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Walking the Solution

Interfaith Community Services "Make A Difference" Walkathon
12 p.m., Sunday, March 12
Honey Bee Canyon; take Oracle Road north from Ina Road about 7 miles to Rancho Vistoso Boulevard. Go west 3.1 miles to the parking area on your keft.
297-6049; www.icstucson.org

For avid walkers like me--I've logged 168 miles in January and February-- walking instills a meditative calm. Like Nietzsche said, "All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking." Walking's capacity to inspire such thoughts--and actions, perhaps--is something Tucson's Interfaith Community Services (ICS) wants to benefit from with its sixth annual "Make A Difference" walkathon. Funds raised support ICS services for seniors, people with disabilities, and families or individuals in financial crisis.

"This is the first time we're doing it this way," says Lin Orrin, ICS development and community relations director. This is the first time ICS has held a month-long event that allows walkers to pick the days and times they walk. "Now we're able to have more variety," Orrin says of the walkathon that began on March 1 and lasts until April 10.

Orrin says those who are interested in raising money for ICS may do so by soliciting walkathon sponsors, donating money or just strapping on tennis shoes and walking in solidarity. There's even a "virtual walk" for those who'd like to give money, but cannot walk.

But for those who need structure and support, ICS offers two "United We Stand" walks, this Sunday, March 12 and then next Sunday, March 19. The March 12 walk starts at noon at Honey Bee Canyon, where participants will hike 2.8 miles round-trip through the canyon's stone walls and Hohokam petroglyphs. The March 19 walk begins at noon as well, but doubles the distance of the hike at Pima Canyon. Both walks are dubbed "easy" by ICS to increase accessibility and participation. --M.H.


The Singing Professors

A Lecture on the Mexican Revolution's Music and Muralism
7 p.m., Thursday, March 9
UA Center for English as a Second Language Auditorium, 1100 N. Campus Drive
621-6302; www.statemuseum.arizona.edu

Professors F. Arturo Rosales and Julián Vázquez seem to know that lecture series straddle the vast divide between being awesome, participatory venues for well-rounded inquiry and mind-numbing, monotonous monologues where podiums become altars of nattering self-worship.

Rosales, a professor of history at Arizona State University and author of Testimonio: A Documentary History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement, and Vázquez, a professor of Spanish at Phoenix College, bring their art slides, guitars and a cross-disciplinary presentation, "Musica y Arte Muralista: Music and Muralism of the Mexican Revolution," on down to Tucson for the second event of Arizona State Museum's spring lecture series.

Rosales' and Vázquez's presentation discusses how artists such as Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siquieros and José Clemente Orozco were influenced by the Mexican Revolution and the era's corridos, or folk ballads. Rosales and Vázquez focus on the politically charged work of these artists and analyze how their art documents the tragedies of war, executions, the role of camp followers and the glory of revolutionary fervor. Pretty timely topics, if you ask me.

To keep the lecture lively, the presentation is also accompanied by the professors' band, Los Rústicos, which performs revolution songs of the period. A book-signing and reception will follow the lecture.

And if you miss this presentation, the Arizona State Museum's next lecture will focus on Lucha Libra and its origins, history and sociopolitical and cultural implications at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 7 at the UA Center for English as a Second Language Auditorium, one building east of the museum. This time Xavier Garza will do the honors. --M.H.


Fill 'Er Up

"Art Is A Gas" Exhibit at Oracle's Back Alley Gallery
2-4 p.m., Sunday, March 12
Fourth Dimension Fuels
1395 W. American Ave.
896-9005; www.fourthdimensionfuels.com

In 2003 Megan Hartman dropped out of grad school in clinical psychology and left her home in Portland, Maine. In her biodiesel-fueled car she drove straight to Oracle, Ariz., where her aunt and uncle in Jersey owned a second house. What Hartman drove toward was as good a guess as anyone's.

After her 2,700-mile journey, Hartman ended up founding and co-owning Oracle's Fourth Dimension Fuels, one of the few pumps in Arizona that sells American-grown, clean-burning biodiesel fuel. At the time, Phoenix was the nearest seller of the fuel Hartman's car used, and she thought that was "ridiculous."

"The Station," as locals call it, opened its pump a year after Hartman's arrival. The station started to sell a whole lot more than biodiesel--from organic espresso to local produce--in addition to providing a home to the Back Alley Gallery, a quirky, bare-bones venue for homegrown Oracle artists. Hartman says she wanted others in the community to see the art of their friends and neighbors.

The gallery is located, appropriately, in the back of Hartman's bio-diesel station, and hosts its second art show from 2 to 4 p.m. this Sunday. "Art Is a Gas," a free exhibit, features the work of Priscilla Barton, Sharon Brady, Diana Creighton, Patricia Dolan, Jan Evans and Judith Walsh. Artists' work ranges from encaustic paintings ("hot wax paintings" made famous by Fayum mummy portraits and more recently American artist Jasper Johns) to ink and charcoal drawings.

And, as for Hartman, she's found her generalist niche and possibly her place in the small, close-knit town of Oracle. As Hartman's woman-owned microbusiness continues to grow, she shows not only the benefits of biofuels, but also the importance of pursuing alternative routes to happiness. --M.H.


So Fly

Aviation Day at Ryan Airfield
8 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, March 11
Ryan Airfield; intersection of Ajo Way and Valencia Road, about 12 miles west of the Tucson International Aiport
883-9800; www.tucsonairport.org

Twenty years ago, Ryan Airfield began hosting Aviation Day. The event had humble origins, says Scott Driver, director of the airfield. The first event included a flea market and open hangars, and that was about it. Later on there was an airplane pull, where folks tried to tug a 727 into kinetic motion. Driver wasn't there then, so he's not sure how well that went over. But these days, Aviation Day is moving beyond flea markets and plane pulls.

For the first time ever, NASA will also participate in the free event with an exhibit that depicts its space operations missions, international space stations and a Hubble telescope image. Driver applied for NASA to come to Arizona after attending an air show convention in Orlando, Fla., last winter. Thanks to Driver's successful application, Aviation Day is a long way from gawking at other pilots' hangars and shuffling along flea market aisles, though those activities still occur. This year's event also includes skydiving and flybys. Last year, about 4,500 people looked skyward, Driver says.

Maybe the fact that this event is mostly free has something to do with the large attendance. Parking, admission and tours are gratis, but the pancake breakfast and the dime-a-pound airplane rides are not. Flight sales start at 8 a.m. on Saturday, and attendees are advised to weigh in and purchase tickets early. The airplane rides benefit the Tucson Chapter of the 99's International Organization of Women Pilots. The women put a $25 cap on the airplane rides, so make sure when you weigh in you don't tip the scales over 250 pounds. --M.H.

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