, Randy Peterson, Tom Prezelski, Daniel Rylander, Monica Surfaro Spigelman, Herb Stratford, Katelyn Swanson, Eric Swedlund, Johanna Willett. ADVERTISING Marie Hancock PUBLISHER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR David Olsen
CONTACT US: firstname.lastname@example.org P.O. Box 1171 Tucson, AZ 85702-1171 520.955.ZMAG (9624)
04 TIDBITS 05 ARTS 06 CENTENNIAL 19 EVENTS 38 EN_ROUTE 42 TUNES 47 LIFEINTUCSON 50
FROM THE EDITOR
ON THE COVER: Congress Street looking east, circa 1932. Photo courtesy Arizona Historical Society #BN34713.
Zócalo Tucson Magazine is a proud member of All content copyright © 2009-2012 by Media Zócalo, LLC. Reproduction of any material in this or any other issue is prohibited without written permission from the publisher and author. No person may, without prior written permission of the publisher, take more than one copy of each issue.
February 2012 | THEZMAG.com 3
Z from the editor
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“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” – William Faulkner While working on this month’s issue, I was re-reading Lydia R. Otero’s book “La Calle: Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwest City.” It covers the City’s past Downtown revitalization efforts and how 80 acres of historically significant houses and businesses were demolished in the late 1960s to make way for the Tucson Convention Center, La Placita Village and government buildings. The newspaper citations about Downtown in Dr. Otero’s book reminded me of an interview I had with filmmaker Ken Burns previous to the release of his documentary on Prohibition, when he said “you’ve got all these things that are in today’s headlines and they are back then.” One account that caught my eye was from October 1958, when Otero quoted the Tucson Daily Citizen scribing that Downtown was “Growing, expanding and improving.” Sound familiar? I love Downtown. It is important to recognize that downtown businesses are struggling. Some are dying. They need our support. Specifically, they need our dollars. I’ve often wondered if there is a curse hanging over the area, especially when one considers how much was lost with 1960s urban “renewal.” We, as a community, appreciate and recognize the fact that many are growing a Tucson destination where people want to live, work and play. Nevertheless, I believe must continue to be sensitive to the area’s history and honor those who came before us. With the Arizona Centennial upon us, we are offering a peek into Tucson’s past ten decades, as the town evolved as a community that was now a part of the United States. – Jamie Manser
by Kelly Lewis
photo: Ed Flores
Artifact Dance Project
2011 Buffalo Exchange Arts Award Goes to Artifact Dance Project Ashley Bowman, co-artistic director and founding member of Artifact Dance Project, won the 2011 Buffalo Exchange Arts Award of $10,000. Artifact Dance Project is an artistic company focused on integrating dance, live music and film. The award celebrates members of the arts and rotates between an emphasis on performance art, visual arts and arts/education. To find out more about Artifact Dance Project, visit ArtifactDanceProject.com. Nonviolence Legacy Project Receives Grant The Nonviolence Legacy Project (NVLP) of the Culture of Peace Alliance recently received a Martin Luther King Day Service grant from the Cesar Chavez Foundation. With the grant, the NVLP will host several youth-led community projects in upcoming months that encourage building peace through non-violence. Some of the events planned will occur during Black History Month (February) and Cesar Chavez Day (March). A Youth & Peace Conference is scheduled for March 3, with a full day of workshops and keynote speakers focused on stopping bullying and building peace and nonviolence in Tucson. For more information or to discuss options for your school or agency to participate, contact Ann Yellott at 991-6781 or e-mail email@example.com. DTP Offers $105K to Improve Downtown Faรงades In anticipation of the modern streetcar, the Downtown Tucson Partnership will be offering financial assistance to downtown building owners and tenants to improve the faรงades of downtown buildings as part of the 2012 Faรงade Improvement Program. The program will give up to $105,000 to a total of four participants to restore the faรงade of downtown buildings that were constructed before 1960, that are on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and are located within downtown. Applications are being accepted through March 5. Find the application at DowntownTucson.org.
February 2012 | THEZMAG.com 5
photos: David Olsen
A plane by FAILE artists.
Art on the Artifacts of Military History by Gerald M. Gay They ferried soldiers and government officials, engaged the enemy in battle and shuttled supplies to points around the globe. Now, some of Tucson’s aeronautical antiques are serving a new purpose, as contemporary works of art. On Jan. 28, the Pima Air & Space Museum launched “Round Trip: Art from the Boneyard Project,” an ambitious exhibition from the mind of gallery owner, Eric Firestone. More than 30 highly sought-after artists were recruited to turn salvaged nose cones, cockpits, control surfaces and propeller spinners into their own creative visions. On a much larger scale, three Super DC-3 planes, each one 80 feet long, have been completely transformed into visually explosive, three-dimensional murals, courtesy of major names, such as How & Nosm, FAILE, Nunca and Retna. “This is a modern interpretation from contemporary artists,” Firestone said. “They are taking these objects from a romantic period of American military history and re-imagining them.” The idea came to Firestone two years ago, while running his gallery in East Hampton, Long Island. Firestone dealt with a lot of creative minds, including many street artists, in New York. He also spent years in Tucson and was familiar with the unique relics that sat dormant on the city’s southeast side. He envisioned bringing the two together, using airplanes as canvases, much like subways and buses had been used since the 1960s.“Nobody had done anything with the planes out there,” he said. Firestone enlisted famed New York art critic and writer Carlo McCormick to curate. McCormick, a well-schooled cultural historian, was initially resistant to the idea. “The art world is a great place for the recycling of our culture,” he said. “But I didn’t want to do a show that was like some scrap heap of reused metal.”His mindset changed when he traveled to Tucson with Firestone and saw the boneyards for himself.
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“I saw the great potential of these huge planes as amazing canvases for certain kinds of artists, particularly graffiti and street artists who are used to conquering on a grand scale,” he said. In 2011, Firestone and McCormick launched the first installation of the “Boneyard” series, dubbed “Nose Job,” in New York. The exhibition featured airplane nose cones from Tucson, creatively reworked into gallery pieces by an array of artists, including Shepard Fairey and Raymond Pettibon; an homage to the classic nose cone art of days-gone-by. “It was an eye opener,” Firestone said. “We saw everyone, from small children to 70-year-olds reacting to the work.” Even before that, Firestone was thinking bigger. He had already acquired multiple planes from Tucson’s salvage yards and brought in artists to Southern Arizona, from all over to work on them. The initial plan was to transport the entire exhibition to the East Coast. But a more plausible and affordable opportunity presented itself, when Scott Marchand, the director of collections and aircraft restoration at the Pima Air & Space Museum offered to host the installation on museum grounds. “This seemed like the perfect blend for us,” Marchand said. “We are always trying to find ways to reach out to the wider community. As novel as it is for us to exhibit contemporary art, my feeling is that it was equally as novel for these artists to work on vintage aircraft.” Among the visually striking pieces on display in the museum’s main hangar and outside grounds are works by Faile, Lee Quinones, Ron English, Mark Kostabi and Collin Chillag, just to name a few. San Francisco-based artist Andrew Schoultz started his project, painting a Lockheed VC-140 JetStar used by the State Department, less than a month ago. Schoultz was originally brought on to paint a large wall at the museum that would have served as the backdrop to the exhibition. When that fell through, Firestone offered him the VC-140. “I’ve done several huge murals around the world,” Schoultz said. “Painting large, big and fast has never been a problem for me. But paint-
“Round Trip” runs through the end of May at Pima Air & Space Museum, 6000 E. Valencia Rd. More information is at PimaAir.org.
Local artist Daniel Martin Diaz painted a Vietnam era cluster bomb.
Photo by Kati Astraeir
ing on a metal surface and making sure that you are painting something that is going to stick required a little bit of homework.” Daniel Martin Diaz stands as the only Tucson-based artist chosen to participate in “Round Trip.” As a Tucson native, Diaz was quick to accept when Firestone pitched the idea to him in late December. “Our old house was literally across the wash from the boneyards,” Diaz said. “For 18 years, I watched planes coming and going. I thought it was fitting.” Diaz chose an eight-foot-tall, Vietnam-era cluster bomb from the museum‘s own reserve collection, for his canvas. With a red-and-white body, accented by Latin phrasing, dark skulland-crossbones imagery and a passage from the Book of Revelation, Diaz touches on themes that run though many of his works, including the dualities of good and evil. “I wanted to make it look like a dangerous object, but still make it intriguing,” he said. “Like it rolled off the factory floor like that.” McCormick believes there is a great cultural significance to the materials being used in “Round Trip” and that the Pima Air & Space Museum is the perfect venue to showcase such art. “I want people there to know and feel what they have in their own backyard,” he said. He added, “It is a great opportunity for us and all the artists to address an audience that does not particularly know or care a lot about art. Visual language should be universally accessible, the way music on the radio might be, and we feel strongly that both art and the population at large would do well if this kind of creativity were not some esoteric field for the very few.” n
Alison Torba performs in “NUMB” for this year’s Fringe Festival.
On The Fringe by Herb Stratford
“A little scary and exciting” is how Tucson Fringe Festival co-founder Yassi Jahanmir describes this year’s festival. Coming off of a successful, initial event last year that drew hundreds to see experimental theatre work, this year’s festival will again feature performances that adhere to the “Fringe Festival” dogma. That means that the artists are presenting works that are experimental in nature, censorshipfree and affordable to all. The world’s first “Fringe Festival” took place in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1947 and while there are now festivals all over the world, the Western U.S is only just now getting on board. Tucson joins Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix as locations where artist and audience can freely experiment and engage in “fringe” activities. While some works that debut at a Fringe Festival end up becoming cultural touchstones and commercial success (Avenue Q, Urinetown), others may not, but therein lies the excitement of “Fringe.” Not unlike a film fan discovering a great piece of cinema at a film festival, “Fringe” attendees may be witnessing the birth of a new piece of theatre gold, a treasure that you can say “I saw it first.” Organizers Jahanmir and Sara Habib are staging the festival downtown due to their commitment to our burgeoning city center. Jahanmir expressed a desire to try to create the synergy she saw at the New York Fringe Festival when she volunteered and wanted to allow artists to have a “safe zone to try things and to be crazy.” With performances scheduled for three days at Solar Culture and Beowulf Alley Theatre, there will be ample opportunity to see some eclectic works by both well-known artists and some new faces. This year, Fish Karma and Alison J. Torba are returning from last year’s festival with new pieces and will be joined by four new performers, Dylan Fresco, One Gentle Mule, Joan O’Dwyer and Catfish Baruni. Plans for the future of “Fringe” in Tucson include the possible creation of performance workshops and panels and other activities to keep “Fringe” alive during the year. n Tucson Fringe Festival performances are Feb. 24-26 at Beowulf Alley Theatre Company, 11 S. 6th Ave., and Solar Culture, 31 E. Toole Ave. See the schedule at TucsonFringe.org.
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Photo by Katelyn Swanson
From Wood to Bronze to Found Objects Festival features an amalgam of sculpted materials by Gerald M. Gay
“Flower of the Shower” by Jorge Gonzalez
The Tucson Sculpture Festival has downsized this year for your benefit. Rather than expanding to multiple galleries in the downtown area, the annual event has put the brunt of the works by its 50-plus artists on display at the Sculpture Resource Center, 640 N. Stone Ave. The Mat Bevel Museum of Kinetic Sculpture and Studio 108 also are participating, but only to showcase pieces created by their owners, Mat Bevel and Susan Kay Johnson. “They are more like satellite galleries,” said spokesman Danny Wolverton, who helped launch the first sculpture festival with his arts collective, the Parasol Project, three years ago. “We are trying to consolidate into fewer locations. We want to make it easier for people to get around and view the different pieces.” The festival began as a way to expose out-of-town guests, in Tucson for the gem and mineral show, to the range of talent that inhabits the Old Pueblo. That hasn’t changed, Wolverton said. This year’s festivities started on January 27 and will end on February 12, running concurrently with gem show activities. “We want to make sure Tucson is on the map for people, as a city that has the ability to produce really great art,” Wolverton said. At the same time, he added, Tucsonans get a chance to celebrate its own creative community.
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The pieces featured this year come in all shapes in sizes, made from just about every material imaginable, from wood to bronze to found objects. Local sculptor Moises Orozco works with glass, metal and wood and has three pieces on display; an elephant made from scrap metal, a dragon-like creature created from a tree trunk and a female centaur, also metal, that stands seven feet tall and weighs around 500 pounds. “She definitely catches your eye,” he said. Orozco, 35, has been creating art in Tucson since he was 13-years-old and participated in the first two sculpture festivals. A fabricator by trade, Orozco has sold pieces and received commissions through the event. “I love that they are trying to show our sculptures to people who appreciate art, stones and minerals,” he said. “Most stones are formed by nature. Sculptures are a way for humans to put our thumbprint into the world and our energy into creating something the way nature does.” Other artists participating in the festival include well-known local names, such as Gonzalo Espinosa, Jorge Vergeli and Andy Thurlow. n Sculpture fest viewing hours are noon-7 p.m., Tuesdays-Sundays at the Sculpture Resource Center; 1 p.m.-7 p.m. Fridays-Sundays at Studio 108, 108 W. Fifth St.; and 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays at the Mat Bevel Museum of Kinetic Sculpture, 530 N. Stone Ave. Admission to all three galleries is free. For more information, visit SculptureResourceCenter.com
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Art Galleries/exhibits ART GALLERY The Valentine Show presents the many views of love as interpreted by over 20 artists, Feb 2-Feb 25. Thu-Sat: 11am-4pm; and by appointment. 1122 N. Stone Ave. 624- 7099, HolyJoeStudio.com
ARTHRITIS FOUNDATION Western landscape paintings in oil and pastel by Tucson artist Gay Scheibl, Feb 2-March 1. Mon-Wed, Fri, 8am-5pm; Thursday 8am-12pm. 2102 N. Country Club Rd, Ste. #3. 603-5666, Arthiritis.org
Chris Gall: Please Don’t Tell continues through March 15. Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm; Sat 10am-5pm. 3550 E. Grant Rd., 327-7291. ArtsEye.com
BLUE RAVEN GALLERY Crazy For Color continues through March 10. Thu, noon-4pm; Fri, noon-5pm; Sat 11am-5pm. 3042 N. 1st Ave. 623-1003, BlueRavenGalleryandGifts.com
CENTER FOR CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY
Ansel Adams: The View From Here runs through March 4. Photo Fridays, an exclusive look at the Center’s renowned fine art and photography, Feb 3, 11:30am-3:30pm. Matthew Coolidge: Anthropogeomorphological Extrapolations - The Center for Land Use Interpretation on the Ground, Mon, Feb 20 at 5:30pm. Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sun, noon-5pm. 1030 N. Olive Rd. 621-7968, CreativePhotography.org
“Going Gaga” by Christine Zabramny is part of The Valentine Show at ART Gallery, Feb 2-Feb 25.
