NO SHRINKING VIOLETS. It's hard to pinpoint when exactly Betty Diamond hit the Tucson rock and blues scene. Beverly Seckinger, the band's bassist, says, "We've all played in various configurations for 10 years. But as Betty Diamond, we've been together maybe a year-and-a-half."
The name is totally made up. The band's vocalist, Rebecca Horton, conceived it. It's not anyone famous, not an angry suffragette or '50s rabble-rouser. The name just fit and it stuck.
Betty Diamond consists of four women performing rock, blues and original tunes. Rebecca Horton's unmistakable, gravely voice has fronted numerous groups including the acoustic duo Horton and Hill and the Shrieking Violets. Mitzi Cowell has been a fixture in Tucson's blues and rock community playing guitars with Sam Taylor, the Visionary Blues Band, the Valiants, Friendly Fire and currently with the new '70s funk band the Bunko Squad. Drummer Gillian "Boom-Boom" DeLear is equally at home playing blues, country, rock and funk. She's played with Lori Davidson and the Intruders, Tony and the Torpedoes and lately with the Last Call Girls. And Beverly Seckinger, the Betty's bassist, has played music professionally since her first solo gig at Shakey's pizza in Laramie, Wyo., in 1976--a tidbit that comes directly from her publicist. In addition to Betty Diamond, she's the bass player in the eclectic WayBack Machine.
You may have seen Betty Diamond in action--at the city of Tucson's 4th of July celebration, at the Blues, Brews and Barbecues, at the Vagina Monologues, at the opening night party for the Wingspan Film Festival. Now you can experience them in an intimate setting, as close as you can get to Betty Diamond in your very own living room.
Tonight's performance at Hazy Dayz Lounge Café, 187 N. Park Ave. at Ninth Street, starts at 7:30 p.m. $3 is the suggested donation. Sing happy 40th birthday to Boom-Boom. Call 884-0272 for details.
ILLUSION OR SHE-MONSTER? The definition of "chimera" boasts two somewhat related meanings: a mythological, fire-breathing she-monster sporting a lion's head, a goat's body and a serpent's tail. Or, an illusion or fabrication of the mind, especially an unrealizable dream. Both, potentially, lovely creatures.
Two guys in Hugo, Okla. (deemed "Circus City, U.S.A.") dreamed up Circus Chimera, calling on the talents of 100 creative people (no animals exploited in this big top) to make their ideas a reality. They land in Tucson today.
Under the World's Tallest Big Top--made by the same folks in Miami, Okla., who handcraft tents for missionaries throughout the world--Circus Chimera serves up a string of fast-paced, tightly orchestrated acts. There's juggling, tumbling, balancing, aerial contortion, flying trapeze and jump roping. Elegant costumes, ethereal music and theater-in-the-round lure you in. Magic rules in this year's Moon Dreams theme.
"I wanted to produce a show where the public was part of the action,"says producer James Judkins."Too often you're so far away from what's happening, you lose appreciation for what you're actually seeing, if you can even see it at all."
Shows are held in the Tucson Mall parking lot, located at Oracle and Wetmore, today through Sunday (in Sierra Vista Monday through Wednesday) and back again at the Tucson Mall, Thursday through Sunday next week. Tickets cost $14 to $20 for adults and $8 to $14 for kids. Call 1-888-ONE-RING for reservations or show times.
OUT AND PROUD. A two-day gathering focuses on queer sexualities, cultural empowerment and community mobilization as they relate to LGBT Latina/o communities. Translated, that means folks trying to figure out if they're gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered and happen to be Latino or Latina.
LLEGO, The National Latino LGBT organization, and Wingspan, Southern Arizona's Community Center, host the retreat, exploring ethics, sexuality and strategies for prevention of oppression. It's not just for those questioning their sexuality. Non-queer as well as non-Latino allies are encouraged to attend. It takes a village to overcome social, health and political barriers that face doubly oppressed people--the intertwined identities of sexual orientation, gender identity and ethnic background.
