SAACA celebrates Mexican food, fun and flavor

The Southern Arizona Arts and Culture Alliance (SAACA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the creation, preservation and advancement of the arts, hosts several events throughout the year that highlight Tucson culture, from music to food. It held the third annual Tucson 23 Miles of Mexican Food festival at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa on June 16 which featured food, live music, art and drinks. This event celebrates the best 23 miles of Mexican food, which is one of Visit Tucson’s main campaigns for the tourism industry according to Shelby Scheer, the operations manager of SAACA. Visit Tucson partnered with SAACA to help represent Mexican culture in an interdisciplinary format. Read more

Memorable moments on the screen: a peek into the Loft Cinema's Lesbian Look film and video series

Lesbian Looks Film and Video Series returns to the Loft Cinema this Sunday for its 24th year of celebrating film created by and featuring stories from the lesbian community. Presented by the Institute for LGBT Studies and co-sponsored by various groups from the UA campus and the greater community of Tucson, the festival will be screening two short films by renowned filmmaker Michelle Citron. Citron has been making documentary film that borders on experimental since the 1970s and her films have been screened at festivals and museums across the globe. Citron plays with form and content in order to get her messages across and create meaningful, potent art that sticks with audiences long after the final frame. “Her work interrogates storytelling itself,” wrote Beverley Seckinger, the director of Lesbian Looks. When Citron first began experimenting with film, feminist film theory was asking questions about form and how structure plays into the creation of political and activist films. Read more

'The King and I' comes to UA's Centennial Hall

UA Presents and Broadway in Tucson present "The King and I," an intricate performance of high quality and creative innovation that will transport audiences through time. The show will be in Centennial Hall until Sunday, March 18. This Rodgers & Hammerstein musical is based on a novel by Margaret Landon, which recounts the unconventional relationship between the King Mongkut of Siam, located in modern day Thailand, and Anna Leonowens, a British school teacher. Read more

Hindu culture expressed on UA campus

On a dimly lit wooden stage in the Fred Fox School of Music, University of Florida professor Vasudha Narayanan spoke about Hindu culture in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and America, on Tuesday, March 13.  Narayanan teaches in the religious studies department of UF and was a former president of the American Academy of Religion.  She has written and edited seven books, as well as many articles and encyclopedia entries. Narayanan wore a turquoise traditional Indian silk outfit and gave a brief history of the Hindu culture using pictures of ancient statues and temples from all around the world. Following her talk, Indian dancers filled the stage wearing traditional Indian silk costumes and jewelry. Read more

Spiritual healing in the desert

The desert has been regarded as a place of spiritual healing for centuries; the dry climate, natural springs, cavernous valleys and immense mountains attract yoga gurus, landscape worshipers and meditation experts alike.  Tucson is an ideal destination for those looking to explore spiritual healing opportunities, including shamanic, energy, reiki, crystal and more. The city is located in the southern part of the state and rests in the middle of one of the most prominent vortices in North America, according to an article on Sage Goddess Online. Tucson offers different places to go when seeking spiritual healing in the desert based off variety and services.  Read more

Creating public relations professionals

The Arizona Student Public Relations Society (ASPRS), which was established in spring 2017 at the University of Arizona, provides opportunities for students to gain real-world experience and skills in the public relations field. UA accommodates a wide variety of clubs and organizations, which provide small communities for students to identify with, as well as skill-building opportunities that help members land jobs after graduation.  According to the ASPRS website, the club “was created to offer students a chance to learn about and engage in the industry of public relations as a potential career path. Read more

A groovy walk through 4th Avenue treasure

A building painted from edge-to-edge with murals of the classic Beatles album Abbey Road and other dream-like images, the Hippie Gypsy, located on the corner of 351 N. Fourth Avenue, attracts all walks of life to take a glance at ‘hipster’ clothing, see locally made glass smoke pieces and experience the laid-back environment that this 60s inspired smoke shop has to offer.  This location is one of three Hippie Gypsies that are found in Arizona and Louisiana. The business has been running for 20 years here in town, making the store one of many iconic buildings in downtown. Read more

UA Poetry Center's Broadside Contest returns to campus

UA’s poetry center is hosting its annual Broadside Contest again this May.  Administered by the School of Art Book Art and Letterpress Lab, full-time students are eligible for receiving money for their letterpress art.  Three images may be submitted per entry, and a prize of $100 is available for five lucky winners, expressing this art form into the community is encouraged by those who love its unique and modern feel.  Read more

Book festival covered with coyote prints

The Tucson Festival of Books has a unique Southwestern identity that gives it charm and personality, in part from the annually changing mascot. Each chosen animal is connected to Arizona and calls the desert home.  Debuting in 2009 with approximately 50,000 attendees, the TFOB attendance base has grown to 135,000 people in 2017.  The festival has been dedicated to promoting literacy in the community since its inconception in 2009. The proceeds from the last 10 years of the festival have provided over $1,650,000 to community organizations that support literacy and reading, such as the Reading Seed and Literacy Connects, according to its website.  Read more

A picture, plus a thousand words

The Tucson Festival of Books hosts authors from different genres and showcases their style in many ways. Writing, however, is not the only way one can tell a story. Photography is another art form that will be presented at the festival. Dan Streck displays his art in the book “Vanishing Points: Poems and Photographs of Texas Roadside Memorials,” a collaboration between photography and poetry Read more

Creating a festival; the people behind the scenes

Volunteers began preparation for the Tucson Festival of Books in early February. They gathered outside of the University of Arizona bookstore on the mornings of Saturday Feb. 24 and March 3 to train for the event. This year will mark the 10th anniversary of the festival and is expected to have over 2,000 volunteers. “It’s unbelievably generous of the community to come out in such force to help out for the festival and for literacy,” Melanie Morgan, the Executive Director of the Tucson Festival of Books, said. Read more

Hurdling writer's block classes offered at festival

The Writers Studio Tucson offers a unique perspective on writing in a formal classroom, giving feedback and instruction to those who want to learn and grow.  The studio was originally founded in New York by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Philip Schultz in 1987. Since then, it has branched out into an online platform, as well as several other ground locations.  In Tucson, workshops and classes are offered throughout the year. Options are available for all types of writers in all different stages of life. Classes begin in the spring and continue through the summer for eight weeks at a time. Read more

20th century social issues drives imagination

Fascinated by the social issues of the time, Cunthia Swanson, a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, transports readers to the 20th century with her work. “Women’s roles, families, the political climate inform (and even sometimes echo) our current times and of course the details of those times – clothes, cars, music, architecture – are so much fun to write about,” Swanson said. Read more