A GATHERING OF CLANS. The Scottish Games were originally held only in the Highlands where the feudal clan system was still in effect. The highlander's playtime activities grew out of everyday work: throwing stones, carrying heavy loads, moving logs. Fun stuff.
Tucson's Celtic Festival and Scottish Highland Games starts today at 5:30 p.m. and goes until 9:30 p.m. and picks up again on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Competitions include piping, drumming and Highland dancing. Scottish fiddlers perform jigs and reels for country dancing. Athletics for both men and women include track and field--with competitors dressed in kilts. There's Braemar-style stone throwing: Watch out for the flying hammers, cabers, pitch forks, blocks and chains. Other activities include bagpipers in massed bands, plenty of Celtic music, Scottish and Irish dancing and singing and even some mock swordplay.
It all happens at the Rillito Park Raceway at 4502 N. First Ave. Tonight's activities include a Torchlight Ceremony (free) and Ceilidh ($5 at the gate) and tomorrow is the all-day Celtic Festival and Games ($10 at the gate, children under 12 get in free). Questions? Call 888-1058
RAPID, SCARY SAINTS. If you amble (some might say "mosey") downtown at 3 mph (the spit-fire speed at which your two flat feet take you when you walk), you will notice an unusual site: a new bookstore on Congress Street just across from the Transit Center. Listen up, Rio Nuevo folks: A bookstore! Independently owned! By a writer, no less!
OK. I'll put my two cents back in my pocket. Biblio, aptly named, is an alluring combination of soft incandescent lights, red plushy chairs and walls lined with new and used books, hand-picked by Maggie Golston, said independent proprietor, A grad of the UA's MFA program in creative writing, she's opened her bibliophilic space and is inviting local (and not-so-local) writers to read their work on a semi-regular basis in front of adoring audiences.
Tonight's reading starts at 7 p.m. and its writers call themselves W.I.P. which stands for Works In Progress. They hail from the MFA program at the University. This being All Saints Day, they will adorn costumes befitting a saint, and, in honor of Halloween, theirs will be a Rapid-Fire Scary Reading.
It's free. Stop by Biblio at 222 E. Congress St. Call the store at 624-8222 with questions.
WHERE ARE THE YOUNG WOMEN? An unsolved mystery unfolds at the U.S./Mexico border. Few are talking about it. Hundreds of women are being kidnapped, raped and murdered in Juarez, just hours from Tucson.
San Francisco filmmaker Lourdes Portillo has produced Senorita Extraviada. (Translated, it means "Missing Young Women.") It's a collection of testimonies from families of the victims in search of the truth. Trying to find what's happened to loved ones amidst economic globalization and deadly silence is difficult with the powerful U.S. behemoth stampeding across the border for cheap labor.
Screening of Portillo's 74-minute film begins at 8 p.m. tonight and again at 7 p.m. tomorrow and 3 p.m. on Sunday at The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St. Tickets cost $5. For more information, call 622-2262.
IT'S AN HONOR. In an unprecedented and unanimous decision by the Pima Community College Board of Governors, the West Campus Art Gallery is about to be re-named in honor of an old friend: the late photographer and PCC professor, Louis Carlos Bernal. The idea was initiated by the Visual Arts Division faculty after Bernal was struck by a car in 1989. Bernal taught photography at Pima's West Campus for 18 years, while gaining international recognition for his photographs capturing barrio life throughout Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. He was selected to join nine other photographers to cover the 1984 Summer Olympic games in Los Angeles.
The West Campus Art Gallery will be dedicated to the work of Bernal today at 12:30 p.m. Included is a preview of the retrospective exhibition of his work and a panel discussion with James Enyeart, Luis Jimenez, Patricia Preciado Martin and Leslie Marmon Silko at 1 p.m. A reception follows from 2 to 4 p.m. and features the gallery dedication ceremony, music by Mariachi Luz de Luna and a screening of Ben Rider's documentary of Bernal's life and work.
The exhibit, Louis Carlos Bernal: Barrios, curated by Ann Simmons-Myers, continues through December 20. The gallery is located at 2202 W. Anklam Road. For details, call 206-6942.
TIME TO WALK. Maybe this will get the attention of border policy "experts." People of conscience will walk eight miles today on a pilgrimage from St. John's Catholic Church to San Xavier Mission to honor the memory of migrants who have died along the U.S./Mexico border.
Gathering at 8:30 a.m. in the church parking lot at 602 W. Ajo Way for the 9 a.m. walk, friends and colleagues of the Coalicion de Derechos Humans/Alianza Indigena Sin Fronteras are invited to walk this symbolic distance as a cry for humane border policies to be put into effect. Since October of 2001, more than 160 migrants have lost their lives in the Tucson sector of the border. This doesn't include those whose bodies were never found, whose families don't know if they survived the arduous trek through the desert.
For more information, call 770-1373 or join the pilgrims at 9 a.m.
UNCORSETING JANE AUSTEN. There are scads of folks out there who live the passion of the famous author. There's even a Jane Austen Day. You guessed it--it's today.
Join the Southern Arizona Region of the Jane Austen Society of North America for a look into the passion and narrative structure in the novels of Austen. Guests include Stephanie Barron, author of the popular Jane Austen Mystery Series, who examines Emma as a mystery novel; Joan Klingel Ray, president of the Society, who talks about why it is we love Jane; and members of the Actors Renaissance Theater, performing selected scenes from Sense and Sensibility.
