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VENTURE WITHOUT THE CAPITAL. Get out and discover and experience the performing arts at the last minute--and save big bucks.

UApresents is launching a new ARTSventure program: A Half-Price Adventure into the Arts.

True to the name, ARTSventure tickets offer an adventure into UApresents events, a chance to see a live performance by some of the world's finest musicians, dancers and vocalists often for the same price as a night at the movies.

These half-price tickets will be available for most events that do not sell out by the day of the performance. As such, they are aimed at impulsive buyers--patrons with a passion for dance who want to try jazz, theater lovers who want to give Beethoven a chance and students who want to hear world music on a whim. ARTSventure tickets enable anyone to sample the arts, affordably.

"With these half-price tickets, anyone can take a chance and try something new," said executive director Ken Foster.

On the day of each performance, interested buyers can call the Centennial Hall Box office at 621-3341 or check the UApresents Web site, www.uapresents.arizona.edu, to see if ARTSventure tickets are available.

Tickets will go on sale at 5 p.m. for evening performances and 11 a.m. for matinee performances, and must be purchased in person at the box office with a limit of two per person. No phone orders. Free 15-minute parking is available in front of the hall. ARTSventure tickets will be determined on an individual show basis and do not apply to Broadway productions and selected other events.

PLANT SOME NEW IDEAS. You know how it is. You plant something in your back yard that appears healthy and hearty, and 10 minutes later it's just another pathetic dead thing in the desert.

"It doesn't have to be that way," says Kim Nelson, a Tucson author and master gardener whose new book is filled with great advice and entertaining prose that may help you figure out just what the hell will live in your back yard or patio.

Nelson will discuss and sign copies of her work, A Desert Gardener's Companion, during an event at 7 p.m. Friday at Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave. For more information, call 792-3715 or visit www.antigonebooks.com.

ANNIVERSARY PARTY. El Rio Center celebrates its 29th anniversary Friday with a party at Joaquin Murrietta Park.

Clowns, folklorico dancing, mariachi, great eats and carnival games are all part of the celebration for the center, which opened in 1972 and offers diverse activities to the whole community.

The event is from 5 to 9 p.m. The park lies at 1400 N. Silverbell Road. For more information, call 791-4873, ext. 108, or 631-4728.

PLEASURE IN THE PARK. László Veres and the Arizona Symphonic Winds continue their free outdoor shows tonight.

Music in the Park is a free event that shines a spotlight on different musicians each week. Get out and see what Veres cooks up tonight.

The event starts at 7 p.m. at Udall Park. A continuous free shuttle to the show from the Tanque Verde Shopping Center, 7025 E. Tanque Verde Road, begins at 6 p.m. For more information, call 561-9836 or visit www.azsymwinds.org.

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