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Z贸calo Urban Scene Magazine

March 2012 /

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 Sydney Ballesteros, Marisa Bernal, Carli Brosseau, Sarah Burton, VK Embee, Gerald Gay, KXCI, Kelly Lewis, Jamie Manser, Troy Martin, Jared McKinley, Phoenix Michael, David Olsen, Randy Peterson, Tom Prezelski, Herb Stratford, Katelyn Swanson, Eric Swedlund, Valerie Vinyard, Johanna Willett. ADVERTISING Marie Hancock PUBLISHER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR David Olsen

CONTACT US: P.O. Box 1171 Tucson, AZ 85702-1171 520.955.ZMAG (9624)

March 2012


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.

March 2012 | 3

Z from the editor

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Planes, Trains, Automobiles & Cell Phones We were driving up to Phoenix and a South Pacific train chugged south, pulling metal box cars painted various colors that advertised their companies with giant logos. I remembered seeing those same branded metal boxes in a L.A. port, shipped from overseas across the mighty Pacific. A plane flew overhead, glinting in the shine of the setting sun. It reminded me of those passenger plane route maps in airline magazines, boasting of their breadth and speed of travel. It’s all about connectivity and economics, the clichéd buzzwords of today. If one were to believe the incessant, earnest, pseudo hip cell phone and cable company commercials, one doesn’t need to travel to stay connected with family and friends; you just need affordable cell phone and internet access. And these technologies are great, as long as you don’t let it get in the way of actually staying connected with family and friends. How many times have you been in a social setting and watched people tooling around on their smart phones, surfing the ‘net, texting a message, “checking in” on Facebook or Yelp? I was at a Japanese festival in Phoenix at the end of February and had I not sworn off my cell phone and pulled it out to take a picture, I would have captured the moment when three of the four of us were thoroughly absorbed in little, rectangular, hand-held devices. I teased my friend about it, and he told me of this great restaurant game where everyone puts their phones on the table and the first one to pick up a phone has to pick up the tab. It’s a great way to school the techno freaks, especially on the weekends while hanging out. Enjoy the moments together, when we are able to connect face to face. Get out of your house, away from the web, be outside in the spring air and embrace all the great festivals offered this month. With your family and friends, phones off. –Jamie Manser

Tidbits by Zócalo

From Spring to Summer While we’d rather not think about the season of triple digits right now, a little pre-planning this spring can help keep you cool during upcoming summers. Trees for Tucson is currently accepting applications for home shade trees, as well as community project requests, on a first-come, firstserved basis. Tree choices include Desert Willow, Velvet Mesquite (save those pods for mesquite flour!), Blue Palo Verde, Sweet Acacia and Red Push Pistache. The deciduous trees are $8 each and only available to Tucson Electric Power customers. Visit for detailed requirements or call 791-3109. Speaking of lassoing Señor Sol, Technicians for Sustainability opened its Solar Grant application process last month to help non-profit groups install renewable energy systems. Both matching and full grants are open to 501c3 organizations. The application deadline is March 21. Information is at or by contacting Tiernay Marsh at 740-0736, tiernay@

Bring Back the Splash Campaign Summer just isn’t summer without a chance to go swimming! The Tucson Parks Foundation and the Tucson Parks and Recreation Department are soliciting donations to reopen select city pools, which have been closed since the 2009 City budget reductions, for summer swim 2012. To date, additional funding has been secured to operate four summer season pools;

including a $25,000 donation from the Catalina Rotary to partially fund the summer operation at Jacobs pool. Purple Heart, Menlo and Mansfield pools will also open this summer. The goal is to open an additional seven city pools, which requires $40,000-$60,000 for each pool for a full summer operations and maintenance needs. Contact Parks and Recreation for information at 791-4877, email, or visit

Summer Jobs for Youth As they say, work builds character, and Pima County is offering youth between 14- and 21-years-old job (and character/experience building) opportunities through its Pima County One-Stop Career Center Summer Youth Program. Applications are being accepted through March 16, and previous summer positions have included: administrative support, clerk, child care aide, recreation aide, library page, patient care technician, discovery guide at the Children’s Museum and surgery tech trainee at Pima Animal Care Center. Interested participants can apply online at summeryouth. Before being put to work, selected youth attend a one-day “employability skills” workshop, where they learn about good work habits and employer expectations. For more information, contact Dana Katbah at or call 798-0500. n

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Wine, Wine and More Wine


Tucson Museum of Art’s 5th Annual CRUSH Festival & Fundraiser by Kelly Lewis Tickets are $75 each ($45 tax-deductible) in advance or $90 each ($60 tax-deductible) at the door. The next evening is the CRUSH gala, kicking off at 5:30 p.m. at the Kiva Ballroom at Loews Ventana Canyon, 7000 N. Resort Dr. Tickets to the gala are $225 each ($100 tax-deductible) and the evening promises dinner, wine, dancing, hors d’oeuvres and a live auction that includes a getaway vacation to Costa Rica and to Paris. “I can’t stress how amazing our auctions are,” said Kristi Kline, TMA’s Director of Public Relations and Marketing. “Our live auction on Saturday is to die for and our silent auction just has some superb items.” If you’d like to visit the museum, take advantage of Mondays at the Museum each Monday this month, and get a guided tour of the exhibits, plus wine and food pairings. Seminars are at 3 p.m. and are $50 ($30 tax deductible) each or all three for $140 ($80 tax deductible). These events sold out last year. “This has turned out to be the must attend event for spring,” said Rojas-Sukkar. It’s unique; we have the finest restaurants and the finest wines and auctions that no one else can duplicate. We are truly a one of a kind event.” n Photo by Jerry Peek/courtesy of Tucson Museum of Art

On March 30, art and wine lovers should do two things: help support the Tucson Museum of Art by attending their annual wine tasting and art fundraiser, CRUSH, and plan on taking a cab home. Now in its fifth year, the CRUSH festival will pair cuisine from 29 local restaurants with over 150 different wines from around the world, all for you to sample. “It’s one of our biggest fundraisers and it’s one of the most fun events that we do,” said Alba Rojas-Sukkar, Tucson Museum of Art’s Director of Development. “There’s music, and we have an amazing auction where you can get everything from bottles of wine to experiences and dining. People really love this event.” What started four years ago as a small event with a handful of restaurants and a small selection of wine, CRUSH has grown to become one of the largest and most successful fundraising events hosted by the Tucson Museum of Art, said Rojas-Sukkar. This year, local restaurants such as Flemings, Firebird, The Hub and Jack’s Kitchen will participate. There’s also a beer garden with five different beers. “We sell out every year,” said Rojas-Sukkar. “This year, we also have a VIP section and our tickets are selling like hotcakes.” CRUSH includes two different events on March 30 and 31. The main event, the CRUSH party, is March 30 at the museum from 6 to 9 p.m.

For more information or tickets to CRUSH, visit

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Events Photo by Coley Ward

Bruce Joseph, chair of Citizens for Solar, and his solar oven at Solar Rock 2011.

Solar Rock by Katelyn Swanson Tune into the clean vibrations of solar powered music at the 6th annual Solar Rock festival on March 18. “Solar Rock is a solar powered concert dedicated to advocating solar power and educating about the benefits,” said Coley Ward, marketing and membership manager for the Food Conspiracy Co-op and organizer of the event. Solar Rock is powered entirely by solar energy with the help of two local solar companies. GeoInnovation provides its solar trailer to power all of the music and The Solar Store assists with powering all the vendors. The festival features a number of music performances, including Shrimp Chaperone and Aaron Gilmartin. “I’ve been hoping solar and clean energy would take over the more scary fossil fuels,” Gilmartin said. “When I was younger we used to go to the power plants with my parents to protest… So I was excited to get involved.” The Solar Rock Festival began as part of a national movement in which events were held to promote solar energy. The event was started by a group of friends in 2007 and has quickly grown since then.

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Over 20 vendors are taking part in the event. This includes both food vendors such as Isabella’s Ice Cream, which runs on solar power on a day-to-day basis, and activity vendors like the Physics Factory bus which provides hands-on science experiences. It also features a number of solar organizations like Citizens for Solar, which will hold its own solar event, the 30th annual Solar Potluck, on April 28th. Solar Rock is held in conjunction with Cyclovia, which shuts down several streets for people to walk, bike, and skate. Together the two events aim to promote alternative forms of energy and transportation while bringing the Tucson community together to enjoy fun activities for all. Both events are free to the public and take place at Armory Park, 221 S. 6th Ave. in downtown Tucson. Cyclovia runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Solar Rock is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Also at Armory Park that day is the 3rd Annual Water Festival, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. n For more information about Solar Rock, visit or contact Coley Ward, or 624-4821.

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Events Photo by Jennifer Matthews

Photo by Emily Yetman

Cyclovia Re-Purposes City Streets by Gerald M. Gay On March 18, a five-mile loop of city streets will serve as an exclusive zone for human-powered-only traffic. Several major roads south of East Broadway Boulevard, downtown, are closed to cars and motorcycles for Cyclovia Tucson 2012, an all-day event meant to engage community through the use of public space and nonmotorized transportation. The regular hustle and bustle of gas-powered traffic on South Fourth and South Eighth avenues will give way to an estimated 20,000 residents, as participants bikes, roller skates, skateboards and walk on their own two feet from the fringes of downtown, straight into the heart of South Tucson’s “Restaurant Row.” “It’s really like a five-mile long block party,” said Emily Yetman, president of Living Streets Alliance, the organization behind the festivities. “Cyclovia is one of our feature events and embodies our vision of what our streets can do for us.” Based on the Ciclovía happenings held throughout Colombia, including in Bogotá where an estimated 2 million people participate on more than 75 miles of closed down streets every Sunday, Ciclovía events have popped up in many major American cities over the last five years. Miami, New York, Portland, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco have all successfully held their own Ciclovía gatherings. Tucson’s first Cyclovia took place in 2010 and drew around 6,000 people, Yetman said. This year, organizers are expecting more than 20,000. “There is no pressure on participants, no start or finish,” Yetman added. “All you have to do is show up. If you can bring a bike, great. If not, walking works just fine.” Live entertainment takes place at six stations or “activity nodes” along

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the circuit. Armory Park, 221 S. 6th Ave., hosts the Solar Rock music festival as well as the Water Festival. Santa Rosa Park on South Tenth Avenue features a cycling rodeo, face painting and bike decorating. Ochoa Community Magnet School in Barrio Ochoa, south of East 22nd Street, holds food tastings and garden demonstrations. Then there’s a healthy selection of restaurants along South Fourth Avenue to choose from if you’re feeling peckish, Yetman explained. “If businesses are open, they get slammed,” she said. “A lot of restaurants on South Fourth had bikes piled up left and right last year. Everyone rode around and then got hungry.” South Tucson’s inclusion in the annual Cyclovia festivities is one of the major reasons Tucson resident Shipherd Reed plans on attending. “It seems like many Tucsonans never venture south of 22nd Street,” he said. “There is a lot of life south of 22nd. Having it go down there really engages one population of the city with another.” Reed, 48, discovered Cyclovia by accident in 2010 when it was held in the North Fourth Avenue area. The digital media producer for the University of Arizona’s Flandrau Science Center was so impressed by what he saw, he brought his wife Julie and two children along for the ride in 2011. He likens the event to the annual All Souls Procession, which is very uniquely Tucson, he said. “There is such a large cycling culture already here,” he added. “This is a real standout event. There is definitely potential to grow.” n Cyclovia Tucson 2012 runs from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on March 18. For more information visit

2011 Mason Ibas Photograpy

The Pro Peloton races for their share of the $20,000.00 purse during the inagural Old Pueblo Grand Prix, through downtown Tucson.



Pedal to Pavement A Classic American Bike Race by Johanna Willett, photo by Mason Ibas Amateur and pro bicyclists alike can speed through downtown during the second Old Pueblo Grand Prix this St. Patrick’s Day. The festivities last all day, entertaining spectators with a series of short-course races, or criterium, that take a 0.6 mile loop through Tucson’s urban core. Saturday, March 17 kicks off at 10:30 a.m., as juniors 10- to 18-yearsold hit the pavement. The pro race event finale starts at 5:30 p.m. with professionals speeding through downtown Tucson as the streetlights blink on. $20,000 in prize money will be awarded throughout the day, part of it provided by the title sponsor Athlete Octane. This year, the Old Pueblo Grand Prix joins the USA Crits Championship Series as the second of 11 stops. Now, the pros will have to race in Tucson in order to keep their standing in the overall series, said Kurt Rosenquist, the owner of Fitworks Cycling Support and one of the criterium’s organizers. Tucsonan Jame Carney is one of those pros. A two-time Olympian, Carney showed his stuff in the Masters men’s 35+ race last year, placing second. He thinks that this event can go big nationally. “Hopefully this will be the start of a new era,” Carney said. “This is a cycling community. We need this.” Having spectators cheer along the whole course amps up the event’s energy and enlivens downtown. “It’s just very exciting,” said Kate Van Roekel, a member of Team O2 Modern Fitness/Maynard’s and winner in the women’s category 3/4 race last year. “People are yelling and ringing bells. It was very cool to see everyone out and about downtown.” With so many restaurants nearby, spectators can get a bite to eat or a good cup of coffee and watch the action unfold. “It’s about the idea of an urban center where people gather,” said Su-

san Frank, O2 Modern Fitness owner and event organizer. “We want to see more of that in our downtown.” This year, the route starts and finishes at the St. Augustine Cathedral, 192 S. Stone Ave. Racers will head east on Jackson Street, south on Scott Avenue, west on 14th Street and north on Stone Avenue. With two JumboTrons on opposite sides of the course, racers will be larger than life, whipping around sharp corners at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. “The gnarly crashes are part of the thrill,” Van Roekel said. “It’s like watching a car crash on T.V. You think, ‘Whoa! I can’t believe that just happened.’” Last year’s course had even more corners. “There was no relaxing then,” Carney said. “It was just grinding your teeth the whole period. At one point, it got dangerous, so I took off.” Frank admits that the road conditions downtown aren’t ideal, but the urban route is what makes criterium racing classically American. “Every continent has a racing style,” Carney said. “Instead of having our city councils build tracks, Americans raced around city blocks. That’s our tradition, and foreigners aren’t used to the skill it takes to go around a corner that fast.” So expect a show. “You have to have nerves of steel to do this,” Van Roekel said. “It takes a lot of adrenaline. But when else do you get to take over downtown?” n Cruise over to the Old Pueblo Grand Prix on March 17, starting at 10:30 a.m. Its free for spectators. Competitors must complete early registration by March 6 to avoid a late fee. For more information and registration fees, visit

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Events Photo by Anissa, age 11. Courtesy Parks in Focus/

Grand Canyon in Focus 2011.

