Learn About a Legend
Annie Leibovitz presentation
2 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 27
Dusenberry-River Branch Library
5605 E. River Road
When you think of photographer Annie Leibovitz, the image that might first come to mind is her famous picture of a nude John Lennon curled in a fetal position, clutching a black-clad Yoko Ono.
It may have been the best photo ever taken of the pair. For sure, it was the last: Lennon was shot dead with a gun just five hours after Leibovitz shot him with her camera.
Leibovitz has taken countless other amazing photos of famous people, from Bruce Springsteen to Lance Armstrong to Queen Elizabeth II. You might've heard of that controversial photo she took in 2008 of 15-year-old Miley Cyrus without a shirt (with her chest covered by a sheet, of course).
But there's a reason Leibovitz has photographed so many celebrities—she is good at it, and there's a lot more to her photography than her often-famous subjects. She uses beautiful lighting, bold colors and intriguing—to say the least—scenery.
If you want to learn more about the legendary photog, check out the presentation "Annie Leibovitz: American Photographer: A Picture in Progress," by Ellie Eigen, a knowledgeable docent at the Tucson Museum of Art. In fact, the museum is sending its docents to the library every fourth Tuesday to give interesting talks on a wide variety of art-related topics.
"It's a wonderful partnership we have with the Tucson Museum of Art," said Dusenberry-River librarian Paula Maez. "It's a good way for people to visit the library as well as get acquainted with the museum without having to go there. And we're grateful that the museum has such a wonderful community-outreach program and can provide such great talks for our patrons."
All Tuesday art talks are free and open to the public. —A.M.
2 to 4 p.m., Friday, Dec. 23
Bookmans Entertainment Exchange
6230 E. Speedway Blvd.
If you image it, it will happen.
That's not a mangled line from the movie Field of Dreams—it's actually the basic message of Power Imagery: Believing and Achieving Through Mental Imagery, by sports psychologist, coach and self-help author Dan Leitner.
In the book, Leitner teaches the reader what imagery is; shares evidence of the power of imaging; and shows the reader how to image for self-improvement, expanding the consciousness and possibly achieving feats that might seem impossible.
So what exactly is imaging? It's hard to precisely define, but from what we can gather, it involves fully engaging your mind and spirit to envision an outcome that you then journey toward in reality. Part of the journey entails "dreaming purposefully"—harnessing the power of your dreams instead of losing it to everyday stress.
Leitner's book relates plenty of stories of power imagery at its most-potent, including a time when he was coaching a high school track-and-field athlete, and the 5-foot-7 student imaged himself straight over a 6-foot-6-high bar to win a state championship.
But imagery's not just for athletes—it can help anyone.
"Who can benefit from the gift of imagery?" Leitner writes in his book's introduction. "Artists, performers, life coaches, pastors or ministers, therapists, medical field professionals, teachers, engineers, scout leaders, sales professionals, parents and everyday people; in essence, all individuals who wish to grow and enrich their lives or the lives of others."
Sound a little New Age-y? Or a lot? Maybe. But who knows? It might be worth giving his message a chance, which you can do when he returns to Tucson (he used to live here) for a book-signing this week. Admission is free. —A.M.
A Santa Story
Poets Square Rooftop Christmas Pageant
6:30 and 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23
4402 E. Bryn Mawr Road
Are you a parent who likes to remind your offspring that Christmas is really about the story of Jesus' birth, and not presents, Santa and sweets?
At the same time, do you secretly love the presents-and-Santa-and-sweets part? Then the Poets Square Rooftop Christmas pageant is just right for you and your family.
Instead of relating Mary and Joseph's trip to Bethlehem, this pageant acts out Santa's trip to a real Tucson home. It starts outside of the house of Susan Modisett and her husband in the Poets Square neighborhood (north of Broadway Boulevard, between Columbus Boulevard and Swan Road), where attendees can watch Santa (played by Modisett) land on the roof, dance around a little and then pour some magic "smoke-stopper" down the chimney so "he" can squeeze down it. Observers will then head inside, where they can see that Santa has popped up in the living room.
All kids in attendance get to sit on Santa's lap (and get a photo snapped), and each gets a candy cane.
If this so far sounds like all Santa and no baby Jesus, don't worry: While on the roof, Santa does a special tribute to Jesus and talks about the Christmas story; there's also a showing of a scene with Joseph, Mary and their baby in the manger. The event is organized through the First Brethren Church (which will also provide live music and lead Christmas carols).
Modisett said the event was started 23 years ago by an individual at a different house, but the whole neighborhood (and the church) took it on 11 years ago.
"This is a community event that's become a very popular tradition," she said.
Please bring food for the Community Food Bank instead of money for an admission fee. —A.M.
A New Place for Outer Space
Mars and Beyond
9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, Monday and Thursday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday; closed Christmas Day
300 E. Congress St.
You might've been there to see Bodies, the grotesquely astounding exhibit showing the insides of actual preserved human corpses. You might've seen Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, the display of intimate artifacts from the most-famous shipwreck in history, or maybe the King Tut show, which took you back to the era of the pharaoh through mummies, ancient weapons and treasures.
Now, the exhibition hall in the Rialto building has a new show, and the space has a new—and permanent name and identity: It's called Science Downtown, and now's your chance to see its first exhibit.
Mars and Beyond: The Search for Life on Other Planets was created by the University of Arizona's College of Science—famous for its cutting-edge work with NASA—and features stunning images of outer space, focusing on one of our planet's nearest and most-fascinating neighbors. You'll learn all about the UA's work with NASA's HiRISE Mars high-resolution camera, the Phoenix Mars Mission science-lab lander, and the upcoming OSIRIS-REx mission. (Not sure what those are? All the more reason to go to this place.)
The show also offers hands-on exhibits, theaters and scale models of some of the latest NASA mission spacecraft—the robotic equipment that's now helping scientists unlock some of the most-intriguing questions about Mars and all of the other planets in our solar system. Besides blowing your mind, this exhibit will make you proud to be from the city whose university is at the forefront of so much Mars exploration.
Said the museum's education and outreach director, Shawdon Lex: "Science Downtown is a nonprofit organization ... and a downtown Tucson must-see!"
Admission is $18 for adults; $14 for students, seniors and the military; and $10 for children. —A.M.