CONRAD WILDE GALLERY
Seventh Annual Encaustic Invitational opens Sat, Feb 4 with a reception from 6pm-9pm. Wed-Sat, 12pm-5pm. 439 N. 6th Ave. #171. 622-8997, ConradWildeGallery.com
CONTRERAS GALLERY Father and Son Art Show: Work by Frank and Owen Rose opens on Sat, Feb 4 with a reception from 6pm-10pm. Tues-Fri 11am-5pm, Sat 11am-4pm. 110 E. 6th St. 398-6557, ContrerasHouseFineArt.com
DAVIS DOMINGUEZ GALLERY
Paintings by Duncan Martin and sculpture by Barbara Jo Mclaughlin opens Thu, Feb 2 with the Art Safari 2012 opening reception on Sat, Feb 4 from 6pm-8pm. Into a Large Place, paintings of the National Parks, opens Feb 2 with a reception Sat, Feb 4 from 6pm-8pm. Thu-Fri, 11am-5pm; Sat, 11am-4pm. 154 E. 6th St. 629-9759, DavisDominguez.com
Mostly Black, Mainly White Vintage Silhouettes through April 28th. 2612 E. Broadway. 319-0888, decoarttucson.com
DEGRAZIA GALLERY IN THE SUN
Portraits of DeGrazia continues through February. The Little Gallery: Ceramic tiles by Brian Beamish, Feb 12-Feb 24; Animal Portraits by Paul Hopman opens Sun, Feb 26. Daily, 10am-4pm. 6300 N. Swan Rd. 299-9191, DeGrazia.org
Chris Gall: Please Don’t Tell continues through March 15 at Artseye Gallery.
THE DRAWING STUDIO
Bridges: An Exchange Exhibition, featuring the work of 16 artists from Tucson, Arizona and the United Kingdom, through Feb 25 with a reception Sat, Feb 4 from 6pm-9pm.Tue-Sat, noon-4pm. 33 S. 6th Ave. 6200947, TheDrawingStudio.org.
ETHERTON GALLERY Don’t Look Now: work by Craig Cully, Chris Rush and James Reed continues through March 17. Tue-Sat, 11am-5pm. 135 S. 6th Ave. 6247370, EthertonGallery.com
GEORGE STRASBURGER STUDIO AND GALLERY
People and Places continues through March 31. Thu-Sat, 11am- 4pm and by appointment. George Strasburger Studio and Gallery, 172 E. Toole St. 882-2160, GeorgeStrasburger.com
continued on page 12
Portraits of Degrazia continues through February at Degrazia Gallery in the Sun. Painting by Hutton Webster Jr.
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1930’s Smith Frederick vintage silhouette at Deco.
“Michaela” by George Strasburger is part of the People and Places exhibit that continues through Sat, March 31 at the George Strasburger Studio and Gallery.
“Flowers for Susan” is part of the Fall In Love With Flowers exhibit that opens Feb 1 at Madaras Gallery.
JOSEPH GROSS GALLERY
The Current Past, curated by Jackson Boelt, continues through Feb 24. Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-4pm. 1031 N. Olive Rd. 626-4215, CFA.arizona.edu/galleries
RAICES TALLER 222 ART GALLERY Vicios y Virtudes, an exploration
LIONEL ROMBACH GALLERY Annual Visual Communication Juried Exhi-
bition runs Feb 7-Feb 16 with a reception Sat, Feb 4 from 3:30pm-5pm. 3D Annual Invitational Exhibition opens Tue, Feb 21. Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-4pm. 1031 N. Olive Rd. 624-4215, CFA.arizona.edu/galleries
LOUIS CARLOS BERNAL GALLERY East/Pacific/West: Confluence continues through March 9. Gallery talk Thu, Feb 9 from 1:30pm-2:30pm, reception from 5pm-7pm and lecture at 7pm. Mon, Wed 10:30am-5pm; Tue, Thu 10am-5pm; Fri 10am-3pm. 2202 W. Anklam Rd.206-6942, Pima.Edu/cfa
MADARAS GALLERY Fall in Love with Flowers opens Feb 1. Mon-Sat 10am-
of personal values through paintings, continues through Feb 25. Fri-Sat, 1pm-5pm & by appointment. 218 E. 6th St. 881-5335, RaicesTaller222.webs.com Quantum Mysticism, featuring the art of Daniel Martin Diaz, continues through Mar 31. Wed-Fri, 1pm-4pm; Sat, 4pm-9pm; Sun, 3pm6pm. 245 E. Congress St. 777-7403, SacredMachine.com
THE SOUTHERN ARIZONA WATERCOLOR GUILD
Experimental Show begins Feb 8 with an awards reception on Fri, Feb 17 from 5pm-7pm. Tuesday-Sunday, 11am-4pm. River Center Plaza, 5605 E. River Rd, Suite 131. 2997294, WaterColor-Sawg.org
TEMPLE GALLERY Jeff Smith: Drivescapes continues through Feb 21. Dirk
6pm, Sun 11am-5:00pm. 3001 East Skyline Dr, #101. 615-3001, Madaras.com.
Arnold: Endangered Architecture opens Feb 25, reception is Fri, Mar 2 at 5:30pm. Mon–Fri, 10am-5pm. 330 S. Scott Ave. 624-7370, EthertonGallery.com
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART Free admission day on Sat, Feb
TUCSON MUSEUM OF ART
11. Wed-Sun, noon-5pm. $8, adults; free, children under 12, members, military; free to all second Wednesday of the month. 265 S. Church Ave. 624-5019, MOCATucson.org
Storytelling, an exhibition of ceramic sculpture, continues through March 10. Artist reception Sat, Feb 4 from 6pm-9pm. 410 N. Toole Ave.., #120. 577-3598, Obsidian-Gallery.com
PHILABAUM GLASS GALLERY & STUDIO Glass 30-40-50 (30th anniversary of Philabaum Glass Gallery, 40 years the studio artists have worked in glass, and the 50th anniversary of the American Studio Glass Movement) begins Sat, Feb 4. Where Were You in ’62 lecture will take place at 1pm with an opening reception from 6pm-9pm. Tue-Sat, 10am-5pm. 711 S. 6th Ave. 884-7404, PhilabaumGlass.com
PORTER HALL GALLERY
Tracy Ledbetter, Bugs & Blooms continues through Feb 28. $8, Adults; $4, Children 4-12; Free, Children 3 and younger. 2150 N. Alvernon Way. 326-9686, TucsonBotanical.org
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El Nacimiento continues through Mar 18. Tesoros del Pueblo: Latin American Folk Art, Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray, and Frida’s Style: Traditional Women’s Costumes from Mexico continue through June. Tue-Sat, 10am-4pm; Sun, noon-4pm. $8, adults; $6, seniors; $3, students 13+; free, children under 12 & members. Free to all the first Sunday of the month. 140 N. Main Ave. 624-2333, TucsonMuseumofArt.org
UA ART MUSEUM
The Border Project: Soundscapes, Landscapes and Lifescapes continues through March 18. Matt Eskuche & Matthias Düwel: Consumer Consumption continues through April 22. Tue-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sat-Sun, noon-4pm. $5 adults; children/students/faculty, free. 1031 N. Olive Rd. ArtMuseum.arizona.edu
TUCSON PIMA ARTS COUNCIL Mixed-Media Paintings by Barbara Brandel, Lorrie Parsell shows through March 28. Mon-Fri; 8:30am-5pm. Tucson Pima Arts Council, 100 N. Stone Ave. 624-0595, TucsonPimaArtsCouncil.org
UA POETRY CENTER Be Mine: Collaborations between Writers and Artists opens Feb 1, reception Mon, Feb 13 from 5:30pm-7pm. Mon/Thurs, 9am-8pm; Tues/Wed, 9am-6pm; Fri, 9am-5pm. 1508 E. Helen St. 626-3765, Poetry.Arizona.Edu
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Museums/exhibits ARIZONA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Fort Lowell Days: Vintage baseball game, Sibley Army tent, hospital ruins and more on Sat, Feb 11. Mon-Sat; 10am4pm. Ft Lowell Museum, 2900 N. Craycroft Rd. 770-1473, ArizonaHistoricalSociety. org
ARIZONA-SONORA DESERT MUSEUM Art Of Conservation continues through continues through March 11. Regularly: Desert flora and fauna, animal presentations, Raptor Free Flights, more. $14.50, adults; $4.50, children 6-12. Daily, 7:30am-5pm. 2021 N. Kinney Rd. 883-1380, DesertMuseum.org
ARIZONA STATE MUSEUM
The 19th Annual Southwest Indian Art Fair is Sat, Feb 18 and Sun, Feb 19. Meet 200+ Native artists. Artist demonstrations, Native food, music, dance performances. Event times vary. $5, children free. Regular hours: Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm. UA Campus, 1013 E. University Blvd. 626-8381, StateMuseum.Arizona.edu
FLANDRAU SCIENCE CENTER Biters, Hiders, Stinkers & Stingers continues through early summer. Explore the science of venom, camouflage, sharp fangs and poisonous skin. Mon-Fri, 10am-3pm; Thu-Fri, 6pm-9pm; Sat, 10am-9pm; Sun, 1pm-4pm. $7.50, adults, children 4-15, $5, under 4, free. AZ Students with ID, $2. 1601 E. University Blvd. 621-STAR, Flandrau.org
JEWISH HISTORY MUSEUM
Celebrating Arizona: The Centennial Exhibit shows Feb 10-Feb 24, showcasing the rich history of the state and the contribution the Jewish community has made to that history. What They Saved, Pieces of a Jewish Past presented by author Nancy K. Miller as part of the Jewish Storytelling Festival on Sun, Feb 26 at 2pm. Wed-Sun, 1pm-4pm. $5 non-members, free for members. 564 S. Stone Ave. 670-9073, JewishHistoryMuseum.org
LA PILITA MUSUEM Evening Art Walk Exhibit features Martha Phinney on Sat, Feb 4 with Babamarimba playing from 5pm-7pm. On Sat, Feb 11, the museum hosts a Centennial event, 11am-2pm, with the exhibit From Camino Real to Main Avenue along with showing the first movie seen in Tucson (5 minutes & silent!). TueSat 11am-2pm. 420 S. Main. 882-7454, LaPilita.com
Discover, experience, explore our solar system & Mars. 300 E. Congress St. 622-8595, ScienceDowntown.org
SOUTHERN ARIZONA TRANSPORTATION MUSEUM
Celebrate downtown with SATM as part of the Arizona Centennial Celebration on Sunday, Feb 12. Free. Tue-Thu & Sun, 11am-3pm; Fri-Sat, 10am-4pm. 414 N. Toole Ave. 6232223, TucsonHistoricDepot.org
TOHONO CHUL PARK
Best of Zuni - a show and sale of silver and stone, Feb 10-12, 10am-4pm. Free admission at the park for Arizona’s birthday on Tues, Feb 14 from 8am-5pm. Arizona Centennial Exhibition continues through April 2012. In celebration of Arizona’s centennial birthday, the exhibit features artworks that focus on the flora, fauna, landscape and culture that defines Arizona. Beautiful Desert Gardens, an arm-chair tour, with designer Shelly Ann Abbott, Sat, Feb 25 from 2pm4pm. Daily events: Reptile Ramble, Eco-Station Walks, more. See the website for other events. Daily, 8am-5pm. $7, 13+; $5, 62+ & military; $3 students; $2 children. 7366 N. Paseo del Norte. 742-6455, TohonoChulPark.org
TUCSON BOTANICAL GARDENS
Butterfly Magic, Arizona’s only live tropical butterfly exhibit, continues through April (special pricing for this exhibit). Regular entry fees are $7, adults; $3, children 4-12. Daily, 8:30am-4:30pm (except holidays). 2150 N. Alvernon Way. 326-9686, TucsonBotanical.org
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Performances ARIZONA FRIENDS OF CHAMBER MUSIC Piano and Friends concert featuring Elena Urioste on violin and Michael Brown on piano on Sun, Feb 5, 3pm. Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio performs Wed, Feb 22, 7:30pm. TCC’s Leo Rich Theatre, 260 S. Church Ave. 577-3769, ArizonaChamberMusic.org
ARIZONA ONSTAGE PRODUCTIONS
The Marvelous Wonderettes, an upbeat 50s/60s musical, continues through Sun, Feb 5. Tickets from $25-$32.50. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. 270-3332, ArizonaOnStage.org
ARIZONA OPERA Madama Butterfly shows Sat, Feb 4, 7:30pm; Sun, Feb 5 at 2pm. TCC’s Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. 293-4336, AZOpera.com
ARIZONA THEATRE COMPANY
Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps continues through Sat, Feb 4. The Great Gatsby, inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great American novel, opens Sat, Feb 25; various show times. America’s famed comedy troupe, The Second City, is coming to town with its one of a kind Laugh Out Loud Tour on Sat, Feb 11, 8pm and Sun, Feb 12, 2pm. Cafe Bohemia, a season of play readings, jams and ideas, featuring diverse new works from bold and inventive playwrights, shows Sat, Feb 11, 10pm. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. 8848210, ArizonaTheatre.org
BEOWULF ALLEY THEATRE COMPANY We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay! tells a comical tale of a housewife who steals groceries as part of a spontaneous community action where 300 women do the same. Continues through Sun, Feb 19. Various show times. Old Time Radio Theatre presents classic radio shows every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7pm, $10 at the door. Beowulf Alley, 11 S. 6th Ave. 882-0555, BeowulfAlley.org
BERGER PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
American Theatre Arts for Youth presents Cinderella on Wed, Feb 29, 10am. Goitse in concert Sat, Feb 25 at 8pm. 1200 W. Speedway Blvd. BergerCenter.com
BLACK CHERRY BURLESQUE Tantalizing burlesque performance on Fri, Feb 3 at 8pm, 10pm. Surly Wench Pub, 424 N. 4th Ave. 882-0009, TucsonBurlesque.com
Agnes Under the Big Top: A Tall Tale opens Thu, Feb 9. Various show times. Zuzi’s Theater, 738 N. 5th Ave.882-7406, BorderlandsTheater.org
CARNIVAL OF ILLUSION Sarlot and Eyed perform weekends this month. See website for details. Tucson Double Tree Hotel, 445 S. Alvernon Way. 615-5299, CarnivalOfIllusion.com
THE GASLIGHT THEATRE Where there is injustice, you will find The Two Amigos! Continues through Sun, Mar 25. Concerts include: The Blues Brothers in Blues and Soul Explosion on Mon, Feb 6, 7pm; Strait Country, A Tribute to George Strait, on Mon, Feb 13, 7pm; Mariachi Extravaganza on Mon, Feb 20, 7pm; and Dream Lover, A Salute to Bobby Darin, starring Robert Shaw on Mon, Feb 27, 7pm. Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. 886-9428, TheGaslightTheatre.com
INVISIBLE THEATRE The World Premiere comedy about sibling rivalry gone wrong, Look Ma We’re Dancing opens Wed, Feb 8. Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. 1st Ave. 882-9721, InvisibleTheatre.com
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February 2012 | THEZMAG.com 15
Leo Kottke, a true guitar wizard, performs on Thu, Feb 9 and Fri, Feb 10 at the Temple of Music and Art.
