Aldo Leopold Centennial Celebration
8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, June 6
Kartchner Caverns State Park
Highway 90, nine miles south of Interstate 10
Aldo Leopold is considered by many to be the "father of wildlife management." He was also a defender of ethical environmental policies, and his work on wilderness preservation in New Mexico and Arizona remains influential today.
This year, Arizona State Parks—along with the states of Arizona and New Mexico, and the Aldo Leopold Foundation—is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Leopold's arrival in the Southwest.
At Kartchner Caverns State Park this Saturday, visitors will be able to learn more about Aldo. The day will start with an introduction to Leopold's life and philosophy, to be followed by the opportunity to learn about mountain lions, javelinas and bats. Leopold himself will even make an appearance (portrayed by Kim Stone) to interact with guests and answer questions.
According to park representative Ellen Bilbrey, Leopold's ideas about an ethical relationship with the environment are essential to a park like Kartchner Caverns.
"It takes a high level of stewardship to keep something like (this park) up," she explains.
Bilbrey acknowledges the environmental-policy decisions facing our country, and raises the possibility that learning more about Leopold can teach the public how to better participate in those decisions.
"We need more citizens involved in that commitment to our future," she says. "We're trying to get people to talk about Leopold and understand our environment from his point of view."
Kartchner Caverns State Park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Through Sept. 4, adult tour tickets will be $12, and tickets for kids ages 7 to 13 will be $5; tickets for children 6 and younger are always free. The $5 entrance fee per vehicle can be waived by making a tour reservation at 586-2283. —S.J.
Sing It From the Mountaintop
Music on the Mountain presents the Santa Cruz River Band
Noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, June 7
Mount Lemmon Community Center
12949 N. Sabino Canyon Parkway
Round up the troops; grab the lawn chairs; and head to higher ground! That's the idea behind LAVA's Music on the Mountain summer-concert series.
The series will feature different artists performing on Mount Lemmon every Sunday through Sept. 6. This week, the Southwestern folk musicians of the Santa Cruz River Band will take the stage.
The Santa Cruz River Band, featuring Teodoro "Ted" Ramirez and Michael J. Ronstadt, has played many shows locally and will be touring in Europe later this year—but before they do, you can catch them for free beneath the shady pines.
The free concert series is presented by LAVA Music (LAVA stands for Live Acoustic Venue Association), a nonprofit organization that was set up in February to connect musicians with appreciative audiences, explains director Bonnie Vining.
The association has been busy, organizing roughly 16 concerts this spring before setting up this summer's concert blowout.
"The series on Mount Lemmon ... will have a festive, 'get people up out of the heat and come out and cool off on Mount Lemmon' kind of feel to it," Vining says.
In addition to the Santa Cruz River Band, local musicians like Chuck Wagon Maultsby and His Old Band, the Last Call Girls and the String Figures will play later this summer.
Be sure to leave the ice chest at home, though, as Vining explains: "The way we're getting the money to pay the bands is off of food and drink sales."
In case of excessive sun or surprise monsoon showers, have no fear. "We're putting up a tent for the audience, and a tent for the band so people can get out of the sun," Vining says. —A.B.
First Friday: Summer Solstice and the Stars
7:45 p.m., Friday, June 5
Tucson Museum of Art
140 N. Main Ave.
Ah, the beginning of the month, that glorious time when you can breathe easy: The bills have all officially been signed, sealed and delivered (presuming the money was available to pay them in the first place).
To celebrate, put on your Sunday best and head down to First Friday, the social/networking event presented by Tucson Young Professionals.
For this month's celebration, called Summer Solstice and the Stars, ditch that old Magic 8-Ball, because they've called in professional psychics, Tarot card readers, belly-dancers and more, all to celebrate the summer season and perhaps learn a little about what the future holds.
The event, which will also feature vodka-tastings, hors d'oeuvres and music, will be held at the Tucson Museum of Art, and the current exhibit, Trouble in Paradise, will be open for viewing.
Tucson Young Professionals, which hosts 10 First Fridays events per year, is an organization for community professionals older than 21 to socialize and network with each other. Professionals with a little bit more experience are encouraged to participate as well, according to TYP's event planner, Liz Caraballo.
"One of the issues is that, since (the group) is called Tucson Young Professionals, a lot of our older, more-seasoned business professionals don't know if this is the right venue," Caraballo says. "We've been working really hard to make sure they understand that this is a venue that we're giving back to all of Tucson. To have a larger array of ages and experiences is really what we're looking for."
Tickets for the event are $15 in advance, $20 at the door or $10 for those who attend the networking reception (from 7:45 to 9 p.m.). A dollar from every ticket will be donated to the Tucson Museum of Art. —A.B.
Cool Off With Creativity
Summer Art Cruise
6 p.m., Saturday, June 6
Various galleries, primarily around downtown Tucson
We may not have an ocean near Tucson, but that doesn't mean you can't head out on a cruise this Saturday night.
The Central Tucson Gallery Association is presenting its annual Summer Art Cruise, an opportunity to check out about a dozen local gallery exhibits, all on the same night.
For example, you can view art at the 17th Annual Small Works Invitational exhibit, with small pieces by more than 80 mostly local artists, at Davis Dominguez Gallery, and then head over to The Drawing Studio Gallery to see the Class Act exhibit, which features works from their adult drawing-fundamentals classes, before heading over to Conrad Wilde to see the High Fiber exhibit, showcasing nationally known artists' paper art.
The Central Tucson Gallery Association consists of professional commercial galleries like Conrad Wilde Gallery, nonprofit alternate spaces like Dinnerware Artspace, and even campus galleries like the Joseph Gross Gallery, explains Mike Dominguez, a co-owner of Davis Dominguez Gallery.
The Summer Art Cruise started 10 years ago and brings together these different types of galleries to market together, work together and show their exhibits together; the group also hosts various art tours throughout the year. The Summer Art Tour is especially important, Dominguez says, because it brings people into the galleries like no other event the Central Tucson Gallery Association hosts.
"This is by far our biggest event," Dominguez says. "That's because of the timing toward the end of the season."
For more information on the Summer Art Cruise, as well as a list of participating galleries, check out ctgatucson.org. You can also pick up an event map at the Tucson Pima Arts Council office, at the Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau office and at participating galleries. —A.B.