Sometimes the things we've written about in the past do become personal. We try to keep an arm's distance, but that can be difficult, depending on the subject. That's how I've always felt about Daniel Buckley's work documenting different projects in Tucson that have skillfully captured Tucson's history, heart and soul—especially when it comes to our Mexican-American history. For years I've grown accustomed to seeing Buckley at any mariachi and folklórico event with a camera in his hand, especially any that involve local youth. He's been working on a documentary the past few years called The Mariachi Miracle and it's been a challenge to finish the film due to funding—well, a lack of it. The goal of the film is to document and help celebrate the history of Tucson's mariachi and folklórico youth programs, like those at Davis Bilingual Magnet School and Pueblo Magnet High School.
I remember when I first talked with Buckley. It's always his enthusiasm that's grabbed my attention, and then a earnest and true love for the different projects he's working on. Buckley, in his more than 30 years living, working, writing, performing and filming in Tucson, noticed that something amazing was happening with the marichai youth programs—kids were going to school and some of those kids grew up and moved to other parts of the country to start other mariachi youth progras. Before Mexican-American studies, there was mariachi and folklórico programs, which often had the same mission in its focus—celebrate culture and education, and keep kids in school.
In this week's City Week, I wrote that if you are going to make a plan for Saturday night, June 27, please include a fundraiser for Buckley's film. El Casino Ballroom, 427 E. 26th St., from 2 p.m. to midnight in South Tucson. $10 admission, with every dollar going to help him finish this important film. We talk about how some folks in Tucson are "Tucson through and through," well, to me, that's Buckley. He came here from New York as a kid to study the stars at the UA, and he found himself exploring our own stars on the ground. It's time to help Dan. Can't wait to tell you about the film's first screening, until then, see you at El Casino Ballroom.