TAG, YOU'RE IT. There's something scary and exciting about working collaboratively, whether it's in music, writing or visual arts. As you hand over your masterfully composed section into the tremulous hands of another artist, you just don't know how your metaphors, lines and images will be redirected.
The artists who make up the TAG Group are willing to take the risk. Their newest show, Short Stories, reveals what happens when teams of artists complete a work on paper and pass it on to the next team to interpret and re-work.
Their show at Dinnerware Contemporary Art Gallery, located at 135 E. Congress St., comes down on Saturday. Check out how this visual tag team relay has unfolded. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Call with questions at 792-4503.
AN HOUR OF HISTORY. Get a glimpse of what it was like to work in, or be a patient at, the army post hospital of Fort Lowell between 1873 and 1891.
One-hour tours start at 1 p.m. on Fridays and Wednesdays. Gather with a guide dressed in period costume at Arizona Historical Society's Fort Lowell Museum. Its architecture reflects the fenced-off ruins of the original buildings. While you're there, view the medical history exhibit that includes artifacts found at the site--bottles and surgical instruments and the like. The Museum Annex houses a photo exhibit, Surgeons, Scalpels and Malaria, which tells the story of the doctors and enlisted hospital staff that cared for the sick and wounded soldiers. Walk to the ruins of the post hospital, down Cottonwood Lane and across fields where the cavalry marched, children played and life bustled at the Post in the 1870s and 1880s.
Fort Lowell Museum is located at 2900 N. Craycroft Road. Regular museum hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The tours take place through April 18 except for New Year's Day. Admission is free as is parking. All tours and facilities are wheelchair accessible. For information, call 885-3832.
POW WOWS AND TEE PEES. If you missed the Thanksgiving version, there's another chance to catch the festivities.
Today through Sunday at Rillito Raceway Park (inside the racetrack) at River Road and First Avenue, is a spectacular display of traditional dancers, hand-made crafts, activities for the kids, Indian foods and much more. Arizona horse-drawn stagecoach brings you to the Pow-Wow where dancers strut from more than 50 tribes. There's a Birds of Prey exhibit, a drum contest and a Pow-Wow contest. Check out the Gourd Dancing and Exhibition Dancing beginning at noon each day. The Midnight Friendship Round Dance takes place on Saturday at 11:45 p.m. until just after midnight. Don't miss the authentic Tee-Pee village.
On Sunday, celebrate International Day from noon to 5 p.m. with a drum contest. (You must register your drums by Saturday at 2 p.m.)
Admission each day costs $7. Get all your information by calling 622-4900 or visiting www.usaindianinfo.org.
FIGHT THE POWER! Celebrate the holidays like a true subversive by copping an attitude--an anti-capitalist one, that is.
Reader's Oasis plays host to three authors and their new collaboration of political essays and interviews, The Anti-Capitalism Reader: Imagining a Geography of Opposition. The reading gets underway at 7 p.m. today with Joel Schalit, Charlie Bertsch and Joe Lockard, who all contribute essays to the collection. They'll be on hand to read from their work and stoke the fires of consumer unrest in the midst of this most consumptive of holidays.
The essays cover much of the geography of the new anti-market left that's become visible since protests slammed the WTO in Seattle in '99. It's not all whining. There are strategies of opposition suggested for burgeoning activists (and old hands, too). The writers also offer hope to those who might think resistance to the machine is futile.
The editor, Joel Schalit, hails from San Francisco where he serves as the co-director for Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life. Tucson's own Charlie Bertsch, an English professor at the UA, is well-versed in post-war American fiction and pop culture. Joe Lockard teaches early American literature at Arizona State University and writes on human rights and literary issues.
The bookstore is located at 3400 E. Speedway Blvd. Call with questions at 319-7887.
RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR. Ever notice how the clang of the freight trains somehow squeezes through the roar of the clambering iron horse as it wends its way through downtown?
Well, go back a few years to an old, old putt-putt engine and hear its clang as the historic bell on Tucson's steam engine is periodically rung throughout the morning today. From 9 to 10:30 a.m., volunteers will also be on hand to talk about the history of the engine--affectionately known as Locomotive #1673--and the impact the railroad had on our sleepy berg.
The engine is located on the track side of Tucson's downtown train depot at 400 E. Toole Ave. There's no charge to hear the ringing or to soak up its history. For details, call 325-2108.
A GRAND GUITARIST. The Arizona Folklore Preserve started having acoustic concerts in the summer of 2001 and Michael Grande was at all of the opening shows.
