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Battling Trafficking

Southern Arizona Against Slavery June meeting

6 to 7:30 p.m., Monday, June 6

Eagles Wings of Grace, International; 4631 E. Pima St.

(480) 203-9764; saastucson.wordpress.com

Southern Arizona Against Slavery (SAAS) has been around for about 2 1/2 years and is an offshoot of a group in Phoenix called ALERT, or the Arizona League to End Regional Trafficking.

Chelsea Hall, one of the founders of SAAS, had been doing volunteer work with ALERT when she and another member decided that Tucson was in need of its own group.

"Tucson has had a fair number of (human-trafficking) cases," said Hall. She briefly described one from several years ago, in which an African refugee was held in a home in Tucson for nine years and forced to work.

Hall said that one of the biggest misconceptions is that human-smuggling and human-trafficking are one in the same. Whereas human-smuggling is voluntary, human-trafficking, according to Hall, is when someone is "forced against their will through coercion."

For the upcoming meeting, SAAS has invited another anti-slavery group, Thin Blue Line, to talk about their work.

The group, which is based here in Arizona, works with law enforcement in Honduras by giving them special training so that they can respond to sex-trafficking problems.

"Even if (police) are doing their job, they're just not equipped to recognize sex-trafficking," Hall said.

Thin Blue Line will discuss what their organization does in Honduras.

"I think for people who don't have any familiarity with human trafficking, they will be shocked," said Hall.

However, she also said that the meeting will not be all sad news. Hall said that the group wants to show the fruits of their labor—and get people to feel inspired rather than discouraged.

"The first step is to come to the meetings, learn, respond and ask questions," said Hall.

The meeting is free. —A.G.


Hot Luck in a Hot Month

Hot Luck, presented by Pour Moi, Zoë Boutique, Razorz Edge and W Boutique

8 p.m. to midnight, Friday, June 3

Level Lounge; 4280 N. Campbell Ave., Suite 37

740-1201

The trendy and fashion-conscious among us have an exciting chance to escape from the summer heat and enjoy a night of fashion, fun and art.

With the hopes of promoting local fashion and business, Pour Moi, Zoë Boutique, Razorz Edge and W Boutique have teamed up to host the Hot Luck fashion show, to let people know what's new, exciting and fun this summer.

Each boutique brings its own style and flair to the show. For example, Razorz Edge is known for its hard-rock fashions, while Pour Moi caters to those with a taste for high-end designers and contemporary styles.

"We (the boutiques) are the same in philosophy and in wanting to provide something unique and special," explained Lissa Marinaro, owner of Zoë Boutique.

Zoë Boutique has a 10-year tradition of fashion shows, but this is the first time it's collaborated with other shops, according to Marinaro.

"We're (Zoë) a bit more local; we carry a lot of local designers," said Marinaro.

Pour Moi owner Erin Burke said one goal is to push the Tucson fashion scene and highlight the quality of local business.

"We bring in specialty items from all over the world," said Burke.

The evening begins with champagne, appetizers and a trunk show, during which people can view samples of each store's inventory and make purchases. Following the trunk show, graffiti artist Rock Martinez will begin painting live, and will continue doing so for the rest of the night.

The night also includes goodie bags and raffles featuring treats from the different shops.

The event is for attendees 21 and older. There's no cover for women; men pay $5 after 10:30 p.m. —A.F.


Choo Choo!

Summer Train Show and Swap Meet

9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, June 4

Las Cazuelitas Event Center; 1365 W. Grant Road

888-2222; www.gpdtoytrainmuseum.com/annual_summer_show.htm

The Gadsden Pacific Toy Train Operating Museum has been a part of Tucson in one form or another for many years. Initially, the museum operated out of the Foothills Mall. In 1998, museum officials purchased land and built a building.

Three times per year, the museum holds "train meets." These events draw hundreds of collectors, as well as casual observers, to look and learn.

"There are two basic attractions: The swap meet ... and the portable train layouts," said Bob Benzinger, media relations director at the museum.

At the swap meet, which Benzinger said will include a mix of dealers and collectors, people will sell toy and model trains, as well as other transportation-related crafts and merchandise. According to Benzinger, there will be about 100 sales tables.

As for the portable train layouts, there will be four operating at the show. One of the four was built by the museum's Kids' Club, which teaches young'uns how to build, operate and repair model trains.

"One thing that's cool about trains is that they teach kids about electricity and mechanics," said Benzinger.

He added that kids always enjoy coming to see the model trains. "Kids love toy trains! That's our motto."

Benzinger recalled a previous train show where he saw a mother and her son walking down one of the aisles. The boy stopped to touch one of the trains. "The mom got mad and said, 'Don't touch that! That's not a toy!'"

Of course, it was a toy.

Benzinger said that the show is for adults, too, and offers a good opportunity to buy and sell trains. Admission is $5; children younger than 13 get in for free when accompanied by an adult. —A.G.


Counter-Culture Chronicle

Screening of Dust and Illusions

7:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 8

Loft Cinema; 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.

795-0844; dustandillusions.com

The film Dust and Illusions turns a critical eye toward the 30-year history of the infamous Burning Man festival—and the film is coming to Tucson for one night only.

Burning Man is an annual experiment in community, as artists and others gather in the Black Rock Desert of Northern Nevada. The goals and purposes of attendees, called "Burners," are extremely varied, but often focus on themes such as community, self-expression, self-reliance and art.

In an environment where money is banned, artists pour enormous amounts of time and energy into the creation of projects—many of which are destroyed at the event's end.

Born in the San Francisco underground, Burning Man is considered the largest counter-culture festival in North America.

French director Olivier Bonin was inspired to create the film after his first experience at Burning Man, where he saw the creativity and energy of the artists who participated and created "art only for the sake to create art."

The documentary also chronicles the darker side of Burning Man that Bonin discovered while working beside artists: how real-world politics and realities have come into conflict with the event's original ideals and philosophies.

"I wouldn't call it a criticism ... but it is critical," said Bonin, who said he believes the film was made in the original spirit of Burning Man.

Bonin hopes that people are motivated by the film to create something of their own—and to realize the dangers of just following one person or group.

"People are surprised," said Bonin about the film. "The reactions have been strong, not necessarily negative."

Tickets can be purchased at dustandillusions.com. Pre-sale tickets are $10 (with a low-income option of $7); they're $12 at the door. —A.F.

More by A. Greene

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    We profile six organizations (out of many) working hard to make Tucson the sort of place we want to live
    • Dec 12, 2013
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