Photo by Liany, age 11. Courtesy Parks in Focus/

Arizona Parks in Focus excursion 2011.

Photo by Parks in Focus.

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Parks in Focus

Tucson youth turn a creative eye on the natural world by Emily Gindlesparger

When you take a hike with a camera, doesn’t the world shift a little? Put a frame around things, and suddenly the big vistas and small details are equally captivating. This is something hundreds of Tucson youth have discovered through Parks In Focus, a program of the Udall Foundation that connects middle school children with nature through photography. “It started with a tiny little pilot project in Tucson,” says Melissa Millage, Senior Project Manager. In 1999, Parks In Focus consisted of one trip with 12 youth for three days in Canyon de Chelly. The national program expanded to include trips for youth in the San Francisco Bay area and in Flint, Michigan. Today, the Tucson project is a year-round program that connects kids to public lands and their own artistic expression through photography and it is serving as a blueprint for other programs across the country. It’s a bridge, say Millage and Project Coordinator Ashley Pedersen, between youth organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club and parks in natural areas like the Grand Canyon, where Parks In Focus brought a crew of Tucson kids last year. Bringing middle school children to see a big crack in the earth is just the start; the magic happens when they’re given the cameras. “Photography is a great way to introduce a place-based model for environmental education and connection to nature,” Pedersen explains. “The kids are learning a technical skill, but photography also broadens their awareness because they’re looking for the next best picture.” After trips, photos go on display around Tucson, and have been shown at the Children’s Museum, Sonoran Institute, Armory Park Senior Center, and city council members’ offices, as well as the Parks In Focus website. “They haven’t had these experiences before,” says Millage of Parks In Focus youth. “They’re not having them at school, at home, or with the Boys and Girls Club. So the chance to see them make discoveries through this program, to watch the connection process happen - not just about nature but about what exists in their backyards, what exists in Tucson, what kinds of things are out there in Arizona, and to make those discoveries about themselves, it’s really phenomenal to watch.” n To learn more, see photo galleries from previous trips, donate or volunteer for upcoming programs, visit or contact Melissa Millage at 901-8562,

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Greg McNamee, editor of “The Only One Living to Tell” participates in Tucson Festival of Books panels. Book cover courtesy UA Press

Thomas Sheridan, UA anthropology professor and author of “Arizona: A History,” participates in Tucson Festival of Books panels. Book cover courtesy UA Press

Panels at Tucson Festival of Books Highlight Arizona History by Kelly Lewis The Tucson Festival of Books always offers a wide and diverse selection of books, authors and topics, but this year, some of the panels will touch upon some of Arizona’s more recent—and unpleasant—political history. Coinciding closely with Tucson’s centennial, local authors will participate in panels that discuss how recent laws may affect Arizona’s future. Thomas Sheridan, UA professor of anthropology and southwest studies and author of Arizona: A History, Revised Edition will participate in two panels surrounding Arizona history. The first, “Arizona’s Latino Population and the New Politics of Fear,” is Saturday, March 10 from 11:30 a.m.12:30 p.m. in the Koffler Building, room 218. Dr. Lydia R. Otero (author of La Calle: Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwest City) and Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez will also participate. “I think one of the points about the panel on Latinos and Mexicanos here in Arizona will be that right now we’re living through probably the worst assault on Mexican migrants and Mexican society and culture since early statehood,” said Sheridan. “I think we will all be making the point that that may change very rapidly. “Hispanics are the fastest growing segment of the American population,” Sheridan elucidated. “I think this anti-Mexican rhetoric and the laws that have passed recently may very well come back to haunt the politicians who passed them, down the road.” Sheridan will also speak on a panel titled “Arizona History at the Centennial,” with Eric Meeks and Jeff Biggers on March 10 from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Koffler Building, room 204.

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For Greg McNamee, editor of The Only One Living to Tell, it’s not so much history that fascinates him, but the stories of the overlooked individuals who helped to shape history. Along with Jeff Biggers and Margot Mifflin, McNamee will participate on a panel titled “Forgotten Lives: Uncovering Hidden Histories” on Sunday, March 11, from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Integrated Learning Center, room 150. The Only One Living to Tell is the autobiography of Mike Burns, a Yavapai Indian who grew up in an American officer’s home after his family was massacred. His story is unique as he actually wrote his own biography, which sat in a museum in Prescott until McNamee was commissioned to help edit and publish it. “We have no idea of how history will treat us but for the most part we can probably be assured that history will overlook almost all of us, and yet, we are the people who shape history each and every day,” said McNamee. “When we think about stories told of the American Revolution, we know the story of George Washington, but we don’t know the stories about the soldiers who fought and got frostbite at Valley Forge. The stories you’re likely to hear [in this panel] will be those kinds of stories.” n For more information on the festival, visit Interested in travel? Stop by the Bon Voyage Travel Stage on the UA Mall from 12 to 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 11 to hear Zócalo writer Kelly Lewis discuss safe and affordable travel for women.

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The Last


St. Patrick’s Day Ever?

by Phoenix Michael

Photo by Phoenix Michael

End-of-the-world believers are certain the Mayan calendar predicts apocalypse. If 2012 spells civilization’s demise, we should party like there’s literally no tomorrow. Make this St. Patty’s Day count; it could be our last. Slainte! Emerald Isle Society’s 16th annual Emerald Ball takes place Saturday, March 3 at JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa, 3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd. $125/person includes live music by The Mulligans and the choreography of Riverdance lead Michael Patrick Gallagher and Company. Ball beneficiaries are the Pima Council on Aging and Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Southern Arizona. See or call Kathy at 360-0729 for reservations. Celtic/bluegrass musical storytellers The Dusty Buskers celebrate 2nd Saturdays Downtown with a free, all-ages in-store performance at 7 p.m. on March 10 at Flanagan’s Celtic Corner, 222 E. Congress St. Try on a utilikilt after the music! Learn more about Tucson’s largest inventory of Celtic, Irish, Scottish and Welsh products at The ever-popular Great Irish Cook Off heats up at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 11 as competitive soda bread and corned beef chefs battle for bragging rights at O’Malley’s on Fourth, 247 N. 4th Ave. Just $10 gets you a bellyful of tasty. Friday, March 16 brings the Tucson-Roscommon Sister Cities’ annual St. Patrick’s Day Mayor’s Luncheon to historic Manning House, 450 W. Paseo Redondo, with a $25/person meet and greet beginning at 11:30 a.m. Call Patrick Lavin at 818-1310 to make reservations. Later in the evening, catch the all-Irish power trio of Karan Casey, John Doyle and John Williams at Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd., at 8 p.m. These are the finest artists Ireland has to offer, folks. Tickets are available at or from Antigone Books, 411 N. 4th Ave. and The Folk Shop, 2525 N. Campbell Ave. The Tucson St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival has relocated due to streetcar installation rerouting all parades. Join the day-long revelry at El Presidio Park, 160 W. Alameda St., beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 17; this year’s theme is “Honoring our Founders.” That night Plush, 340 E. 6th St., invites all to celebrate in style with Phoenix’s Haymarket Squares, New Mexico’s Silver City String Beans and folk jokesters The Dusty Buskers again accompanied by dancers from Maguire Academy of Irish Dance. $5 gets you in when doors open at 9 p.m. Canyon’s Crown Restaurant & Pub, 6958 E. Tanque Verde Rd., hosts local Irish/Appalachian act Púca from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, March 23. Familiarize yourself with this talented, melodically masterful duo at and plan your appetizers ahead of time at Finally, round out the season with a monthly adult ceili class on Monday, March 26 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Tir Conaill Academy of Irish Dance, 4580 E. Broadway Blvd. Everyone is welcome for a $5 fee; contact Chris McGrory at 991-3605 to join. The final word? Like other local Irish community participants, Celtic Academy of Tucson board member Catherine Harris harbors a “special

St. Patrick’s Day, Tucson style.

affinity” for St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. “The story of his life makes for fascinating reading,” says Harris. “This we do know: he was responsible for Ireland being Catholic.” Cheers and Godspeed! n Disclosure: Phoenix Michael is part of The Dusty Buskers

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Expect the unexpected at Moctober Festival.

Photo courtesy Jodi Netzer/Tucson Arts Brigade


Mermaid Odette, sans pool, appears at the Water Festival this year.

Water Festival Refreshes Tucson

Springtime Revelry

By Johanna Willett

by Emily Gindlesparger

It’s not every day you meet a mermaid, but at Tucson’s Water Festival on Sunday, March 18, Mermaid Odette will snap photos with delighted kiddies and spout tips about water conservation. For the third year in a row, the festival will imbue the science of water with an artistic flair. Organized by the Tucson Arts Brigade, the event imparts water awareness via an art exhibition, performances, and discussion panels. The cameo appearances by Aquaman and Tucson’s very own mermaid lend some star power to the event and make it entertaining for scientist, artist, and child. “Art is the voice of the times and survives throughout history,” said Jodi Netzer, the chair of the Water Festival planning team, in an email. “Statistics alone cannot affect change. It’s in our human nature to learn with hands-on experience.” The cultural focus on water use in the region creates continuity between the past 100 years and the future. Arizona’s not done celebrating its Centennial just yet. “Water is a major issue but also a beautiful metaphor for tying the community together,” Netzer said. “Water flows. We want that for our community.” A sculpted block of frozen tribal waters in the shape of a man will demonstrate climate change and dependence on water, as the Arizona sun heats up and melts the ice. This water festival won’t be like a typical fourth-grade science fair, Netzer said. It teaches, but not in that boring lecture way. After all, Mermaid Odette just might be your teacher. “I love the kids,” Odette said. “They want to touch my tail and ask me why I don’t smell like a fish. They are very attentive and whatever I say, they just take it. I use that to show them the importance of water conservation.” n

This month, the Mercado San Agustin will be transformed by silks, fire and acrobatics; hoola-hoopers, beer drinkers, and vaudevillians, stilt walkers and epically mustachioed men and other eclectic surprises. On March 31, or April Fool’s Eve, as it’s more poetically known to event organizers, will see Tucson’s first ever Moctoberfest, a play on the classic Hoegarten beer festival with local breweries, home-brew workshops, wine tasting, and all the spectacle and circus of the All Souls Procession, with a bit more letting-down of the hair, and without the solemn overtones. Where All Souls is a time to reflect, Moctoberfest is intended to celebrate the incredibly diverse passions and creativity in our community. “I thought of making it six months away, having a party halfway around the calendar from All Souls, and we could call it Moctoberfest because about that time is April Fools’,” says organizer Ruben Palma. “There’s a connection with the founders and the people of All Souls, they did a lot of mockery and a lot of play, and that’s how All Souls emerged; it’s a little bit of a jest on life. Given that, it’s pretty serious and people reflect and it seems kind of somber. I thought this would be a good time to have fun and be springtime about it.” A $20 entry fee ($14 in advance) raises funds for the All Souls Procession and includes an afternoon and evening filled with music, art, performances by Flam Chen and others, and workshops ranging from beer and wine making to circus arts, Acro-yoga, and even mustache grooming. “We hope to have workshops like that as well as have some demonstrations of circus people in town, jugglers and stilt walkers,” Palma adds. “Mostly we’re showcasing a lot of the local talent and art around Tucson; it’s a little bit of a mix of different genres and interests.” Space is still available to add your talent and creativity to the mix: Palma is putting a call out to artists, performers, food vendors, craftspeople, and anyone else who wants to get involved in this entirely community-built event that will lighten up the night come April Fool’s Eve. n

Dive into the Water Festival on March 18 at the Armory Park Center, 220 S. 5th Ave. The activities start at 10 a.m. and run to 4 p.m. For more information, visit

Moctoberfest is Saturday, March 31 from noon to midnight at Mercado San Agustin, 100 S. Avenida del Convento; $20, $14 presale, discount available for Tuesday Night Bike Riders. Visit or email for more details.

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The Inaugural Moctoberfest

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The Guilty Bystanders perform during 2nd Saturdays at the Scott Avenue stage on March 10, 8pm.


Featuring jazz group Quantum Nites. 4pm. Free. St. Philip’s Plaza, 4280 N. Campbell Ave. 529-2775,

BICAS ART ANNEX: GRAND OPENING & STUDIO TOUR New art studio/gallery featuring bike themes & recycled art by local artists. Opening showcases jewelry, photographs, limited edition prints, sculpture, functional objects. 6pm-9pm. BICAS, 44 W. 6th St. 628-7950,


Annual winetasting & silent auction. Fundraising to support the SAWC. 6pm-8pm. $35-$45. Tucson Osteopathic Medical Foundation, 3182 N. Swan Rd. 404-3148,


3rd annual event includes salsa music, salsa tasting contest, dance lessons, desserts, raffles, performances by Pistor Dance Ensemble & Junior Pistor Dance Ensemble. 7pm-9pm. $8/person, $12/couple. John Valenzuela Youth Center, 1550 S. 6th Ave. 481-1656,

SAT 3 FORDS ON 4TH The Southern Arizona Mustang Club showcase. Free. 9am-3pm. 4th Ave, between 6th St & University Blvd.


Photo courtesy of


Photo courtesy The Guilty Bystanders


John “Flano” Flanagan at a St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival, which begins at 10am on Sat, Mar 17.

