Art After Dark at the Tucson Museum of Art

Earth Day is this Friday, April 22, and the second Art After Dark event at the Tucson Museum of Art. Celebrate by visiting all of the museum’s galleries and experience the African drums of The Dambe Project, the eclectic sound of The Awkward Moments, flamenco dancing by SophiaEva with Aaron Gilmartin on guitar, Butoh performance by Jodi Netzer, Seashell Radio and the beats of Satyr Entertainment.

Presented every other month by the Tucson Museum of Art, Art After Dark is when the arts come alive in downtown Tucson. This Friday, April 22 from 8 until 11 p.m., experience world culture, a recycled art challenge and an old-fashioned photo booth. Tickets are $10 or free for museum members. Call 520-624-2333 for more information or visit



Tucson Artists’ Open Studios this weekend

Twice a year, artists open their studios to the public so you can see the creative process at work. You can talk with them about their work, demonstrations, and see their works for sale. Don’t miss the Tucson Artists’ Open Studio this Saturday and Sunday, April 16 & 17, from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm. Visit your favorites, or meet new artists and see studios you haven’t visited before.

For more information, visit

Old Pueblo Grand Prix on Sunday April 17

Anything goes bicycle racing hits the streets of Downtown this Sunday with the Jim Click Automotive Team Old Pueblo Grand Prix. It’s criterium racing. Translation: a short loop circuit with high speeds and bumping and jostling. It’s the Fastest Bike Race in the West.

Presented by O2 Modern Fitness and the Maynards Market & Kitchen Cycling Team. 12:30 to 6:30 pm and free to spectators. There will be a kids race, live music, an after party and more! Read about it.

Old Pueblo Grand Prix

Fletcher McCusker Named Board Chairman Of Fox Theatre

Tucson, AZ – April 14, 2011 – The Board of the Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation has named Fletcher McCusker as its Chairman. Mr. McCusker is Chief Executive Officer of Providence Service Corporation, a local, publicly traded transportation management and social services company.

“The Fox Theatre is one of the most popular venues with artists in the country, yet still largely unrecognized in Tucson for its superlative acoustics, state-of-the-art sound and light equipment, and of course it’s elegant beauty,” said Mr. McCusker. “It should be the showcase venue in Tucson and a cornerstone of downtown revitalization. The Foundation will work together with our downtown partners to ensure that it remains viable and prospers.”

The Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation, a non-profit organization incorporated in 1999, was formed to return the theatre to its original grandeur and to make it once again a center of Tucson life. The Fox Theatre is a designated historical landmark and was deeded over to the Rio Nuevo District in 2002. The Foundation operates the theatre as a tenant and the theatre has a $1.5 million payment due to the Rio Nuevo District in the fall. Though the Fox has hosted many memorable events since reopening on New Year’s Eve 2006, the theatre has struggled to achieve financial self-sufficiency in the challenging economic climate of the past few years.

“On behalf of the Foundation’s reenergized board of directors and newly created board of advisors, I am excited to report that we look forward to filling the Fox calendar with a wide variety of events, improving its brand recognition and helping to ensure the Fox remains a fixture in downtown Tucson for years to come,” added Mr. McCusker.

Fletcher McCusker has been a major catalyst for Tucson’s downtown revitalization. He is a member of the Chairman’s Circle for Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Inc. (TREO), and is on the boards of the Downtown Tucson Partnership as well as the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. He relocated his company headquarters to downtown Tucson in May of last year and has become instrumental in the reconstruction of an historic block. Providence Service Corporation is also a supporter of the Museum of Contemporary Art, The Children’s Museum, The Transportation Museum, The Fox and Rialto theatres and was the founding sponsor of the monthly entertainment event 2nd Saturdays, an organization Mr. McCusker chairs.

Tell Your Story at 2nd Saturdays

Odyssey Storytelling’s Story Cart will be at the April 9 2nd Saturdays from 5:30 to 7:30pm near the Bus Depot. Come find the cart and tell a story of your own. The article below was originally posted in the Tucson Citizen on January 17, 2011.

