Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Beautiful Tucson Sunday: Documentary and Acosta Encuentro

Posted By on Sun, Aug 5, 2012 at 10:23 AM

It's a beautiful Tucson Sunday that's certainly worth a morning hike, but later today as the desert heats up there are two activities I suggest that celebrate Tucson (with air conditioning):

The Heart and Soul of Tucson is a documentary tribute to Tucson's El Casino Ballroom by Daniel Buckley and produced by Ralph Gonzales and Julie Gallego. If it's like any of this trio's past documentaries on Barrio Viejo, El Cine Plaza, and Barrio Hollywood, I suspect you'll hear a combination of cheers and tears inside the Fox Tucson Theatre.

Worth your time.

The show starts at 2 p.m. at the 17 W. Congress St. theater. Admission is a suggested $3 donation. The ballroom celebrates it's 65th anniversary and there's a restoration effort to help finish repairs on the building from the 1991 storm that blew off the landmark's roof.

From our City Week Pick this week:

In honor of the 65th anniversary of Tucson's landmark ballroom, and to help raise money to finish its restoration, documentary filmmaker Daniel Buckley has created The Heart and Soul of Tucson—El Casino Ballroom.

"The series features different historical aspects of Hispanic culture in Tucson, and mainly Mexican-American culture," Buckley said. "... It really intrigued me that El Casino has served the total community for 65 years."


Buckley has been working on his 60-minute documentary for the past year, collecting stories from people who have been going to El Casino since its early days.

"There are fantastic stories here, stories about how people went through times of racism, as well as the musical stories," Buckley said. "... It's been one of the most-joyful experiences in my career as a documentary filmmaker."

After the documentary, go grab something yummy to share for the next Tucson Freedom Summer encuentro potluck at 5 p.m. at the John Valenzuela Youth Center. The program series is free and everyone is welcome.

Award-winning teacher Curtis Acosta, a former Chicano literature teacher who continues to teach at Tucson High Magnet School, will teach a Chicano/Latino literature class today at the South Tucson center, 1550 S. 6th St. Acosta promises a chance to experience what a real Mexican-American studies class is like, so expect to be challenged and bring some paper and a pencil.

Happy Sunday, Tucson.

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