"Up 'Til Dawn" letter-writing event
3 to 7 p.m., Sunday, April 17
UA Student Union Grand Ballroom
1303 E. University Blvd.
Tarot-card readers, face-painters, and a raffle for prizes—including an iPod and a fun-filled Las Vegas weekend—are all part of an event that UA students have organized to raise money for cancer research.
"Up 'Til Dawn" is a nationwide fundraiser, and the team behind the event is hoping to beat last year's fundraising total by raising $75,000.
"Everyone's invited to come and enjoy the event," said Kassidy Zwaagstra, assistant activities chair of the University of Arizona's Delta Delta Delta sorority and a business student. "Last year, people came and wrote letters, but we really want to reward people for coming out to help."
Free food and the aforementioned prize raffle are there for people who join in the letter-writing campaign. Each team signs up to send out letters with a postage-paid envelope inside, to ask for community donations.
Around 500 people are already pre-registered for the event, but anyone can show up, give their donation and write letters on behalf of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which helps all families, whether or not they have an ability to pay.
"It takes more than $1 million to run St. Jude a day," Zwaagstra said. "We're hoping to help just a little."
Derived from the motto, "Cancer doesn't sleep, so neither should we," the program—held at more than 180 campuses nationwide—gained the name "Up 'Til Dawn" to recognize the nights parents stay up with their sick children.
All proceeds go directly to research.
"There are prizes, and that's how we try to get people involved," Zwaagstra said. "But the best part is how much money we've raised for St. Jude."
Organizers ask for a $5 donation to participate. —J.W.
Benefit concert: "We're Losing Our Piano—Help"
8 p.m., Saturday, April 16
Berger Performing Arts Center
1200 W. Speedway Blvd.
Yamaha is taking away the grand piano that has been in the arts center of the Arizona State School for the Deaf and Blind for more than 13 years—but the center is holding a benefit concert in an attempt to keep the piano.
"We want a piano here. We need a piano here," said Brandon Howell, manager of the Berger Performing Arts Center.
When Yamaha originally lent the grand piano to the center more than a decade ago, it did so as part of a nationwide program to promote Yamaha and get publicity by giving pianos to music venues, said Mark Hachenberg, owner of Hachenberg and Sons, a Tucson piano dealer.
But because of the hardships of the recent economy, Yamaha notified the center in January that the company would be taking back its piano—without replacing it—to sell it.
The silver lining? Hachenberg and Yamaha officials told Berger Center officials that if they could come up with about $35,000, the company and dealer would sell the piano to the center at a discounted rate, below the piano's market value of $65,499, Hachenberg said.
While the center is unlikely to raise all of the necessary funds at the April 16 benefit concert, featuring 12 musical guests—including Lisa Otey, Susan Claassen and folks from Chamber Music PLUS—Howell said his hope is that the concert will be the tipping point to convince potential donors to help the center save its piano before Yamaha reclaims it in two or three months.
"To be honest, we don't know what to expect," he said. "But I think it's a goal we will be able to achieve."
Spectators can purchase tickets at Bookmans or Antigone Books for a suggested $25, or online at inconcerttucson.com. —S.B.
The Ugly Kids present: Tigerblood.
Art. Booze. Hedonism.
7 p.m., Saturday, April 16
Red Room at Grill
100 E. Congress St
How crazy will the Ugly Kids' Tigerblood art show be? Well, when the Ugly Kids put on a similar show last year, the police had to be called.
"I think some people got arrested," said Josh Flood, one of the participating artists and an organizer of the event. "It's going to definitely be a wild time."
The Ugly Kids—an art collective that has toured the country—like to put on free shows with a crazy vibe, allowing anyone to come and have a good time. Their April 16 show will be no different, Flood said.
"We like to call them 'art parties,'" he said. "It's like a house party with an art show mixed in."
Tigerblood will be an art show-concert hybrid, featuring seven visual artists and four musical acts, playing country, rock, funk and "nuclear gothmo," Flood said.
It's all part of the Ugly Kids' mission to test the Tucson art scene with unique, avant-garde art that's full of an urban feel and pop culture references, Flood said—hence the show's full name: Tigerblood. Art. Booze. Hedonism.
"It's post-graffiti. It's pop art. It's different," he said. "That aesthetic brings us together."
Included in the show are numerous visual artists, with musical appearances by El Hanko Dinero, Avelo Max, Prizen Whyves and Chris Hall.
Footage of the show will be used for the group's upcoming DVD, Ugly Kids 2012, which will chronicle the collective's tour across the U.S.
"Most art shows (in Tucson) are traditional. We've gotta throw our voice out there," Flood said. "A lot of people want to exploit urban art ... but we've really lived it."
The show is free and open to the public. —S.B.
7 p.m., Saturday, April 16
ZUZI's Theater In the Historic YWCA
738 N. Fifth Ave.
Contortionism, lots of buttons and a 4-foot hand-sewn burlap rabbit will be part of Button Wagon's Tucson debut.
After six months of international touring, Matt "Poki" McCorkle and Ember Bria are presenting their mixture of circus, dance and theater to an audience at ZUZI's Theater.
"It's kind of just like a step into our imagination, and encouraging people to spend a little more time in their imagination, too," Bria said.
After an opening act by movement artist Spencer Toll, the pair will present a 55-minute production which relies solely on movement to convey stories.
"You're going to see contortion; you're going to see some mime and optical illusion; you're going to see some dancing, some expressing and some things that I don't even really know how to explain," Bria said.
A circus of enlarged sewing-instrument props—all handmade by the pair—will highlight the set during their performance. Bria always liked buttons, and therefore, the theme of Button Wagon made sense.
"I've been pretty obsessed with buttons for some time," Bria said. "I really wanted to use the name Button Wagon, and it would fit into the show. ... Buttons, they hold your clothes together like moments hold your memories together."
Bria said there's a moment in the show she and Poki peer at each other through a button, and "that's a good one. But my favorite moment? All of them."
Jokingly, Bria said that she feels most comfortable expressing herself in ways that are nonverbal, and that the Button Wagon show "allows (the audience) to be open to new ideas."
"They will be touched and entertained," Bria said.
Tickets are $10 for adults, or $5 for children 12 and younger. —J.W.