Cultura es Vid a is a weekend of community organizing training created by LGBT Latino leaders from around the country, designed to develop attitudes and skills to increase health and safety of local communities. The weekend workshop starts today and goes through Sunday and takes place at the Marriott Hotel, located at 6477 E. Speedway Blvd. The workshop is free, but limited to 20 participants. Reserve your place by calling Wingspan at 624-1779.
MORE THAN DOLL-SIZED DISCOVERIES. The act of making dolls is a prayer for peace. So says ceramic sculptor Kat McIver.
She creates Spirit Dolls as a result of her inner explorations. They emerge out of a spontaneous process during which the artist responds to her intuition and to what the nature of the clay suggests. She starts with the feet, then the hands. The bodies are made out of copper pipe, PVC pipe and then stuffed. The head emerges last. "I don't know who they are until I start to put them together and dress them," McIver admits.
The registered Expressive Arts Therapist shows her dolls, made of feathers, cloth, wire, plastic and ceramic materials, at Muse's gallery, 516 N. Fifth Ave. Her intention is to create peace and harmony in herself and the world through her dolls. They illuminate deeper aspects of herself, clear blocks or express her sense of the divine.
The show opens with a reception tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. and continues through February 21. Gallery hours are weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For details, call 903-0918.
GOT A SHILLING? This duo is a few shillings short. They go by the name Four Shillings Short and they are Christy Martin and Aodh Og O Tuama (pronounced ayog).
Out of San Francisco, the duo culls their musical repertoire from the traditions of Ireland, Scotland, England and the States, with the occasional tune from India. Tuama plays tin whistles, doumbek, spoons, gemshorn and sings. Martin also sings and plays hammered dulcimer, mandolin, sitar and bodhran. They play their very own eclectic brand of British Isles music consisting of traditional tunes with an experimental streak.
They're in town for a concert hosted by Tucson Friends of Traditional Music. Show time starts at 8 p.m. at the Sonora Cohousing Common House, 501 E. Roger Road just west of First Avenue. Parking is available on the west side of the neighborhood. Call 293-3783 to reserve a seat. Suggested donation is $12.
HELLO, MR. BUSH. Send a message to Dubya: No war on Iraq!
He should be able to hear it as millions of people stage marches and rallies today around the country. Here in Tucson, peace-minded folks gather at 9:30 a.m. by Old Main on the UA campus, east of University Boulevard and Park Avenue. The march begins at 10 a.m. and culminates in a rally at 11:30 a.m. at De Anza Park, located at Stone Avenue and Speedway Boulevard. There'll be speakers, music, poetry and theater.
Tell the new Congress and the Bush Administration that we need to spend our resources on human needs--y'know, simple things like education, healthcare and our environment--not on wars for oil and some weird, unconnected revenge plot.
The march and rally are hosted by the Tucson Peace Action Coalition, Alianza Indígena Sin Fronteras, Lesbian Avengers, Raytheon Peacemakers, Tucson Veterans for Peace and a tumult of other community groups.
For more information, email email@example.com or call your favorite peacenik organization.
LA COMUNIDAD. Join the Center for Creative Photography's Community Day Celebration in conjunction with their current exhibit, Americanos: Latino Life in the United States.
From 1 to 4 p.m. today, hear music of the Andes, performed by Jorge Vasco on the pan flute and guitar (1 p.m.), see a dance performance by Ballet Folklorico San Juan (2 p.m.), enjoy Salsa and Cumbia at the 3 p.m. merengue party and at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m., view the award-winning video documentary, Americanos. Tour the exhibit, if you haven't seen it already, all afternoon or get a bilingual, guided tour of the show at 1 and 3 p.m.
Later this week, Michael Gonzales a master of fine arts candidate in the School of Art, Photography and Intermedia, talks about his own project documenting Pat's Drive-In Diner, a popular Tucson eatery for nearly four decades. Maybe he'll even reveal secrets about their chilidogs. His talk begins at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22.
