Stupid Questions Welcome
11:45 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 25
2331 E. Adams St.
The words 'Episcopal' and 'transgender' may not share the same sentence very often, but the folks at Grace St. Paul's are interested in changing that, with a class aimed at creating an honest discussion about what it means to be transgendered.
The Rev. Kate Baird said her idea for the class came as she was fielding questions from her congregation about a young transgendered man who frequents the church.
"People are very supportive (of him), but also wanted to understand and be of more help," she said. "People have questions, like, 'Do I call you a she? Do I call you a he?'"
The best way to handle the questions, she thought, would be to bring in an expert and provide a safe environment so no one got their feelings hurt.
Erin Russ, the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance (SAGA) program coordinator for Wingspan, will be leading the presentation, first explaining general facts about transgendered persons, and then staying for questions and discussion.
According to Baird, Grace St. Paul's has been a welcoming and open place for the first three letters in "LBGT" for quite some time. "Not that the 'T' wasn't welcomed, but 'transgendered' is a rather new concept for most of the population," Baird said.
Baird said this opportunity will allow people to come and learn without the fear of asking a silly question. She also invites the public to join in the discussion.
"I would welcome as many people who would like to come," she said. "Obviously, this is not a debate of the right or wrong of it. If that's what people are looking for, Grace St. Paul's is not a place where that would happen."
Admission is free. —
Poets on Parade
3 to 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 24
El Presidio Park
160 W. Alameda St.
When Ben Quick realized that Tucson was not participating in one of the most revolutionary poetry events ever, he couldn't stand the thought of it.
Thus, he created "The New Pueblo," a small piece of the puzzle that is 100 Thousand Poets for Change.
100 Thousand Poets for Change, organized by poet Michael Rothenberg, is a worldwide demonstration using poetry to highlight important topics such as sustainability, politics, environmentalism and peace. More than 600 events will take place simultaneously in 450 cities in 90 countries across the world. That's a lot of people.
Quick, an essayist, poet and teacher at the University of Arizona, (almost) single-handedly organized the local gathering in response to the worldwide event—which, surprisingly (or maybe not-so-surprisingly), started on Facebook.
"I see this as a way for everybody to just celebrate what makes us unique and what makes us such a colorful and flavorful community," said Quick. "There's too much spirit and soul in this city to not be a part of this."
A lineup of local poets is scheduled to share their work, and more than two hours of open-mic sessions are available for attendees who want to share their poems. In addition, Quick invites anyone who "believes in coexistence and peace" to hand out literature or promote friendly causes.
"In a nutshell ... I paid for this space, and you're invited to come hangout and do whatever the hell you want to do, as long as it's within reason," Quick said.
The free event is family-friendly and open to attendees to set up non-staked tents or booths and display art, showcase cultural or ethnic traditions, or make any other expressive gesture that is for a peaceful cause. —J.B.
Local Music and a Mermaid
8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 25
536 N. Fourth Ave.
In this age of sustainability, even airwaves can go green.
Environmentally savvy and sustainability supporting Green Revolution Radio is launching Green Revolution Records this Sunday at Sky Bar.
Initiated by the creator of Green Revolution Radio, Jon McLane, the new record label will support local artists and build opportunities for individuals or groups that may otherwise not have the resources to be "discovered."
"I saw the need, and I filled the need," said McLane. "If we don't start supporting local artists, the Tucson music scene will die off."
McLane said he got the idea for the label after he began incorporating local music into the radio show he hosts.
"It showed me artists who have a void in their life," he said. "They were so excited to have a song on radio, because they don't have this opportunity all the time. I want to help them get a product."
McLane said more than 200 artists have already contacted him. Since the label is in its infancy, he was only able to choose 11 artists, some of whom will be performing on Sunday.
Nine local artists/groups will compete in a friendly competition for bragging rights at Sky Bar during the label-launch party. Acts scheduled to perform include Frankie Lopez, Brookee Lin, Triple Double, Alan Fullbeard, Still Life Telescope, the Mark Archambault Combo, Isabella Laos, Royal Cubit 4 President and Kelley Graham's Impact.
In addition to the local jams, a $5 suggested-donation pool tournament will take place to help support Tucson Arts Brigade, Southwest Arizona Patient Alliance and Greens At-Large. A magician, a Tarot card reader and mermaid (yes, a mermaid; no, we don't know why) will also be in attendance.
Admission is free. —J.B.
7 p.m., Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, through Sunday, Oct. 2
2202 W. Anklam Road
In Treasure Island, a kid named Jim Hawkins goes off on an adventure with pirates—and the thrill-seeking is rampant.
"Who doesn't like pirates?" asks Island director Mickey Nugent. "Nobody."
Nugent said that his student-cast adaption of Robert Louis Stevenson's book is meant to attract families who want to be a part of a hair-raising journey. He's even forgoing an intermission so that the story flows more like a one-act play, and at transitions, pirates come out and sing at the lip of the stage.
There will be times when Jim Hawkins himself is running the house.
"My kids have an energy that's so wonderful; they just want to perform. They love to be onstage," Nugent said. "There's such a great honest energy about young people who want to act."
The play is led by a cast of 23 students, on the largest set that Pima Community College's theater adjunct has ever built. This is shown by life-size sails hanging from the stage ceiling; wooden parts of the ship; and big glass windows.
Dustin Rieffer, a freshman at PCC, plays Jim Hawkins, and Stephen Willis, a more-seasoned PCC actor, plays Long John Silver.
"Silver goes from being just a jolly old innkeeper to a conniving pirate. I mean, I get to play a pirate—with one leg! That's lots of fun, walking around on a peg leg," Willis said.
While some of the darker bits of the classic tale have been taken out to make the adaption lighter, Nugent said that the play still is rather artsy—something that parents and adults in general will appreciate.
"That's what I'm going to do—keep it happy," Nugent said.
Tickets are $6. —D.H.