CAT MOUNTAIN STATION ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR Local artists and craftspeople show and sell jewelry, woodwork, wrought iron, stained glass, bead work, recycled art, fabric art, folk art, candles, more. 9am-2pm. Free. Cat Mountain Station, 2740 S. Kinney Rd. 828-3779,


FRI 9 DANCEHALL NIGHTS AT THE EAGLES LODGE Special guests: Silver Fox and DJ Carl Glammy. Hosted by Kenny Stewart & Carl Hanni. 9pm-2am. $5 cover/$5 for wine tastings. The Eagles Lodge, 153 N. Stone. 571-8384.


A monthly downtown urban fest. Scott Stage – Up With People, The Cornerstone Band, The Guilty Bystanders, Rich Hopkins and Luminarios. Fox – Five Way Street, Congress – Foxtails Brigade. Outdoor Movie – West Side Story. 6pm-10pm. Free. Congress Street,


Fashion & dinner fundraising event for Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation. 4:30pm. $35-$135. Tucson Convention Center Grand Ballroom, 260 S. Church Ave. 628-7223,

of national and internationally renowned authors, hundreds of exhibitors; lectures, interviews, book signings, workshops, poetry readings, writing contests, panel discussions, kids events, more. 9:30am-5pm. Free. University of Arizona campus.


SUN 11


Entertainment by Tucson High’s Mariachi Ariztlan, The Lazy S Gang, Redhouse Dancers, Cadillac Mountain; children’s activities, food and raffle. Benefits Friends of Sabino Canyon. Noon-4pm. Donation: $5/person; $10/family. 749-1900,

20 | March 2012

WINE TASTING FOR HOPE CataVinos Wine Shop and Tasting Room hosts a fundraiser for HOPE Animal Shelter. Six tastings, cheese, crackers & a raffle. 4pm-6pm. $20. CataVinos Wine Shop, 3063 N. Alvernon Way. 792-9200, category/events

THU 15- SAT 17 TOHONO CHUL PARK GOURD FESTIVAL Over 15 gourd artists from Arizona and southern California will showcase their work at the first annual festival. 10am-4pm. Free with regular park admission. Tohono Chul Park, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte, 742-6455,

SAT 17 SILVER SPIKE FESTIVAL See story page 32. 9am-11am. Free. Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, 414 N. Toole Ave. 623-2223,

25TH ANNUAL ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE & FESTIVAL Live Irish music, dancers, entertainment, children’s activities, more. Festival begins at 10am; parade begins at 11am. Free. El Presidio Park, 160 W. Alameda St.

OLD PUEBLO GRAND PRIX See story page 11.10:30am to 6:45pm.

SAT 17-SUN 18 ARTS IN THE PARK FINE ART & JAZZ FESTIVAL Local & nationally-known musicians take the stage in this 16th annual event. Also features art, merchants, food, & children’s activities. Free. Sat, 9am-4pm; Sun, 10am-4pm. Oro Valley Marketplace, Southwest corner of Oracle and Tangerine. 797-3959,

SUN 18 CYCLOVIA TUCSON See story page 10. 10am3pm. Free.

SYNERGISTIC WATER FESTIVAL See story page 18. 10am-4pm. Free. Armory Park, 221 S. 6th Ave.

SUN 18 SOLAR ROCK See story page 8. 11am-4pm. Free. Armory Park, 221 S. 6th Ave.


on the American Studio Glass Movement 50-year Anniversary. SGAA is the home of the event’s Anniversary exhibition, demos and lectures by important Studio Glass Artists. Featured artists include: Einar & Jamex de la Torre, Laura Donefer, Henry Halem, Tom Philabaum. Sonoran Glass Art Academy, 633 W. 18th St.

Team Awesome!

A group of friends spearhead out-of-the-box fundraising efforts for MS by Sarah Burton


400 arts and crafts booths, 35 food vendors, performance stages, street musicians, food, jugglers, kids entertainment, face painting, balloons, more. 10am-6pm. Free. 624-5004,


A charity benefit inspired by the Swing Era of music, fashion, food, & cocktails. 5:30pm-9pm. Tucson Mall Pavilion between Brio and Cheescake Factory. $35. 7973959,


Visit gravesites of Tucson pioneers. All proceeds benefit Arizona Historical Society. $15. 9am-11:30am. Evergreen Cemetery, 3015 N. Oracle Rd. 770-1473,




Featuring music, dance, food, art & a silent auction by celebrity auctioneer Chuck George. 4pm-7pm. $100-$125. Tohono Chul Park, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte, 742-6455,


The Tucson Area Wiccan/Pagan Network celebrates the season with rituals, workshops, merchants & entertainment. 8am-7pm. Free. Unitarian Universalist Church, 4831 E. 22nd St. 792-6440,


The 93rd Annual Baile de Las Flores: Dress in Fiesta style attire and enjoy rooms filled with music, dancing & entertainment. Proceeds benefit St. Luke’s Home, a nondenominational, licensed, assisted living facility for low-income, elderly Tucson residents. 6pm-11pm. Tucson Country Club, 2950 N. Camino Principal.


See story page 18. Mocto-


Features fine art and live jazz from more than 100 artists. Sat, 9am-4pm; Sun, 10am-4pm. St. Philip’s Plaza, 4280 N. Campbell Ave. 529-2775,

Raise your hand if you’ve never walked a 5K. Hear that clichéd pin drop? If we’re being honest, the benefits, fundraisers, and walk/runs available to participate in are a veritable buffet of good causes. Some get more press than others, but ultimately the point is people coming together to celebrate, honor, and bring awareness to something they feel is important to humanity. What better way to spark new interest and jazz up fundraising for one of these walks than to take on a fresh and humor-filled approach? That’s just what Team Awesome has been working hard at, leading up to this month’s Walk to Create a World Free of MS. Saturday, March 10 at 9:30am in Reid Park, Team Awesome will set out into a sea of orange (the official color of multiple sclerosis awareness) with the rest of the teams walking for MS. This time marks the fourth year Team Awesome leader Monika Mendoza has been involved. The first year was with just a handful of friends, this year she’s bringing more than 50 people. The team has continued growing, along with coordinating increasingly creative fundraising efforts. This is not your mother’s pledge drive. Kickball in the park, a bake sale at this winter’s Fourth Avenue Street Fair, bingo at Bumstead’s, the second annual Orange Out show at Che’s with local musician Amy Rude, and a mega Fat Tuesday event at La Cocina Restaurant complete with food, live music, plus a bachelor/bachelorette auction. Last year Team Awesome raised $2,000. This year’s goal? A whopping $5,000. In her first year on the team, Julianne Szekely says being involved harkens back to that feeling she treasured growing up, when playing sports and being part of a team. “Team Awesome has all those elements of camaraderie— plus working at raising money totally plays to my competitive nature,” she explains, laughing. What has become a fun-filled endeavor started out with Mendoza’s diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 2007, after experiencing neuropathy in her fingers, hands, and an electric shock sensation the base of her neck. “During a road trip to Bisbee with some girlfriends, I sat in the back seat playing with my fingers…my hands had gone completely numb,”

she remembers. After two months passed with still no sensation, she sought out a doctor. “In the beginning I was self-conscious and unsure if I would share my diagnosis,” Mendoza admits. After her neurologist sent her home with a stack of fancy magnets, stress balls, pens, and other schwag to decide on a medication, she came to a decision and began the painful injections. There is no known cure for MS, but the medications available can prevent further flare-ups. Unfortunately, they also cause excruciating side reactions. “I consider myself a pretty tough chick but I did not enjoy this. It was a battle of wills, and I eventually stopped after several awful months,” she recalls. Friend Jill Brammer reflects on witnessing this struggle: “Monika is such a strong woman. She really armed herself with knowledge and faced it straight on, which I find admirable. But it was terrible to see someone you care about go through it.” “It’s refreshing and motivating to be part of a community that cares for one another and supports such an important cause,” says Jill Conway, Team Awesome member of four years and lead baked-good pusher during the street fair. “You never want someone you love to worry about how this disease will impact their life… that is why we walk,” Conway says. She adds that during the street fair it was a common occurrence for a passerby to stop and share their story of a friend or family member that suffers from MS. Mendoza is no stranger to that kind of moment. “This is a far reaching disease that doesn’t draw the media attention other campaigns do,” she says. “But bring MS up in conversation and you’ll be surprised how many people are personally affected by it.” Team Awesome enters this year’s walk with excitement, spirit, community, a boatload of orange, and most of all: swagger. n Walk to Create a World Free of MS happens Saturday, March 10, at Reid Park. For details, visit The preceding Saturday, March 3, catch local songstress Amy Rude at Che’s, 346 N. 4th Ave., for the Orange Out benefit.

March 2012 | 21

Arts Photo courtesy Karen Falkenstrom

Photo courtesy Karen Falkenstrom


Odaiko Sonora at 2nd Saturdays, June 2011.

“Asako: The Girl Who Saved Her Village” book cover illustration by Nadia Hagen.

Odaiko Sonora at 2nd Saturdays, Feb 2012.

A Decade of Big Drumming by Kelly Lewis Odaiko Sonora, Tucson’s only Japanese Taiko group, celebrates 10 years this month and to celebrate, the non-profit is releasing a book during the Tucson Festival of Books called Asako: The Girl Who Saved Her Village. “For our anniversary, we thought about making a calendar or something, but we realized that we were doing folktale in the schools for years, and we decided to turn [the folktale] into a book,” said Karen Falkenstrom, co-founder of Odaiko Sonora. Odaiko Sonora is a drumming group that practices, teaches and performs Taiko, an ancient Japanese art in which drummers beat the big drums in rhythm. (Taiko means “big drum” in Japanese.) The art form was once used to signal the onset of war or to implore the gods for a plentiful harvest—these days it’s more commonly used as a performance art, often to accompany heritage festivals. Asako: The Girl Who Saved Her Village is a folktale written by Odaiko Sonora and illustrated by Nadia Hagen that accompanies several Taiko songs. There’s a tsunami and earthquake in the story (and an earthquake and tsunami song), a festival song, and a harvest song after Asako saves her village. It’s a tale that Odaiko Sonora has been teaching to students in a handful of local schools to great success. “We teach the kids once a week, for ten weeks, how to play songs, and there are folktales that fit into the songs,” said Falkenstrom. “In the performance, the kids read the narrative part and each of the grades perform their song.” Odaiko Sonora will perform sections of the book at the Tucson Festival of Books at 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, and Asako: The Girl Who Saved Her Village will be on sale. Odaiko Sonora was founded in 2002 by Karen Falkenstrom and Rome Hamner. What started as a small hobby between friends has now grown to an 501c3 arts organization with over 70 annual community projects, a warehouse space called Rhythm Industry that is also home to several

22 | March 2012

other arts groups (including local performance groups Flam Chen and Batucaxe), and an annual budget of over $100K. “We built a really solid group very quickly and we were able to grow a very strong and diverse group quickly,” said Falkenstrom. To date, the drumming ensemble includes Falkenstrom, Hamner, three understudies and several drummers, together making up a crew of almost 20. “Our art form is really loud,” said Falkenstrom. “It’s kind of like music, plus martial arts, plus some dance. Taiko has a broad appeal because it is music, it is physical and it is very much a team sport.” At their core, Odaiko Sonora is dedicated to increasing familiarity of Taiko within our community. Having performed to over 55,000 people in the last year alone (including 7,000 kids), there’s a good chance you’ve seen them—or rather, heard them. “For 10 years we have been a really solid little group,” Falkenstrom said. “In terms of the administrative, artistic and financial aspects of what makes an organization great, we’re pretty solid.” Interested in learning how to play Taiko? Odaiko Sonora offers open classes for youth and players of all age at their studio, Rhythm Industry, 1013 S. Tyndall Ave. For more information on classes, visit n Upcoming Performances include: Race for the Cure at Reid Park, March 25 and the Rhythm Industry Review at Rhythm Industry studio, 1013 S. Tyndall Ave., March 31.


Photo by F. Reinhold

Photo by Chautauquan Daily

Lera Auerbach will perform an original commission.


Jeannette Sorrell, harpsichord and conductor of Apollo’s Fire Baroque Ensemble, also performs.

A Week of Delicious Chamber Music The 19th Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival by Jared R. McKinley It is a pleasant surprise to many that Tucson, nested in the middle of a state with a reputation for being uncouth, wild and rustic, has enough patronage to support something as sophisticated as the Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival. Music lovers can be thankful that Tucson is more refined than its reputation would suggest. For over sixty years the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music has showcased internationally renowned chamber music groups, performers and composers for the Tucson audience throughout the calendar year. Peter Rejto, artistic director of the festival since its inception, has brilliantly programmed the 19th season, presenting a series of five concerts with introductory commentary and a gala dinner with music selected by festival musicians. Also part of the festival are open rehearsals, a youth concert and master classes for musicians. From March 4 to 11, international ensembles of first-class musicians perform compositions both familiar and rarely-heard by modern and classic composers. There are also original commissions being premiered, this year by two brilliant (and young) composers - Lera Auerbach and Pierre Jalbert. Russian born composer and pianist Lera Auerbach, with members of the Tokyo Quartet, presents Trio on Friday, March 9, 7:30 p.m. Lera Auerbach is the youngest composer on the roster of the prestigious music publishing company Hans Sikorski (home to Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Schnittke, Gubaidulina and Kanchel). Her shifts between tonal, lyrical and angular, dissonant statements are authentically crafted with economy while expanding on the opulent language of predecessor Dmitri Shostakovich. Prominent American composer, Pierre Jalbert, premieres his Piano Quartet on Sunday March 11, 3 p.m. His composition style is tonally oriented, articulating statements with rich instrumentation backed by suave, contemporary (at times dissonant) harmonies. His music encompasses great emotional range; his inspiration deriving from his own personal experiences. In addition to the original commissions, on March 6 Apollo’s Fire Ba-

roque Ensemble performs Mediterranean Nights: Sultry Songs and Passionate Dances from 17th Century Italy and Spain, reputed to break into a “jam session” which according to The Columbus Dispatch sounds like it ”might have been heard 300 years ago on an Italian beach.” The gala at Arizona Inn, Saturday, March 10, includes dinner, an open wine bar and the following music selected by festival musicians: André Previn’s Trio for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano is a composition that uses widely spaced chords and jazz-like rhythms, a great illustration of Previn’s enthusiasm for both “serious” and popular music. Originally intended as a movement for an entire string quartet, Hugo Wolf’s Italian Serenade is a lieder inspired by Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff’s Italian-themed novella Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts (From the Life of a Good-for-Nothing). He never finished the other movements but this became his most famous piece. Written for French horn, Robert Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro was the result of his interest in writing “hausmusik,” which were compositions to be played at home, in private. Said to be derived from a Spanish dance, Johan Halvorsen’s Passacaglia (Duo for Violin and Viola, after Handel), is a demanding piece that employs such technique as double stops (the playing of two or more tones simultaneously on the violin and related string instruments). Tickets are $265 per person for all five concerts plus the gala dinner and performance. If you want to attend just the gala, tickets are $150. The other concerts can be individually attended for $25 each. Free events include: open rehearsals (which take place at the Leo Rich Theater on March 7, 9, and 11), the youth concert (March 8) and master classes for musicians (March 10). n All concerts except for the gala are at the Leo Rich Theater, 260 S. Church Ave. The gala is at Arizona Inn, 2200 E. Elm St. Tickets and complete schedule information are available at or at 577-3769.