Kathy Griffin performs her sassy and saucy brand of comedy on Thu, Feb 16 at 7:30pm at the Tucson Convention Center.
LEO KOTTKE A true guitar wizard with a 40 year history of performance and recording, combines tunes with unique and well-known songs on Thu, Feb 9 and Fri, Feb 10, 8pm. Prices vary. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. 981-1475, InConcertTucson.com
LIVE THEATRE WORKSHOP
All My Sons by Arthur Miller continues through Feb 12. Shirley Valentine opens on the main stage Thu, Feb 16. All Together Theatre presents Bringing Literature to Life! on Sun, Feb 5, 1pm; Goldilocks and the Three Bears runs Sundays at 1pm starting Sun, Feb 12. Etcetera, the late-night arm of the Live Theatre Workshop, presents Wit opening Thu, Feb 23, 7:30pm. Various times and prices. Live Theatre Workshop, 5317 E. Speedway Blvd. 327-4242, LiveTheatreWorkshop.org
NOT BURNT OUT JUST UNSCREWED
The improv comedy troupe performs Fri, Feb 3, 7:30 pm at Revolutionary Grounds Coffee House, 606 N. 4th Ave., for audiences of all ages. Another performance will be held on Fri, Feb 17, 7pm at Rock N Java Café, 7555 W. Twin Peaks Rd. Free. 861-2986, UnscrewedComedy. com
ODYSSEY STORYTELLING SERIES
Pets: See Spot Run, curated by Lori Riegel, shows Thu, Feb 2, 7pm. Fluxx Studios, 414 E. 9th St. 730-4112, OdysseyStorytelling.com
PCC THEATRE ARTS Curtains opens Wed, Feb 22. Shows: Wed-Sat, 7:30pm; Sun, 2pm. Singing for Pleasure: Dr. Jonathan Ng performs Sun, Feb 12, 3pm. Dr. Alexander Lapins, Tuba Recital on Thu, Feb 16, 7pm. Presidio Goes To Hollywood: A Tribute to the Hollywood Saxophone Quartet takes place Sun, Feb 19. Show prices vary; see website for details. PCC Center for the Arts Recital Hall, 2202 W. Anklam Rd. 206-6670, Pima.edu/cfa
THE ROGUE THEATRE
The New Electric Ballroom by Enda Walsh opens Thu, Feb 23 with shows Thu-Sat, 7:30pm. Various ticket prices. 738 N. 5th Ave. 551-2053, TheRogueTheatre.org
TUCSON CONVENTION CENTER
Kathy Griffin performs Thu, Feb 16, 7:30pm; Benny Benassi performs Fri, Feb 17, 8pm. Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. TucsonConventionCenter.org.
TUCSON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Just For Kids presents TSO String 16 THEZMAG.com | February 2012
Quartet featuring David Rife, Wynne Wong-Rife, Llona Vukovic-Gay and Mary Beth Tyndall at the Tucson Symphony Center on Sat, Feb 4, 10am and 11:15am. MasterWorks Series presents American Portraits at Catalina Foothills High School on Sat, Feb 4, 8pm; Sun, Feb 5, 2pm. Classic Series presents Arizona Centennial Celebration at Tucson Music Hall on Fri, Feb 10, 8pm; Sun, Feb 12, 2pm. Concert Special presents Midori on Sat, Feb 11, 2pm. TSO Pops! Series presents Back in the Saddle Again, More Music of the West on Sat, Feb 25, 7:30pm; Sun, Feb 26, 2pm. Tucson Symphony Center, 2175 N. 6th Ave. 882-8585, TucsonSymphony.org
TUCSON GUITAR SOCIETY David Russel in concert on Sat, Feb 25, 7pm; Sun, Feb 26, 2:30pm. Hosclaw Recital Hall, 1017 N. Olive Rd. 342-0022, TucsonGuitarSociety.org
UA’S ARIZONA REPERTORY THEATRE Necessary Targets opens Sun, Feb 5 at Tornabene Theatre. Julius Caesar opens Sun, Feb 26 at Marroney Theatre. Various times and prices. 1025 N. Olive Rd. 621-1162, web.cfa.arizona.edu/ theatre
Arizona 100: A Celebration Through the Lens of Time premieres Sat, Feb 11 from 3pm-5pm in Centennial Hall. Reception on Arizona State Museum Lawn after performance. Love Notes runs Feb 14-Feb 17 in the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre. Prices vary. Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. 621-3341. 621-4698, web.cfa.arizona.edu/dance
Garrison Keillor speaks on Wed, Feb 1 at 7:30pm; National Dance Company of Colombia performs Sat, Feb 4 at 8pm; Itzhak Perlman performs violin on Sun, Feb 12 at 6:30pm; Trisha Brown Dance Company performs Sat, Feb 18 at 8pm; The Chieftains perform Sun, Feb 19 at 6:30pm; Penn and Teller perform comedy on Fri, Feb 24 at 8pm; and Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra performs Sun, Feb 26 at 6:30pm. Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. 621-3341, UAPresents. org
WAYPOINT THEATRE COMPANY Tuesdays with Morrie shows Thu, Feb 16-Sun, Feb 19 and Thu, Feb 23-Sun, Feb 26. Atria Bell Court Gardens, 6653 E. Carondelet Drive. 616-8584, Waypoint-Theatre.org
ZUZI! DANCE COMPANY
Performance in the Historic Fox Theater at the 31st Annual ADDY Awards on Sat, Feb 18 at 8pm. Zuzi’s Little Theater, 738 N. 5th Ave. 629-0237, ZuziMovieIt.org
February 2012 | THEZMAG.com 17
President William H. Taft signs Arizona into statehood, Feb 14, 1912. Photo courtesy Arizona Historical Society #17714.
A Brief Retrospective of the Last Ten Decades Statehood’s really got nothing on Tucson’s history. One hundred years is a drop in the bucket compared to the 4,000-plus-years this area has been occupied. But, there certainly have been some fascinating characters since Arizona was brought into the U.S. fold as the nation’s 48th state on February 14, 1912. Zócalo’s coverage of the last century in Tucson is certainly not all encompassing. In fact, we didn’t include some major names and events. We’re just offering snapshots into the last ten decades, mostly focusing on Downtown. We’ll make it up in future issues. Drop me a line with what you’d like to see covered – Jamie@zocalotucson.com
We hope you enjoy learning about a few of Tucson’s scrappy characters. Some things never change. We’ll have to fill you in on how Tucson’s Centennial Celebrations came about for the weekend of Feb 10-12. But that’s a story for another time. A big thank you to the ladies at the Arizona Historical Society Library: Kate, Alexandria, Jill (and the other ladies who’s names I missed, my apologies), for your patience and help as I sought out images for this issue. n —Jamie Manser
February 2012 | THEZMAG.com 19
Josephine Hughes, circa 1887. Photo courtesy Arizona Historical Society #1887.
Congress Street, dated 1913-1915, facing west. The Greenwald & Adams store on right was situated at 71 E. Congress St. Also pictured: Myers & Bloom Co., 69 E. Congress St., Opera House, 55 E. Congress St. Photo courtesy Arizona Historical Society #74541
Josephine Hughes “Mother of Arizona” - December 22, 1839-March 22, 1926 Just prior to statehood, Pima County was considered marginally Republican. In 1910, local Democrats were divided and a Republican delegation was elected to represent Tucson at the Constitutional Convention. In the end, they voted against, and refused to sign, what they considered a radical state constitution written entirely by a progressive Democratic majority. Tucson, however, had been the birthplace of the progressive politics which dominated Arizona at the time. In territorial days, the Arizona Daily Star of Tucson was the leading voice of reform, advocating radical ideas such as the right of workers to organize, the secret ballot, and women’s suffrage. The outspoken editor and publisher of the Star was Lewis Hughes, but it was his wife, Josephine, who did much of the day to day work of running the paper as he pursued a political career which included an abortive and controversial term as governor. For her part, Josephine Hughes was an equally aggressive advocate for reform, working for public schools and organizing Arizona’s chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, but securing the vote for women remained
her primary cause. Josephine’s tireless work assured that the issue remained on the agenda, but attempts to expand suffrage failed in both the territorial legislature and at the constitutional convention. Leaders in both parties feared the possibility of a new voting bloc. Josephine’s son, John, a Tucson attorney and progressive Democrat, was elected Senator from Pima County in the First State Legislature in 1911. Josephine accompanied her son to the state capitol, and his mission was clear. When his efforts fell short, mother and son resolved that it would be best to take the issue directly to the people. They led a petition drive which put the suffrage issue on the ballot. It passed statewide in 1912 with over two thirds of the vote, eight years before the passage of the U.S. Constitution’s 19th Amendment. This Tucson woman’s role in shaping modern Arizona did not go unrecognized by her contemporaries. The state’s first Governor, George W.P. Hunt, who carried the torch for many of the causes she advocated, dubbed Josephine Hughes the “Mother of Arizona.” n —Tom Prezelski
Andrew Ellicott Douglass “Father of Dendrochronology” - July 5, 1867–March 20, 1962 The University of Arizona’s first world-renowned scientist, A.E. Douglass was an astronomer and climatologist praised for his innovation, creativity and versatility. He founded the field of dendrochronology, the study of tree-ring dating, which is now the backbone of climate change research. He also founded the UA’s Steward Observatory, capitalizing on a climate perfectly suited to make Tucson a world leader in astronomy. A Harvard-trained astronomer who arrived in Arizona by stagecoach in 1894 to scout locations for Percival Lowell’s observatory, Douglass joined the UA faculty in 1906 and quickly became one of the most enthusiastic – and prescient – early boosters for both the university and the state of Arizona. Dr. A.E. Douglass examining rings on a tree IN HIS OWN WORDS: • April 12, 1908, “University Observatory Needed Badly,” stump. Date unknown. Photo courtesy Arizona guest opinion, Arizona Daily Star: “Nothing advertises a cliHistorical Society mate better than big telescope. A large observatory, mounted #56831. with the University, would be a capital ‘buy’ for the people of Arizona. Statehood will be safe in the hands of such publicspirited citizens.” • Aug. 3, 1914, Letter to Gov. George W.P. Hunt: “It would be one of the best investments we could make on account of
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our climate, enabling us to jump ahead of other institutions at once and with certainty. Such an adjunct to the university … will attract attention, stimulate students coming here, supply a show place of universal interest for the inspection of visitors and give everywhere the impression that we are hustlers and take advantage of our opportunities.” • April 23, 1923, Steward Observatory Dedication: “In this Observatory I sincerely hope and expect that the boundaries of human knowledge will be advanced. Astronomy was the first science developed by our primitive ancestors thousands of years ago. Today it is telling us facts, forever wonderful, about the size of our universe; perhaps tomorrow it will give practical help in showing us how to predict climate conditions in the future.” • Oct. 4, 1937, Proposal to establish the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research: “Our climatic work now comprises thousands of years of data. We have in our possession at present the only practical line of development of a prediction problem whose importance to human welfare cannot be overestimated.” Source: University of Arizona Library Special Collections —Eric Swedlund
February 2012 | THEZMAG.com 21
twenties - thirties
Looking west on Congress Street from between Scott & Stone Avenues, circa 1926. Photo courtesy Arizona Historical Society #10421
atre Foundation Courtesy The Rialto The
The Golden Age of Tucson’s Performing Palaces: 1920-1930
Courtesy Herb Stratford’s po stcard collecti on
30. Rialto Theatre, circa 19
Temple of Mus ic and Art post card.