It all gets started at 10 a.m. at the Westin La Paloma Resort located at 3800 E. Sunrise Drive. For $28, you get the panel discussion, the theater snippets and lunch. Call 325-3935 to register.
ONE NIGHT STAND. When you're just starting out in the art world, it's often difficult to get that first solo show, despite your mother's praise and cheerleading.
The Metroform Limited Gallery has inaugurated a series, aptly titled, One Night Stand, to showcase the work of lesser-exposed photographers. As the name implies, the show will hang in their outdoor exhibition space for just one night.
The test artist for the premier show in the series is Jackie Sue Alpers. Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Alpers got her BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design in 1991. Now in Tucson, she teaches photography at Pima and the UA. Her work has been featured in commercial applications including book covers and advertising. She says of her work that it's about rituals and beliefs that people use to feel secure in an unstable world--simple stories exploring the recurring patterns of human existence. Sometimes she even takes what looks like Barbie dolls and creates a "scene," manipulating it to look like real life.
Alpers' reception takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. at the gallery, located at 27 N. Stone Ave. For details, call 882-6606.
AN ISRAELI BOB DYLAN. David Broza is a musical troubadour of urban folk-rock. He's a superstar in Israel. He's got a Spanish flair (he even has two CDs in Spanish) and he also sings in English. Broza writes flamenco-tinged melodies spanning 19 albums. It was his 1989 American debut album that earned him praise from The New York Times as one of the best pop albums of the year and has been followed by three other albums in English.
The second annual Israel Cultural Arts Series takes off today at 7:30 p.m. with a live concert at the Jewish Community Center at 3800 E. River Road. The concert is sponsored by the UA Hillel and Young Jewish Tucson. Tickets cost $25 general admission. Call for reservations at 299-3000, ext. 211.
ARTICULATING DANCE. The fifth annual wine tasting benefit and dance fest leaps off at 6 p.m. today.
To match a couple of grants, NEW ARTiculations Dance Theater is raising funds to launch a bold dance project, a modern rendition of the ballet, Firebird. The dance company, founded in 1997 by its current artistic directors, Leigh Ann Rangel and Tammy Rosen, explores modern dance by incorporating theater, literature and new music into its performances. Tonight's festivities include performances of new work by resident choreographers, mingling with company members and sampling wine and hors d'oevres. There's also a silent auction of work by local artists, massage treatments, ballroom dance and Pilates lessons and feng shui consultations.
Stop by Heart-Five at 61 E. Congress St. General admission is $25 and students and seniors get in for $15. Call 622-5018 with questions.
LITTLE SCREENS. What are the archetypal images that haunt the restlessness characteristic of 1960s America? If you guessed the TV screen, you're right on the mark.
One of the current exhibits at the Center for Creative Photography features the work of Lee Friedlander. His Little Screens embodies his exploration of the American social landscape in this little-known body of work. Made in hotel rooms and other anonymous spaces across the country in the '60s, these photos are united by the presence of the soon-to-be ubiquitous television. There's something very quirky about them, like someone's looking back at you but you know it's just a TV.
Mark Alice Durant talks about The Little Screens in a lecture at 5:30 p.m. titled, "Why Lock the Motel Room When All the Ghosts Are Inside?" Durant is professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Maryland. Join him for a public gallery talk at the CCP located just east of Park Avenue and Speedway Boulevard in the arts courtyard. It's free. Questions? Call 621-7968.
DREAM ON. The Film Focus on Justice series (the first Monday of the month) screens Barbara Kopple's Academy Award-winning documentary about the 1986 strike against the Hormel Meat Packing Company. It's called American Dream and it looks at the tensions between local and international unions as Reaganomics (remember them?) disrupted the meatpacking industry, among others. Good old pitting of workers against workers. Ah, the '80s.
The free video series kicks off this month today at 7 p.m. at El Centro Digna #135, located at 842 S. Sixth Ave. at 19th Street. It's presented by the Southern Arizona Alliance for Economic Justice. Donations are accepted, especially for the popcorn. Call 670-1515 for details.
PPP. No, it's not some new psychedelic drug. It stands for the Plan Puebla-Panama--a massive industrial development program funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank (the lovely folks that have brought us exploitation with a capital "E"). The Plan will create the infrastructure for the FTAA/CAFTA, trade agreement cousins of NAFTA.
Enough with the acronyms. Here's the real scoop. Santes Choc, a Guatemalan and Mayan leader, talks about resisting this program and the actions that can be done to thwart its destruction, particularly how the PPP will adversely affect the Peten rainforest and its inhabitants. The plan calls for flooding a third of the Peten for hydroelectric power dams for the equally exploitive maquilas--factories that aren't interested in their workers' needs but in productivity only.
Hear the lecture starting at 7 p.m. at the Sentinel Building located at 340 N. Commerce Park Loop. It's sponsored by the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala. Call 792-3487 with questions.
THE OLD AND THE NEW. Archaeologist Homer Thiel has been involved in researching and excavating the old San Agustin mission and Tucson presidio fort in Tucson's downtown for some time. How will what he and other researchers discover from centuries ago affect the planned Rio Nuevo Project for the area?
Come hear what he has to say about this and about Tucson's Spanish heritage as revealed through excavations, archival records search and artifact analysis at the Arizona Historical Society's Wednesday lecture series at the museum, 949 E. Second St. Admission costs $6 per lecture, $5 for AHS members and $3 for students. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and Thiel will do his spiel at 7 p.m. Call the museum at 628-5774 for details.