March 2012 | 23



BLUE RAVEN GALLERY Crazy For Color continues through Sat, Mar 24. All Things Great and Small opens at the end of March. Thu, noon-4pm; Fri, noon-5pm; Sat, 11am-5pm. 3042 N. 1st Ave. 623-1003,

CENTER FOR CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY Photo Fridays, an exclusive look at CCP’s renowned fine art and photography, is Fri, Mar 2, 11:30am-3:30pm. Free. Mary Virginia Swanson: Ansel Adams: Advocate for American Photography is Thu, Mar 1, 5:30pm. Artist’s talk and book signing by José Galvez, Mon, Mar 19, 5:30pm. Artist’s talk by Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison is Tue, Mar 27, 5:30pm. Artist’s talk by Carter Mull on Thu, Mar 29, 5:30pm. Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sun, noon5pm. 1030 N. Olive Rd. 621-7968,

CONRAD WILDE GALLERY Seventh Annual Encaustic Invitational continThe Loft Cinema by Dirk Arnold is part of the exhibit “Dirk Arnold: Endangered Architecture” which continues at the Temple Gallery through April 3.

ues through Mar 31. Second opening reception is Sat, Mar 3, 6pm-9pm. Wed-Sat, 12pm-5pm. 439 N. 6th Ave. #171. 622-8997,


Hackneyed Taboos & Tin Ears Too opens on Sat, Mar 3 with a 6pm-10pm reception. Tues-Fri 11am-5pm, Sat 11am-4pm. 110 E. 6th St. 398-6557,

DAVIS DOMINGUEZ GALLERY Paintings by Duncan Martin and sculpture by Barbara Jo Mclaughlin continues through Mar 17. Paintings by Bruce McGrew and Tim Murphy with sculptures by Judith Stewart opens Mar 22. Thu-Fri, 11am5pm; Sat, 11am-4pm. 154 E. 6th St. 629-9759,

DECO Mostly Black, Mainly White continues through April. Tue-Wed, Sat, 11am4pm; Thu-Fri, 11am-5pm. 2612 E. Broadway Blvd. 319-0888,


Way of the Cross continues through April 15. The Little Gallery presents: Amazing Animal Portraits by Paul Hopman, through Mar 9; Watercolor by Brian Bill is Mar 11-Mar 23. Clay Sculptures by Amy Kyle opens Mar 25. Daily, 10am-4pm. 6300 N. Swan Rd. 299-9191,

THE DRAWING STUDIO Arizona Encaustic 2012, featuring pigmented wax art, opens on Sat, Mar 3 with a 6pm-9pm reception; continues through Sat, Mar 31. Tue-Sat, noon-4pm. 33 S. 6th Ave. 620-0947,

ETHERTON GALLERY Don’t Look Now: Craig Cully, Chris Rush and James Reed continues through Mar 17. This Land, This Sea: Joe Forkan, Nancy TokarMiller and Lisa M. Robinson opens Mar 24 with a 7pm-10pm reception. Tue-Sat, 11am-5pm. 135 S. 6th Ave. 624-7370,

FLORENCE QUATER GALLERY Annual Faculty Show continues through Mar 23 at William Platz Gallery. The Art Center Design College, 2525 N. Country Club Rd. 325-0123,

GEORGE STRASBURGER STUDIO AND GALLERY “Hackneyed Taboos & Tin Ears Too” opens on Sat, March 3 at the Contreras Gallery. “She’s A Concept, More or Less” by artist Gary Aagaard is featured.

art Galleries/exhibits ART GALLERY American Daze/Russian Haze by Alex Arshansky opens Mar 2. Artist’s reception is Sat, Mar 3, 4pm-7pm. Thu-Sat: 11am-4pm; and available by appointment. 1122 N. Stone Ave. 624- 7099,

ARTHRITIS FOUNDATION Western landscape and portrait paintings in oil and pastels by Tucson artist Gay Scheibl continues through Apr 4. Mon-Wed, Fri, 8am-5pm; Thu 8am-12pm. 2102 N. Country Club Rd, Ste. #3. 603-5666, Azacp. com/ArthAssoc.php

ARTSEYE GALLERY Chris Gall: Please Don’t Tell continues through Mar 15. Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm; Sat, 10am-5pm. 3550 E. Grant Rd. 327-7291.

24 | March 2012

People and Places continues through March 31. Thu-Sat, 11am-4pm and by appointment. 172 E. Toole St. 882-2160,

JOSEPH GROSS GALLERY An exhibit by Adriana Gallego and Claudio Diocchea opens Mar 1. Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-4pm. 1031 N. Olive Rd. 626-4215,

LIONEL ROMBACH GALLERY And Then... by Rebecca Hamlin runs Mar 7-Mar 23. Annual Foundations Exhibition opens Wed, Mar 28. Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-4pm. 1031 N. Olive Rd. 624-4215,

LOUIS CARLOS BERNAL GALLERY East/Pacific/West: Confluence continues through Mar 9. Mon, Wed 10:30am-5pm; Tue, Thu 10am-5pm; Fri 10am3pm. 2202 W. Anklam Rd. 206-6942, Pima.Edu/cfa

MADARAS GALLERY Madaras Gallery is at the Tucson Festival of Books Mar 10-Mar 11, 9am-5:30pm. Spring Watercolor Show opens Fri, Mar 30 with a 4pm7pm opening reception, continues through Sun, Apr 15. Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm; Sun, 11am-5pm. 3001 E. Skyline Dr, #101. 623-4000,

continued on page 26

March 2012 | 25



Art Galleries/exhibits


OBSIDIAN GALLERY Storytelling, an exhibition of ceramic sculpture, continues through Mar 10. 410 N. Toole Ave., #120. 577-3598,

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) continues through Sat, Apr 28. “From the Ground Up,” lecture by Henry Halem, Sat, Mar 3, 1pm. Tue-Sat, 10am-5pm. 711 S. 6th Ave. 884-7404,

PORTER HALL GALLERY Art by Barbara Smith premieres Mar 1 and continues through April 8. $8, Adults; $4, Children 4-12; Free, Children 3 and younger. 2150 N. Alvernon Way. 326-9686,

RAICES TALLER 222 ART GALLERY Indian Born, American Made features traditional and contemporary artwork by invited Native American artists. Opens Sat, Mar 3, with a reception from 6pm-9pm, and exhibits through April. Fri-Sat, 1pm-5pm & by appointment. 218 E. 6th St. 881-5335,


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,

THE SOUTHERN ARIZONA WATERCOLOR GUILD Simply Art begins Wed, Mar 7. Awards reception is Fri, Mar 16, 5pm-7pm. Members of SAWG are a part of the Picturas Chiquitas exhibit at La Pilita, opening Mar 3. Annual Show with leaders Bess Woodworth and Pamela Howe opens Mar 7 and continues through Apr 1. Tue-Sun; 11am-4pm. River Center Plaza, 5605 E. River Rd., #131. 299-7294,

STONE DRAGON STUDIO Endangered Cultures by Jim Gruhl opens Mar 16 and runs through Apr 28. Artist’s reception is Fri, Mar 16, 4pm-8pm. Wed-Sat, 11am4pm & by appointment, 405-5800. 1122 N. Stone Ave. 624-7099,

TEMPLE GALLERY Dirk Arnold: Endangered Architecture continues through Apr 3. Opening reception is Fri, Mar 2, 5:30pm. Mon–Fri, 10am-5pm. 330 S. Scott Ave. 624-7370,


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 20. Annual Spring Artisans Market takes place Fri, Mar 16-Sun, Mar 18; 10am-6pm. (Con)text continues through June 2012. Plus ongoing exhibits. TueWed, Fri-Sat, 10am-6pm; Thu, 10am-8pm; Sun, noon-6pm. $8, adults; $6, seniors; $3, students 13+; free, children under 12. Free to all the first Sunday of the month. 140 N. Main Ave. 624-2333,

UA ART MUSEUM The Border Project: Soundscapes, Landscapes and Lifescapes continues through Mar 11. Matt Eskuche & Matthias Düwel: Consumer Consumption continues through April 22. Plus ongoing exhibits. Tue-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sat-Sun, noon-4pm. $5 adults; children/students/faculty, free. 1031 N. Olive Rd.

UA POETRY CENTER Sharlot Hall and Hattie Lockett: An Arizona Centennial Celebration continues through Mar 31. Be Mine: Collaborations between Writers and Artists continues through Mar 30. Mon/Thurs, 9am-8pm; Tues/Wed, 9am-6pm; Fri, 9am-5pm. 1508 E. Helen St. 626-3765, Poetry.Arizona.Edu

WILDE MEYER GALLERY Introduction to Tucson opens Mar 1; the group show includes Martha Braun, Kristen Knight, Melinda Curtin, Stephen Morath with paintings and sculptures by Jim Budish, Alix Stefan, Barbara Gurwitz, Ka Fisher, Sherri Belassen and others. Art And The Natural World also opens Mar 1. Mon-Fri, 10am-5:30pm. Wilde Meyer Gallery, 3001 E. Skyline Dr.

26 | March 2012

Photo by Scott Suchman

Broadway in Tucson’s “Rock of Ages.”

by Herb Stratford

Arizona Opera For its second-to-last show in the 2011-2012 season, Arizona Opera is pulling out all the stops with a dazzling performance of Verdi’s classic, epic “Aida.” This one has it all, huge sets, a processional with live animals, a love triangle and, it’s set in ancient Egypt – what more could you want? Following its premiere in 1871 in Cairo, this opera was performed at 155 opera houses around the world within just ten years. Some have described it as a Cecil B. DeMille film come to life due to its scope and scale, and its elaborate sets and costumes must be seen to be believed. Catch a performance March 3 at 7:30 p.m. or March 4 at 2 p.m. at the Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave.

ZUZI! On March 2 and 3, ZUZI! Dance Company presents “Gotta Have HeART: A No Frills Dance Happenin.” The event features new, experimental, exciting and fun adventures in dance. The first evening’s performance is a youth night and the second night features an adult choreography showcase. ZUZI! Dance Company is a Tucson institution, with a dance school and performance space in the Historic “Y” at 738 N. 5th Ave. Tickets are just $10 both nights. Visit for details.

Ballet Tucson The annual “Dance & Dessert” event, which pairs dance performances with a dessert reception is now in its fifteenth year. Highlights of this year’s performance will include the premiere of a work entitled “Bolero,” by the company’s Ballet Master Daniel Precup. This is the next in a series of works by legendary choreographer Antony Tudor as presented by Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner. As in years past, scores of Tucson’s finest restaurants will be on hand to offer guests tastes of their finest desserts. Dance & Dessert XV takes place March 9, 10 and 11 at the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre, 1737 E. University Blvd., on the University of Arizona campus. For more information visit

Broadway In Tucson Where were you in 1987? If you were anywhere near a radio, the songs in “Rock Of Ages” will likely generate a lot of nostalgia for the heyday of radio rock. Featuring songs by Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, Pat Benatar and more, this musical love story between a small-town girl and a big city dreamer is set on the Sunset Strip. A five-time Tony nominated Broadway smash, the play is soon coming to a movie theatre near you with an all-star cast that includes Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin, but you can see the original, live on stage at the Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave., March 13-18. n

March 2012 | 27


Photo courtesy Arizona Friends of Chamber Music


“Shirley Valentine” continues at Live Theatre Workshop until Sun, Mar 18. Photo courtesy of Live Theatre Workshop.

Pierre Jalbert, composer, performs an original piece at the Chamber Music Festival.

Performances ARIZONA FRIENDS OF CHAMBER MUSIC The 19th Annual Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival is March 4-11. Mandelring Quartet performs Wed, Mar 21 at 7:30pm. TCC’s Leo Rich Theatre, 260 S. Church Ave. 577-3769,

BROADWAY IN TUCSON Rock of Ages - an arena-80s-rock love story takes the stage Tue, Mar 13 through Sun, Mar 18. Various times and prices. TCC’s Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. 903-2929,


Most weekends in March, witness Sarlot and Eyed’s mind blowing performances. See website for various dates and times. Tucson Double Tree Hotel, 445 S. Alvernon Way. 615-5299,



ARIZONA OPERA Aida, a love story between a slave and Egyptian commander,


The Marvelous Wonderettes return to the stage in a benefit for the Southern Arizona Humane Society on Sat, Mar 24-Sun, Mar 25. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. 270-3332,

shows Sat, Mar 3 at 7:30 and Sun, Mar 4 at 2pm. TCC’s Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. 293-4336,


You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown takes the stage Mar 10-Mar 11, Mar 16-Mar 18. Fri-Sat, 7pm; Sun, 2pm. Ticket prices vary. Temple of Music & Art’s Cabaret Theatre, 330 S. Scott Ave. 8880509,


The Great Gatsby, inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great American novel, continues through Sat, Mar 17. Various show times. Cafe Bohemia, a season of diverse new works from bold and inventive playwrights, is Sat, Mar 10 at 10:30pm. The Kingston Trio performs Mar 20-Mar 21 at 7:30pm. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. 884-8210,

BALLET TUCSON Dance & Dessert shows Fri, Mar 9 at 7:30pm; Sat, Mar 10 at 2pm, 7:30pm; Sun, Mar 11 at 1pm, 5pm. Stevie Eller Dance Theatre, University of Arizona, 1737 E. University Blvd. 903-1445,

BEOWULF ALLEY THEATRE COMPANY Radium Girls, a tale based on terrifying illnesses plaguing employees of a company, begins Thu, Mar 15. Various show times. Old Time Radio Theatre presents classic radio shows every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7pm. Beowulf Alley, 11 S. 6th Ave. 882-0555,


In Concert presents Karan Casey, John Doyle & John Williams on Mar 16. Laverne Lawrence, Sat, Mar 17. Ian Tyson in concert Fri, Mar 23, 7pm. Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd.