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The years between 1920 and 1930 were truly the heyday of Tucson’s performing arts venues. It began with the Rialto Theatre’s opening in 1920 at 318 E. Congress St., a sister building of sorts to the Hotel Congress across the street. While initially designed for live performances, as movies were still in their infancy as an art form, the Rialto would soon be adapted to show talkies, and be remodeled to compete with other venues as they arrived downtown. The Rialto was of course not the first, nor the only live performance venue in town, as other events took place at venues such as Levin’s Opera House and the State Theatre, but it was a great addition to the eastern end of downtown. Joining the scene in 1927 was the Temple of Music and Art, located at 330 S. Scott Ave. The brainchild of a dedicated group of ladies led by Madeline Dreyfuss Heineman, and known as the Saturday Morning Music Club, their new venue would be home to the finest musicians and performances in the Southwest. The Temple played host to many world famous musical talents including Joshua Heifetz and others. On April 11, 1930 the Fox Theatre,
17 W. Congress St. joined the scene as the largest, most expensive and most ornate venue in Arizona. With its 34foot neon sign, the 1,200 seat Fox welcomed patrons to its unique southwestern art deco décor and plush accoutrements. Not to be left in the dust, the Rialto quickly began a remodel to attempt to retain its customers, which were flocking to the newest venue downtown. 1930 also saw the debut of the Plaza Theatre, on the west end of Congress Street as the community’s first dedicated Spanish language venue. Designed by Tucson architectural legend Roy Place, the Spanish revival building was once managed by Tucson artist Ted DeGrazia, but was sadly demolished in 1969 as part of city urban renewal initiatives. While other, smaller venues showing movies came and went downtown, these giants were responsible for many generation’s first kisses, first movie experiences and a rite of passage for many Tucsonans. n —Herb Stratford
thirties - forties
Cole Brothers Circus, looking east on Congress Street and Stone Avenue, 1936. Photo courtesy Arizona Historical Society #74982
Jesús Camacho “The Mayor of Meyer Street” - April 22, 1883-February 20, 1949
Jesús Camacho, Tucson Police Department. Cir. 1916. Photo courtesy Arizona Historical Society #66122.
John Dillinger, to his peril, famously underestimated the competence of Tucson’s small police force in 1934. The notorious bank robber’s capture, as well as the rescue of June Robles, the kidnapped daughter of the Pima County Attorney, that same year, brought positive national attention to law enforcement in the Old Pueblo. Less celebrated in newsreels, but fondly remembered by old-timers, was a tall and burly cop named Jesús Camacho who covered his beat on horseback. Camacho, a Tucson native, joined the police force in 1910. He was assigned to patrol the area bounded by Congress, Convent, 17th Street and Meyer. In those days, the city fathers sought to con-
Los Carlistas: Lalo Guerrero “The Father of Chicano Music” with his first group. Left to right: Joe Salaz, Chole Salaz, Lalo Guerrero, Greg Escalante. Tucson’s Los Carlistas represented Arizona at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Photo courtesy Arizona Historical Society #62647.
tain vice rather than suppress it, and the neighborhood had a third of the city’s saloons and most of its brothels. Despite a rough reputation, the barrio was home to a living, breathing community of MexicanAmerican, Chinese and African-American families who just wanted to live in peace. The good-natured Camacho quickly gained a reputation as a tough, honest and humble lawman. Though not at all hesitant to use his revolver or his huge fists, he largely maintained order through force of personality. As a detective, he quickly solved crimes through a network of informants, and culprits would often turn themselves in when they learned that Camacho was onto them. His standing in the Barrio was such that he became known as “The Mayor of Meyer Street.” He did not participate in the famous Dillinger arrest, but Camacho made national headlines for the capture of another well-known fugitive in 1922. “Hammer Murderess” Clara Phillips escaped a massive manhunt in California. The keen-eyed Camacho spotted her on a Southern Pacific train and quietly arrested her. A national wave of kidnappings hit Tucson in 1932, when Gordon Sawyer, a bank executive, was abducted from his home and held for $600,000 ransom. Camacho and an officer named Al Franco tracked the banker’s car to a house on West Grant Road, but were turned back after a brief shootout with the well-armed gang. Nonetheless, they found Sawyer, dazed but alive, in a dry well. Police later caught most of the kidnappers. Camacho was an occasional target of partisan attacks, and his impatience with the technical aspects of his job got him fired at least twice. However, his popularity and effectiveness made him far too valuable to the local political machine for him to lose his badge permanently. He remained the face of law and order in the Barrio until his retirement in 1945. n —Tom Prezelski
130 E. Congress St. Undated photo, but appears to be late 1940s, early 1950s. From Byron Ivancovich’s files. Courtesy Arizona Historical Society #73262
forties - fifties
Dr. Robert H. Forbes May 15, 1867-April 26, 1968
Returning to Tucson with his wife Georgie Hazel (nee Scott) after an advisory posting in French West Africa in 1931, Dr. Robert Forbes could easily have settled into a quiet retirement after a distinguished career. After all, his work as a pioneer member of the faculty at the University of Arizona led to the development of Pima Cotton, made date-palm cultivation feasible, and otherwise transformed and expanded Arizona’s agricultural economy. Forbes, however, was restless and concerned about the damage that was being done to the Arizona landscape by the abuse of its natural resources. He once lamented that years before, he could ride his bicycle “…from in front of Old Main to the Southern Pacific tracks across a gentle swale where now there is an arroyo deep and wide enough to conceal a freight car.” Forbes was elected to the State House in 1938, where he set to work bringing his scientific expertise to public policy. Forbes envisioned an urban future for Arizona which required a more sophisticated approach to its water resources. For his advocacy, the Tucsonan was derided as alarmist and socialist, but he persevered knowing that the facts were on his side. When an opponent called his groundwater bill an attack on property rights, Forbes responded “Your property will destroy itself if you don’t have sufficient water.” In 1948, the legislature finally passed a groundwater code, in time for the state’s postwar transformation. Though Forbes thought the result insufficient, the discussion certainly would not have occurred without his leadership. He continued to work on the issue until he left the legislature in 1952. It was not until 1980, well over a decade after Forbes’ passed away, and in the face of the sort of crisis that he had predicted, that the legislature passed a comprehensive water conservation law similar to what he had proposed years boquivari, June Ba of before. p to on rbes Dr. Robert H. Fo Historical na izo Ar Arizona’s management of its natural resources still falls short, but much sy te ur o co 27, 1948. Phot of the progress that has been made owes at least a little to the vision and tenacity of Society #40846 a professor from Tucson. n —Tom Prezelski
Downtown Tucson native, Lalo Guerrero “The Father of Chicano Music” in 1945. He lived from Dec 24, 1916-March, 17, 2005. Photo courtesy Arizona Historical Society #71799
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fifties - sixties
A Retro Peep Hole, A Centennial Story Around no other era is there such a mystique. The 1950s weaved an exuberant, optimistic story about Tucson. From the birth of direct dial telephones in Tucson to the rise of tourism, television and refrigeration enhancements – invention in the ‘50s was making desert living well known and bearable. In 1950 Tucson was less than 100,000 people and bounded by outposts of ranches, donkeys and desert. By 1960, that population had more than doubled and the surrounding area had exploded with sprawl. All the excitement that characterized Tucson during this decade seems to neatly package itself into five groupings that gave substance to the era.
Roadways/Transportation In 1950, transcontinental travel was a highlight for citizens eager to get away from the rationings of World War II. Tucson, with its proximity to historic trade routes, became an important way-point for those interested in the “western experience” during transcontinental journeys. Visitors cruised into our auto courts and motor hotels, which congregated downtown along 6th and Stone Avenues and Oracle Road. Highway 80 became The Broadway of America and thrived at the cross point with 89. Miracle Mile’s neon wonderland became an architectural hallmark of the decade. By the mid-1950s there were over 100 motels and new businesses thriving along our corridor. But the roadways that brought blessings swiftly shifted gears at decade’s end. Interstate 10, promoted as a military necessity, opened in 1958. The road boasting a nod to progress encouraged travelers to bypass our city core and ultimately contributed to Downtown’s collapse.
Defense In this era we entered the Space race, a cold war and weapons testing – ironically to Tucson’s benefit. The California manufacturing arm of entrepreneur Howard Hughes was exploding at the seams, and he was on the hunt for a new manufacturing location for his expanding Hughes Aircraft. Tucson’s miles of land and visibility with the Davis-Monthan airbase made us
a worthy candidate. When Hughes announced in 1951 his decision to locate his manufacturing plant to build radar-guided defense missiles in Tucson, he signaled the largest industrial development in our history. Some of the era’s positive technology and defense progress unfortunately was overshadowed by the fear-mongering so persistently cultivated during the 1950s. By 1959, there were 20 sirens across the city in an escalated cold war. In spring 1960, the Air Force announced that Titan missile sites would ring our city. These ultimately were activated in 1963.
Wonders of our Natural Environment The desert’s wilderness was a natural wonder waiting to be explored this decade. William H. Carr, a self-made/educated naturalist, had just moved to Tucson from the East due to health reasons. He saw opportunities to celebrate nature here in Tucson and backed by local businessman and conservationist Arthur Pack, Carr created a series of interpretive trails, the foundation of the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum, which opened Labor Day 1952. This museum immediately brought Tucson tourism to greater heights. Also in this decade, rock hounds Dan and Betty Caudle decided Tucson needed a rock show of its own. With the help of the tiny Tucson gem and mineral society, in 1955 the Caudles held a two-day event in a Downtown school cafeteria. Their idea grew into the stock exchange of the international mineral world.
Movies/Art Media Television came to Tucson in 1952, when the FCC granted a permit to country singer Gene Autry for Channel 13. Autry had become a Tucson supporter a few years earlier, having filmed “The Last Round-Up” at Old Tucson studios in 1947. When cowboy mania hit the big screens full force in the 1950s, Tucson took off as a choice setting for westerns, with such classics such as “Winchester ‘73” with James Stewart, “The Last Outpost” with Ronald Reagan and “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” filmed here. More than movie stars made their way to Tucson in this decade. Elvis rocked the rodeo grounds in
1956, and Buddy Holly performed at the Catalina High School auditorium in 1957. The arts were enriched, too, as artwork focused on the desert and our native peoples came of age. Ted DeGrazia’s “Los Niños” 1957 oil painting was reproduced into a best-selling UNICEF card in 1960, making our pueblo art popular and putting Tucson front and center in the commercial art world. Our area’s first full symphonic youth orchestra was founded in 1953. The Tucson Fine Arts Association, housed on Franklin Street, officially was renamed the Tucson Art Center in 1954 to focus on its exhibition and education mission.
The Birth of Sunbelt Sprawl With an economy flourishing, Downtown Tucson experienced its most fashionable and successful decade. Jacome’s and J. C. Penney built new adjoining stores. More construction was underway nearby for a nine-story Arizona Land Title building (to be the tallest downtown structure). The elegant Steinfeld reached its 100th anniversary in 1954 and celebrated by installing on the store rooftop a huge neon of oxen pulling a prairie schooner. When Kress reopened its remodeled store on East Congress Street in 1955, Tucson landed its first escalator. But in a relentless movement of progress, the focus of Tucson began to shift. Jack Kerouac said it best in “On The Road” (1957): “…The city was one big construction job; the people transient, wild, ambitious, gay…” In the giddiness, many downtown flagship stores answered the call and ventured out to the newer outlying malls. El Con, the first, took Levy’s department store from Downtown when it opened on the east side in 1960. Driving our little city to evolve, sprawl and its trendy malls of progress gave Downtown a knock-out punch. The completion of Interstate 10 through Tucson in 1961, bypassing the historic smaller routes through the city, sealed the deal. The good economic times of the ‘50s brought improvement, a triumph of so much optimism. A sleepy town had awakened to opportunity and bounded ahead. n
Mid-1950s: Congress Street, west of Fox Theatre, facing east. Courtesy of Donovan Durband’s Tucson postcard collection.
–Monica Surfaro Spigelman
sixties - seventies The 1960s: Urban Renewal and Barrio Destruction No discussion about Downtown Tucson over the last 100 years would be complete without paying homage to Los Tucsonenses and the late 1960s decimation of la calle - 80 acres of Downtown that was once a culturally diverse residential and business district. Tucsonenses, as described by Lydia R. Otero in her book “La Calle: Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwest City,” is a self-indentifying term for a population of (mostly) Mexican-Americans which “dates back to the nineteenth century that expresses a distinct cultural and historic connection to the city and the region around it.” As Tucson’s population grew post-Gadsden Purchase (1853), the immigrating Anglos overtook the city’s business core along Congress Street and settled Downtown’s north and east ends. “In 1860,” Otero wrote, “Anglos constituted less than 20 percent of the population but controlled 87 percent of the wealth.” Over the subsequent decades, Anglo dominance prompted Tucsonenses, along with Asian and African-American residents, to shift their businesses and homes (generally) south of Congress Street and west of Stone Avenue. These populations built and encompassed a thriving, ethnically diverse community. Otero cites the “WPA Guide to 1930s Arizona” description of la calle: “Residents of Mexican extraction comprise around 45 percent of the Old Pueblo population. Most of them live in Old Town, called El Barrio Libre… Old Town is centered around South Meyer [Avenue] near the city’s main business area, is also peopled by Chinese and Negroes… This is the exclusive Mexican shopping district… In most of the bars around Meyer [Avenue], Negro chefs are busy concocting hot chili sauce to pour over barbequed short ribs.” However, Tucson’s municipal power structure seemed to view the area as a hindrance to modernity and growth. In “Rehabilitation of Blighted Areas: Conservation of Sound Neighborhoods,” the 1942 study published by the Tucson Regional Plan strongly asserted the area’s real estate ruination. Some telling descriptions in the publication of the city’s motivations include defining blight as “the visible evidence of inability to attract profitable investment, the intermingling of incompatible uses… overcrowding
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of dwellings designed for fewer persons, occupancy in violation of local zoning.” It is a wry irony that the current and ongoing goals of Tucson’s downtown revitalization call for mixed retail and residential use, in order to create critical mass and reduce vehicle dependency, yet when this was happening south of Congress Street for many decades, it was considered a worrisome zoning issue. But the most telling description to shed light on the ambitions behind the recommended “rehabilitations” was the statement that an “intermixture of racial or ethnic groups” was considered another attribute of blighted neighborhoods. The 55-page study specifically targets the barrios as areas that “required major redevelopment.” In 1961, the city’s Urban Renewal Director/Assistant City Manager S. Lenwood Schorr issued the “Urban Renewal: For Slum Clearance and Redevelopment of the Old Pueblo District” study. While not as overtly racist as the 1942 publication, the undertones were still there - stating the district was afflicted by “crime, fire and juvenile delinquency rates,” without providing specific evidence, such as hard numbers of police and fire responders to the area over any given time period. The cumulative effects resulted in Tucson voters approving the Pueblo Center Redevelopment Project on March 1, 1966. Despite the efforts of the La Placita Committee, the city razed 80 acres of irreplaceable culture, shops, homes, restaurants, entertainment venues (notably La Plaza Theatre) – wiping out over 100 years of historically significant buildings and scattering its residents asunder. In its place stand government buildings, the Tucson Convention Center complex and the La Placita Village complex. All that remains of the neighborhood’s cultural heritage north of Cushing Street is the gazebo in La Placita Village, a kiosko originally called Plaza de la Mesilla. The locale dates back to the early nineteenth century and was the site of innumerable neighborhood fiestas. n —Jamie Manser PHOTOS: TOP - Aerial view of the barrio and la calle pre-urban renewal, circa 1940s.
