Arts and Culture

Monday, March 13, 2017

Streets of This Town: Dino Jr.

Posted By on Mon, Mar 13, 2017 at 9:15 PM

Comely front-yard art near Stone Ave. Tucson! 
BRIAN SMITH
  • Brian Smith
"Streets of This Town" is a little daily photo series featuring random pics I take on long walks through Tucson—to sort of coincide with Tucson Salvage.

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GoT Stark Mavens and the Double Ds

Posted By on Mon, Mar 13, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams "moderate" a discussion with Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, at SXSW, on March 12. The first time moderators entertain hundreds at the festival with their effortless charm. - DANYELLE KHMARA
  • Danyelle Khmara
  • Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams "moderate" a discussion with Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, at SXSW, on March 12. The first time moderators entertain hundreds at the festival with their effortless charm.

Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams showed off their matching tattoos at South by Southwest. 07.08.09—the date they were cast in Game of Thrones.

Moderating a discussion with David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, the show’s creators, the two women (yes, they’re all grown up!) were candid and charmingly awkward. Reading from cue cards, the GoT stars fumbled the wording of questions, talked in funny voices to emphasize their authority as moderators, swore and generally won the hearts of hundreds at SXSW who waited in line to see the Stark badasses.

“Which house would you identify with the most?” said Williams, who plays Arya Stark in the show. Both women exaggerated lounging in their chairs and batting their eyelashes while they waited for the “right” response.

“The Lannister’s,” Weiss said—because you’ve got to “choose the winning team.”

Williams gasped. "That would suck," Turner said.

With two more seasons left to air until one of the most popular shows of all time (which Benioff calls a 73-hour movie) comes to an end, the world is wondering who will be the victor of the game of thrones.

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

SXSW Day 1, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Data

Posted By on Sun, Mar 12, 2017 at 4:30 PM

From left: Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas; Quorum Co-Founder, Alex Wirth; Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz.; and Iron Bow CEO, Rene LaVigne discussing the use (or lack of use) of data in government and how private companies can help fill in some of the gaps at SXSW 2017 on March 11. - NICK MEYERS
  • Nick Meyers
  • From left: Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas; Quorum Co-Founder, Alex Wirth; Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz.; and Iron Bow CEO, Rene LaVigne discussing the use (or lack of use) of data in government and how private companies can help fill in some of the gaps at SXSW 2017 on March 11.


I am not an entertainment journalist.

So imagine my surprise when my editor offered me the opportunity to go to South by Southwest to relay to our beloved Tucson community the performances of the most up-and-coming bands appearing at what is, traditionally, one of the most popular music festivals in the world.

Well, lucky for me, SXSW has much more to offer than the insurmountable schedule of bands and music artists with tracks offering ideas on everything from making music, television and style, to tech, startups and virtual reality, to government, social impact and yes, journalism.

While the music scene doesn’t explode until Monday, we were able to cajole our way to access for all of the festival’s events, and that’s what yesterday was all about. Though much of the day was spent finding our footing, we did manage to make it to some enlightening panels.

Being the journalism and public policy nerd I am, I decided to pop into a panel on “Opening Up Government’s Vault of Data.” This turned out to be an appropriate choice since after I sat down I discovered Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., was one of the panelists.

He was joined by Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, chair of the congressional Information Technology Subcommittee, and Alex Wirth, a Harvard grad “whiz-kid” and co-founder of Quorum, a website that aggregates legislative data.

The panel was moderated by Rene LaVigne, CEO of IT company Iron Bow and an expert on the intersection of technology and government.

Much of the conversation revolved around the ineptitude of the current congressional representation to effectively use technology to create effective policy and maximize transparency when it comes to the drafting of legislation.

Wirth especially made the point that this is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to play a role in increasing government accountability, leading by example.

Though barely missing out on inclusion in the Millennial generation, Hurd and Gallego joked about how other congress members often come to them for advice on the constantly changing fringe of technology.

With a degree in computer science, Hurd said he could more easily identify the missed opportunities for Congress to employ technology in tracking changes to legislation and government services such as census data.

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Advice on Welcoming Immigrants, From SXSW

Posted By on Sun, Mar 12, 2017 at 3:21 PM

Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales, Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney and Kate Brick from New American Economy speak at SXSW on how and why cities should protect their immigrant communities. - DANYELLE KHMARA
  • Danyelle Khmara
  • Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales, Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney and Kate Brick from New American Economy speak at SXSW on how and why cities should protect their immigrant communities.

U.S. cities with large immigrant and refugee populations thrive in a variety of ways. There are ways to support this community, which have been proven to make a difference. At the South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas, mayors of two sanctuary cities and an expert on smart immigration policy spoke on these issues at “Building Bridges When Others Want to Build Walls.”

Welcoming Immigrants Benefits Everyone

• Immigrants keep America youthful, which is essential to a healthy economy and people.
The average age in Santa Fe, New Mexico, was rising, which is common for expensive tourist destinations, said the city’s mayor, Javier Gonzales. They saw that equalize as their immigrant population grew.

