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Unsung Heroes

SPIRIT OF FÈS TOUR
THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 7 P.M.
CENTENNIAL HALL, 1020 E. UNIVERSITY BLVD.
621-3341, uapresents.org

It's been called "one of the world's great music events" by the London Daily Telegraph. The United Nations honored it as one of the seven events in the world that are "unsung heroes in the dialogue among civilizations." And on Thursday, it's coming to Tucson.

The Spirit of Fès Tour was based on Morocco's Fès Festival, founded a decade ago by Sufi scholar Dr. Faouzi Skali, in the Moroccan city of Fès (known as "Fez" in the West). The tour celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the festival, at which most tour performers have appeared. The Fès Festival continues to "foster interfaith understanding through the world's many varieties of sacred music," as the tour describes its mission.

The aftermath of 1991's Desert Storm war ravaged parts of the Middle East; however, the strife also nurtured a "Desert Peace"-style movement. As religious friction grew from world events, the Fès Festival of Sacred Music spread its message of peace through spiritual music throughout the world, connecting three faiths: Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

True to form, UApresents is bringing the music festival tour to Centennial Hall as part of the Peace and Reconciliation Series. The show features a pairing of Jewish and Muslim calls to prayer as an opener, and musicians and singers from the Middle East to America and back, representing all three featured religions.

Before the show, an Arts Encounter will be held at the Arizona State Museum lobby (1013 E. University Blvd.) with doctoral anthropology student Maria Curtis. Tickets for the music festival range from $14 to $36, with additional discounts for students and kids.


Sazon De Mujer (A Taste for Living)

FRIDAY, MARCH 12, 7:30 P.M.;
PERFORMANCES CONTINUE THROUGH MARCH 21
BORDERLANDS THEATER
INA GITTINGS DANCE THEATRE, UA CAMPUS

Three women came from Chihuahua: a Mennonite, a rural schoolteacher and a guerilla disguised as a Tarahumara. Does that sound like the intro to a bad joke? Not in this case; they're the stars of Borderlands Theater's newest play.

Sazon de Mujer/A Taste For Living, by Victor Hugo Rascon Banda, features the three aforementioned ladies in three intertwined tales of happiness, love, loss, family ties and survival, all linked with the art of cooking.

An unusual aspect of this play, and the reason for its dual titles, is that it will be offered with alternating English and Spanish performances. Friday, March 12's opening celebration includes a post-performance reception; that night, the play is in English. On the subsequent nights, performance times alternate between the two languages. If that seems complicated, never fear; the Web site at borderlandstheater.org has resources to help clarify the matter.

Tickets are available at Antigone Books (411 N. Fourth Ave.), Yoli's Music Shop (2980 S. Sixth Ave.), the PCC Box Office (2202 W. Anklam Road) and the Borderlands Theater office (40 W. Broadway Blvd.). Alternatively, call 882-7406 for reservations.


Watercolors in the Desert

FIESTA SONORA 2004
FRIDAY, MARCH 12, 10 A.M. TO 4 P.M.;
CONTINUES THROUGH MARCH 28
IRONWOOD GALLERY, ARIZONA-SONORA DESERT MUSEUM
2021 N. KINNEY ROAD
883-3024

It's no secret that Arizona is a great place to paint. Artists come from all over just to raise their brushes to the glorious golden sunsets. The state is also home to several illustrious art clubs, including the Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild. Beginning on Friday, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Art Institute is home to the group's Fiesta Sonora 2004, their eighth annual juried exhibition.

The entries, submitted by 200 talented artists, portray each individual painter's interpretation of the Sonoran Desert region. Subject matter highlights the flora, fauna and landscapes of the desert; other inspirations include the area's history, people, artifacts and culture. All styles, from realism to abstraction and everything in between, can be found at the exhibition.

This year, artist Barbara Freedman will judge the show. A well-known artist with numerous major exhibitions under her belt, Freedman has written articles and served as a juror on several exhibits. Among the honorees this year will be a "Best of Show" piece, selected from the 200 artists participating.

This exhibition also celebrates SAWG's 32nd year of promoting and developing watercolor as an important painting medium in the region.

The show is free with museum admission ($12 adults, $4 kids 6-12). Artworks will be available for purchase.


Twenty-Four Gifts?

CHARLENE COSTANZO DISCUSSION/SIGNING
SUNDAY, MARCH 14, 7 P.M.
BARNES & NOBLE AT FOOTHILLS MALL
7325 N. LA CHOLLA BLVD.
742-6402

When the going gets tough, what do you do? Get going? Go shopping? Hide at home and refuse to emerge? Phoenix author Charlene Costanzo has a better idea.

Costanzo, the author of The Twelve Gifts of Birth, has written her latest book on just that subject. The Twelve Gifts for Healing deals with tough times like personal illness, divorce or loss of a loved one, and the internal strength that can be drawn upon during these periods of difficulty. The novel tells the story of a troubled woman seeking healing with the aid of Mater, a wise woman.

As the story progresses, the discovery of 12 affirmations offers comfort, hope and peace to readers dealing with similarly difficult situations. The deeper message of the book is that readers must gain higher awareness of their own gifts and, in turn, help others to realize their own gifts. The illustrated keepsake book seeks to remind us that, during times of overwhelming hardship, pain, loss and uncertainty, it is important to keep faith in ourselves and to reach inside for peace and strength.

Costanzo will discuss these healing concepts and sign books on Sunday evening. Admission is free; copies of The Twelve Gifts for Healing will be available for purchase. Jasper Johns: Prints From the John and Maxine Belger Family Foundation is currently on display at the UA Museum of Art through March 28. Call 621-7567 or visit art museum.arizona.edu for more information.

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