Photo courtesy Arizona Historical Society #1303 (A.E. Magee Collection); INSET - Shot facing the SW corner of Congress Street and Court Avenue with La Plaza Theatre in the foreground. The theatre was demolished in 1969. Note the empty land parcels in the background. Photo courtesy Arizona Historical Society #1301 (A.E. Magee Collection)
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1970: Congress Street, west of Fox Theatre, facing east. Courtesy of Donovan Durband’s Tucson postcard collection.
seventies - eighties Thomas O. Price - November 10, 1931-February 5, 1988 The Pioneer Hotel Fire of 1970 is remembered as a transformative event in Tucson’s history. The disaster called attention to problems that were symptomatic of a city run by an old-boy network that was tragically reluctant to modernize. The fire department lacked the necessary equipment to fight a fire in a high-rise building, and building codes were inadequate and largely unenforced. Clearly, the Old Pueblo, which hit a population of 351,667 in that year’s census, had to accept the fact that it could no longer operate as a small town. Fortunately, this was already changing due in part to the efforts of one man. A native of Downtown Tucson, Thomas O. Price had been a member of “Easy Company,” a storied Marine Corps reserve unit based in Tucson which had seen some of the worst of the fighting in Korea and provided a generation of leadership in the community. Returning from the war, Price took a job with the city’s sanitation division, and rose through the ranks to become director in 1966. Along the way, he identified promising and trustworthy co-workers and subordinates, many of them fellow veterans, and groomed them for the leadership positions that he knew would materialize as the city grew. Once in charge, the old marine set to bringing pride and discipline to a department where tardiness and even drunkenness had been tolerated. He impressed upon the rank-and-file that their work was about the protection of the health and safety of the public, and worked to get the latest equipment and training to his workers. His efforts, predictably, created some resentment, but the good-natured Price was liked, respected, and effective, and therefore became indispensable. In 1973, Price became head of the Department of Operations, which meant that he was in charge of nearly everything that mattered concern-
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ing the day-to-day work of running the city, where he remained until his untimely passing in 1988. He was remembered for his role in professionalizing and modernizing Tucson’s small-town bureaucracy, transforming it into something worthy of the rapidly growing city he loved. n —Tom Prezelski
Thomas O. Price, Direct or of City Operations, 1972-1988. Photo cou rtesy Arizona Historica l Society #78272
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eighties - nineties 1980s: The Birth of Tucson’s Progressive Media - Among other notable events People used to joke about Arizona being 20 years behind the times. If you use the 1960s/1980s as a benchmark, 20 years seems just about right. While much of the country was enjoying the cultural/social revolution of the 1960s, it was during the 80s when Arizona experienced an era unprecedented in terms of its social activism and cultural growth. While the ‘60s had the Vietnam War for a backdrop, 1980s politics were dominated by the two presidential terms of Ronald Reagan. Granted, Reagan’s war on unions, the environment and public education seem relatively tame by today’s standards, but his policies and the social conservatism of the day awakened something significant in Tucsonans that helped give voice and rise to any number of causes. In March 1982, Reverend John Fife of Tucson’s Southside Presbyterian Church, in defiance of federal law, publicly declared his congregation to be a sanctuary for refugees fleeing oppressive governments of Central and South America—countries whose extremist policies were deemed friendly to the U.S., thus making it impossible for their persecuted citizenry, many the victims of so-called death squads, to receive refugee status. Sanctuary became a national story and one that made progressive Tucsonans proud. Sanctuary was a movement well documented by journalistic entrepreneurs Doug Biggers and Mark Goehring who transformed their fledgling alternative monthly, Coyote Magazine, into the Tucson Weekly. No more than a 12-page rag when it first hit the streets in February 1984, the Weekly was, among many things, a tireless supporter of the arts. Although long forgotten, TW’s public campaign to save the Temple of Music and Art from a planned demolition in the mid-80s led to the Temple’s eventual facelift and triumphant rebirth in 1990. And speaking of the media, it was in December of 1983 when KXCI Radio first unleashed its mighty 3,000 watts of power, flooding our city with blues, jazz country, bluegrass and countless other musical genres. Initially housed in the Dave Bloom & Sons building on the corner of Congress and
6th Avenue, it sat directly across from the original Ronstadt Hardware Store (not bus station). Like the Weekly, KXCI is an enduring monument to this time of sacred beginnings. The same can be said for the less visible but equally significant Access Tucson, which first began training volunteers in the art of video production in the summer of 1984. In local politics, the 1980s bore witness to the quiet ascension of Raúl Grijalva. Throughout the decade, Grijalva simultaneously served as Director of the El Pueblo Neighborhood Center and as a member of the TUSD School Board. His 1989 election to the Pima County Board of Supervisors would eventually allow his common sense views on immigration and education to have a national voice. Nothing, however, proved more stunning than the political trifecta faced by then Governor Evan Mecham. A Phoenix area car dealer who won the 1986 gubernatorial election with only 40 percent of the vote in a three way race, Mecham was the subject of an indictment, recall and impeachment, which ultimately removed him from office. His inappropriate gaffes on any number of issues, including canceling the state’s Martin Luther King holiday, were legendary. Eventually, Mecham was found innocent in court of mismanagement of campaign contributions. But Ev’s ouster from office in 1988 was celebrated with as much jubilation by Arizona progressives as when Nixon resigned after Watergate. Other important legacies from this era include the establishment of the Tucson AIDS Project (now Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation), Wingspan and the Tucson Folk Festival. Sadly, the 1980s concluded with the passing of Arizona’s best known literary icon and rabble-rouser, Edward Abbey (“The Monkey Wrench Gang”), thus giving way to the ‘90s, an era perhaps summed up best via the many melodramas surrounding the Biosphere. But that’s another story for another decade. n —Jim Lipson
Tucson In The 1990s
1991: Researchers Inhabit Biosphere 2 for Two Years On September 26, 1991, Tucson made history with the completion of Biosphere 2 — the largest self-contained ecosystem in the world — and the entrance of an eight-person crew (biologists, doctors and researchers) who lived and worked there until September 26, 1993. The Biosphere contained a rainforest, an ocean with a coral reef, a mangrove wetland, a savannah grassland, a fog desert, an agricultural system and a human habitat. While Biosphere 2 was built in an effort to study the web of life, ultimately, ants and cockroaches began to overrun it, levels of CO2 and oxygen fluctuated, which caused the death of several pollinating insects and animals. In 1994, a second research mission was conducted within Biosphere 2, but it was problematic and lasted only six months. After the site went up for sale, the University of Arizona began managing it in 2007 and took over full ownership in July of 2011.
1995: U of A Journalism Department Nearly Eliminated In an effort to cut costs, then-UA president Manuel T. Pacheco pro-
posed eliminating the department despite much uproar over the decision. The decision nearly came into effect. But of course, it was not closed, and is now entering its 60th year. “The UA Department of Journalism was spared from the closure list after more than 1,000 people wrote protest letters to the university and Board of Regents, asking why a department that focused on teaching undergraduates how to think critically about information, do research and write effectively would be considered for elimination,” said Jacqueline Sharkey, journalism professor and the school’s previous dean, in an email. “Since that time, the department has become the School of Journalism and a site for The New York Times Student Journalism Institute. Its alumni work for top news organizations and have won two Pulitzer Prizes.”
1995: Rialto Theatre Re-Opens As a Venue Back in 1919, the Rialto Theatre was being built as a sister building to Hotel Congress. It opened in 1920 as a theatre and hosted plays, film and vaudevillian shows. After changing management (and names) several times in the following decades, and closing for eight years (1963-1971),
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The 1990s continued
the building reopened in 1971 as El Cine Plaza, a first-run, Spanishlanguage movie house. With competition from Cine Azteca (housed at the current Temple of Music and Art), the theatre morphed into a pornography palace in 1973 and was such until 1978. It went back to being El Cine Plaza until an explosion in 1984 destroyed much of the stage and the building was condemned by city inspectors. The building was purchased by developers in the 1980s and slated for demolition, but ultimately, demolition plans fell through. In 1995, Paul Bear and Jeb Schoonover began remodeling the Rialto, opening doors once again as a venue for live music, with blues band Charlie and the Nightcaps kicking off the first show. “We were quite proud to open that and get it going,” said Schoonover. “We were concert promoters, so we knew we could get it running right away by doing shows. Everything was antiquated, but, we were crafty.”
1996: Border Patrol Increases Around Arizona Highways Though Border Patrol always maintained a presence in the area, by 1996 checkpoints had sprung up on the highways surrounding Tucson. This 1996 excerpt from a Tucson Weekly article by Gregory McNamee says it best: “Now, when you drive east from Tucson on Interstate 10 toward El Paso, you encounter an INS check station outside Las Cruces, New Mexico. When you drive north from Las Cruces up Interstate 25, two miles north of the town of Truth or Consequences, the highway is blocked with orange emergency barriers, and all traffic is diverted into a two-lane Border Patrol checkpoint--95 miles north of the U.S.Mexico border.”—Tucson Weekly, Sept. 26-Oct. 2, 1996 Just For Fun: In the late 1990s, Arizona Highways awarded “Street of the Year” to Speedway Boulevard. —Kelly Lewis
Congress Street, facing west, 2006. Photo by Bill Lesch
The new century A Re-Cap of Rio Nuevo – 1999 to 2011 What started as an effort to re-create and celebrate Tucson’s birthplace and other cultural amenities on 60-plus vacant Westside acres morphed into an ambitious project to revitalize Tucson’s ailing Downtown. Local voters approved Rio Nuevo in 1999, with visions of cultural attractions, museums, river-side amenities, theatres, restaurants, and shopping. The City of Tucson set up a special redevelopment district using tax-increment financing (TIF), and after adopting a master plan in 2001, setting up a board of directors and a citizens advisory committee, the city triggered the ten year funding mechanism in 2003, projecting $124 million of the shared state sales taxes to be rebated to Tucson over the TIF district’s ten-year life. The Rio Nuevo vision quickly expanded to include a $350-million-plus UA science center dangling from a “rainbow bridge” over I-10 and the Santa Cruz River, with a Civic Plaza anchored by a new arena, shaped like a desert tortoise. Environmental remediation on the Westside prepared the real estate for life after a landfill, with some pricey planning that generated blueprints for a recreated “Convento” or Mission San Agustin, with associated Mission Gardens. The inevitable funding gap motivated city officials to lobby for an extension of the life of the TIF district in 2006; the effort was successful, to the tune of a 12year extension, and a projection of $600-million-plus in revenues, courtesy of the State of Arizona. Following that legislative victory, city officials downsized the science center to a single building on the west side, anchoring a Cultural Plaza with a history museum, Children’s Museum, and the Arizona State Museum. The remainder of the funding was to go towards infrastructure and parking facilities. The onset of the Great Recession prompted the stoppage of the major Cultural Plaza elements, and
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the hole that was dug for the parking garage below the planned plaza sits exposed today, testament to an expensive project stalled and then stopped before it had really begun. By the time the State of Arizona intervened in 2009, the only projects completed using Rio Nuevo funds included the renovation of the Fox and Rialto Theatres, a spiffy box office for the Tucson Convention Center, the re-creation of the northeast wall of the original Presidio de Tucson, an underground parking garage, landscaping along Scott Avenue and at the corner of Broadway and 5th Avenue. Frustration over the lack of significant progress and the waste of millions of taxpayer dollars prompted Arizona legislators to seize control of Rio Nuevo at the end of 2009, with legislation that established a new board of directors appointed by the governor and leaders of the House and Senate, and a mandate to focus efforts on the “primary component” of the district—the Tucson Convention Center and an associated hotel. While Rio Nuevo spun its wheels and spent tens of millions on planning and design of projects that never came to be, the city also made plans for a Modern Streetcar to connect Downtown with the UA, and as a result, created interest from developers and business owners in investing in Downtown. Madden Media and Providence Service Corporation opened headquarters offices in existing Downtown buildings and UniSource Energy Corp./Tucson Electric Power opened its new 9-story headquarters at Broadway and Scott in November 2011. The completion of the new 4th Avenue underpass in 2009 was followed by a $63 million federal award of streetcar funding in 2010, and final design on a 3.9mile route connecting the Westside with Downtown, 4th Avenue and the UA was completed in 2011. —Zócalo Staff
Photo by David Esmoer
Poi Zen helps celebrate Arizona’s Centennial on Feb. 11.
Tucson’s Arizona Centennial Celebrations, Feb 10-12. All events are free, unless otherwise noted. Details at 2ndSaturdays.com
FRI 10 - OUTDOORS JIM CLICK AUTOMOTIVE STAGE 6th Ave @ Pennington St. 4pm: Mayor Rothschild opens the festivities with an antique airplane fly-by and the raising of the 1912 American Flag originally flown over the Arizona Capitol. 4:15pm: The El Camino Royales Rockabilly/ Surf/Americana 5:15pm: Heather ‘Lil Mama’ Hardy Band Bluesy/Soul & Rock 6:45pm: Kevin Pakulis Band featuring Amy Langley. Rockin’ Americana 8pm: Jerry Riopelle R&B, rock and country flavored with jazz and reggae.