Odyssey Storytelling is wandering around Tucson looking for your stories.
by Penelope Starr

Penelope Starr and Adam Hostetter with Story Cart

A few months ago we (the board of StoryArts Group, which includes me) decided that 2nd Saturdays Downtown would be a great place to find storytellers. Our plan was mostly unformed but evolved with a little bit of luck and a bit of organizing.
First off was to ask Julie Ray if we could transform her Burrito Files Cart into the Story Cart. Julie had finished her project where she did a whimsical and interesting interview process with people in downtown Tucson. I knew the custom made cart was gathering dust in her yard so I asked if we could revive it and she was happy to see it get a new life.

Next up was paint and signage so no one would confuse us with an ice cream cart (but of course, some people still do). With a little help from the Tucson Pima Arts Council in the form of a GOS grant we were able to buy a portable PA system. We loaded it up, along with the digital camera, and we were good to go.

In addition to 2nd Saturdays, we’ve taken the cart to Tucson Meet Yourself and here you can see Adam and me in front of the Tucson Children’s Museum. We hope to do more events in the future. Our objective is to find diverse tellers, young and old, to share their personal stories on a variety of themes.

People can be shy at first to talk in front of a camera and many people just walk on by but the ones that stop and talk with us are pretty amazing! We’ve heard about a New Year’s Eve escape on a boat from Cuba 20 years ago to a wife’s tragic death from cancer to college pranks.

Kids can be remarkable storytellers. At the Children’s Museum for a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we were amazed by the insight and knowledge of one 7 year old girl and delighted when a 5 year old sang We Shall Overcome for us while her very proud father looked on.

You can see a few videos on our website from the Story Cart and from our regular monthly shows at the Club Congress. And keep checking back as we add more videos.

Odyssey Storytelling is a program of StoryArts Group, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit volunteer run arts organization. We can use some help getting more videos online so please contact me if you have some experience and would like to be involved in story capturing.

20th AZ Intl Film Festival Opens Tonight

The Tucson community is invited to the Opening Night Screening of the 20th anniversary Arizona International Film Festival (April 1-20) at the Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 West Congress, on April 1 at 8:00pm.

Sponsored by the Fox Theatre Foundation and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Opening Night screening of Journey from Zanskar will give a dynamic start to the Festival, which will screening over 130 feature-length and short films from 22 countries at theaters across the city and in southern Arizona from April 1-20.

Narrated by Richard Gere, Journey from Zanskar is the story of an incredible journey. To help save their people and their culture, two Tibetan monks take 17 poor children from Zanskar and walk over the mountains to get them into Tibetan schools in India. The monks lead the children on foot and horseback on an arduous and dangerous five day trek.

Internationally acclaimed filmmaker, Frederick Marx will introduce the film and be available for a q&a session after the screening. Hoop Dreams (1994), which he wrote and produced, was recognized with the Prix Italia, a Peabody Award, and a National Society of Film Critics Award. Marx also wrote, produced, and directed a sequel documentary, Boys to Men (2006), and The Unspoken (1999), a feature narrative.

Admission to the screening is $10.

The Arizona International Film Festival is a project of the Arizona Media Arts Center and is supported by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, The Art Institute of Tucson, Comcast, Grand Cinemas, and the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

For more information, visit

Buffalo Exchange Coming Downtown in April

As part of the Downtown revitalization effort by locally-owned businesses, Buffalo Exchange brings the original concept of buy-sell-trade clothing Downtown with the opening of a new shop at 250 E. Congress (east of 6th Avenue), Tucson, AZ 85701, phone 520-882-2939, in late April 2011. Street and public garage parking are available nearby. Store hours to be announced soon.

The Downtown Buffalo Exchange will be near other independent, local businesses such as salons, cafes, tattoo and clothing shops. The 100 year-old building features original brick walls and high tin ceilings. The refinished oak, hardwood floors were repurposed from the McKale gymnasium. The decor features natural, unpainted bricks and warm vintage colors. There are five roomy, well-lit dressing rooms plus two buy counters, where customers can sell their clothes for cash or trade. The store will open with inventory from Buffalo Exchange stores from coast to coast, including New York, Texas and California.

The Downtown shop is Buffalo Exchange’s third in Tucson. Buffalo Exchange is headquartered in Tucson and has shops at 2001 E. Speedway and 6170 E. Speedway. Buffalo Exchange has been recently featured on the Nate Berkus Show, TODAY Show, Good Morning America, CNN, Inked Magazine, NYLON and Teen Vogue. The shop was voted Best Resale/Vintage Clothing by readers of Tucson Weekly in the Best of Tucson 2010. Buffalo Exchange earned the position of 3,850 and an industry rank of 180 on the 2010 Inc. 5000 by Inc. magazine (Sep 2010). Buffalo Exchange is a member of Local First Arizona.

