City Week

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Food for the Soul

Many Mouths One Stomach's Remembering Dinner
7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 18
Sculpture Resource Center
640 N. Stone Ave.
E-mail contact

In this paradoxical age of more technology and less free time, it's popular for people to scarf down dinner while watching a TV show. However, nostalgia still remains for a time and place when Grandma's home-cooked meals symbolized kinship and a stuffed belly.

That's why Many Mouths One Stomach, the nonprofit organization responsible for the All Souls Procession, is holding its first Remembering Dinner next Thursday, an event for which attendees are encouraged to re-create a favorite dish of a loved one who has passed away. Dinners are also planned on Oct. 16 and Nov. 20.

"In the creating and sharing of meals, people are given many gifts," said event coordinator Stephanie Chace. "It is the concept of people who have passed, and the continuum that they are living through us with their recipes."

Although food will be served in a traditional potluck style, Chace calls the dinner a potlove, because the dinner encourages participants to "process grief" in a nontraditional way. The "keynote speakers" will be the participants, who will be asked to share stories of loved ones.

To keep waste to a minimum, Chace asks attendees to bring their own plates and cutlery. The plates will also serve as the subject of the dinner's finale.

"After dinner, we are going to have this very cathartic moment where people can smash their plates," Chase said.

Artist Diana Rix will collect the shattered pieces to make into a mosaic, a permanent remembrance of the participants' loved ones.

To reserve a seat for this event, please e-mail a family recipe. If unable to bring a dish, please bring beverages to be shared.

This event is free and open to all ages. --M.N.


Fear Bats No More!

Rillito River Project's Bat Night
6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 13
Southeast corner of Campbell Avenue bridge, just south of Campbell and River Road
881-6138; rillitoriverproject.org

The Dark Knight has nothing on the Rillito River Project's Bat Night, which will star a remarkable 20,000 Mexican free-tailed bats in their natural habitat.

At sundown, observers will watch as a big plume of bats abandons their daytime abode--a stress crack on the bottom side of the Campbell Avenue bridge--and flies into the night in search of insects.

Amidst the flurry of wings, percussionist Pete Swan will play a piece that he wrote for the occasion, and bat expert Yar Petryszyn will answer questions about the nocturnal animal that has been historically misrepresented in popular culture--including cinema.

"We want the audience to know that bats aren't dangerous," said the Rillito River Project's Ellen Stokheim. "They are actually a huge help to the ecosystem."

While the night will be focused around the dramatic flight of the bats, Stokheim said the event is about much more than that.

"We want to call attention to the vanishing rivers of the Southwest," Stokheim said. "We chose the Rillito River because it has the potential to be a theater for this discussion."

To remind attendees of Arizona's diminishing water supply, each person will be given a glass of water, an abstract representation of how the Rillito River once ran regularly, as recently as the 1940s.

"We felt that people need to be conscious of what natural resources we have in the city, and what ... kinds of things climate change can bring upon us," Stokheim said.

To attend, park in one of the nearby shopping centers and descend into the wash by using the ramp located at the southeast corner of the bridge. Attendees should wear black and bring both a flashlight and a blanket for seating.

This event is free and open to all ages. --M.N.


Mayan Art and a Painful Past

The Work of Carlos Chavez
Opening reception 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 13
Exhibit on display through Oct. 1
Galeria La Sirena
2905 E. Broadway Blvd.
319-1262

Renowned artist Carlos Chavez will be making his first visit to Tucson for a series of events this September, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. One purpose of Chavez's visit is to promote a study-abroad program to Guatemala offered by the UA Center for Latin American Studies.

Chavez is a historical Guatemalan painter who has also written several children's books. He has been called one of the most representative voices of contemporary Mayan art, and he plans to display his work and speak about how his indigenous identity and historical memory have influenced his paintings.

Chavez attempts to show the pain and anguish felt by the Mayan communities during Guatemala's civil war. He mostly paints women and tries to portray the spirituality of his people. The paintings have been displayed in Europe, Japan and the United States.

A special chance to meet Chavez will take place on Saturday, Sept. 13, from 5 to 8 p.m., at Galeria La Sirena, which is showing his artwork through Oct. 1.

Later in the month, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 27, Chavez will appear with UA anthropology professor Linda Green--also at Galeria La Sirena--at a benefit titled "Tejiendo la Esperanza/Weaving Hope." A $20 suggested donation will benefit the Guatemalan Acupuncture and Medical Aid Project, or GUAMAP. (Visit the GUAMAP Web site for more information.) That event will also feature Guatemalan food and music.

Call Galeria La Sirena at 319-1262 for more information on the exhibit, or Laurie Melrood at 623-6620 for more information on the Sept. 27 benefit. --T.A.


Baptists Talk About Sex, Baby!

The Element Community Church's PureSex
10:30 a.m., Sundays, through Oct. 5
Rincon High School
421 N. Arcadia Ave.
795-3650, elementtucson.com

Do you want to know how to have the best sex of your life? Well, one Southern Baptist preacher in town believes he has the answer.

"Our main motivation is to love God and love people," said Jeremiah McDuffie, head pastor of The Element Community Church. "God told us to love people and to help them; we want to help them with sex."

McDuffie is a 27-year-old pastor from Las Vegas who wanted to build a church for real people, and to discuss real issues. Despite serious efforts to advertise the lectures and a suggestive Web site called puresextucson.com, the lecture series began on Sept. 7 with a surprisingly dismal turnout: Approximately 20 adults showed up with about 10 children.

McDuffie said he didn't know how many people to expect, but he said he received several positive e-mails thanking him for being brave enough to talk about such a taboo subject.

The lectures will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays through Oct. 5. The lectures take place at Rincon High School and are open to people ages 13 and older.

"I believe Tucson is absolutely ready for this," McDuffie said. "The positive responses have been so overwhelming that we know we're doing the right thing."

During the Sept. 7 lecture, McDuffie said that sex needs to be "rightly ordered" in the priorities of life. He also argued that reading the Bible everyday will lead to a greater sex life.

"We want to look beyond ourselves. It's been uncomfortable to deal with some of the criticism, but we really want to hopefully change people's lives for the better," McDuffie said. --T.A.

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