The Time Travelers' Outpost at the Trunk Show Tour
Noon to 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9
Haggerty Plaza, 324 N. Fourth Ave.
To Jocelynne Weathers, Steampunk is a way for her to express herself with others who share this common interest.
"To me personally, Steampunk is about working at the connection between humanity and technology and where we're at now and exploring that in art, in culture, in music, in costuming," said Weathers.
The Tucson Steampunk Society will host a trunk show, titled The Time Travelers' Outpost, at Haggerty Plaza on Feb. 9. The event will be filled with everything that encompasses the Steampunk culture.
Weathers, one of the organizers for the Tucson Steampunk Society, is excited to shed light on the Steampunk culture for those who may not know about it, and enforce the community tie for those who do.
"I hope that people will learn more about some of our local resources and enjoy those and then just have a great time and discover that Steampunk is for people of all ages," she said. "From the six-year-old to 65-year-old, we really have everybody in our group and I hope people will see that too."
The name for the event not only spurs from the time travel aspect Steampunk includes, but it also serves as a way to promote the Wild West Steampunk Convention, occurring in March.
"Part of the back-story for that convention is that the town is actually traveling through time," said Weathers. "So we thought it would be nice to wrap up all this time travel, to sort of thematically connect with the tour aspect, but how would a Steampunk tour Fourth Avenue in 21st century Tucson? Well, you'd have to time travel to get there."
This free event will have music performed by Ukulele Catfish Keith, a belly dancing performance, a fashion show and a prop show, and a mustache contest.
Another New Year
Year of the Snake Celebration
11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9
Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, 1288 W. River Road
5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 16
J.W. Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa, 3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd.
The Tucson Chinese Cultural Center is breathing new wind into the sails of the New Year's celebration, with two events meant to usher visitors into the Year of the Snake.
Families should flock to the first event, a "Taste of China" Festival at the Center. The event will feature live performances and entertainment for both children and adults, as well as a series of tents with authentic food and drinks so that "people can try tastes from different areas of China," according to Tucson Chinese Association President Richard Fe Tom. Admission to the event is $2, with free parking and admission for children 12 and younger.
Since the TCCC moved to a new facility five years ago, their events have defied expectation in terms of attracting the interest of a wide demographic.
"Last year we were expecting 1,000 people or so and it turned out over 3,000 people showed up," Tom said. "This year we're making adjustments and hopefully we'll be able to accommodate the public a little better."
A more extravagant celebration of the New Year will follow on Feb. 16 at the Year of the Snake Dinner, which serves as the TCCC's major fundraising event. Admission to the dinner is $150 ($70 tax deductible) and will also include live music and dance performances, a silent auction, bar and casino.
Inviting the greater community to the events, regardless of their background with the Chinese New Year, ultimately allows the TCCC to establish a stronger identity in Tucson while educating visitors on their heritage.
"We just want to make sure people understand our culture," Tom said.
Spirit of Collaboration
Inaugural Tucson Desert Song Festival
Friday, Feb. 8 through Sunday, Feb. 17
This coming weekend marks the beginning of a musical project that began over a year ago—the Tucson Desert Song Festival.
Over the nine days, there will be different musical performances that bring together guest soloists and conductors with the Tucson Symphony and Orchestra, UApresents, Tucson Chamber Artists, Ballet Tucson, Chamber Music Plus, and Tucson Guitar Society.
The reason this musical collaboration differs from other various music organizations around the world is because it takes the talent that is already found locally and enhances the sound with guest performers.
"We're pretty much using existing performances and we're enhancing them by giving the organizations money to bring in solo performers, singers and conductors that they might otherwise not be able to afford," said Cecile Follansbee, vice president of the Tucson Desert Song Festival.
This nonprofit began when the board members came together about a year and a half ago. The members have spent that time raising money to make this music festival become reality.
"We are our own organization that raises money, about $100,000 a year, that we then turn around and give to the different organizations that are involved," she said. "We're not having to compete with any of these organizations; we are simply enhancing their ticket sales and their own status."
The festival will also have master classes and lectures for the public to attend.
"One of the requirements of one of our guest artists that we're bringing in is that they have to teach a Master class at the university," she said.
For more information, including a schedule of the performances and their locations, visit the festival website:tucsondesertsongfestival.org.
LGBT Film Gets a Closer Look
Lesbian Looks' 20th Anniversary Film Series
Wednesday, Feb. 13 through Thursday, April 4
The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.
Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18, 5455 S. Calle Santa Cruz
By bringing back their film series Lesbian Looks for the 20th year, the UA Institute for LGBT Studies is showcasing the staying power of cinema in the Tucson community.
The series has sponsored the growing presence of film both "by and about lesbian life" since 1993, according to series director Beverly Seckinger, in a continued partnership with the LGBT department.
"The thinking at the very beginning was...this is a new area of study that isn't represented here," said Seckinger. "The film series is kind of a way to...make available to the broader community the fruits of what a university campus does."
Moving the screenings from campus to outside venues over the past few years has been representative of that outreach, drawing older audiences interested in queer-identified film while still retaining a college audience. Before Stonewall, the world-renowned 1984 documentary that will screen at the Loft on Feb. 28, was selected with that goal in mind, and will precede a meet-and-greet with filmmakers Greta Schiller and Andrea Weiss.
Mosquita y Mari, a film praised for its multi-faceted perspective of LGBT and immigrant issues, will kick off the series on Feb. 13. The film tells the story of two teen girls who develop a close friendship despite the constant pressure of school and family, and has had a steady presence on the festival circuit since its Sundance premiere in 2012.
"We're in 2013, and we don't have a lot of films with that sort of cross-identity representation in film," said film director Aurora Guerrero.
Spanish-language film Morir de Pie (March 22, 7 p.m.) and My Best Day (April 4, 7 p.m.) will conclude the series.