BLACK CHERRY BURLESQUE Tantalizing burlesque performance on Fri, Mar 2 at 8pm and 10pm. Surly Wench Pub, 424 N. 4th Ave. 882-0009,

28 | March 2012

Conducted by Dr. Herschel Kreloff, the orchestra presents a free classical concert with music by two of Spain’s greatest composers, plus Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8. Mar 11, 3pm. UA Crowder Hall, 1020 E. University. Women Fully Clothed perform Sat, Mar 17 at 7:30pm. The Manhattan Transfer and VIP Dessert Reception on Sun, Mar 18 at 7:30pm. Man in Black: The Music of Johnny Cash featuring Robert Shaw and the Lonely Street Band on Fri, Mar 23 at 7:30pm. Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. 624-1515,

THE GASLIGHT THEATRE Where there is injustice, you will find The Two Amigos! Continues through Sun, Mar 25. Concerts include: Todd Thompson and Friends in Monday in the Park on Mon, Mar 5 at 7pm, Big Band Express performs Mon, Mar 12 at 7pm, and The Manhattan Dolls perform Mon, Mar 19 at 7pm. Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. 886-9428,

INVISIBLE THEATRE Lucie Arnaz In Concert! on Fri, Mar 2 and Sun, Mar 4. A Woman of Independent Means shows Fri, Mar 9 to Sun, Mar 11. Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. 1st Ave. 882-9721,

LIVE THEATRE WORKSHOP Shirley Valentine continues through Sun, Mar 18. All Together Theatre presents Goldilocks and the Three Bears on Sundays at 1pm until Sun, Apr 1. Etcetera, the late-night arm of the Live Theatre Workshop, presents Wit which continues through Sat, Mar 10. Various times and prices. Live Theatre Workshop, 5317 E. Speedway Blvd. 327-4242,


“Power-dance” on Sat, Mar 31. 7pm-10pm. NEW ART and WMG team up to create a dance that animates the community potential of green infrastructure on Tue, Mar 27 at 3:30pm. Walk the Watershed tour with Eric Dhruv of the Ironwood Tree Experience on Sun, Mar 11 from 1pm-3pm. New ARTiculations Dance Studio, 1013 S. Tyndall Ave. 270-4352,

NOT BURNT OUT JUST UNSCREWED The improv comedy troupe performs Fri, Mar 2, 7:30 pm at Revolutionary Grounds Coffee House, 606 N. 4th Ave., for audiences of all ages. Another performance is Fri, Mar 16, 7pm at Rock N Java Café, 7555 W. Twin Peaks Rd. Free. 861-2986,

continued on page 30

March 2012 | 29



ODYSSEY STORYTELLING SERIES (Neither) Here Nor There: Stories From Life on the Borderlands shows Thu, Mar 1 at 6pm. Free. University of Arizona Art Museum, 1031 N. Olive Rd.730-4112,

PCC THEATRE ARTS Curtains continues through Sun, Mar 4. Shows: WedSat at 7:30pm, Sun at 2pm. Mano A Mano: Piano Recital on Sun, Mar 25, 3pm. Show prices vary; see website for details. PCC Center for the Arts Recital Hall, 2202 W. Anklam Rd. 206-6670,

RHYTHM & ROOTS Janiva Magness performs Sat, Mar 10 at 8pm. Johnny Rawls performs Fri, Mar 23 at 7:30pm. Jessica Fichot performs Fri, Mar 30 at 8pm. Suite 147 in Plaza Palomino, 2970 N. Swan Rd.

THE ROGUE THEATRE The New Electric Ballroom by Enda Walsh continues through Sun, Mar 11. Shows: Thu-Sat; 7:30pm. Various ticket prices. 738 N. 5th Ave. 551-2053,

STUDIO CONNECTIONS A View From The Bridge, by Arthur Miller, shows Thu, Mar 1-Sun, Mar 18. Various times and prices. Studio Connections, 4625 E. River Rd. 329-3707,

TUCSON CONVENTION CENTER Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Beethoven’s Last Night is Thu, Mar 29 at 7:30pm. Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave.


Just For Kids presents TSO Wind Quartet at the Tucson Symphony Center on Sat, Mar 3 at 10am and 11:15am. MasterWorks Series presents Mozart and Beethoven at Catalina Foothills High School on Sat, Mar 3 at 8pm and Sun, Mar 4 at 2pm. Classic Series presents Missa Solemnis at Tucson Music Hall on Fri, Mar 9 at 8pm and Sun, Mar 11 at 2pm. Concert Special presents Live And Let Die: Tribute to the Music of Paul McCartney on Sat, Mar 10 at 7:30pm at Tucson Music Hall. TSO Pops! Series presents Cirque de la Symphonie on Sat, Mar 24 at 7:30pm and Sun, Mar 25 at 2pm. 882-8585,

TUCSON GUITAR SOCIETY Guitar In The Woods at Woods Library on Thu, Mar 1 at 6:30pm. Eduardo Minozzi Costa in recital at Holsclaw Hall on Thu, Mar 22 at 7pm. Misael Barazza-Diaz in recital at Holsclaw Hall on Sat, Mar 24 at 7pm. Hosclaw Recital Hall, 1017 N. Olive Rd. 342-0022.


Julius Caesar continues through Sun, Mar 25, various times and prices. Marroney Theatre, 1025 N. Olive Rd. 621-1162,

UA DANCE Still Here-Student Spotlight runs Thu, Mar 1 to Sat, Mar 3 7:30pm and Sun, Mar 4 at 1:30pm. Prices vary. Stevie Eller Dance Theatre, 1737 E. University Blvd. 621-4698,


Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance perform Sat, Mar 3 at 8pm; Patti Lupone performs Sun, Mar 4 at 8pm; Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir performs Sun, Mar 11 at 7pm; The Capitol Steps on Wed, Mar 14 at 7pm; Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me! shows Thu, Mar 15 at 7:30pm; Shirley MacLaine performs Sun, Mar 18 at 6:30pm; Alvin Ailey American Dance performs Fri, Mar 23 at 8pm; Poncho Sancez & T. Blanchard perform Sat, Mar 24 at 8pm; Noa and Mira Awad perform Sun, Mar 25 at 6:30pm; Larry King appears Tue, Mar 27 at 7:30pm and Ben Vereen performs Sat, Mar 31 at 6pm. Prices Vary. Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. 621-3341.


No Frills Dance Happenin’: Gotta Have HeART shows Fri, Mar 2 and Sat, Mar 3 at 7:30pm. $10. Gabriel Ayala Trio performs Fri, Mar 16 at 7:30pm. Safos Dance Theatre performs Sat, Mar 31 at 7:30. Zuzi’s Little Theater, 738 N. 5th Ave. 629-0237,

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Museums/exhibits ARIZONA HISTORICAL SOCIETY Cemetery Tour, the annual grave site tour, is Sat, Mar 24, 9am. See the website for details or call 886-3363. Museum locales are: Main, 949 E. 2nd St.; Downtown, 140 N. Stone Ave.; Ft Lowell Museum, 2900 N. Craycroft Rd. Hours & admissions vary.

ARIZONA-SONORA DESERT MUSEUM Art of Conservation continues through Sun, Mar 11. The Wildlife Art of Ned Aldrich begins Sat, Mar 17; opening reception, 2pm-4pm. 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,

CENTER FOR CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY Speaking in Tongues: Wallace Berman and Robert Heinecken, 1961-1976 begins Sat, Mar 24. Permanent Collection Exhibition, curated by Ansel Adams opens Sat, Mar 24. Free. Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm, Sat- Sun, 1pm-4pm. 1030 N. Olive Rd. 621-7968, CreativePhotography. org/Exhibitions

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,


Jewish Storytelling Festival continues through Sun, Mar 25. Exhibits open Wed-Sun, 1pm-4pm. $5 non-members. Free for members. 564 S. Stone Ave. 670-9073,

LA PILITA MUSUEM Evening Art Walk Exhibits featuring Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild: Barrio Scenes, Sat, Mar 3, 11am. Mariachi Las Agualitas and SAWG Reception, Sat, Mar 10, 2pm. One-Day Talabera Truckload Sale, Sat, Mar 3, 12pm-7pm. Tues-Sat 11am-2pm. 420 S. Main. 882-7454,

MARS & BEYOND Our solar system & Mars, featuring the cutting-edge scientific work by UA teams. Mon/Thu/Sun, 9am-5pm; Sat-Sun, 9am-6pm; 2nd Saturdays, 9am-9pm (features 2 for 1 admission, 5pm-9pm). $18 adults, $14 college/ seniors/military, $10 children. Science Downtown, 300 E. Congress St. 622-8595,

SOUTHERN ARIZONA TRANSPORTATION MUSEUM 7th Annual History Talks weekly on Sundays, Mar 4-18, 3pm, ParkWise conference room. See the Transportation Booth on the UA Mall during Festival of Books, Mar 10-Mar 11. Silver Spike Festival is Sat, Mar 17, 9am. Free. Tue-Thu & Sun, 11am-3pm; Fri-Sat, 10am-4pm. 414 N. Toole Ave. 623-2223,

TOHONO CHUL PARK Arizona Centennial Exhibition continues through April 2012. In celebration of the centennial, the exhibits feature art that focus on the flora, fauna, landscape and culture that defines Arizona. Wildflower Tours begin Thu, Mar 1 and continue every Tue and Thu through April. Artful Gourds exhibits starting Thu, Mar 8. Mexican Arts Sale: Mar 22-Mar 24, 10am-4pm. Spring Plant Sales: Mar 28, 3pm-6pm; Mar 31, 9am-5pm; Apr 1, 10am-4pm. 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,


Butterfly Magic, Arizona’s only live tropical butterfly exhibit, continues through April (special pricing for this exhibit). Barbara Smith: Landforms and Lepidoptera opens Thu, Mar 1; reception, Fri, Mar 9, 5pm-9pm. Regular entry fees: $7, adults; $3, children 4-12. Daily, 8:30am-4:30pm (except holidays). 2150 N. Alvernon Way. 326-9686,

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Photo courtesy Ken Karrels


by Jamie Manser On any given Saturday, the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum (SATM) buzzes with the energy of rapt intrigue from the visitors’ curious minds. Children, and adults, of all ages and races play with toy trains and engage with interactive, bilingual displays that explain the evolution of our area’s transportation. But from the squeals of delight heard on a recent Saturday, the children’s excited reaction to Steam Locomotive #1673 cutely conveyed that the locomotive is clearly the coolest, biggest piece of fun to be found at the museum. Housed next to the train tracks just north of SATM, at 414 N. Toole Ave., the locomotive was built by Schenectady Locomotive Works in 1900. In 1955, it was one of the stars of the musical “Oklahoma!,” filmed near Elgin, Ariz. After choo-chooing more than a million miles, #1673 was retired and donated to the City of Tucson. From 1962 to 2000, it was stationed at Himmel Park. In 1994, due to the efforts of the 1673 Task Force, the group of concerned citizens succeeded in having the locomotive placed on the National Register of Historic Places and was subsequently refurbished after years of maintenance neglect. Moved to its downtown home in December 2000, the locomotive could only be admired from the ground as there was no access for the public to safety climb up inside the cab. Over a decade later, in March 2011, Fletcher J. McCusker, Chairman and CEO of Providence Corporation (whose grandfather was a Southern Pacific switchman for 40 years), made it possible for visitors to view the cab of engine #1673 by providing the means to erect a stairwell and platform.

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Fletcher J. McCusker, in engine 844 November 2011, is being honored as the SATM’s Benefactor of the Year.

“Ken [Karrels, SATM Chairman] showed me the train and I said ‘Too bad you can’t go up there’,”McCusker explained. “He [Karrels] said all they would need is stairs. I said, ‘I bet we can fix that,’ and called Patricia Schwabe, who sent her welder to look at it, and we had them up in about a week.” It is a cool thing to be able to get up inside the cab and ring the bell, and for McCusker’s donation, he is being recognized at the SATM’s Benefactor of the Year at the March 17 Silver Spike Festival. Other honorees include Railroader of the Year Eddie Pectol and Volunteer of the Year, Henry Zappia. SATM Chairman Ken Karrels said Pectol was chosen “for his years of service to the Southern Pacific Railroad as a conductor and his boundless energy in restoring Locomotive 1673 while at Himmel Park.” Zappia, Karrels said, is being honored “for his consistent problem solving skills and ability to find resources for others.” Zappia is a former Southern Pacific Railroad Engineer, Arizona

Ranger, Old Pueblo Trolley and Operations Director for the  Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, Karrels said. The Silver Spike Festival commemorates the March 20, 1880 arrival of the train to Tucson and features the 1880 Silver Spike that was presented by Estevan Ochoa to the Southern Pacific Railroad president for building the line to town. n The event is Sat., March 17 from 9 a.m. to approximately 11 a.m. and includes re-enactments, 1880s music by the 4th Cavalry Regimental Band, children’s activities and other surprises. Visit for details or call 623-2223. The museum is open Tue-Thu and Sun, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Fri-Sat, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. At 3 p.m. on Sundays in March, 4-18, SATM hosts history talks at the ParkWise conference room, 110 E. Pennington St.

