Quiz 4 Kids
7 p.m., Saturday, April 17
Arizona History Museum
949 E. Second St.
Camp Wildcat was founded 45 years ago by a UA graduate student named Rich Shogren. He and the other students who started the club probably had no idea how their actions would affect generations of both college students and younger Tucsonans.
The club is "devoted to improving the lives of Tucson's financially, mentally and physically disadvantaged youth" by taking them on weekend camping trips. Today, Camp Wildcat also promotes college as an attainable and important goal.
"It's meaningful to hear that a camper wants to go to college or that they want to be just like you," said Camp Wildcat's Kseniya Efremova. "It might not mean that they will go (to college), but it does mean that you've made a difference."
The club takes elementary school and middle school students on nine annual camps, teaching them about filmmaking, engineering, conservation and more. On some of the camps, kids complete a six-mile hike—unlike anything many of the campers have ever done before.
The camps are free to youngsters, so club members devote a lot of time to fundraising by selling concessions at basketball and football games; they also participated in Spring Fling this year.
Quiz 4 Kids, which will include dinner, a pub-style trivia game and both live and silent auctions, will help the club raise the money that is crucial to keeping the camps free. Event directors Missy Nagin and Lynn Garnaat have received thousands of dollars in donations for the auctions.
All of the UA students' work comes down to more than just a résumé-builder. It's easy to see that these university students care about the children they work with.
Tickets for the event are $15. Reserve tickets at www.uofacampwildcat.org. —S.F.
Book-release party for Crossing With the Virgin: Stories From the Migrant Trail
3 to 6 p.m., Sunday, April 18
Old Town Artisans
201 N. Court Ave.
Before crossing the border from Mexico into the United States, Tohono O'odham migrants pray at a cross at the base of Baboquivari Peak. Then they step over the line into the U.S.
Kathryn Ferguson, a Tucson native and one of three authors of Crossing With the Virgin: Stories From the Migrant Trail, said she started providing humanitarian aid to Mexican immigrants in 2004.
"I am from Tucson; a lot of my friends are from Mexico, and my godparents are Mexican American," she said. "I kept hearing about all these deaths in the desert, and I thought as an individual, I couldn't do anything. But then I heard about Samaritans."
Samaritans is a humanitarian organization that provides water, food and medical aid to immigrants in the desert. As part of Samaritans, Ferguson has been able to aid immigrants, talk with them and—most importantly, she said—tell their stories.
Ferguson said she will often be in the desert for 12 hours at a time with sick or ill immigrants. One of the stories in Crossing With the Virgin describes the interactions between a sick immigrant and the Border Patrol.
"We were headed to the trails on Highway 286, and we saw two Border Patrol agents with five immigrants on the side of the road," she said. "We asked if we could provide them with food and water, and the Border Patrol agents agreed, because they were out of food and water. And so the story is about a man who was going unconscious, and the interaction with him and the Border Patrol."
Authors Ferguson, Norma A. Price and Ted Parks will be read excerpts from the book. They will be accompanied by Ted Ramirez, who will sing original and traditional border music in Spanish and English. Admission is free. —W.F.
2010 Arizona International Film Festival
Through Sunday, April 25
Venues throughout Tucson
While working on a master's degree in creative writing, Tucson's Jonathan VanBallenberghe used simple filmmaking as an outlet to relieve stress and exercise his creative mind.
"My dog rolling on the ground. Pigeons. Bare feet. Mailboxes. These videos weren't art, but I had a lot of fun making them, and my interest in film quickly replaced any desire to write," VanBallenberghe said.
VanBallenberghe taught himself the ropes of filmmaking, eventually making documentaries. He directed the movie In the Company of Moose in Alaska's Denali National Park. His 2008 film, The Ostrich Testimonies, details the legal battle between the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch and hot-air balloonists.
The Ostrich Testimonies became a career launching pad of sorts after it was shown at the 2008 Arizona International Film Festival, where it won the Best of Arizona award.
This year, the festival will be showing VanBallenberghe's Psycho Guru, a film that documents the life of inspirational speaker Peter Scott.
From the 93-minute Cambodian/American film The Road to Freedom to the 8-minute Spanish short GPS, the Arizona International Film Festival is showcasing filmmakers from all over the world.
"At larger festivals, there is so much focus on money and the slight possibility of making money by schmoozing with the 'right' industry person or getting your film in the hands of the right company," VanBallenberghe said. "The AIFF is not an industry event; it's a place for filmmakers to simply indulge in the fun of showing, seeing and enjoying films."
This is the festival's 19th year. It will showcase more than 90 films from 16 different countries under the theme of "Bridging Cultures."
Tickets range from $5 to $8. Passes for multiple screenings range from $25 to $100. —S.F.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, April 18
Downtown/UA area, including Fourth Avenue, Congress Street, Seneca Street and Mountain Avenue
For four hours, bikers, skaters and pedestrians will rule the roads as part of Tucson's first Cyclovia.
An event that got its start in Bogota, Colombia, in 1976, Cyclovia began as a day of car-free leisure and exercise.
"Cyclovia is now in cities all over the world, big and small," said Daniela Diamente, a coordinator of Cyclovia Tucson. "San Francisco has one. New York City does it as well, and Portland (Ore.) holds Cyclovia four times during the summer. It is time for Tucson to get on board."
Diamente said a group of Tucson cycling enthusiasts showed a street film on Cyclovia in Bogota and Portland during Bike Fest at the Loft Cinema last spring.
"People started to say, 'Hey, this is really cool,'" said Diamente. "Back in October 2009, a committee started. ... I got sucked into the process in January."
Cyclovia Tucson will be a 5-mile, car-free route connecting downtown Tucson with the UA. Starting at Hotel Congress, the route goes north on Fourth Avenue to Mansfield Park. From Mansfield, pedestrians and bikers will head east on Seneca Street to Mountain Avenue, and then back through the UA.
Cyclovia Tucson will include a wide range of activities.
"There will be a YMCA Healthy Kids festival at Mansfield Park. Main Gate Square is going to have multiple stages with different genres of music, and there will be skate ramps and other activities set up all along the route," said Diamente.
Diamente, who attended Cyclovia San Francisco several years ago, described the event as being "organically fluid and fun."
"Anybody can come; the idea is that it is free," said Diamente. "There is no start or finish line. The streets are closed to cars, so come out and enjoy them." —W.F.