6pm: Cinema La Placita Presents “McLintock!” (1963)
CHICAGO STORE PATIO 130 E. Congress St. 4pm-7pm: Tucson Arts Brigade hosts youth arts activities
ALONG DOWNTOWN’S STREETS Parasol Project Living Statue
FRI 10 - INDOORS Fox Theatre 17 W. Congress St. 7pm-10pm: Centennial Soul Celebration – a celebration of African American music and culture, with SW Soul Circuit.
SCOTT AVENUE STAGE
@ Broadway Blvd. 5pm: Mariachi Aztlan de Pueblo High School 6pm: Vox Urbana - Garage Cumbia 7pm: A Son y Sol - Latin American music with a twist
318 E. Congress St. 8pm: Metropolitan Klezmer (Yiddish folk & rock)
5th AVENUE 4pm-10pm: Ferris Wheel ($4)
CRICKET KID’S LOT Between Stone Ave. & Scott Ave. on Congress Street Jumping castles & food trucks!
Tucson Symphony Orchestra Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. 8pm: TSO’s Arizona Centennial Celebration, conducted by George Hanson. ($30-$86)
SAT 11 - OUTDOORS JIM CLICK AUTOMOTIVE STAGE 6th Ave. @ Pennington St. Noon: Los Changuitos Feos - Over 47 years of history and tradition. 12:45pm: The 4th Street String BandBluegrass/Blues/Jazz and punk rock sensibilities. 2pm: The Dusty Buskers - Upbeat, old-timey Celtic/bluegrass/folk with a rocking edge. 3pm: Al Perry & The Cattle - “Dedicated to curating what used to be known as country and western.” 4pm: Teodoro “Ted” Ramirez - A premier folk musician, singer/songwriter and storyteller. 5pm: Ronstadt Generations Living history through music. 6pm: The Tryst - Jazz-soul-funk-rock. 6:45pm: Poi-Zen - fire troupe 7pm: Southwest Soul Circuit/Kevin & Tanishia Hamilton – Soul/R&B 7:45pm: Poi-Zen fire troupe 8pm: Sam Moore (of Sam and Dave) - Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Artist is known for several hits - Soul Man, Hold On I’m Comin’, I Thank You and When Something is Wrong With My Baby.
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Photo courtesy Paul Riopelle
The Border Crossers includes Dylan Charles, Stuart Oliver, Nowhere Man & A Whiskey Girl. The band performs Tucson’s Arizona Centennial Celebrations Sat, Feb 11.
Sam Moore performs Tucson’s Arizona Centennial Celebration on Sat, Feb 11 at 8pm.
Jerry Riopelle headlines the AZ Centennial Events Downtown on Feb 10.
SCOTT AVENUE STAGE
SAT 11 - INDOORS
@ Broadway Blvd. Multi-cultural & Kid’s Stage 1pm: Illusionist Michael Howell 1:45pm: Puppets Amongus 2:30pm: Puppet Muzik 3:15pm: The Wonderfools 4pm: Batucaxé 5:15pm: Odaiko Sonora 6pm: W.D. “Arizona” Kennedy 6:45pm: The Border Crossers includes Dylan Charles, Stuart Oliver, Nowhere Man & A Whiskey Girl.
318 E. Congress St. 6pm-2am: Powhaus Productions Presents Arizona GEM
CRICKET KID’S LOT Between Stone Ave. & Scott Ave. on Congress Street Jumping castles & food trucks! 6pm: Cinema La Placita Presents “Arizona” (1940)
CHICAGO STORE PATIO 130 E. Congress St. 2pm-7pm: Tucson Arts Brigade hosts youth arts activities
ALONG DOWNTOWN’S STREETS Parasol Project Living Statues & Tucson Circus Arts Stilt Walkers
5th AVENUE 12pm-10pm: Ferris Wheel ($4)
5th AVENUE between Congress St. & Toole Ave. Noon-10pm: FC Tucson – Tucson’s new men’s soccer club hosts street exhibition soccer
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44 N. Stone Ave. 1pm-7pm: Open house & exhibits of UA student work focused on Downtown
Main Library Downtown 101 N. Stone Ave. 11am-5pm: Family story time, craft fair and Happy Birthday Arizona Cake, games for teens
Fox Theatre 17 W. Congress St. 1:30pm-3:30pm: “A Special Chat with Noted Tucsonans of the Past” Reenacted interviews with a few of the famous people who helped shape Tucson, 1912-present, along with films of 1920s-30s travel logs.
Centennial Hall 1020 E. University Blvd. 3pm-5pm: “Through the Lens of Time – Arizona 100,” spoken word, video, corridos, dance, music more.
The Screening Room 127 E. Congress St. 6pm-9pm: AZ 100 Indie Films
Fox Theatre 17 W. Congress St. 7pm: Planet Jam - Rock, Reggae, Gypsy. 8pm: SambaDá - Brazilian, Samba, Surf Rock and Funk
Club Congress 311 E. Congress St. 7pm: Chris Black CD Release
SUN 12 CENTENNIAL BIKE RIDE 9am: 1.5 hour bike ride, meets at the SE corner of Broadway Blvd./Scott Ave.
INDOOR EVENTS Fox Theatre 17 W. Congress St. 1pm: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
Scottish Rite Cathedral 160 S. Scott Ave. 2pm: “Arizona Civil Rights Memories,” a panel discussion with, retired Arizona Supreme Court Justice Stanley Feldman & retired UA Law School Dean/Professor Emeritus Charles Ares.
Manning House 450 W. Paseo Redondo 2pm: Los Descendientes del Presidio de Tucson presents an Arizona Centennial Tardeada
Tucson Symphony Orchestra Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. 2pm: TSO’s Arizona Centennial Celebration, conducted by George Hanson. ($30-$86)
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Science in the City by Eric Swedlund Science is everywhere – and it’s worth celebrating. That two-pronged message is a crucial one in Arizona’s centennial year as business leaders and educators alike strive to make a brighter future for the state, said Jeremy Babendure, director of the Arizona SciTech Festival. A six-week effort featuring more than 200 events statewide, the SciTech Festival aims to highlight the breadth of science, technology and innovation in Arizona and how those areas will drive the state’s next 100 years. With strong aerospace, optics and biomedical sectors, Tucson’s economy is dependent on science and technology. “Tucson is really looking to emerge as Arizona’s science city and we started talking to people about helping the public understand what Tucson has to offer in terms of science, technology and innovation,” Babendure said. Science in the City, a series of displays, events and demonstrations, will take place across downtown Tucson on Feb. 18. Sponsored by the SciTech Festival and 2nd Saturdays Downtown, the day is planned to be family-friendly, interactive, and most of all fun, said Sandy Mellor, director of community relations for Providence Service Corporation, which is a sponsor of 2nd Saturdays. “We’re going to try to show people how science is part of every part of your everyday life,” Mellor said. “We’re not trying to reach people who already love science. What we want to do is reach out and explain to everybody that when you take a drink of water, science is involved.” Though the schedule of events was still being finalized as of press time, Science in the City will have events spread across downtown, including the Children’s Museum, Main Library, City High School, O2 Modern Fitness and Science Downtown in the Rialto Block exhibition hall, said Mellor. To see how science is part of the lifeblood of Tucson, consider some of the University of Arizona’s highprofile achievements from just the last month: • On Jan. 18, an international team of physicists and astronomers convened in Tucson to begin efforts at capturing the first ever photograph of a black hole. The team plans to connect up to
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50 radio telescopes, making an Earth-sized virtual telescope to test theories on black holes dating back to Albert Einstein. • On Jan. 14, the Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory began casting the second of seven 8.4-meter mirrors that will make up the Giant Magellan Telescope, which is scheduled to begin operating in 2020 in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile. • On Jan. 12, a team of astronomers from the UA and Caltech released the largest data set ever collected that documents the brightening and dimming of stars and other celestial objects – 200 million objects observed by the Catalina Sky Survey on Mount Bigelow. • On Jan. 6, a team of entomologists led by a UA professor published the results of a 10-year study that effectively delays the onset of insecticide resistance in pests that harm a variety of crops. Achievements like those might draw the world’s attention to Tucson, but Science in the City aims to emphasize science in the context of day-to-day life. Babendure said the whole idea of the Arizona SciTech Festival is to engage people in science based on what they’re already interested in. Spring training fans can learn the science of baseball. Outdoor lovers can learn about wildlife biodiversity. Other topics include flight, robotics and water. “There’s a lot of different audiences around science that we’re trying to reach,” he said. Engaging with science is important for individuals, but also can have a collective impact on Tucson and the state, Babendure said. “It’s really important to have the locals understand what we do in science and technology and that a lot of the local companies have a national and international reach,” Babendure said. “They’re bragging about what we do and when there are assets like a festival like this it can add another reason for companies to come here rather than chose another location. They can see the public is supportive.” n Visit AZSciTechFest.org for the local, and statewide, schedule of events.
Olympians Fight Child Obesity by Kelly Lewis Local Olympian LaTanya Sheffield has spent most of her career overcoming 400-meter hurdles. Now, she’s putting her expertise to good use by introducing sports to children in an annual Olympian-run sports clinic called Sports Extravaganza, taking place on March 3 at Flowing Wells High School, 3725 N. Flowing Wells Rd. “We’re offering our youth community the opportunity to experience play - to the tenth power,” said Sheffield, who competed in the ’88 Olympic games in the 400-meter hurdle. Enlisting the help of fellow Olympians and professional athletes like Long Jump World Record Holder Mike Powell, 1500m outdoors recordholder runner Bernard Lagat and Olympic medalist and Tucsonan, swimmer Lacey Nymeyer, Sports Extravaganza offers 45-minute sessions in a variety of sports from swimming to discus, with Olympians serving as coaches. Photo courtesy Sports Extravaganza/LaTanya Sheffield
“The Olympians are all coming together to fight child obesity, and at the same time, we’re giving the children lessons for life,” said Sheffield. “The long-jumper may say, ‘you know how you have to reach when you’re in the air? It’s just like how you have to pursue your goals in life, you’ve just got to go for it.’” Last year’s Sports Extravaganza catered to over 900 children. The full day event is free for kids to attend with registration, (available on the website through Feb. 18), and includes lunch and a giveaway bag sponsored by Nike. “We’re able to address different interests for kids,” said Sheffield. “I had no idea that the popularity of this program would take on such a fire.” But that’s not all. In addition to the clinics, now in their 14th year, Sheffield also hosts POP track club, a program with track and field youth events, and an afterschool program called N’ Shape to Play through Tohono O’odham Parks and Recreation that inspires movement on a daily basis. “This is my way of giving back, using the experiences and expertise that I had from my peers and from other Olympians to offer something that’s very unique to Tucson, and that’s Olympians instructing kids to fight child obesity,” said Sheffield. “As a coach, I use jumping rope as a fitness tool, and these kids hold the rope and don’t even know how to jump rope because they’re not outside playing. We’re trying to change that.” n For more information or to register for Sports Extravaganza, visit SportsX.org. Sheffield and SportsX will also host the SportsX/Nike Activity Explosion at the Foothills Mall, Feb. 18 from 2-4 p.m.
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Photo by Sean Logan
A Soccer Team of Our Own by Sarah Burton Last year more than 10,000 fans filled the stands of Hi Corbett Field, choosing sides between the Sporting Kansas City and the New York Red Bulls during the final game in Tucson’s first-ever Desert Cup. Besides the two Major League Soccer (MLS) teams participating, the schedule of Premier Development League team games saw the debut of local team FC Tucson. It was that two-day sporting event that caught the eye of Texas-based sporting consultant Chris Keeney, who had recently wrapped working with the NFL’s Houston Texans. His mother, an Oro Valley resident, mentioned an article she’d seen in the paper here about Tucson’s first soccer cup. Keeney’s interest was piqued. “I was enthralled with what they were doing, their potential, and liked everything about Tucson,” he recalls. After chasing down the journalist who wrote the article, Keeney was able to get in contact with the FC Tucson founders. Since they didn’t have the necessary funds to hire him for his consulting services, they made Keeney a managing partner. “When it comes to the big picture, I believe this place is ripe for something Tucsonans can call their own. Something that isn’t going to move and Phoenix can’t gobble up,” Keeney says. He’s definitely not alone in this assessment. Another managing partner, local attorney Greg Foster, flew with Keeney to meet with the Vice President and Director of MLS to discuss the FC Tucson team. “Before we could even finish, he interjected saying he believes Tucson has a ton of potential, and could even become a hub for Western soccer,” Keeney shares.
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The team, coached by the other two managing partners Rick Schantz and Jonathan Pearlman, won’t be in the main schedule of the four-day, eight-game Desert Diamond Cup that starts February 22. But they will be on hand to not only promote soccer in Tucson, but also be available to play the reserves of the four participating MLS teams on off days: New York Red Bulls, Los Angeles Galaxy, Real Salt Lake and New England Revolution. FC Tucson is part of the Premier Development League, and members include players from Nogales and Tucson to Kentucky and even Turkey. “We’re constantly receiving resumes from all over,” Pearlman remarks. Excitement continues to build with area soccer fans for this upcoming event as it nears, and the owners of the team say that’s exactly the idea. “The goal of the event is to build a following for the team and soccer in general in Tucson,” explains Pearlman. “Hopefully in years to come, more teams will want to come and play and our own FC Tucson team will have grown strong enough to play the Major League teams.” So is the Old Pueblo ready for the impassioned soccer craze? Keeney, in his sports and MLS experience thinks so: “This is something the city is primed and ready for—something emotional and distinctly Tucson.” n The 2012 FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup happens February 22, 25, 29, and March 3 at the Kino Sports Complex (2500 E. Ajo Way). For the full schedule, tickets, and more information check out FCTucson.com. The organization also hosts a “street” soccer exhibition during 2nd Saturdays on Feb 11, on 5th Avenue between Congress Street and Toole Avenue, from noon-10pm.