Z Photo by Katelyn Swanson

Photo from: Villa, Eduardo W. “Galeria de Sonorenses Ilustres, Impusoras de Artes Graficas,” Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, 1948

Business Talking Turf

A Downtown sports arena gives players an indoor option

A Mexican General & A Tucson Son

José Cosme Urrea Elías González by Tom Prezelski On March 19, 1836, on the plains of east Texas, Mexican General José Cosme Urrea Elías González had caught up with a retreating army of rebels fresh from defeat at Goliad. Now, with the rebels surrounded and cut off from reinforcement or retreat, the General was determined to strike a decisive blow, because, in his words “I desired to obtain a triumph for our nation on this day to celebrate my birthday.” This he did, capturing over 300 rebels as prisoners, yet another military disaster that nearly destroyed the cause of Texas independence. The future general was born at the Presidio of Tucson in 1797, into a frontier elite of Basque army officers whose descendants would dominate affairs in the region for decades. He too pursued a military path, and by dint of his loyalty, courage and competence, he rose through the ranks and was a general by the age of 38. However, politics put him at odds with his superiors. He called for democratic reforms and was a leading opponent of the dictator Antonio López de Santa Anna. Urrea never forgot where he came from. While campaigning in Texas, he travelled with a personal guard of Opata Indians from Sonora. He was at various times his home state’s governor or military commander, where his intimate knowledge of the land and its people proved valuable. After leading an insurrection against Santa Anna in 1839, Urrea landed in prison. He was broken out by partisans and returned to Sonora as governor when the dictator briefly lost power in 1842. The state was by then embroiled in an unnecessary war with the O’odham. Well aware that good relations with Tucson’s neighbors were necessary to the peace and security of the frontier, he negotiated a lasting settlement to the conflict. When the United States invaded in 1846, he was again called to fight for Mexico, commanding irregular forces that harassed the yanquis in the northern provinces. Urrea succumbed to the cholera epidemic of 1849, well before he could fully realize his dream of making a more democratic Mexico. (Note: Texans often hold Urrea responsible for the so-called “Goliad Massacre” of March 27, 1836. Actually, the principled Urrea protested the order to execute the prisoners, and it was carried out in his absence.) n

by Sarah Burton Every week more than 2,000 people from age four to 74 take to the turf at the Maracana Indoor Sports Arena. And whether they’re playing soccer, dodge ball, lacrosse, Ultimate Frisbee, or flag football, they have Mladen Kozak—and his desire to be his own boss—to thank for it. After being an electrical engineer lost its luster, Kozak wrote a plan and set out to find funding for his business idea, opening their doors in August 2010. “I knew from playing soccer here that Tucson needed a turf indoor arena. It was hard in the beginning but now we are growing, and more and more players know about us,” he explains. So what’s behind the arena’s name? Look no further than Serbia or Brazil. The name of the stadium where the Red Star soccer team plays in Belgrade, Serbia, is Marakana. But they offered a nod to the largest stadium in the world, Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium, when choosing the spelling. Coming from a long line of soccer players, Kozak, whose family is originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, understands the passion behind the game: “For generations my family was and still is in soccer. My grandfather, father, and brother played professional soccer in Bosnia and Switzerland.” Although he strayed from tradition, choosing to play professional volleyball over soccer, Kozak is a regular on his own field. “We just started semi-pro soccer team, the Maracana Futbol Club, and I am part of that not only as owner but as a player, too.” The arena organizes the men’s, women’s, co-ed, and youth soccer teams, while all other sports are put together by the players themselves. Whether joining a league for one or all of the four soccer seasons, or grabbing a pickup game, the two fields at Maracana provide a comfortable place to play year-round. “The most rewarding part of my job is when I have kids’ teams play in the morning. Before I open the main door I can see them all outside trying to get in,” Kozak shares. “As soon as I open the door the only thing you hear are the screams of excitement as they stampede into the arena. It always gives me chills.” n Maracana Indoor Sports Arena is located in the Armory Park Neighborhood at 555 E. 18th St. For more information check out or call 235-7094.

A biker cruises the ramps at Premises Park.

Loco For Local by Phoenix Michael Aluminum cans and newspapers, sure. But recycling an entire building? When Leunen Sofa Factory left its longtime 400 W. Speedway Blvd. location, the property might’ve stood vacant for years. Enter BMX enthusiast Ian Abbott. With the help of a stunt biking community hungry for a place to ride, he transformed the 4,600 square foot Leunen warehouse (and much of the materials discovered remaining within) into ramp mecca Premises Park. Owner Abbott opened the space last July, while “the paint was still wet.” Nowadays, Premises sees “anywhere between 30 and 60” riders each day. “This is a typical Saturday,” Abbott says as BMXers catch air and land tricks around us. Within Premises’ front entranceway, Adan Solis’ shop carries parts by industry leaders like Cult, Animal, Odyssey and Kink. “Normal stuff,” Solis explains, meaning headsets, sprockets, pedals, grips and whatnot. A loft, foam pit and PS3 gaming area are available; the young people who frequent Premises do occasionally take breaks. Nonprofit Premises Park is open daily; helmets are required, skaters are invited, spectators are welcome. Fees, park rules, liability waiver forms and hours are at PremisesPark. com, 623-7561. Prefer a place solely for boards? The City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Department has desert skaters covered. Santa Rita Skate Park’s three large bowls at 401 E. 22nd St. received a 9 out of 10 rating on Purple Heart Skate Park, 10050 E. Rita Rd., features 8,000 square feet of mini ramps and ledges. Randolph Center Skate Park at 200 S. Alvernon Way is best for beginners. For hours and information, see Meanwhile, Starr Skates at 2905 E. Broadway Blvd. and BLX Skate Shop, 35 E. Toole Ave., have got gear: Girl and Plan B decks, Venture trucks, Volcom and Vans apparel. Look into and Ride safe. n

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34 | March 2012



safari DISCO by Sydney Ballesteros

African safari inspired style has been a popular sight

Franco Rubartelli. Yves Saint Laurent was photographed

of the disco era and some touches of Africa, then put

to see, from Ernest Hemingway’s infatuation with the safari

wearing his creation by Helmut Newton, on the opening

the party right in the middle of a desert safari, disco ball

and its staple jacket to vintage films such as “Mogambo,”

day of his menswear flagship in London.

and all!

starring style icon actresses like Grace Kelly and Ava Gard-

The look is one that has been labeled as timeless

ner, who put a little Hollywood glamour into the safari suit.

and can reinvent itself into the cycle of fashion again and

Creative Director and Stylist: Sydney Ballesteros. Pho-

But it was Yves Saint Laurent who would change the way

again; we have seen it on modern day designers’ ad cam-

tography and Creative Direction: Puspa Lohmeyer. Photo

we saw the “safari look” forever.

paigns and on the runways of Ralph Lauren and Michael

Assistant: Jill Lewis. Props: Ed Smith. Hair: Bekah Root.

Kors. As homage to the impact that Yves Saint Laurent

Makeup: Carly Bonar. Models: Tierra Owens and Sabrina

chic” look hit an all time fashion high, due to Yves Saint

had on the safari look during the 1970s era of fashion,

Harwood. Wardrobe: Black Cat Vintage, Desert Vintage,

Laurent, originally presented as a stylish liberation for

this editorial is a tribute to the elements of both.

Buffalo Exchange & Sydney Ballesteros.

During the late 1960s and into the 70s the “safari

women to experiment with wearing pantsuits and to break

The safari look crawled out of the bush, onto the

away from dresses. Several of Mr. Laurent’s muses have

runways and into the discotheques. This story takes these

been photographed wearing the safari jacket, including

vintage looks and returns them back into the wild. Let’s

Betty Catroux and the famous photo of Veruschka by

go on a “journey” as I take inspiration found in the styles

*All vintage clothing was provided from local Tucson boutiques and collectors. n

36 | March 2012



Photos by Mead Z. Mier

Photo by Nadine Roselle

Invisible Theatre Company’s lights beckon to Feldman’s Neighborhood arts lovers. Inset: TB sanatorium Whitwell Hospital (1906-1911) transformed into today’s The Castle Apartments.

Notes From A Plant Freak by Jared R. McKinley Been enjoying the balmy spring days? It’s time for warm season crops. You might have started early (protecting from frost). Now there’s no procrastinating; especially with long season crops like corn. Go crazy! (It’s time, but be prepared for a late frost, it can still happen.) Peppers, tomatoes, corn, beans, squash, basil. Heck, get freaky. Plant some chayote, water chestnuts, or bitter melon. And start meal planning. I have made a habit of taking a look at crops that are coming along and looking online for recipes. This makes dinner more adventurous, less mundane. You still can have lots of cool season vegetables going. Some keys to keeping winter stuff from bolting: keep watered and fed well, try to always direct seed (avoid starting in containers whenever convenient) and make sure individual plants are not crowded (thin those seedlings). As it gets warmer, lettuces and other greens will get bitterer. This ain’t so bad. Be tough, it’s healthy. The landscape needs love as well, even if it doesn’t feed you. Nourish those plants. This is also the time to trim trees, frost damaged plants, and pretty much everything else. It’s a great time for your compost pile. n Jared McKinley maintains a gardening blog, Tucson Urban Gardener, at

Where We Live by Phoenix Michael Imagine living within walking distance of Fourth Avenue’s action and UA’s academics, yet far enough removed from said attractions to avoid congestion and crowds. Such is the pleasure of life in cozy Feldman’s Neighborhood, tucked north of downtown between Stone and Park from Speedway to Lee. Despite its proximity to campus and nightlife hotspots, noise complaints and red tags are nearly nonexistent in this area populated by small families, couples and students. Residents of contributing properties to this historic district can attest to its charm. On Drachman Street, so named for Arizona’s departed philanthropist and job creator, dog walkers wave hello as they pass by. Barefoot water harvesters plant agaves and wildflowers in their yards on Mabel Street. Mini-dorms have thankfully been held at bay. A newly installed bike boulevard with traffic-calming circles connects Feldman’s with the El Cortez, Keeling and Amphi Neighborhoods to the north. During the early part of the 20th century, this corner of town was known as “Lung Hill” due to the number of tuberculosis sanatoriums clustered here. Several remain today serving alternate functions. Whitwell Hospital (1906) is now The Castle Apartments, 721 E. Adams St., whose reasonably-priced 32 units feature Saltillo tile floors and 11-foot ceilings. St. Luke’s in the Desert (1918) currently operates as St. Luke’s Home, 615 E. Adams St., providing 64 units of assisted living housing to elderly individuals of limited financial means. In fact, Feldman’s Neighborhood is home to a slew of noteworthy local businesses and organizations including the critically-acclaimed nonprofit Invisible Theatre Company at 1400 N. 1st Ave. The weekend of

March 9-11 sees Emmy Award winner Susan Clark in Elizabeth Forsythe-Hailey’s “A Woman of Independent Means.” Box office manager Phyllis Goodman speaks with pride when she says Invisible Theatre “entered its 41st year at the beginning of the season.” With just 80 seats, productions staged here are highly conducive to audience-performer intimacy. At the same time, Invisible Theatre is “always looking to expand and get more people in,” says Goodman. That means utilizing additional venues. Invisible Theatre brings the prestigiously-pedigreed Lucie Arnaz to the larger Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd., on March 2 and 4. Tickets are available from OvationTix at Additional civic-minded groups operating out of Feldman’s are child abuse prevention leaders Casa de los Ninos at 1101 N. 4th Ave. and The Montessori Schoolhouse with its preschool/kindergarten classroom at 1127 N. 6th Ave. The multicultural Siloam Freewill Church, 628 E. Adams St., promotes compassion and unity in its teachings. First Southern Christian School at First Southern Baptist Church, 445 E. Speedway Blvd., encourages spiritual growth among its students. Incredible edibles may be obtained during your visit to Feldman’s at The Garland Bistro; visit 119 E. Speedway Blvd. for a tahini eggplant salad or mushroom quesadilla. The Greek Patio at 1135 N. Park Ave. is Feldman’s answer to Athens, with gyros and tzatziki galore. PDF menus are at and Learn more about Feldman’s Historic District by visiting the neighborhood association’s website at

March 2012 | 37

Photo by Katelyn Swanson



UA’s Community Garden

UA Community Garden plots await planting.

by Katelyn Swanson The plots are dug, the soil is in, and UA students, faculty and the general public are able to root themselves, and edibles, within the community. The University of Arizona “Garden in the Desert” team, a division of Students for Sustainability, has developed a 1,600 square feet community garden that is open for rent to people affiliated with the UA and the neighboring residents. The garden is north of Speedway, between the Highland Avenue garage and Mabel Street, and holds over 40 plots for growing fruits and vegetables. It recently opened on February 29. The organization had a viewing of the garden for the first time last October at Perk Up at the Park, a UA community event promoting health and wellness. The introduction was just a preview of what is now open to the public. To make growth possible the team used a contractor to dig the plant beds and move the dry earth. They then installed an irrigation system and filled the plots with nutrient rich compost. The garden’s up-front costs were $25,000 according to Chester Phillips, the graduate student advisor for Students for Sustainability. The costs were funded by the UA Green fund, which annually generates about $400,000 through student fees for sustainable projects on campus. The garden plots are three feet wide and 20 feet long with some varying in size and are currently available. Gardeners are able to raise a variety of produce conducive to the desert including greens, strawberries, and squash. Renters can also participate in workshops and benefit from the help of the team with planting and caring for the plants. The area also features a shed for storage purposes and tools for use during certain hours

