Benefit Concert for Emerge! by Allegro School of Music
11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 18
UA School of Music
1017 N. Olive Road
More than 100 students will perform a variety of musical styles on guitar, piano, violin, bass and drums in an effort to raise funds for the Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse.
Joshua Brown, the director and co-founder of the Allegro School of Music, puts on recitals twice a year, and most of them serve as fundraisers for various charities.
His office manager volunteers at Emerge! every week, and to Brown, it just made sense for Allegro to help out the organization.
"It's a shelter where women can stay until there's a safe environment for them to return to. I thought: Why not do it for Emerge? We took donations through December, with the final day being the day of the recital," Brown said. "We have big donation boxes at the school, and there's a donation wish list that we've published on our website (click on 'Newsletter') so people can drop off items."
When he was a graduate student at the University of Arizona, Brown created Allegro with classmate Jeff McKee in 1999. Students 5 years old and up can learn to play a variety of instruments, including the guitar, violin and drums; voice lessons are available, too.
The school has grown steadily, and this fall included some 325 students. According to the school's website, more than 15,000 lessons are given annually.
Admission to the recital is free, and donations of various items will be accepted at the door. —D.H.
Art for Agriculture
Tucson Village Farm Benefit Art Show
1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 17
4210 N. Campbell Ave.
With paintings ranging from $10 to $500, there will be something in everybody's price range at this Saturday's benefit art show for the Tucson Village Farm—and most of the proceeds will go to the working urban farm that was designed to educate Tucson youth, said Leza Carter, the founder of the nonprofit farm.
The artwork for sale is by traveling artists Andy Holmes and Martine Bedard, founders of Art for People (artforpeople.ca).
"Their artwork is all whimsical—bright colors, vibrant, very positive images," Carter said. "They choose a nonprofit every year to help out, and we were lucky to get them!"
The pair traveled through British Columbia along with their two daughters on their bicycles. Their paintings include imagery from their travels.
Carter founded the Village Farm in 2010. "Everything we do involves goods," she said. "We offer agriculture education for kids."
The Tucson Village Farm offers year-round, instructional, hands-on programs for youth of all ages. "We target urban youth from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds," Carter said.
Throughout the school year, 150 kids come to the farm each week.
"It's a field-trip-based program. They come through, and we teach them where their food comes from, and how to identity fresh food," she said. "We teach them the entire seed-to-table cycle."
Along with live music, fresh hors d'oeuvres from the farm, plus drinks will be provided at Saturday's show.
What's on the menu? "Coconut-curry pumpkin soup, fresh salad rolls and our own popcorn. We have our own field of corn. We just harvested and had the kids pick it off the cob," Carter said.
Admission is free. For purchases, attendees should bring cash or checks. —D.H.
Holiday Spectacular VII
6 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 17
735 N. Fourth Ave.
Zoe Boutique, Fourth Avenue's go-to place for trendy fashion, is hosting its seventh annual Holiday Spectacular. This year, more than 30 artists have submitted non-traditional Christmas ornaments to hang on the boutique tree for sale throughout the night.
The ornaments are reflective of each artist's personal style. While some are traditional, "some are just totally out there," according to storeowner Lissa Marinaro. She described the variety of ornaments as eclectic, including pieces like small painted canvases, images in glass and even a glorified picture of Snooki.
Artist Donovan White took the decorations to a whole new level and coined the term "pornoments" for his artistic decorations. He describes the ornaments as 1970s Playboy-style, with some boobies, but "nothing too raunchy."
"Definitely a sexier side of Christmas, if you will," said White about his R-rated creations.
The Holiday Spectacular actually received its name from White, who was integral in helping create the event. White said he grew up with "the whole works" during the holidays, and wanted to share the same spirit with other Tucsonans. After he grabbed some ugly holiday sweaters and created some Christmas ornaments, the event eventually became a yearly ritual.
"It's an art show with a Christmas undertone," he said, "a get-together and something fun to take the heat off the normal gallery show. It has a little bit of a pulse to it."
The artists' work will be featured for one night only, and if you are looking for an off-beat Christmas gift or a special ornament for your tree, attendance is recommended. Most art pieces are $25 or less. —J.B.
Break Out the Bad Sweaters!
The Very Merry Holiday Sing-Along Spectacular!
7:30 p.m., tonight, Thursday, Dec. 15
3233 E. Speedway Blvd.
This Thursday, head to the Loft Cinema to enjoy all of your favorite Christmas songs—and singing along is encouraged!
The annual Very Merry Holiday Sing-Along Spectacular is meant for all ages and includes cinematic shorts from seasonal favorites for guests to sing-along with. Call it movie-theater caroling.
The party will start off with the annual Ugly Sweater Parade, during which guests are invited to show off their most-heinous knit attire on the main stage; the worst-sweater winners will be allowed to share a holiday horror story or a song. Audience members will vote for the funniest or best contestant, and the winner will receive a prize and crown.
Then on to the main event! The sing-along will include what Loft program director Jeff Yanc called "tried-and-true classics," as well as new favorites. Featured songs come from movies such as White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life and How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and TV shows such as The Muppet Show. Featured artists during the 90-minute singing compilation include Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby and even Ozzy Osbourne. All clips will be subtitled.
Yanc said the sing-along is a popular event that draws a large crowd every year. Typically, he said, half or more of the 500-seat theater is filled.
Free candy canes will be up for grabs, and both leaded and unleaded eggnog will be served at the concession stand alongside the normal movie-theater treats. Guests who bring an unwrapped toy for donation to Casa de los Niños will receive half off of their admission.
Regular admission is $8, or $6 for Loft members. —J.B.