• Cities with more immigrants have lower crime rates.
The 10 U.S. cities with the highest percentage of refugees saw a decrease in violent crime and property crime by as much as 70 percent, from 2006 to 2015, according to New American Economy, an organization that studies immigrants’ impact on the U.S. economy.

Philadelphia, a sanctuary city, is at its lowest crime rate in 30 years, said the city’s mayor, James Kenney.

“One crime is one crime too many, but it’s not our immigrants that are doing so,” he said. “These folks work for a living. They start business. They employ people. They pay taxes when they don’t have the ability to take any advantage of those taxes.”

• Immigrants foster population growth, which fuels a healthy economy
Population growth provides taxes to fund shared services, encourages consumer spending to benefit the local economy, and raises housing values, said panelist Kate Brick, the director of State and Local Initiatives at New American Economy.

“There were no major metros in the United States that grew over the last 40 years without at least 10,000 immigrants joining those communities,” she said.

• Diversity is fun
Citizens of Philadelphia have a great time experiencing a variety of cultures right in their own city.

“You can get around our city and really experience every day almost a global trip,” he said.

Integrate and Protect Migrant Communities

• Immigrant-friendly resolutions
Gonzales passed an immigrant-friendly resolution in Santa Fe, which dictated that police should focus on serious crimes rather than looking at immigration status. And he saw it make a change.

“We saw this incredible move, this development in our community where the new immigrant became very much integrated into the fabric of our community,” he said. “They became job creators. They became young students in our schools.”

Tucson’s mayor, Jonathan Rothschild, passed a similar resolution in December.
Santa Fe also recently passed a confidentiality resolution, stating that government organizations won’t ask about documentation status.

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Streets of This Town: Kick Back

Posted By on Fri, Mar 10, 2017 at 2:46 PM

Little lazy off Flower Street. So Tucson.
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"Streets of This Town" is a little daily photo series featuring random pics I take on long walks through Tucson—to sort of coincide with Tucson Salvage.

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Streets of This Town: Skeletons

Posted By on Thu, Mar 9, 2017 at 6:17 PM

Classic Tucson skyline, beautifully scraped up. A visual of yearning ...
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"Streets of This Town" is a little daily photo series featuring random pics I take on long walks through Tucson—to sort of coincide with Tucson Salvage.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Streets of This Town: Easy Living.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 8, 2017 at 9:26 PM

No street hassle: A humble and inviting little house down on Forgeus Avenue.
Easy livin'. - BRIAN SMITH
  • Brian Smith
  • Easy livin'.

"Streets of This Town" is a little photo series featuring random pics I take on long walks through Tucson—to sort of coincide with Tucson Salvage.

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Katie Haverly, a Masterclass Tucson Singer/Songwriter, Offers a Lovely Live Clip to Inspire Funding

Posted By on Tue, Mar 7, 2017 at 4:33 PM

Katie Haverly.
  • Katie Haverly.

Whether backed by a violin or acoustic guitar or muted trumpet or piano, Tucson's Katie Haverly has one of those voices that can lift and soothe, create tension and then release it. It suggests adoration of golden-age (jazzy) folk-pop like Rickie Lee Jones, Judee Sill, David Crosby, and Joni Mitchell—all lovely DNA, certainly—as well as Erykah Badu and Fiona Apple. Yet her songwriting alone could take centerstage. The deceptively breezy “Wood,” from her ’15 album Aviary, slips into your heart with cool, beat country shuffles, but in the end it’s a story of dreaded male gaze and ugly sexualization. It’s brilliant, and works as a personal social takedown inside wide-appeal pop. Many of her other songs are remarkable too because the pathos never sounds forced or fake—sad poetry of deception sidesteps the maudlin; requiems to lost loves steer clear of self-pity. How does she do that? Well, this ex-Copper & Congress singer is a breathing masterclass of songcraft and delivery, but my theory, cornball as it sounds, is she simply was born to do this. That the tune and the voice and the compassion and the ability to translate unfiltered moments into gentle epistles and hurtsongs is nothing that can ever be taught or learned. It just is. And most don’t have it.

So it is that Haverly’s in need of coin to make her next album—her fifth solo—and she’s asking for help. For most anyone else I’d say save your dough for something that really matters. If a record needs to get made it’ll get made. But Haverly’s record needs to be made, and now, because her songs work the senses like some kind of cultural elixir. She’s got golden-eared producer Gabriel Sullivan set to produce too, so you know the LP will have wondrous sonic soundscapes. Her Kickstarter campaign is closing on deadline and is still short on its financial goal.

So Haverly created this live, Julilus Schlosburg-helmed video to help inspire funding. She says this clip for the song "Pluto" is “something a little more intimate … I wrote this song in a cabin in Silver City, New Mexico that I holed up in for four days to help me process our current political and social climate.” She got it here one take here: 

 Haverly live in Tucson:


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Butterfly Magic

Butterfly Magic is a fully immersive experience that surrounds you with rare butterflies, tropical plants and orchids… More

@ Tucson Botanical Gardens Oct. 1-May 31, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. 2150 N. Alvernon Way.

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