38 | March 2012

of the day. “I think it will be a great program that will bring the community together. It will also give people a base for those who don’t have land resources themselves,” said Sarah Kortemier, a prospective plot renter. “Also people will know where it [produce] is coming from because they’re growing it themselves.” “It’s all about establishing greater food sovereignty and being empowered by the process of growing your own food,” said Laura Hanson, project co-manager for the Garden in the Desert Team. Rent for plots start at $40 for four months, $50 for six months, and $70 for a year. Smaller plots will be determined by square footage and priced accordingly. There is also an option of sharing a plot and splitting the cost in order to make participation more feasible. “I really want everyone who wants to do it to get a chance,” Hanson said. “Right now, we have mostly staff and faculty, but we would like to have and an equal number of community and faculty.” Plots are assigned on a first come first serve basis. Those interested should refer to the Students for Sustainability website to reserve a plot. “There is something here for everyone,” said Sophia Montes, a previous team project manager. “The only thing you have to have in common is that you want to do something good.” n For more information, contact Chester Phillips at or Taryn Contento at For further details, visit

March 2012 | 39

40 | March 2012



V Fine Thai Dining From Bangkok to Congress Street by Kelly Lewis V Fine Thai Dining, 9 E. Congress St., brings the spices of Bangkok to downtown through an eclectic menu that modernizes old family recipes and makes foodies swoon. “We have a new concept beyond traditional Thai food,” said Chef Redman Jarrell, who owns the restaurant with his wife Vila. “I like to tell people that it’s not just Thai food, it’s good food; we can take a popular French or Italian dish and create a Thai equivalent.” Formerly Vila Thai on University Boulevard, V Fine Thai Dining has reformed since their relocation downtown last May. Their menu has been revamped, they have a new private room for parties, and their outdoor space is draped in traditional gold and oranges, the colors of Buddhism “There are nine Buddhas here to honor my father, who is a Buddhist monk,” said owner Vila Jarrell. “Nine is the highest number in feng shui, so everything we do here is nine.” Vila grew up in Bangkok and returns often. Her family has been in the restaurant industry for most of her life, and many of the dishes at V Fine Thai Dining originated as family recipes. But the mom-and-pop style of Asian restaurants isn’t what they are going for here. “It’s been challenging because a lot of people don’t want to pay more than seven dollars for Asian food,” said Redman. “We want to show that Asian food can be fine dining as well.” The menu at V Fine Thai Dining is diverse, ranging from traditional Thai menu items like Pad Thai, to more eclectic fusions such as the Mekhong Sirloin ($18), a 10-ounce center cut top sirloin that is grilled and topped with a Mekhong (Thai Bourbon) black peppercorn garlic sauce, mushrooms and red onion.

“It is center-of-the-plate cuisine,” said Redman. “We use wild seafood, premium beef, all natural chicken and fresh vegetables.” It’s also healthy. V Fine Thai Dining was the first of several Tucson Original restaurants to be selected and awarded for their healthy menu as part of Michelle Obama’s Health and Wellness Initiative. “I’m so happy and so proud,” said Vila. “I have so much fun. This is exactly what I want to do.” Part of the success that V Fine Thai Dining has seen comes in part from the owners’ hospitality and progressive stance on both their menu, and how their restaurant should be run. “People will come in here and say, ‘V, where are all of the Thai people in your restaurant?’ and it’s been difficult to break through those ethnic stereotypes,” Vila said. “People don’t realize that 60 percent of Thais are actually Chinese. So, I just say, ‘what do you think a Thai person should look like?’” As a delegate who represents the state of Arizona for the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Vila infuses her love for her country in everything she does. “That’s why we do this,” Vila said. “We do this for the love of country and the love of food.” n The restaurant is open for lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; dinner is 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Happy hours are Tuesday-Friday, 3 p.m.-6 p.m. and 9 p.m.-close Tuesday-Saturday. V Fine Thai also hosts live music. More information is online at and by calling 882-8143.

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food&drink Photo by Vikki Dempsey

Fini’s Landing

Beached in the Desert by Valerie Vinyard

42 | March 2012

beach roll with Bahamian peas and rice; and Loreto tacos - beer-battered wild-caught Alaskan cod with house slaw and prickly pear and citrus cream sauce. Besides seafood, other dishes include allnatural, hormone-free chicken and a buildyour-own-burger with grass-fed beef. A variety of unique wing recipes include a delectable Rum and Coconut, where wings are drenched in coconut rum glaze and tossed in freshly grated coconut. Fini’s owners Finical and Mencke met while lifeguarding at Amphitheater High School in the ‘80s. Mencke, who lived in the Florida Keys for a while, formerly managed The Hut on Fourth Avenue with Finical. Both left The Hut last year to open Fini’s Landing. Capacity is about 300, and the room includes garage doors that open to a spacious new patio facing the mountains. One wall of is full of windows and opens up to gorgeous views of the Santa Catalina Mountains. n Fini’s Landing opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 2 a.m. daily. Go to for more information. Photo by Katelyn Swanson

Tucked away in an unassuming space on the northwest corner of Swan Road and Sunrise Drive is Fini’s Landing, a fun new bar and restaurant that is the brainchild of Douglas Finical and Scott Mencke. “This isn’t a fishing bar. This isn’t a boat bar. This is a beach bar,” Mencke said. Pull open the metal flip-flop door handle to walk inside, and a distinct beach vibe surrounds you, with framed historical and more recent photographs of beaches and their culture. A colorful mural of a marlin and a woman “billfighter” adorns one wall and was painted by local artist Joe Pagac. The former Larocca’s location at 5689 N. Swan Rd. opened Feb. 16 to offer guests a relaxed yet classy experience. “This has an atmosphere that we haven’t been able to find up here,” said Jenna Cartwright, an interior designer who lives about a mile away from Fini’s Landing. “The food was fantastic, the views are amazing and I like how everything is set up.” The menu reads like a stroll through a seaside village. Consulting chef Timothy Stevens of Surefire Restaurant Solutions, a Tucson-based restaurant consulting firm, described the menu as being “inspired by fresh, local ingredients” that’s “seasoned by the founding team’s experiences of Mexico Baja, Southern California and the Florida Keys.” As the University of Arizona successfully battled Washington State in hoops on the six televisions, Mencke said there often will be vibrant music that ranges from island to classic rock. Take a seat in one of the booths, at a table or perch on a barstool around a 22-foot polished mahogany and maple bar shaped like a sailboat to enjoy food and drinks, and a 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday happy hour. Some of the more intriguing menu items, with most prices in the $7 to $15 range, include tostones, which are Caribbean-fried green bananas dusted with garlic and served with a house hot sauce; Oysters Ensenada topped with chorizo, carmelized onion and cilantro-lime aioli; Dockside Ceviche with fresh bay scallops prepared Key West style and served with housemade tortilla chips; Alaskan salmon filet on a

A Mural by Joe Pagac adorns a wall at Fini’s Landing.

happy hour French Fridays: Ooh-La-La by V. K. Embee Start the weekend with French flair at Ghini’s French Caffe’s “Fabulous Friday Happy Hour.” From 3-6 p.m., come alive with a drink from the $3 menu. Try the Vanilla Citronade, smooth and silky with housemade lemonade and vodka infused with vanilla syrup. Or the lively greenhouse made mojito, vibrant with mint that’s blended, not muddled. Perhaps James Bond would prefer it this way. Glasses of wine are $1 off, and bottles are $5 off. Food specials are available from 3-8 p.m. and include a menu of reasonably priced small and large plates. The quintessential French sandwich, Croque Monsieur ($5), is sliced ham layered in a creamy-tangy blend of béchamel, gruyere, and parmesan on box French bread, baked in a “salamander.” This gadget toasts quickly at high temperatures, and takes it name from the legendary amphibian that was immune to fire. Creamy, tasty Cilantro Corn Chowder is a luscious Soup du Jour ($4.50), served in a clear glass mug that showcases the beautiful color and texture. Tomatoes with Basil ($5) are flavorful, especially on slices of baguette. Save room for an eye-popping, mouth-watering dessert. The Opera ($5) features espresso butter cream, rich but not too sweet, with a chocolate treble clef swirled on top. The Carmen ($5) is a gluten-free almond cake. Strawberry Shortcake ($4) is light and delightful, with a homemade biscuit, fresh plump strawberries and whipped cream, adorned with strawberry coulis and chocolate syrup. Amidst the casual café décor are touches of European elegance and élan. With elaborate glass chandeliers above you, and the play of light from prismatic plastic water glasses, you could almost pretend you’re in Paris, sans couture and cigarette smoking. n Ghini’s French Caffe is located at 1803 E. Prince Rd. Find out more at or call 326-9095.



Conceptual renderings of streetcar spots’ art elements by Ben Olmstead and Simon Donovan.

Art in (Between) Motion by Carli Brosseau Joe O’Connell went to Cushing Street Bar to do research. He watched pedestrians, cars and their speed. Then he went by the west side of the Tucson Convention Center to check whether there were electrical lines to interfere with the crane he’ll need for installation. These days, O’Connell often makes art for other cities. But he is now among the 12 artists chosen to design stops along the modern streetcar route, and he’s happy to be working at home. He and his collaborator, Blessing Hancock, have taken advantage of the opportunity for close observation. They go out to note the details, even while their studio is scattered with the project’s already fabricated component parts. “Some art works at 35 miles per hour; some doesn’t,” O’Connell said. “A lot of our ideas come from observing (the environment and past artworks). We give people what they want rather than what they ask for.” To know that, familiarity is key. O’Connell and Hancock determined that their streetcar stop, at the intersection of Granada and Cushing streets, would be seen mostly by pedestrians, but also from vehicles. In response, they designed chains of triangular panels of color-changing LEDs whose hue can be controlled by the touch of a button. “It’s a metaphor for communication, connection and control,” O’Connell said. “We like honoring people’s choices and giving them a little control over the environment, at least until the next person gets there.” It will take less than a minute to change the color of each of the panels, he said. The system works by allowing a person to press a button and hold it down until the closest panel turns the sought-after color. Upon the button’s release, the color shifts down the chain and the person can choose the color of the next panel through the same method. The result is an act of communication, personal but communal. A successful public art project, in O’Connell’s view, is popular and regularly enjoyed. It both reflects and helps to create the identity of a place. The same ideas apply to the streetcar system more broadly. City administrators hope that the streetcar — at more than $196 million, Tucson’s largest transportation investment and the perceived linchpin of downtown development — will communicate the city’s values, not to mention being popular and in regular use. The stops, in their words, will provide “vibrancy” to an otherwise utilitarian idea. It will still be a while, however, before we see the stops in action. The timeline will be pinned down this month, when the city confirms its choice of contractor and issues a notice to proceed, said Shellie Ginn, the streetcar project manager for Tucson’s Transportation Department. The stops will likely be installed toward the end of construction, which is now expected to wrap in mid 2013. The system will feature eight unique stops and 17 stops total along the almost 4-mile line. Even though the installation date hovers unspecified on the far horizon, design of each stop and the vehicle maintenance and storage facility is finished, and artists are beginning fabrication, said artist Simon Donovan. He and Ben Olmstead, as the project’s planning artists, chose the project’s theme — flow — and designed the nine stops that will not feature

large public art. Those stops will include an LED panel featuring poetry curated regularly by the University of Arizona Poetry Center. “I see all of the arts as siblings,” Donovan said. “This really is a writing town. It seemed like a natural solution” to partner with the Poetry Center as a way of creating stops that have a dynamic element and showcase what Donovan calls “one of Tucson’s gems.” Donovan and Simon’s signature stop, the line’s eastern terminus at Helen and Warren streets, not far from the Poetry Center, will also feature poetry. A giant head molded out of metal letters — and modeled, by the way, by a local poet — will blow letters into another LED screen scrolling poems in cobalt blue. The planning artists also designed art for the maintenance and transportation facility, the back of which will be seen across the railroad tracks from Maynard’s Kitchen and vehicles on the planned Downtown Links road through downtown. “Enjoy the ride,” it will read in perforated blue script, an homage to neon, to maps at public transportation stops and to the words’ multiple meanings. “It’s a message for the public and a philosophy on life,” Donovan said. The art is paid for by Tucson and Pima County’s Percent for Arts Program, which allocates one percent of the budget for capital improvement projects for public art. The Tucson Pima Arts Council facilitated the artist selection process and brought the artists under contract in 2010. n For more information on the streetcar and its public art, go to

March 2012 | 43

44 | March 2012



Stepping Beyond Indie Rock Brian Lopez’s new release showcases a unique blend of genres by Eric Swedlund I could get my hands on,” he says. “I’m only interested in things that will broaden my musical scope.” Stepping beyond indie rock, Lopez says he felt his schooling come into play a lot more, with all the tedious early morning hours of practicing scales providing a rich foundation for writing and playing his own music. “Ultra” came together over time, with recording and mixing sessions at Loveland, WaveLab and Waterworks studios. Though it’s a new record stateside, it was released last fall in Europe, earning Lopez a feature in the German version of Rolling Stone and a 4.5 out of 5 star rating in Germany’s Musik Express. Now 29, Lopez looks forward to a heavy touring schedule in 2012, with 13 Western shows opening for the Heartless Bastards and nine European shows, all in a month. He’s also joined the new larger version of Howe Gelb’s Giant Sand, with a new record underway and festival and European performances. Gelb in particular is a mentor to Lopez, a longtime do-it-yourself artist who’s proven that staying power can come through hard work, dedication and musical restlessness. Busting his ass in music school, soaking in diverse styles and chipping away at the business end of music for nearly a decade, Lopez feels he’s finally breaking through. “It’s getting a lot more real. It’s a career now for me and it feels good to be at this level. I want to be doing this when I’m 50, to stick out and remain relevant,” he says. “You got to keep moving and growing and you got to stay interested. There have to be fresh, new ideas and you have to offer something different every time.” n Photo by Kathleen Dreier_Esens Photography

Always expanding his interests, Brian Lopez is a guitarist who embraces styles as diverse as classical, mambo, indie rock, cumbia, pop and folk. That restlessness reflects a broad and unusually varied musical education, all of which Lopez brings to bear on his first full-length solo album, “Ultra,” out March 6 in the United States on Tucson’s Funzalo Records. “I like to have my hand in a lot of places to soak up the knowledge of a lot of different genres and then I put it back into my own melting pot,” Lopez says. “This is the first chance I’ve ever had to be myself and write stuff that comes straight from my heart.” There’s a cinematic drama running through the songs on “Ultra,” with melodies that float and twist amid rich instrumentation – violin, cello, accordion, upright bass and lap steel guitar – that creates a timeless and entirely unique blend of the styles Lopez has soaked up as a musician. But it’s Lopez’s high-register vocals – supple with a hint of elusiveness – that are the album’s most alluring draw. Lopez, who studied classical guitar and has a BFA in music, builds his songs around vocal melodies, a process he compares to a composer writing a classical music piece around a first violin melody. “I know what kind of music my vocals work best with and I write music that fits a melody,” he says. “I seem to have some knack for the dramatics, that’s easy for me to do. I take pride in throwing weird music school nerd chords into things people think are pop songs. ‘Montjuic’ has a lot of weird things, but it just flows.” While still fronting Mostly Bears, Lopez began playing solo a couple years ago as a way to move away from the fad chasing of indie rock and make music that could be more timeless. The solo act quickly grew to a full band, all while Lopez was playing mambo with Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkesta and chamber pop in Marianne Dissard’s band. “I went in completely different directions with every musical endeavor

The CD release is March 9 at Plush, 340 E. 6th St. Lopez also performs at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on March 30 opening for Heartless Bastards. Visit for track samples from Ultra.