We can’t wait!

Get Your Music Fix – Zocalo Article on April 9th 2nd Saturdays

Here’s an excerpt from Zocalo’s article on the next 2nd Saturdays Downtown:

Get Your Music Fix
Downtown’s Free Hook-Up
By Jamie Manser

Spring is in the air, and the buzzing isn’t only coming from the bees.

An inviting, resonant buzz will radiate from 2nd Saturdays Downtown on April 9 with an eclectic variety of sounds slated to please anyone’s palate.
Since its inception last May, the free, family-friendly event has showcased a vast array of tunes – from rock, indie, funk, jazz, R&B and soul to tribute bands along with Latin American, Brazilian and Japanese traditions.

This month’s event brings even more diversity with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra (TSO) performing two free programs at the Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St., at 7pm and 8pm.

Before you declare – classical isn’t my bag, hear this: TSO Pops! is slated to entertain attendees with tributes to the “Best of Broadway” musicals.

Read the full article here.

City High Hosts Pennington Street Block Party April 9

2010 Pennington Street Block Party

City High School presents the 3rd annual Pennington Street Block Party on Saturday, April 9. The event highlights youth creativity, learning, and community involvement. This free, family-friendly festival is from 3-7 p.m. along Pennington Street in the heart of downtown Tucson.

The Block Party is an annual event that showcases, celebrates, and encourages youth involvement in our community. Exhibitors and performers include community organizations engaging young people in arts activities, service learning, and other hands-on ways to make an impact on the world around them.

This year’s Block Party will lead into 2nd Saturdays Downtown, ensuring a full afternoon and evening of vibrant activity downtown for all ages.

The Block Party will also be the launch event for Global Youth Service Day activities in our region. Global Youth Service Day was established in 1988 and mobilizes millions of youth around the world to positively impact their community.

The Pennington Street Block Party will feature:

  • live music from youth bands, including Battle of the Band winners The Opposables
  • performances and demonstrations by Capoeira groups, Parasol Project, Tucson Circus Arts, Tucson Youth Poetry Slam/Nuestra Voz, ZUZI Dance Company, and more;
  • jumping castle, carnival games and face painting for children;
  • art installations from various youth groups, including video screenings;
  • interactive booths by numerous community organizations – Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, The Drawing Studio, SACASA, Ironwood Tree Experience, and Foundation for Animals In Risk are just a few highlights;
  • bike tune-up and bike craft area hosted by BICAS;
  • on-site interviews for a Civil Rights Era oral history project;
  • Food and beverage vendors including Ike’s, Café 54, Peddler on the Path and Shaka Shake Ice

There will be a Youth Volunteer Fair at the Block Party promoting the many youth-led projects happening on Global Youth Service Day (April 16). Projects will be recruiting volunteers to get involved. This is the perfect opportunity for youth who are looking to get involved in their community to find volunteer opportunities that suit their interests.

The event is hosted by City High School, with generous support from corporate and community sponsors: Tucson Electric Power, Zocalo Magazine, Brooklyn Pizza, Technicians for Sustainability, 2nd Saturdays Downtown, Volunteer Southern Arizona, and the Downtown Tucson Partnership.

For more information about the 3rd Annual Pennington Street Block Party, visit the City High website.

Downtown Dining Guide in Today’s Caliente

Seven and a half pages of downtown Tucson restaurant news in today’s Caliente! Listings, maps, and an article that quotes Michael Keith, CEO of Downtown Tucson Partnership as saying, “‘The entire downtown is undergoing this almost miraculous surge that’s being led by the restaurant sector.'”

According to the article, there are 40-plus restaurants downtown, 17 of which have opened or expanded in the past 30 months. These include Hub, 47 Scott, Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, Monkey Burger, Xoom Juice, Jimmy John’s, Rice House, and Cafe Desta. Visitors to downtown can choose from Spanish, Ethopian, Thai, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, and the generic American which can mean anything from bagels to steaks to blackened catfish. And coming soon are V Fine Thai Dining, Casa Marita Restaurante Argentino, La Estrella Bakery, and Sparkroot.

What is your favorite downtown restaurant? What other types of food would you like to see offered downtown?