Carving Out Cultural Roots
20th Annual Southwest Indian Art Fair
10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 24
Arizona State Museum, 1013 E. University Blvd., on the UA campus
After leaving home to live in Tucson and California, Gerry Quotskuyva felt he needed to reconnect to his Hopi culture. He made that connection through art.
Quotskuyva began carving kachinas out of cottonwood roots while in his mid-30s, after working in the culinary field. He also sculpts in bronze and creates paintings on canvas that contain an inset, a small box at the center, all of which reflect the Hopi culture. Quotskuyva will be the featured artist in this year's Southwest Indian Art Fair.
"As an artist, even though you're successful and well recognized and there's a lot of people collecting your work, you always feel insecure about the success of your career," Quotskuyva said. "So it's always a pleasure to be asked by ... the Arizona State Museum to feature you."
According to Quotskuyva, everybody born Hopi has an artistic responsibility, which makes the culture unique. Throughout Hopi history, many of these artistic creations also doubled as practical, everyday items such as blankets, clothing and baskets. Hopi girls have been given kachina dolls as gifts at ceremonies.
"I believe that everybody who does the art form is in one way helping share the culture with the world," Quotskuyva said. "Even though we have to maintain a lot of secrecy."
More than 200 Native American artists will be represented at this year's fair and some will share stories about the cultural traditions behind their artwork. Visitors can also hear live Native American music, watch traditional dances and enjoy Native American foods.
Admission is $10 for adults; free for students and children.
Walking the Red Carpet
Oscar Experience: Tucson 2013
5:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 24 (5 p.m. for VIPs)
Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St.
Tucsonans have the chance to live like a Hollywood star for a night at this year's Oscar Experience: Tucson 2013.
From a red carpet entrance to the speakeasy martini bar downstairs where guests can dance to live Rat Pack-style music, this year's Oscar Experience is designed to be a night to remember.
"What we want it to be is Tucson's biggest party," said Tamara Mack, coordinator of the event and red carpet host.
Guests will be photographed and interviewed on the red carpet as they make their way to the theater, where the Oscars will be broadcast live on the big screen.
The 50th anniversary of the first James Bond flick will be celebrated at the Tucson event as well as at the Oscars. Models dressed like Bond girls will greet guests on the red carpet and a stunt team will give the audience a behind-the-scenes look at what making a James Bond movie is like.
The Fox Theatre was a movie palace starting in the 1930s. Restored in the late 1990s and reopened in 2006, it is once again a performance theater as well as a movie venue.
"The Fox Theatre is glamour. It's old Hollywood and it's the perfect place to really experience that kind of feel," Mack said. "It's just a great venue for celebrating actors and Hollywood and moviemaking."
The Oscar Experience, now in its eighth year, has become an evening where many dress in tuxedos or cocktail dresses and gowns, enjoy drinks and enter raffles. Guests can also win a Foxy award for being the best-dressed, having the best hair or wearing the best jewelry.
General admission to the Oscar Experience is $25. VIP tickets, which include priority seating, hors d'ouevres and drink tickets, are $125.
From Tennessee to Tucson
Tuesday, Feb. 26, through Sunday, March 3 (show times vary)
Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave.
Rock 'n' roll music and America's 1950s culture converge in Memphis, a musical that's making its way to Tucson at the end of the month.
The show, which won four Tony awards in 2010, centers around the story of Huey Calhoun, a white radio DJ in the segregated 1950s who discovers Felicia, a talented female singer who happens to be black. As Huey tries to showcase Felicia's talent via airtime on the radio—a dangerous effort during racially tense times—the two fall in love.
The production began its tour at La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego and comes to Tucson after being on the road for about a year and a half, said Mario Di Vietta, Broadway in Tucson's marketing and sales manager. This will be the show's Arizona debut.
Di Vietta said the score, written by Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan, should appeal to all fans of rock 'n' roll.
"If you love music, if you love (a good) story and rock 'n' roll, this is going to be perfect for you," he said. "There are no slow parts; there's nothing that feels like you're watching a traditional musical. A lot of people love Bon Jovi, so if you love that type of rock 'n' roll music, you're going to love Memphis."
Di Vietta said that Memphis does away with the traditional show-stopping "11 o'clock number" near the end of the performance and instead has several cast members singing upbeat songs.
Because of the show's mature themes and use of racial slurs, Memphis is recommended for viewers age 13 and older.
Tickets are $29 to $69, with discounts available for students, military and seniors.
American History's Untold Story
Riders on the Orphan Train
7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 21
Casa Libre en la Solana, 228 N. Fourth Ave., No. 2
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, more than 250,000 of New York City's homeless children were put on trains and scattered throughout the country in an effort to rid the city of its street youths.
It's been called the largest child migration in history, but the stories of these children have gone mostly untold until now.
Author Alison Moore has used some of their stories for Riders on the Orphan Train, her latest novel. A traveling multimedia show will hit Tucson on Thursday to showcase the book and offer insights into the real stories it sprang from.
The book, Moore said, is a historical novel based on about 10 years of research, while the show has been offered throughout the nation for the past 15 years, primarily in the West. It features live music played by her husband, Phil Lancaster, plus a slide show, a Q&A with Moore and a reading from the book. A discussion about the specifics of Arizona's orphan train history is also included.
Attendees will get a look into an aspect of the American story that few people know about, Moore said.
"Most people know nothing about this," she said. "So it's both entertaining and informative. We do what we do to raise awareness about this little-known part of history."
Moore, a former assistant professor of English and creative writing at the University of Arizona, said the event is geared toward the literary community but is designed to be engaging for all audiences.
Moore will also sign copies of her book at the event. Admission is free but a suggested donation of $5 goes to Casa Libre, a nonprofit that supports both professional and aspiring writers.