March 2012 | 45



Calexico & Friends headline the KXCI Barrio Fest April 7.

Grupo Fantasma perform the KXCI Barrio Fest, April 7.

KXCI’s Barrio Fest Fundraiser Rocking El Presidio Neighborhood on April 7 by Jamie Manser

Lyle Lovett, Release Me (Curb Records) Lyle continues his streak of great quirky country-pop records with this gem, featuring contributions from k.d. lang and a mix of original tunes and covers of Chuck Berry and Townes Van Zandt.

Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball (Columbia) The Boss has described his 17th studio album as a set of “angry patriotic” songs. The CD features 11 new tunes, including a few never-before-recorded but long-time live favorites.

Andrew Bird, Break It Yourself (Mom & Pop Music) The multi-instrumentalist (and Bonnaroo favorite) returns with his first album in three years, recorded in a stripped-down fashion in his barn. Andrew Bird plays the Rialto Theatre on April 20th.

The Magnetic Fields, Love at the Bottom of the Sea (Merge) Stephin Merritt and crew are back – and so are the synthesizers! After abandoning that instrument, the band re-embraces it on this new release of catchy, short tunes.

Fun., Some Nights (Fueled By Ramen) The band follows up their debut (Aim and Ignite) with another collection of playful, friendly sing-along pop rockers. Janelle Monae guests on the especially catchy “We Are Young.” The band performs at Rialto Theatre March 23.

46 | March 2012

Call it Barrio Fest, call it Calexico & Friends, call it Festival in El Barrio - That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet… And by sweet, we are talking about the amazing music scheduled for the annual spring festival/ KXCI fundraiser headlined by Calexico y Amigos. An outdoor afternoon and evening of local and national acts; food, arts and crafts, and activities for the kids await on Saturday, April 7 on North Meyer Avenue between the Tucson Museum of Art and Old Town Artisans, starting at 2 p.m. In 2010 and 2011, Barrio Fest was centered along South Meyer Avenue in Barrio Viejo but festival co-organizer Charlie Levy said they are interested in rotating the event through various local neighborhoods. “Tucson has so many great neighborhoods,” Levy explained. “We’d like for [residents in] different neighborhoods to have the experience of the festival and the music, and the great community it brings.” Attendees of previous years’ festivities can attest to Calexico’s singer/guitarist Joey Burns’ description about the vibe and demographics, when he says: “I am always amazed at the end result – watching families and friends gather in the streets enjoying the food, drinks and music but mostly just being in some of my favorite streets and neighborhoods in Tucson.” Sergio Mendoza, who performs again this year with his band Y la Orkesta, said the event is “always different and it’s a lot of fun. It’s for a great cause, to support community radio, but at the same time it’s a great excuse to get the community to come together and throw a big street party.” It is important to celebrate what we have – musically and artistically – in Tucson, via supporting our community radio station that makes these local sonic connections possible through the air waves at 91.3FM. Calexico, renowned locally and internationally, has fiscally rallied behind KXCI with concert fundraisers for about a decade, with shows that started at the Temple of Music and Art, moved to the Rialto Theatre and have morphed into the recent years’ outdoor multi-band, multi-stage, multi-block parties. “I would have never imagined that the first couple of benefit concerts would have grown into something as cool and fun as this,” Burns said about the fundraiser’s evolution. It is a musical and energetic reciprocity that sustains KXCI’s independence from commercial sway, to keep it solvent so its diverse voices stay on the air. The last two Barrio Fests collectively raised approximately $30,000 for the station. Burns said he became a fan of KXCI back in 1990: “I loved driving around town hearing the wide array of different cultural influences from the community. I hadn’t heard a station like that before and so immediately gravitated toward the left end of the dial at 91.3FM. The other thing that really stuck out were the voices of the DJs and their connections to the music and local events. As corporate radio became more popular, eliminating the hands on and spontaneous approach to the radio DJ, KXCI stood out as the soulful station resonating with what Tucson means to me.” n National acts this year include Grupo Fantasma and Megafuan, local acts were still being solidified as of press time, but, as Levy said, the goal of the event’s line-up is to honor Tucson’s musical traditions, its Hispanic influence, and the organic, grassroots nature of the town and of KXCI. Details at and; tickets are $19 for KXCI members, $23 general, $26 day of show.

Photo by Aubrey Edwards

Tucson’s community radio station, 91.3FM/, features cuts from the following new albums this month.

March 2012 | 47


Photo by Ellie May


Nancy McCallion performs with The Mollys & Friends on March 17 & Last Call Girls on March 18 at The Boondocks & with Clan McCallion on March 31 at La Cocina/Old Town Artisans.

LIVE MUSIC 17th Street Market 840 E. 17th St. 792-2588, Sat 3: Outlaw Rebels Sat 10: Rich Hopkins and Luminarios Sat 24: Kevin Pakulis and Amy Langley Sat 31: The Determined Luddites

2ND SATURDAYS DOWNTOWN Congress Street, Sat 10: Scott Stage – Up With People, The Cornerstone Band, The Guilty Bystanders, Rich Hopkins and Luminarios. Fox – Five Way Street, Congress – Foxtails Brigade, Combo Westside

BOONDOCKS LOUNGE 3306 N. 1st Ave. 690-0991, Mondays: The Bryan Dean Trio Thursdays: Grams and Krieger, except Thu 15 Fridays: Neon Prophet, except Fri 30 Sat 3: Tony and The Torpedoes Sun 4: Heather “Lil’ Mama” Hardy hosts Tony Furtado Sat 10: Chuck Wagon, House of Stone Sun 11: Kevin Pakulis & Amy Langley Sat 17: The Mollys & Friends St. Paddy’s Day Party Sun 18: Last Call Girls Sat 24: Kristin Chandler Band, Black Cat Bones Sun 25: Railbirdz Fri 30: Whole Lotta Zep

48 | March 2012

Rich Hopkins and Luminarios perform on March 10 at 17th Street Market and at 2nd Saturdays Downtown.

CLUB CONGRESS 311 E. Congress St. 622-8848, Fri 2: Leslie & The Ly’s Sat 3: Jenny Owen Youngs Mon 4: Gift of Gab Wed 6: O’ Brother, Junuis, Sleepdriver Thu 7: The Modern Art Tour Miniature Tigers, Geographer, the Chain Gang of 1974, Pretty & Nice Fri 9: The Pretty Reckless, The Parlor Mob, B. Bravo, The Starship Connection Sat 10: Foxtails Brigade Sun 11: Peter Case & Paul Collins Mon 12: Blitzen Trapper, The Parson Red Heads Tue 13: Rachael Yamagata, Madi diaz Fri 16: Dread Zepplin Sat 17: Whole Lotta Zep Sun 18: Cults, Spectrals, Mrs. Magician Wed 21: The Coat Hangers, White Mystery, Velvet Teens Thu 22: The Aggrolites, Mike Pinto Fri 23: Holy Rolling Empire, Young Hunter Tue 27: American Royalty, Cherub Fri 30: Heartless Bastards, David Vandervelde, Brian Lopez Sat 31: White Rabbits, Gull

FOX TUCSON THEATRE 17 W. Congress St. 624-1515, Fri 23: Man in Black: The Music of Johnny Cash Thu 29: The Pink Floyd Experience

THE HUT 305 N. 4th Ave. 623-3200, See the website

LA COCINA @ OLD TOWN ARTISANS 201 N. Court Ave. 623-6024, Wednesdays: Jazz with the Elephant Head Thursdays: Stefan George Fridays: Greg Morton & Friends Saturdays: Dance! Dance! Dance! w/ DJ Herm Sundays: Sunday Brunch with Miss Lana Rebel and Kevin Michael Mayfield Sat 10: Way Out West CD Release Party Fri 23: Coming Out! A Queer Dance Party Sat 24: Carnivaleros Sat 31: Clan McCallion & Friends

LIVE ACOUSTIC VENUE ASSOCIATION (LAVA) Abounding Grace Sanctuary, 2450 S. Kolb. Sat 3: Way Out West, Nancy Ruybal of Katy Creek Band, Jeanne and Jerome Sat 10: Sabra Faulk & the Angel Band Sat 24: Bill and Kate Isles Sat 31: Bright and Childers, Ice-9

PLUSH 340 E. 6th St. 798-1298, Thu 1: Dutch Holly Fri 2: Seashell Radio, The Silver Thread Trio, Will Johnson Sat 3: EMA Sun 4: Ben Siems Mon 5: Mikal Cronin, Bleached, Acorn Bcorn Tue 6: Black Jackalope Ensemble Wed 7: Ivan and Alyosha, Kaia Chesney, Clinton Rice Thu 8: Katie Haverly

Fri 9: Brian Lopez, What Laura Says, Shrimp Chaperone Sat 10: Said the Whale Mon 12: Saviours, Holy Grail, North Wed 14: Naim Amor Sat 17: The Dusty Buskers, The Haymarket Squares, Silver City String Beans Mon 19: Lost in the Trees, Poor Moon Tue 20: Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls featuring Lindsay Fuller and Jeff Fielder Sun 25: Stefan George Fri 30: The Growlers, TRMRS, Golden Boots Sat 31: Igor and The Red Elvises

RHYTHM & ROOTS Plaza Palomino, 2970 N. Swan Rd. 319-9966, RhythmandRoots. org Sat 10: Janiva Magness Fri 23: Johnny Rawls Fri 30: Jessica Fichot

RIALTO THEATRE 318 E. Congress St. 740-1000, Thu 1: Henry Rollings: The Long March Tour Fri 2: Pink Floyd’s Laser Spectacular Sat 3: That Is All: An Evening with John Hodgman Sun 4: Sublime with Rome, Everlast Thu 8: Deadmeat Tour with Steve Aoki, Datsik Sun 11: Asking Alexandria, Trivium, Dir En Grey, Motionless In White, I See Stars, The Amity Affliction Thu 15: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Rocco DeLuca

Seashell Radio releases Slick Machine at Plush, Friday, March 2. The last Tucson show before Fen Ikner moves to NYC.

SKY BAR 536 N. 4th Ave. 622-4300, See the website


SURLY WENCH PUB 424 N. 4th Ave., 882-0009, Mondays: Black Mondays with DC Matt McCoy and a weekly guest Fri 2: Black Cherry Burlesque Tue 6: Artphag Thu 8: An Evening w/ Richie Ramone Fri 9: John Wayne Bro Sat 10: Fineline Revisited Sat 17: St. Patricks Day! Wed. 20: Death By Stereo Sat 23: Spasmfest

Other live music venues include:

Way Out West has its CD release party at La Cocina/Old Town Artisans on March 10.

BLUEFIN 7053 N. Oracle Rd. 531-8500,

CASA VICENTE 375 S. Stone Ave. 884-5253, Tuesdays: Live Classical Guitar Wednesdays: Live Guitar Thursdays: Classical Guitar Friday and Saturdays: Flamenco Guitar and Performances

CHE’S LOUNGE 350 N. 4th Ave. 623-2088,

Sublime With Rome performs at the Rialto Theatre on Sat, March 4.


Photo by Lori Faith Merritt

31 E. Toole Ave. 884-0874, Tue 6: Typhoon Tue 13: The Mynabirds, Big Harp Mon 19: Yellow Ostrich Tue 20: Kevin Devine & The Goddamn Band, The Front Bottoms Fri 23: Howe Gelb, Nive Nielsen & the Deer Children, Marianne Dissard, Kia Chesney Sat 24: Perfume Genius

Sun 24: Bricktop, Crashed Out, City In Vain Fri 30: Siobhan Fashion Show

Photo by Marc Thomas Kallweit

Sat 17: Devil Wears Prada, Every Time I Die, letlive, Oh, Sleeper Sun 18: Feed Me With Teeth, AC Slater Mon 19: Of Montreal, Deerhoof, Kishi Bashi Thu 22: The Careless World Tour with Tyga, YG Fri 23: FUN., Avalanche City Sat 24: Whitechapel, Miss May I, After the Burial, The Plot in You, Structures Fri 30: Polyphonic Spree

198 W. Cushing St. 622-7984,


KINGFISHER 2564 E. Grant Rd. 323-7739,

LUNA BELLA 2970 N. Swan Rd.

NIMBUS BREWERY 3850 E. 44th St. 745-9175 & 6464 E. Tanque Verde Rd. 7331111, LAVA presents Wes and Nancy Ruybal at Abounding Grace Sanctuary on Sat, March 3.

March 2012 | 49



by Andrew Brown

Left to right, top to bottom: Veteran Tucson reporter Bud Foster at a Rick Santorum Rally; Kids at the Rodeo Parade; The Electric Blankets record release show; Danny Martin hand printing The Electric Blankets record cover; Dan Hernandez spinning at Hotel Congress; The Electric Blankets 7 inch release show.

50 | March 2012

Zocalo Magazine - March 2012  

Zocalo is an independently published community magazine showcasing urban news, arts, entertainment, music and events in Tucson, Arizona.

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