He's recognized as one of the world's great guitarists. Audiences love his unique vocals and original songs. He performs a mix of instrumentals and folk- and devotional-tinged work. He opens each show with a Spanish-Flamenco instrumental showing off his guitar virtuosity. His recent CD, Hey Friend, features a favorite track, "Dancing in the Desert Tonight," where he croons about Tucson's famous Winterhaven campground.
Two concerts take place today and tomorrow at 2 p.m. Grande includes a tribute to New York's police and fire departments which he wrote just days after September 11. Heart of a Champion also honors everyday heroes who do the right thing at the right time.
Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for kids under 12. The Preserve is located at 44 Ramsey Canyon Road in Hereford. Drive six miles south of Sierra Vista on Highway 92 to Ramsey Canyon Road and the Arizona Folklore Preserve sign. Turn right on Ramsey Canyon Road and drive 3.5 miles into the canyon. Entrance is on your left. Cross the creek and park behind the buildings. Call 378-6165 for reservations or information.
SWING YOUR PARTNER. KXCI's Rose Lady, host of Espresso Swing, provides the music for a swing dance today.
Don't be bashful. There's a lesson from 7 to 8 p.m. for beginners. Open dancing follows and goes to 11 p.m. You don't need a partner. And no, it's not just for the pros--all are welcome.
The dance takes place at Armory Park Center, 220 S. Fifth Ave. Five bucks get you in the door and it includes the pre-dance lesson. For details, call 990-0834 or go to www.tucsonlindyhop.org.
HOW DOES NEXT YEAR LOOK? Find out what's in store for you (or our world) in 2003.
Two internationally known psychics have hand-selected guest psychics to participate in the first-ever Community Psychic Panel. Whatever the future holds--for you, your friends and family, the local as well as global community--it's bound to be an enlightening way to spend a couple of hours in the waning days of the darkest part of the year. Could it get much worse?
From 2 to 4 p.m., the psychics hold forth at the Spirit in Action Center, 6979 E. Broadway Blvd. at Kolb Road. A donation of $5 is your admission. For details, call 490-3752.
COMING HOME. Well, for a moment, that is.
Cynthia Hilts is a jazz pianist, vocalist and composer who's appeared around the world in solo performances and collaboratively as a jazz ensemble leader. She returns to her native Tucson as a featured artist with the Tucson Jazz Society's Jazz Jam tonight from 7 to 10 p.m.
Hilts studied classical piano and played show tunes, folk, rock and blues through her teens. She studied jazz composition and performance at Boston's Berklee College of Music. Since then, she's lived mainly in New York City, with musical forays to France, Mexico, Germany, Sweden and Tunisia. She's appeared in the Texaco and Knitting Factory jazz festivals, was musical director for the Theater for New York City and arranger for light operas. The Festival of Women Improvisers in New York commissioned her to write an invitational eight-piece ensemble.
They dubbed her "La Belle Americaine" in jazz-loving France. While there, she conducted big band music for the documentary, Ugo, in '99.
We're lucky she's swooped back into town for a performance. Her concert takes place at the Old Pueblo Grill at 60 N. Alvernon Way. Call 296-0919 with questions.
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. Not to make you feel guilty or anything, but as you digest that holiday ham, realize that animal shelters around the world are full of orphaned companion animals.
Home for the Holidays is a joint effort by folks at the local Humane Society of Southern Arizona and nationally by Diane Keaton (I always knew she was cool), the Helen Woodward Animal Center, the Iams Pet Food Company, PETCO Animal Supplies and Petfinder.com. The collective goal, continuing through January 5, is to ensure that as many as 250,000 companion animals wake up in their own beds in their new home for the holidays. Susan Wilson of HSSA says, "We want to emphasize the benefits and lifetime joys of shelter-adopted pets."
You don't have to actually adopt a dog or kitty--though you can, if you like. There are other ways to help this season. Become a sponsor for a featured Pet of the Day at the HSSA shelter by underwriting $35 of the adoption fee. You can stop by in person at 3450 N. Kelvin Blvd., or donate by mail or online at www.humane-so-arizona.org. It's that simple. Or you can donate canned goods for the food drive.
Call HSSA with your questions or sponsorships at 327-6088.
2003 OR BU(R)ST. It's the day after heavy partying or channel surfing. We suggest you take a hike. Pick a trail, any trail. There's plenty to choose from and you can't possibly complain about it being too cold. Happy New Year!