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Streetcar Design Specs by Carli Brosseau Tucson officials working on the modern streetcar project have been travelling to Portland, Ore., every six weeks to finalize design plans, review materials changes and — perhaps most importantly — ride the City of Roses’ much-lauded transit system. “We’ve gotten a lot of ideas from that, from observing,” said Shellie Ginn, the transportation project manager overseeing the streetcar. Based on those observations, officials decided to minimize seating because of the expected frequent wheelchair use of the service, and they decided to put the fare boxes at the stops rather than on the cars themselves. The official purpose of the visits is to get a progress report from United Streetcar, a subsidiary of Oregon Iron Works and the company that won the contract to build Tucson’s seven modern streetcars. It’s a time when city officials discuss technicalities with the builders and federal government overseers involved in all similar projects using federal transportation funds. “They’ve been so helpful,” Ginn said of the federal consultants. “They’re really experts in the field; they know where the problems are,” having borne witness to innumerable technical decisions in many of the county’s other light rail and streetcar construction processes. Tucson employees, by contrast, are new to the game, but they are taking every opportunity they can to scrutinize systems already in place and to learn from them. Portland, by virtue of its status as home of a major contractor, is Exhibit No. 1. The vehicles that will eventually share traffic with downtown’s cars and trucks, pedestrians and bicycles are at the most fundamental level the same streetcars sliding through Portland’s streets. They will be 65 feet long and double ended, meaning that either end of the car can serve as the “front,” from which the driver operates the vehicle. There will be doors on both sides of the car for boarding and exiting and a low floor with a plate that will slide out to cover the two-inch gap between the streetcar and the curb, making access easier for people in wheelchairs and those bringing along bicycles. Tucson’s streetcars will likely have little seating to make room for all those wheels and ease on and off traffic. Seating will be clustered at the car’s two ends, Ginn said, though the details are not yet set. Oregon Iron Works estimates the cars’ capacity at 135 people, but Ginn said observation has shown some 160 people packed into vehicles during
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periods of heavy traffic. Perhaps the most significant difference between the streetcars that will ultimately run in the two cities is in their heating and cooling capacities. Tucson’s streetcars will feature tinted windows and much stronger air conditioning, an extra unit hoisted onto the car’s roof. From the outside, the vehicles will look a lot like Sun Tran buses, swathed in silver and blue. United Streetcar still has about five more vehicles to build for Portland’s system before it gets to constructing Tucson’s, another blessing in Ginn’s eyes. “We really want to learn from experience,” she said. The vehicle design process should wrap in about two months, and officials will turn more of their attention to the operations plan. They will outline requirements for streetcar operators (who will not likely double as bus drivers), solidify hours of service, determine safety and security procedures and lay out the operational budget. Another operational question still unanswered is whether Old Pueblo Trolley will be permitted to run their historic streetcars on the new rail lines. “We’d love to see them operate, but they may not be able to” because of federal and state safety regulations, Ginn said. Dick Guthrie, a past president of Old Pueblo Trolley, an all-volunteer group, characterized the question differently. He said the group had already spoken to consultants about the changes necessary to get its vintage vehicles running — for its most-used car, a parking brake and low air alarm — and that the fixes would be completed within two years. He said his group was not in regular consultation with city officials about the planning process. n
In related news: • Work on the 8th Street Drainage Project will continue through late February. Intersections between 6th and 3rd Avenues and 6th Street to Stevens Avenue will be closed part or all of that time, and parking on 4th Avenue between 6th and 8th Streets will be restricted. • Councilman Steve Kozachik is warning business owners along the streetcar route that they could face problems upgrading utilities or infrastructure in the future because of federal obligations to keep the streetcar running. He suggests business owners near the route call Max Torres in the Transportation Department for details at 791-4371. • To stay on top of news about Tucson’s modern streetcar, visit TucsonStreetcar.com. You can subscribe to the city’s email newsletter, become a fan of the streetcar Facebook page and get updates via Twitter.
Tucson Gas Electric & Power Company installing streetcar tracks on South Main Street, looking north, 1915. Photo courtesy Arizona Historical Society #BN71866.
The Past 100 (or so) Years in Tucson’s Transportation History 1880: Southern Pacific Railroad began service in Tucson. 1905: Sun Tran’s precursor, the Tucson Rapid Transit Company (TRT), bought the existing horse-drawn streetcar transit system. 1906: Animal-powered transportation in Tucson was replaced by TRT’s electric streetcar system. 1913: Streets in the historic downtown were paved, and the city’s first streetlight was installed. 1920s: Transit pioneer Roy Laos started Tucson’s first bus company, the Occidental Bus Line. Starting with a single bus, the company served the South Side. 1923: Streets north of the railroad tracks between Main Street, Speedway Boulevard and Park Avenue were paved, and the draining structure near the intersections of 5th Avenue and 7th and 8th streets — currently being replaced — was installed. 1931: TRT replaced its electric streetcar routes with buses running on gasoline. 1936: Mountain View Bus Line was started. 1941: TRT bought Mountain View Bus Line. 1951: Diesel buses were introduced. 1960s: Interstate 10 between Tucson and Phoenix was built. 1969: The city government bought TRT. Bus-
es began to run more frequently and on more routes. Federal grants helped the city buy 65 new buses. 1975: The name Sun Tran was adopted for the transit system based on the winning contribution to a contest run in a newspaper. 1978: The city bought the Occidental Bus Line, which ran on the south and west sides. Tucson now had a single bus service. 1983: Old Pueblo Trolley, an organization dedicated to bringing back electric streetcars to Tucson’s downtown, was founded. 1993: Old Pueblo Trolley began running historic cars along University Boulevard and 4th Avenue. 1987: The city’s first transit center, named for Roy Laos, opened. The transit center concept was an effort to reduce traffic congestion. Air pollution had also become a problem the city sought to alleviate, and the city for the first time converted a 35-foot bus to run on both compressed natural gas and diesel fuel. 1988: The American Public Transportation Association gave Sun Tran “America’s Best Public Transit System” Award. 1991: The Ronstadt Transit Center opened in downtown Tucson. 1996: Electric fare boxes were installed on all Sun Tran buses.
1999: Sun Tran installed the Rockwell Transitmaster Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) system, allowing Sun Tran to track every bus while in service. Additionally, Passenger Electronic Revenue Collector (PERC) units were added to the buses’ electronic fare boxes, allowing paper tickets and transfers to be converted to magnetic passes and transfers and leading to the development of day passes. 2001: Digital video recorders were added to most buses, and 100 percent of the fleet became wheelchair-accessible. 2005: 100 percent of the fleet burned fuel cleaner than diesel, utilizing Compressed Natural Gas or biodiesel. 2009: Sun Tran ridership peaked in fiscal year 2009 with 21.6 million annual passenger trips. 2010: Sun Tran received its first bus to use hybrid technology. 2011: Old Pueblo Trolley ceased running while construction of tracks for the modern streetcar was under way. Construction began on the Cushing Street Bridge, which will carry the modern streetcar over the Santa Cruz River. Sources: Sun Tran, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson Citizen, Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, Old Pueblo Trolley. —Carli Brosseau
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February EVENTS Wed 1- Sun 12 TUCSON SCULPTURE FESTIVAL
Showcasing over 300 pieces by artists including Susan Kay Johnson, Mat Bevel and Gonzalo Espinosa. Sculpture Resource Center, 640 N. Stone Ave. TucsonSculptureFestival.webs.com
Fri 3 FLAME OFF!
Glass artists compete against the clock to create the most innovative glass art creations. Live music by 8 Minutes to Burn, food vendors, more. 6pm-1am. $15 advance; $18 door. Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. 884-7814, Sonoranglass.org
Sat 4 ART SAFARI EXPO
Members of the Central Tucson Gallery Association celebrate Tucson’s cultural diversity in the contemporary visual arts. Various media from local artists and beyond at eleven galleries in Downtown’s Warehouse Arts District. Times vary. CTGATucson.org
BUTTERFLY GALA CHARITY BENEFIT Music, refreshments & a live auction. Proceeds go to Integrative Touch For Kids. $125. 6pm. Skyline Country Club, 5200 E. St. Andrews Dr. 299-1111, IntegrativeTouch.org
TAPESTRY OF TUCSON: A CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION Entertainment includes: strolling Mariachis, Folklorico dancers, Zumba, DJ music and a puppet show. 10am-4pm. $5-$10; kids 12 and under free. Dunbar Community Center, 325 W. 2nd St. 624-0595.
ST. PHILIPS PLAZA
Concert featuring Reno Del Mar. 4pm. St. Philip’s Plaza, 4280 N. Campbell. 529-2775, SAACA.org.
SECOND ANNUAL CONNECTIONS WITHOUT BOUNDARIES: ART WITHOUT YEARS A silent auction art show with poetry readings, presenting local high school artists’ works as a means of philanthropic action. All works will be for sale and all proceeds donated to World Bicycle Relief. 6:30pm-9pm, Casa Libre en la Solana, 228 N. 4th Ave. 325-9154, CasaLibre.org
Thu 9-Sun 12 TUCON GEM AND MINERAL SHOW Celebrate Tucson’s centennial with “Minerals of Arizona.” See website for times. Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. 322-5773, TGMS.org
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DANCING JUKEBOX OF LOVE A fundraiser
HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS The 2012 world
on behalf of NEW ARTiculations. The event features chili and chocolate (a bowl of chili and chocolate desserts), a silent auction, and a “dancing jukebox.” $5. 7pm10pm. Rhythm Industry, 1013 S. Tyndall Ave . 250-4664, NewArticulations.org
tour features past favorites, new rookies and “TNT,” the first female player in a generation. 7pm. $18-$84. Tucson Convention Center Arena, 260 S. Church Ave. TucsonConventionCenter.org
Fri 10-Sun 12 ARIZONA CENTENNIAL CELEBRATIONS See pages 35 & 36 for details.
Sun 12 A FINE 5-MILER VALENTINE
The Southern Arizona Roadrunners host the 8th Annual Fine Valentine Running & Walking event from 7am-10am. $10-$20. Geronimo Plaza, 814 E. University Blvd. 326-9383, AZRoadrunners.org
Approximately 12-15 performers expound on the universal, and highly personal, themes of love. $10 donation. 5pm-9pm. Boondocks Lounge, 3306 N. 1st Ave. 690-0991, TKMA.org
Tue 14 WOO AT THE ZOO
The Reid Park Zoological Society presents the 4th annual Valentine’s Day dinner. Evening includes a choice of two deluxe, plated dinners and a light-hearted discussion on the mating behaviors of wild animals. See website for details. 5:30pm-7pm. Reid Park Zoo, 1100 S. Randolph Way. 881-4753, TucsonZoo.org
Sat 18 MARDI GRAS 2012
A Mardi Gras celebration! $20 includes dinner. 6pm-11pm. American Legion Post # 68, 4742 S. 12th Ave. 742-0468, TucsonTroopSupport.org
Arts for All’s annual fundraiser includes art and hors d’oeuvres, culminating in a silent auction with chairs designed by local artists and other items for sale. Proceeds help Arts for All provide a dedicated full arts educational experience to special needs children and adults. $50. Skyline Country Club, 5200 E. St. Andrews Dr. Details: 622-4100, ArtsForAllinc.org
Sat 18-Sun 19 18TH ANNUAL SOUTHWEST INDIAN ART FAIR 200 Southwest Native artists present their work. Native food, music, dance, performances. $7-$10. Youth, under 18, and students are free. Sat: 10am5pm, Sun: 10am-4pm. Arizona State Museum, 1013 E University Blvd. 626-8381, StateMuseum.Arizona.Edu
Tue 21 FIGHT MS WITH TEAM AWESOME! Fundraiser at La Cocina: an auction extravaganza (bidding starts at $10) & live music. 10% of the evening’s sales helps MS research. Wear orange. 6pm-10pm. Old Town Artisans, 201 N. Court Ave. 623-6024, Facebook: Team Awesome and the Orange Out
Thu 23 TUCSON RODEO PARADE The largest nonmotorized parade begins at Park Ave. and Ajo Way, goes south on Park to Irvington Rd., west on Irvington to 6th Avenue and north on 6th Ave. to the Tucson Rodeo Grounds. 9am. 294-1280, TucsonRodeoParade.org
Sat 25 30TH ANNUAL PEACE FAIR Arizona’s largest gathering of peace, social justice & environmental groups. Live music, children’s activities, food, raffle, more. 11am-5pm. Reid Park Band Shell, NW corner Country Club & 22nd St. Free. 624-4973, PeaceCalendar.org
Sun 26 OSCAR NIGHT AT THE FOX
Guests are encouraged to “dress” for the Oscars, walk the “red carpet,” and experience a thoroughly entertaining commercial free Oscar night. General admission: $25, VIP, $125. 6pm. Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. 6241515, FoxTucsonTheatre.org
Ongoing Sat 18-SUN 26 LA FIESTA DE LOS VAQUEROS TUCSON RODEO Now in its 87th year, the event features competitions for adults & children, the Rodeo Dance, more. See the website for events & times. Tucson Rodeo Grounds, 4823 S. 6th Ave. 741-2233, TucsonRodeo.com
TUE-THU HISTORIC WALKING TOURS
Re-enactors dressed as historic Tucson citizens guide attendees through downtown districts. Tours include: Barrio Viejo, Presidio, El Tiradito. Tue-Thu. $10. 10am. RSVP at 770-1473. 140 N. Stone Ave. ArizonaHistoricalSociety. org/education/community_programs/adult_tours.asp
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Photo courtesy 60 Cycle Media
Music & Activism for Social Justice
by Eric Swedlund Ozomatli, the multi-genre and multi-racial Los Angeles band that has served as U.S. State Department Cultural Ambassadors, performs a benefit in Tucson for Save Ethnic Studies on Feb. 18. The performance at Rialto Theatre will raise money to cover legal costs for the Acosta plaintiffs who are challenging Arizona House Bill 2281 in federal court, the 2010 Arizona state law meant to dismantle the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American Studies (MAS) program. “When you have students who are particularly gravitating to learning about their own history, it’s an enriching experience for the whole area, for the state and the country,” says Ozomatli singer-guitarist Raul Pacheco. “All of these rich stories and all of these rich histories will make a stronger community. People who are against Mexican American Studies have a perspective we just don’t agree with.” The TUSD Board voted last month to suspend the district’s MAS program, to prevent the loss of $15 million in state funds after Arizona Superintendent John Huppenthal declared the classes illegal. The subsequent storage of seven of the program’s textbooks was widely criticized as book banning, though the district insists the books are available in school libraries. Ozomatli’s support of the program will generate badly needed money for the ongoing civil rights lawsuit, says MAS director Sean Arce. “Collectively as teachers in this community, we’re very honored and appreciative that they would come out and support us,” he says. “Ozomatli has always been a very community-oriented music group and they’ve always had that message of social justice so it’s right in alignment with Mexican American Studies.” Pacheco says the group has been closely following the Save Ethnic Studies fight and the constitutional issues surrounding both HB 2281 and SB 1070, the hard-line state immigration law that was suspended by a federal judge shortly after it was signed by Gov. Jan Brewer.
