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PUMP IT UP

Friday, Aug. 29, 5:30 p.m.
Tucson Botanical Gardens
2150 N. Alvernon Way

It's easy to sneer at the über car-bound Phoenix dolts as they stand in line for precious black oil made scarce by a pipeline rupture here in our own backyard. But we're also paying for it. If you haven't noticed, the cost of a gallon of gas has shot up 20 cents--up from its still expensive buck and a half a few weeks ago.

Citizens for a Sensible Transportation Solution, the grassroots political committee making inroads on developing a light-rail system in Tucson, has gathered more than 18,000 signatures to place the transportation initiatives--Propositions 200 and 201--on the ballot for November. The official campaign kickoff and volunteer appreciation party is designed to say thanks to more than 200 tireless people who stood outside Casa Video and along Fourth Avenue collecting signatures to ensure its ballot placement.

Congressman Raul Grijalva and other community leaders who care about Tucson's present transportation woes and future livability and economy will be there. Voters are invited to learn more about Propositions 200 and 201 and to pick up campaign materials including yard signs, bumper stickers and brochures--even T-shirts that explain the transportation plan, complete with a map.

Light hors d'ouevres and drinks are available until 9 p.m., and it's all happening to the tune of live music by Uncommon Folk.

For more information, visit www.save tucson.org or call 237-3678.


KIDS THESE DAYS

Friday, Aug. 29, 8 p.m.
Club Congress
311 E. Congress St.

Eon is a program that strengthens the LGBTQQ youth community. Here's what all those letters stand for.

A joint project of the Wingspan Community Center, the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation and the Pima County Health Department, Eon creates social opportunities, provides information and support on health issues and advocates for lesbian, gay, bi and transgender youth rights. It also challenges society's perceptions of folks under 23. By the way, the double q's stand for "queer" and "questioning"--something for everybody.

(R)evolution: x II is the second annual fund-raiser for Eon brought to you by Dada Art and Hair Studio. You can even be straight and unquestioning but firmly supportive. Don't be shy.

The evening sports poetry by local writers, including Jane Miller, whose reputation spans further than our little burg. It's followed by that singularly unique experience, the open mic. Singer songwriter Cathy Rivers performs in the club, and the set is projected onto video screens in the Hotel Congress lobby, where young adults 18 to 20 can participate in the alcohol-free zone.

Headlining the performances is (R)evolution: x II itself--a video, dance and performance art piece spotlighting the hottest hair and fashion trends of the 2003 season. Three vignettes, choreographed by Tammy Rosen, Kelly Silliman and Zan Savage with Greg Colburn, are informed from the journey of personal revolution. After the performance, DJs spin that oh-so-retro music from the '80s. At midnight, a short film noir produced by Tucson filmmakers Brendan Murphy and Jeff Smith is screened.

"Revolution is an evening of charity and entertainment unlike any other," explains Dada's Addam Moreno, who serves as co-artistic director along with Leila Counce. "We're bringing together the diverse culture of the arts and urban community."

Funds raised give youth a chance to go to Creating Chang, the annual conference of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Tickets cost $10 at the door or $7 in advance at Dada, Hotel Congress and Wingspan.

Questions? Call 370-3355.


GYPSY REDUX

Saturday, Aug. 30, 7:30 p.m.
Temple Emanu-El
225 N. Country Club Road

If you missed Les Yeux Noirs when they performed in Tucson in May, here's another chance to experience the Gypsy-hued boy band of a lost era, as they've been affectionately dubbed.

Their musical influences draw from France, Romania, Hungary, Russia and Armenia. Based in Paris, the musicians play an eclectic variety of instruments ranging from cello to accordion to electric guitar. They sing in Yiddish, but also in French and English. The greatest visual component is watching the two Slabiak brothers duel it out with their string-busting violins.

I dare you to stay in your seat.

Their spirit captures the essence of their sponsors, Temple Emanu-El L.I.T.E. and Young Jewish Tucson. "We recognize that young adults have their own unique needs and perspectives," said Barbara Hardman, the temple's member services coordinator. The concert launches the new young adult focus group, Emanu-El L.I.T.E. "It's not just a singles group or a place for couples or young families," explains Hardman. "It's really about individuals coming together to share meaningful Jewish experiences with their peers."

Tickets for the concert cost $18 for adults, $10 for students and can be purchased at the temple's main office or reserved by phone at 327-4501 or online at www.templeemanueltucson.org. Child care is available with prior reservations.


PROSAIC (AND FASCINATING) PROSE

Wednesday, Sept. 3, 8 p.m.
Modern Languages Auditorium
Below Second Street at Mountain Avenue

I love when a word has multiple and seemingly opposite definitions. Prosaic either means uninteresting, unimaginative or lacking in subtleties. But it also refers to anything resembling or consisting of prose.

The UA's Prose Reading Series begins this week with Helena Viramontes. She was born in East L.A., the daughter of a construction worker and a Chicana housewife in a family of six girls and three boys. Their community offered refuge for relatives and friends crossing the border from Mexico. After high school, Viramontes worked her way through college, one of five Chicanas in her class. She went on to UC Irvine to study creative writing, but left to publish her stories, returning later to complete her master's. Her first book, The Moths and Other Stories, was published in 1985. That same year, UC Irvine sponsored the first national conference on Mexican American women writers. In the late '80s, Viramontes helped organize a second Chicana writers conference and co-edited the anthology Chicana Creativity and Criticism. In 1993, she published her second book of short stories, Paris Rats in E.L.A. Her first novel, Under the Feet of Jesus, followed in 1995.

Come hear her read from her stories, her novel and maybe something in progress. The reading is free as is the reception that follows. The author's books are also available. For details, call 626-0779.


45 SECONDS TO 40 MINUTES

Thursday, Sept. 4, 7:30 p.m.
Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering Auditorium
Speedway Boulevard and Mountain Avenue

The span of how long the films are in the Moving Intervals fall series is perfect for fidgety viewers.

The series is designed to offer a cinematic and cerebral jolt all in one by offering hard-to-find short films and bringing filmmakers to an auditorium near you. The first installment of the quasi-monthly series features animation and collage styles. There's a 15-minute montage involving Jimmy Olsen (yes, the cub reporter from Superman lore) and his attempts to resolve a sexual identity crisis of epic proportions during the '60s. Pony Glass is a three-act melodrama that unmasks our nation's inheritance of iconic reference through modern music video trappings. And there are four more films to follow.

"These are artists who create their films for zero compensation," explains series curator Jen Nowak. "Their voices are rarely heard, their films are seldom viewed."

Nowak has brought together the films to screen, but she's also invited the filmmakers to discuss their gems with the audience.

The series is sponsored by the Media Arts Visiting Filmmakers Program, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and the Medici Scholarship. Admission is free, as is parking after 5 p.m. on the lot just north and east of the AME building.

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