If you're looking for a way to get a kid thinking during summer vacation, you might want to head down to the 17th Street Market for a little mad science.
The educational activities are intended to get kids interested in fun learning through the Mad Science Program, which also does summer camps, after-school activities and birthday parties.
Besides, who doesn't like slime?
"The slime is a big hit," said mad scientist Caleb Clinkingbeard. "The kids get to make it, and they can take it home if they want. It'll be neat."
Clinkingbeard and his assistants will have a booth at the market with several scientific experiments and activities kids can participate in for free.
Other experiments include bubbling potions, whirlpools, floating ping-pong balls and more.
Clinkingbeard is in charge of the local Mad Science program, an edu-tainment company launched in 1985 by college students looking to earn a little extra money by showing kids science experiments at birthday parties and other events.
The booth will have several experiments that are appropriate for kids of different ages, Clinkingbeard said. Most experiments are only appropriate for kids older than 3 years of age, though.
"It's fun, even for kids who might not otherwise be interested in science," said Bonnie Brooks, a spokeswoman for the 17th Street Market.
Parents can drop their kids off to play at the booth and participate in the educational activities while they shop. The booth will be right by the entrance to the market.
The Mad Scientists will be at the market every other Saturday through Sept. 15.
For more information about the Mad Science Program, go to madscience.org. --T.M.
Renowned for creating more than 200 murals throughout the city, muralist David Tineo is showcasing his latest works at the Jewish Community Center.
Part of a small movement of artists who pioneered the Chicano muralist movement in Tucson during the '70s and '80s, Tineo--a former Pima Community College art instructor--has traditionally focused on the struggles of the Latino community in his paintings. However, his latest exhibit, Spring Awakenings and Touch Me, portrays a different type of struggle.
For nearly three years, Tineo has been suffering from macular degeneration--an eye condition that is destroying the artist's vision.
Though not entirely blind yet, Tineo's vision is quickly diminishing, said Susan Silverman of the JCC.
The paintings of Spring Awakenings and Touch Me create a storyline depicting Tineo's resilience and determination to continue creating art despite his daily struggles to survive in a "seeing" world.
The exhibit features large-scale mural paintings that are not only intended to be visually stimulating, but to be touched--engaging viewers' tactile senses as well as visual.
"It is a particularly great exhibit for kids who so often can't resist their natural urge to touch things as they examine them," Silverman said.
This exhibit also carries on Tineo's tradition of reaching out to youth; he's known for working with children on murals and helping kids appreciate their heritage through art, in addition to continuing his tradition of depicting struggle.
"It's a real honor to display his art," Silverman said.
The opening reception for the exhibit, which will be on display though Aug. 19, is free, as is admission to view the exhibit. --S.S.
A curvy, sexy, chaise lounge sits at the center of a night of cabaret-style performances in It's Hot Love, Baby!
But feel free to bring your kids--local poet and musician Diane Van Deurzen says the show is about playfulness and fun, and there's nothing X-rated about it.
"It's definitely PG; there's nothing too explicit. The show celebrates love and all its diversity," Van Deurzen said.
Van Deurzen is joining Lisa Otey, Regina "The Queen" Wills, Burney Starks, Zach Sparrow, Jan Parker and Todd Luethjohann for a night of music and poetry.
The inspiration for the show came from a dessert served in Holland made from warm cherries and ice cream called "Hot Love." The show was conceived as a Christmas-themed performance, Van Deurzen said; the crew later revamped it to fit Valentine's Day.
For the luckiest day of the millennium--7-7-7--the troupe decided to make the latest incarnation Vegas-style. Van Deurzen designed the set to look like a sexy casino, complete with chocolate poker chips, furry handcuffs and love dice.
"We wanted people when they walk in to have all of their senses stimulated," Van Deurzen said.
The set is decorated with lilies, pillows and scarves; bowls of strawberries and whipped cream are set on the chiffon-draped tables.
Van Deurzen's and Wills' poetry will be woven together with Vegas-style songs from artists such as Elvis, Eartha Kitt, Tom Jones, Ann-Margret and, of course, the Rat Pack.
Tickets are $15 and are available through lisaotey.com or by calling 370-5912. --T.M.
After visiting a 14-year-old girl who was dying of tuberculosis, George Legler decided to do something for her. Hoping to spark her imagination, Legler built a miniature mountain scene outside her bedroom window. A path and small ladder led up the side of a mountain to its summit.
"Whenever she wants, she can climb that ladder in her imagination," Legler is reputed to have said.
After the girl's death, Legler tried to consol her grief-stricken mother. It was a conversation that changed his life, after which he decided there should be a place where everyone could go to express their imagination, heart and soul.
Believing a vivid imagination could lead to happiness, Legler set out to build the Valley of the Moon. From 1932 on, Legler led fantastical tours though the 2 1/2-acre park of winding paths, secret grottos and stone fairy houses.
However, in 1963, due to Legler's declining health, the VOM shut down, and it wasn't until a group of kids and their parents formed the Valley of the Moon Restoration Association that Legler's dream was saved from its apparent trajectory toward the catacombs of history. Valley of the Moon reopened in 1973.
VOMRA began restoring the Valley of the Moon, and in 1975, the Arizona Register of Historic Places listed VOM as a historic site.
This summer, Valley of the Moon is offering tours the first and third Saturdays of July and August, beginning July 7. Tours are from 7 to 9 p.m. and will begin every 30 minutes.
As in the past, the tours are free. "Happiness is given and not sold," said Randy Van Nostrand, president of the George Phar Legler Society. Of course, donations will be gratefully accepted. --S.S.