“We’ve been on the side of what we feel is a positive and more humane immigration policy in Arizona, so we know many different groups that are doing wonderful work,” says Pacheco, adding that a band member has actually sat in as an observer of a MAS class. “With so much of the political discourse that goes on, we respect everybody who has goals like ours. We support a fair legal system, a fair educational system and fair immigration policy,” he says. “We’re in a position now that we’re doing our best to raise awareness of these issues. It was a no-brainer for us to go back and support this. “Our message in general has been as young people, you have to be fearless in pursing your goals and desires and it takes work and discipline. We encourage the positive work in those directions. We identify with young people.” Arce compares Ozomatli’s support of Save Ethnic Studies to the outside musicians, artists and activists who organized in the South during the civil rights movement. But beyond that, it’s a band with a tremendous following in Tucson. “Particularly the students who are serving as the plaintiffs now, many of them are mariachi musicians, many of them have gone to Ozomatli concerts before in Tucson. Their parents, their teachers are big time followers of Ozomatli so they’ve grown up with Ozomatli and understand what they’re all about,” Arce says. “We’re hearing hundreds and hundreds of students want to attend this concert with their families. It should be a great community event.” For detailed information on Save Ethnic Studies, visit SaveEthnicStudies. org. Ozomatli, Ozomatli.com, performs Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. Doors open at 7 p.m., the all ages show begins at 8 p.m. $22 advance, $24 day of show, tickets available at RialtoTheatre.com, 740-1000.
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Jonathan Holden - An Artistic Success ‘til the End December 29, 1951 - January 17, 2012 by Jim Lipson Jonathan Holden would have loved this peculiar juxtaposition of events—that within days of his passing on January 17, he’d be joined in Rhythm & Roots heaven by the great Johnny Otis and then Etta James— two acts forever linked by their own particular history and who now are a part of his. Otis, who played here in the mid-1980s, in one of the early Tucson Blues Festivals, was the kind of act Holden used to specialize in bringing to town. Jonathan didn’t get the biggest names in the biz but rather ones that were big names to him, whose collective creative output over the years might have influenced a generation or two of bigger name performers, now cashing in on the dues these lesser known pioneers had paid. Holden also loved promoting shows with performers virtually no one had ever heard of. Despite the lack of name recognition, he was a champion for acts he felt demanded an attentive audience. Not all of these shows were successful. In fact, if you asked Jonathan about a show he was excited about but didn’t do so well at the box office, he could often be heard to say, “Well, it was an artistic success.” This was his euphemism (and almost always delivered with a smile), for “I lost some money but the show kicked ass!” You’d think that Holden would want to limit the number of chances he might take on an unknown
or lesser known commodity, and yet he was fearless in his determination to take risks in bringing shows to town he felt merited a chance to play and be paid. And there wasn’t a venue or a stage he wasn’t willing to try. Plaza Palamino and the Berger Center were two of his favorite places to book shows. Jonathan also took his concert series to smaller places where he didn’t have to sell as many tickets to make a show work - including several different churches where he could bring in folks like Eliza Gilkyson and Hapa. Soft spoken with a dry wit, Jonathan was never one to hold back when it came to expressing his political beliefs. He was also a friend to many local musicians and bands, hiring them when it made sense and making a special effort to include them in shows at his wonderful new venue, Suite 147, in Plaza Palamino. While the Rhythm & Roots series may well have been his business, it was his love for the music that was truly his life. n Jonathan is survived by his wife Susan and sons Devon and Gabe. The Rhythm & Roots spring concert series is planned to continue. Visit RhythmandRoots.org for more information.
100 Years…100 Songs By Randy Peterson, KXCI GM Even before we became a state, Arizona was an inspiration to all kinds of musicians, who for more than 100 years have written about all facets of the Grand Canyon state: our stunning natural beauty, our weather, loves found and loves lost, the heat of the day and the stars at night, our heritage and our politics. As part of the state’s centennial celebration, KXCI Community Radio 91.3FM will broadcast “100 Years… 100 Songs,” a look back at the music and musicians that helped to shape – and continue to shape – what “Arizona music” means around our country and around the world. This special broadcast, on the state’s centennial day of February 14th, will air from 1pm to 8pm. The 100 songs will reflect music from Arizona musicians, including many of our local talents. It will also includes cuts about Arizona from many others who’ve found a reference to our region too difficult to pass up, whether as a focus of their song or merely a shout out to a city that fits the rhyme scheme. The songs selected will also reflect the incredible diversity of the material available to us: everything from folk music and blues ballads to Waila music, Latin rock and Native American instrumentals; to pop and rock that
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hit the music charts, to local songs that have rarely been heard outside of the Old Pueblo. The list below – not all 100 artists or songs, you’ll have to tune in for that – reflects a starting point for any conversation.
Some of the musicians: Rex Allen, Dean Armstrong, Travis Edmonson, Lalo Guerrero, Charles Mingus, Alice Cooper, Gin Blossoms, Sand Rubies/Sidewinders, Sons of the Pioneers, Al Perry, Dolan Ellis, Gila Bend, Greyhound Soul, Ned Sutton, The Dusty Chaps, Frank and Woody, Chuck Wagon, Calexico, Waylon Jennings, Lee Hazlewood, R. Carlos Nakai, Al Casey, Howe Gelb, Linda Ronstadt, Jerry Riopelle.
Some of the songs: “Alone In Arizona” by Exene Cervenka; “Tucson, Arizona” by Dan Fogelberg; “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” by Glen Campbell; “Hotel Arizona” by Wilco; “Route 66” by Nat King Cole; “Send Me Down To Tucson” by Mel Tillis; “The Painted Desert” by 10,000 Maniacs. n
tunes LIVE MUSIC
Tue 28: Merle Haggard Wed 29: Los Lonely Boys
ARIZONA CENTENNIAL CELEBRATIONS
2ndSaturdaysDowntown.com Feb 10-12: See pages 35-36 for details.
BOONDOCKS LOUNGE 3306 N. 1st Ave. 690-0991, BoondocksLounge.com Mondays: The Bryan Dean Trio Thursdays: Ed Delucia Band Fridays: Neon Prophet Sat 4: Tony and The Torpedoes Sun 5: Superbowl “After” Party with Heather Hardy and Lil’ Mama Band Sat 11: Wayback Machine with guest blues-guitar soloist Bryan Dean Sun 12: TKMA Benefit Celebrating Valentine’s Day Sat 18: Chuck Wagon, House of Stone Sun 19: Candye Cane, Last Call Girls Sat 25: Rodeo Roundup with Last Call Girls, Cochise County All-Stars Sun 26: The Railbirdz
CLUB CONGRESS 311 E. Congress St. 622-8848, HotelCongress.com/club Wed 1: Todd Snider, Sara Petite Thu 2: Opti Club Presents: Fabian Fri 3: Spirit Familia Sat 4: Tesoro Wed 8: Young Hunter, Mr Free and The Satellite Freakout, Acorn Bcorn Fri 10: Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra Sat 11: Chris Black CD Release Wed 15: Sweet Ghost, Seashell Radio, Ryan David Green Fri 17: Gabriel Sullivan & The Taraf De Tucson Wed 22: The Slackers Fri 24: Sex Pistols vs. Stranglers Mon 27: Cloud Nothings, A Classic Education
FOX TUCSON THEATRE 17 W. Congress St. 624-1515, FoxTucsonTheatre.org Sat 4: Starting Over: The John Lennon Experience Wed 15: Glen Campbell Sun 19: LeAnn Rimes
305 N. 4th Ave. 623-3200, HutTucson.com Sat 11: Unwritten Law
LA COCINA @ OLD TOWN ARTISANS 201 N. Court Ave. 623-6024, LaCocinaTucson.com Wednesdays: Jazz with Elephant Head Thursdays: Sefan George (except Thu, 23) Fridays: Greg Morton & Friends Saturdays: Dance! Dance! Dance! DJ Herm Wed 8: Ben Siems Thu 23: Tony Redhouse Sat 18: Nahui Ollin Aztec Dancers Sun 19: Nahui Ollin Aztec Dancers Fri 24: Coming Out! A Queer Dance Party
LIVE ACOUSTIC VENUE ASSOCIATION (LAVA) Abounding Grace Sanctuary, 2450 S. Kolb. LavaMusic.org Sat 4: Big Wide Grin Sat 25: The Alaska String Band
PLUSH 340 E. 6th St. 798-1298, PlushTucson.com Wed 1: Sara Petite Thu 2: He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister, Adam Faucett, Dry River Yacht Club Fri 3: The Electric Blankets, The Project, Church Key, Kaia Chesney Sat 4: Vine St., Shaun Harris, Havarti Orchestra Sun 5: Samrean Mon 6: Stefan George Tue 7: The Lemonheads, The Shining Twins Wed 8: Planet Jam Fri 10: Laura Gibson, Breathe Owl Breathe, Ex-Cowboy Sat 11: Faster Than Light, Gaza Strip, Sugar Stains Mon 13: Al Foul Tue 14: Digital Leather, Lenguas Largas, Otherly Love
Fri 17: The Dusty Chaps Sun 19: Billy Sedlmayr Mon 20: Hank Topless Wed 22: Serpe Sat 25: The Holy Rolling Empire, Mergence Mon 27: Michael P. Wed 29: The Missing Parts
Thu 9: Scott Huckabay Mon 27: Reptar
SURLY WENCH PUB
RHYTHM & ROOTS Plaza Palamino, 2970 N. Swan Rd. 319-9966, RhythmandRoots.org Sat 4: Fred Eaglesmith Band with The Fabulous Ginn Sisters Sat 11: Sons of the Pioneers Sun 12: Soul Salvation - Ruthie Foster Band with Paul Thorn Fri 17: Caribbean Dance Party with Sticks N’ Fingers Fri 24: Western Swing Dance with Carolyn Martin from Nashville and Way Out West Sat 25: Incendio
424 N. 4th Ave., 882-0009, SurlyWenchPub.com Fri 3: Black Cherry Burlesque Sat 4: Last Call Brawlers, Sunny Italy Tue 7: Artphag Wed 8: Warlock Wednesday Fri 10: Kiss & The Tells Sat 11: Fineline Revisited Fri 17: Circus Emporium Roadshow Sat 18: Club Santuary Wed 22: Warlock Wednesday Sat 25: Fineline Revisited
Other live music venues: BLUEFIN 7053 N. Oracle Rd. 531-8500, BluefinTucson.com
318 E. Congress St. 740-1000, RialtoTheatre.com Wed 1: Social Distortion Thu 2: 2 Chainz Fri 3: Sonoran Glass Art Academy Flame Off! Sat 4: Lisa Otey & The Desert Divas Thu 9: Jake Shimabukuro Fri 10: Metropolitan Klezmer Sat 11: Powhaus Productions Dance Party: Arizona GEM Sun 12: Zappa Plays Zappa Mon 13: Normal Bean Band Wed 15: Young The Giant Thu 16: Machine Head Fri 17: Kathleen Madigan Sat 18: Ozomatli Thu 23: Gomez, Hey Rosetta Sun 26: Guitar Masters Tour
375 S. Stone Ave. 884-5253, CasaVicente.com
SKY BAR 536 N. 4th Ave. 622-4300, SkyBarTucson.com Fridays: Elemental Artistry Fire Dancing!
SOLAR CULTURE 31 E. Toole Ave. 884-0874, SolarCulture.org Fri 3: Illuminate Sat 4: Indian Jewelry, Not Breathing Tue 7: Talkdemonic
CHE’S LOUNGE 350 N. 4th Ave. 623-2088, ChesLounge.com
CUSHING STREET BAR & RESTAURANT 198 W. Cushing St. 622-7984, CushingStreet.com
DELECTABLES RESTAURANT & CATERING 533 N. 4th Ave. 884-9289, Delectables.com
J BAR 3770 E. Sunrise Dr. 615-6100, Janos.com
KINGFISHER 2564 E. Grant Rd. 323-7739, KingFisherTucson.com
LUNA BELLA 2970 N. Swan Rd. LunaBellaRestaurant.com
NIMBUS BREWERY 3850 E. 44th St. 745-9175 & 6464 E. Tanque Verde Rd. 733-1111, NimbusBeer.com
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by Andrew Brown
Left to right, top to bottom: Dallas Reece at Playground opening; Michael Bäst cutting stencils for Boneyard Project; Kade Mislinskiand Adam Cooper on Playground’s opening Night; Ann Seiferle-Valencia Curator of Latin American Art at TMA opening; Eric Firestone and Carlo McCormick cocurators of Boneyard Project; Cliff Taylor, on plane, did a ton of behind the scenes work on the Boneyard Project; Acorn Bcorn performing at Boneyard Project opening; Retna Plane in Boneyard Project; Daniel Martin Diaz and friends with cluster bomb at Boneyard Project opening; Fire Breather at Montery Court opening. All photos © 2012 Andrew Emery Brown.
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