All events are free and take place at the Center for Creative Photography located in the arts courtyard, just east of Speedway Boulevard at Park Avenue. Parking is free in zone 1 lots or at meters. Call for details at 621-7968.
POETRY SHOW AND TELL. In this case it's actually speak and sell--a chapbook sale and reading today from noon to 4 p.m. at Bookman's, 6230 E. Speedway Blvd.
"Chapbook" is an early 19th-century term for any work of popular literature that was sold at a modest price, usually by itinerant peddlers or "chapmen." These books often contained short versions of romances, ballads and folk tales. Today, the term is commonly used to describe short or abridged compilations of poetry. But chapbooks also serve a unique role: paying as much attention to the form of the book as the creative content nestled inside the pages. Often the books are hand-sewn, letter-press printed and accompanied by drawings. They're works of art in themselves. Turn them over, check out their spines, their weave. Smell the ink. It's a tactile pleasure.
The Bookman's event features dozens of local and regional poets selling their self-produced chapbooks of poetry. Hear unique voices and discover what happens when big publishers stay out of the way of some of the most creative poetic tomes self-published by Tucson poets.
Organized by Lee Frank, director of the Poetry at the River Reading Series at the River Center branch library, Poetry Speak and Sell is free and open to the public. Call for details at 615-7720.
LULLABY, AND GOODNIGHT. Wait, it's not that soporific. The UA Encore performs Lullaby of Broadway, a classic that includes fast-paced musical and dance numbers, Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance! and The Big Apple.
You'll also enjoy the popular Kinghorn Duo performing two Rigoletto selections, Slavonic dance, Bernstein's Glitter and Be Gay from Candide, The Barber Souvenirs dances and even a spiritual or two. The concert is sponsored by the Unity Church in Green Valley.
Show time is at 2 p.m. at the Sahuarita High School located on Sahuarita Road. Tickets cost $10 and are available in advance at various locations. Call 625-5687 for details and ticket information.
I HAVE A DREAM. To celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.'s commitment to civil rights, you're invited to the 18th annual MLK Festival today at 10 a.m. Festival chair, Donna Liggins of the Northwest Center, says, "We're pleased that for the ninth straight year, Reid Park is hosting the festival."
More than 1,000 people are expected to show up for the free event that features vendors, food, entertainment and speakers. The DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center at Reid Park is located at 22nd Street and Country Club Road.
Another celebration later today is a Faculty Artist Series tribute to the community leader. Faye Robinson, soprano, and Rex Woods on piano offer a concert at Crowder Hall, located in the arts courtyard east of Speedway Boulevard and Park Avenue. Concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets cost $4 to $10. Call the UA Fine Arts Box Office at 621-1162 for details or tickets.
TUBAC SHINES. Take a little jaunt down to Tubac for a show of new work by 21 Southern Arizona artists.
Otero Gallery, located at 5 Hesselbarth Lane, hosts the show that features works in oil, acrylic, watercolor, collage, pastel, prints and sculpture. The show starts today and continues through March 23. The gallery, in operation since 1995 and the only cooperative gallery in Tubac, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Questions? Call 326-6870.
TURNING 30. You could say that the Saturn Return is in full force with this 30th anniversary--things are just a bit jumbled and weird.
We're referring to the 30th birthday of the Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court that legalized abortion back in '73. To celebrate, Tucson's pro-choice community gathers today with a rally at 5:30 p.m. at the UA Mall Stage, just east of Old Main at University Boulevard. After the kickoff, the group marches to the Main Library downtown at Stone Avenue and Pennington for a final rally at about 6:30 p.m.
Featured speakers include Patti Caldwell of Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona, Dr. Eve Shapiro and Katie Bolger. Performers include Kathleen Williamson--singer/songwriter and Faith. Sponsoring organizations include Students for Choice, Planned Parenthood, Tucson NOW, Tucson Peace Action Coalition and many other groups.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.