Sophie Acevedo is pretty excited. It's her fourth birthday, and Mom and Dad are planning a big shindig at their bookstore at Broadway Village this weekend. There will be birthday cake, local mystery writers and lots of kids to play with. They won't have curly tails and funny snouts, but Sophie, a potbellied pig, will probably play with them anyway.
The porcine birthday girl is the mascot of Clues Unlimited bookstore. The birthday event will be more than just a good time for all; folks from the Ironwood Pig Sanctuary of Marana will be a special guest of honor. Often a novelty for uninformed owners, pigs have the misfortune of being an often-neglected pet. Folks from the pig sanctuary will discuss how they rescue abandoned and abused pigs and care for them or find loving homes. They will also have information on adopting or sponsoring a pig. (Be forewarned, parents!)
Kids and parents alike will enjoy cake for a good cause, hobnob with some of Tucson's mystery novelists and learn more about the plight of pigs and the good work Ironwood is doing for Tucson's pig population. No word on whether the cake will be served in troughs.
The Guatemala Acupuncture and Medical Aid Project (GUAMAP) is giving Tucsonans a chance to lend a helping hand this weekend. Don't worry, though; it doesn't involve needles or latex gloves. Instead, it involves empanadas, guitarists and flamenco dancers. Hey, now we're talking!
GUAMAP, a local nonprofit organization, hopes to hold a training session for young Guatemalan health promoters in June. In order to achieve that goal, the group needs to raise money, and that's where you and your appetite come in. For Saturday evening's soiree, your $10 bill (in advance; $12 at the door) gets you a Chilean style Peña Folklorica: a great evening of Latin American dance, music and food.
Dinner is Chilean empanadas, with meat and vegetable choices available. Meanwhile, you will enjoy entertainment from Caliche Con Carne, local Andean musicians Bwiya Toli, the Owl and Panther Young Poets Society, Duo Riki y Ana Maria, Ted Warmbrand and the Peace Walk Players, Latin American Flamenco Dance Group, classical guitarist Camilo Ortiz, comedian Joe Callahan and more.
All proceeds from the event benefit GUAMAP's health projects. What's more, kids under 12 get in free. Call the above number for advance reservations.
Tucson Friends of Traditional Music is well-known for having hosted three decades of exciting dance events, where friends can meet up; strangers can chat; and everyone can dance the night away. The organization's long-time dance organizer and dancer, Karen Collins, has helped to plan these events with enthusiasm and style for years. That is, until now.
Recently, Collins was diagnosed with a very serious illness. She is currently in Colorado undergoing extensive treatment, and TFTM has taken it upon itself to arrange a special dance in her honor, with all proceeds helping to defray her medical costs.
The contra dance will be longer than usual--a full four hours--and will feature an extensive Cavalcade of Callers teaching the dances, and an open band playing bluegrass and jigs on fiddle, mandolin, guitar and other instruments. Between the two sets, a dessert potluck will be served, with time for socialization. In addition, a large display will be available for guests to write personal messages to Collins, and part of the event will be videotaped and mailed to her.
Admission to the special event is $10. Partners are welcome but not necessary. For those who cannot attend but would like to help the cause, donations for Collins' fund can be mailed to TFTM at P.O. Box 40654, Tucson, AZ, 85717.
It seems that many of this week's picks are rollicking good times that end up benefiting some worthy cause. My apologies to the misanthropes: This event, the Arizona League of Conservation Voters Book-Signing Benefit, is no exception. The sheer number of authors slated to appear at this party (26!) is nothing short of impressive, and quality is no sacrifice to quantity. Many of these are well-known authors, beloved for their literary celebrations of Arizona's cultural and natural resources.
Co-sponsored by AZLCV and Reader's Oasis, this event offers books for purchase--with 15 percent of sales going to the League--but also encourages guests to bring their own for autographs. Spend a warm evening downtown, enjoying light refreshments on the patio of the Zellweger Mansion and chatting with authors.
Your companions for the evening include Byrd Baylor, Charles Bowden, Janice Bowers, J.P.S. Brown, Bill Broyles, Otis Carney, Scott Carrier, Jack Dykinga, Robert Glennon, Richard Grant, Harry Greene, Johnathan Hanson, Roseann Hanson, Jim Harrison, Bill Hartmann and Adriel Heisley.
Also present will be Gayle Jandrey, Rita Maria Magdaleno, Patricia Preciado Martin, Michael Rosenzweig, Harley Shaw, Tom Sheridan, Gerard Tsonakwa, Ray Turner, Alan Weisman and Tom Wiewandt. Tsonkawa will lead a storytelling session, as well. For author bios, visit azlcv.org.
Tickets are $30, available at Reader's Oasis and AZLCV offices (738 N. Fifth Ave); their phone numbers are listed above, respectively. Tickets are also available at azlcv.org.