"Fostering a Secular Society: Keep Religion Out of Government"
9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 12
University Medical Center DuVal Auditorium
1501 N. Campbell Ave.
Although there's a constitutional separation between church and state, Jerry Karches believes nonbelievers' rights are regularly violated by local and state governments.
To educate nonbelievers in God on their rights, Karches, co-founder of the Center for Inquiry of Southern Arizona, has helped coordinate a day full of lectures and discussions. The event will feature six speakers.
One speaker will be Eddie Tabash, a constitutional lawyer from Beverly Hills, Calif. The separation of church and state was specifically introduced into the Constitution by founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and James Madison to avoid some situations that the country finds itself in now, Tabash said.
Such examples of religion forcing its way into government include bans on abortion and a lack of adoption rights for gay couples, Karches said.
"This should be of importance to everybody," he said.
Although the effort may seem liberal, Tabash said conservatives, too, should get in on the movement. A true policy of less government interference in everyday life should go hand in hand with prohibiting government from, for example, "applying legislation to the bedroom," Tabash said.
"The true conservative, like (former Arizona U.S. Sen.) Barry Goldwater, wants to limit government and doesn't want it pushing a belief system," he said.
One problem with infusing religion into government: What happens if religious groups feel slighted?
"The question becomes: What church?" Karches said. "What if it's not (some people's) particular denomination being served? It's not fair to them."
The day of lectures is free and open to the public. —S.B.
Concerts Celebrating the 300th Anniversary of Father Kino's death
7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 12
St. Augustine Cathedral
192 S. Stone Ave.
3 p.m., Sunday, March 13
Catalina Foothills High School Auditorium
4300 E. Sunrise Drive
Father Eusebio Francisco Kino is practically synonymous with Tucson. Not only is he a namesake for a street running through the heart of the city; a statue of him stands near the corner of 15th Street and Kino Parkway.
With the 300th anniversary of Kino's death occurring this month, the Kino Heritage Society has set up two days of concerts to commemorate the Catholic priest who fought for the rights of Native peoples in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, the Tucson Masterworks Chorale, and the Catalinas Community Chorus will provide the music, including Mozart's Coronation Mass, said Tim Secomb, vice president of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra.
"It's very lively and rhythmical and colorful," he said. "It's a celebratory style."
The idea to participate in a concert commemorating Kino was pushed forward by Rosie Garcia, who is a board member for the orchestra and the president of the Kino Heritage Society.
"In a way, we're seeing his life through music," said Garcia.
The concerts come in the middle of a Kino blitz for the Heritage Society. Father Kino has even been named the honorary grand marshal of Tucson's St. Patrick's Day Parade.
The concerts—extending to Catalina Foothills High School following the concert at St. Augustine Cathedral—are an example of the Heritage Society's efforts to expose all age groups to information about Kino's life, Garcia said.
"He was a peacemaker, a friend of the Native people," she said. "We certainly need that today."
Concert tickets are $20 for adults; children 17 years old and younger will be admitted for free. —S.B.
"The Roadrunner: Almost Human"
7 p.m., Monday, March 14
Pima Community College Downtown Campus
1255 N. Stone Ave.
Founded in 1949, the Tucson Audubon Society has been connecting the people of Southern Arizona with their winged neighbors for many years.
Arizona is home to a very diverse population of birds; there are hundreds of different species that you can see every day in Tucson. The monthly Living With Nature Lecture Series was created to educate and entertain people with information about different birds and our shared environment.
On Monday, March 14, author Jim Cornett will be discussing one of the most famous birds of the Southwest: the roadrunner.
"The lecture meetings, and this one in particular, are a great opportunity to learn from experts about a variety of aspects of living with nature," said Erin Olmstead, special projects director at the Audubon Society.
The lecture will focus on the similarities between roadrunner and human behavior. Cornett will also discuss the two species' acceptance of one another, and how humans can share the environment with our speedy friends.
Cornett has been researching the birds for the past 15 years, and has discovered a lot about their nature and behavior. A few tidbits: The roadrunner is one of few animals that pairs for life, and the female roadrunner only selects a mate that brings the right gift to her.
Cornett's book on the bird, The Roadrunner, is a great reference tool and includes many pictures of the recognizable animal. Copies of Cornett's books will be available for signing and purchase at the lecture.
"I hope the lectures help people to better understand and appreciate the unique biodiversity of Southern Arizona," Olmstead said.
The event is free. —A.G.
Mapping the Inside Out: Works on Paper by Kim Nikolini
Meet and greet: 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday, March 12
Exhibit on display 1 to 7 p.m., Thursday-Saturday, through Saturday, March 26
439 N. Sixth Ave., No. 179
Wanderlust Gallery is one of the newer galleries in Tucson, after opening in November. Co-owners Alisa Rabinovich and Joseph Zapf-Kent had been looking for a space to work in, and when a real estate agent showed them the spot, they fell in love with it. Because the atmosphere was so nice, they decided to use the space for a gallery as well as a studio.
"Art is for everyone," said Rabinovich. "I don't want (the gallery) to be scary or intimidating or snobby. ... We just want it to be a fun space."
The current show, Mapping the Inside Out, features work from artist Kim Nikolini.
A lot of the art is portraiture, done in ballpoint pen, in a style that Nikolini calls "pen noise." The style involves the rapid, aggressive use of ballpoint pens on paper. Nikolini said she tries to intuitively capture the essence of the people she draws.
Also in the show is a series of film stills.
"I find moments when the characters are poised on the border between everything falling apart," said Nikolini. "I capture those faces in that moment."
Nikolini has been living in Tucson for about 10 years, but spent a large part of her life in San Francisco. She was on the streets during her teen years, she said, and as a result, her work is very urban.
"I try to be an advocate and voice for people our culture ignores," said Nikolini. "My writing and art brings things to the surface that people connect with."
Nikolini said she is ecstatic about seeing this work finally come together in one, unifying show.
Admission is free. —A.G.