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The Creative Process Explained

Xaviera Simmons Lecture

5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 29

UA Center for Creative Photography1030 N. Olive Road

621-7570;cfa.arizona.edu/vase

Artist Xaviera Simmons is the latest speaker in the University of Arizona School of Art's Visiting Artists and Scholars, or VASE, lecture series. Simmons is a 2004 graduate of Bard College who specializes in photography, sculpture and performance and installation art as well as video and sound. Her work has been exhibited in museums throughout the world, including at the MoMA PS1 in New York, the Nouveau Musée National in Monaco and the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston. Simmons will speak about her artistic process, which she describes as cyclical, according to a news release from the UA School of Art. Simmons spends part of the year doing photography, then switches to performance art and then moves on to installation and sculpture work. The theme for the 2013-14 VASE series is Dwelling: From Space to Place in the Visual Arts. Upcoming speakers include visual artist Marcos Ramirez ERRE, University of Notre Dame art professor Erika Doss and Lucy Raven, an animator and UA alum. The lectures are free and open to the public.

Fundraiser at the Lanes

Bowling for Tommy

4:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 25

Bedroxx4385 W. Ina Road

547-6106;saaf.org

The Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation uses a variety of fundraising tools and events to help support the programs it offers in the areas of prevention and care services for people living with HIV.

While most of these endeavors are on a grander scale, the Bowling for Tommy event is the one best suited for the everyday donor looking to help the cause and have some fun at the same time, said Ethan Smith Cox, SAAF director of development.

"This is our smallest and youngest event, but it's one of our more accessible ones," Smith Cox said. "You don't really need a lot of money to do it, and it's just a fun night out. I mean, it's bowling and I don't know too many people who don't like to go bowling."

Bowling for Tommy will take over 30 lanes at Bedroxx, the family-oriented bowling center in Marana, with participants paying $30 apiece (or $180 for a lane with six people) for two hours of bowling and entertainment. Raffle tickets are available for $1 apiece, with buyers choosing which of two dozen or so prizes to try for.

"We'll have a lot of gift baskets and things like that, but each year we always have one really sweet thing," Smith Cox said. "This year it's an iPad tablet."

This is the fifth edition of Bowling for Tommy, named for former SAAF board member and community volunteer Tommy Gin, who died in 2010.

"We thought it would be a one-time event," Smith Cox said. "It turned out to be such a hit that we're now doing it for a fifth year."

Lanes and individual spots can be reserved through SAAF's website.

Growing Up Onstage

Imaginary

1 and 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Jan. 24 and 25; 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 26

Live Theatre Workshop5317 E. Speedway Blvd.

327-4242;livetheatreworkshop.org

Live Theater Workshop's late night program, Etcetera, is debuting an all-new play that anyone with an imaginary friend can relate to.

An idea born and cultivated over the summer in upstate New York, Imaginary tells the story of Candace, a just-turned-18-year-old who's looking to move past the make-believe friends she created to help her get through a tough childhood.

The play was written by Jeffrey Peacock, who penned it during his time at the Hangar Theatre apprentice program in Ithaca, N.Y. It was there he met Ken Phillips, who was a directing intern, and the two struck up a bond.

"I wasn't part of the initial creation, but I loved it," Phillips, a University of Arizona grad, said of Imaginary. "I really thought it would work well here, in Tucson specifically, because it's a college-based town. It's about something we've all experienced, trying to keep that balance of our true self and our childhood."

Phillips, who graduated from the UA's Fine Arts program in December, is directing his second production under the Etcetera banner. His previous work, Playing with Fire (After Frankenstein), ran last October and November.

Phillips isn't the only local connection to Imaginary. All of the play's actors, as well as co-director Cassy Crandall, are UA theater students.

Phillips calls Tucson a "surprisingly great theater town," one that should continue to thrive despite the recent closing of noted playhouse Beowulf Alley.

"This is my second show I'm directing here, and it's been an absolute blessing," he said. "These actors are doing a great job of keeping theater alive."

Enter the Fire Horse

2014 Arizona Chinese New Year Festival

2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 25

Centennial Hall1020 E. University Blvd., on the UA campus

626-5124;confucius.arizona.edu

While most of the world celebrates the change from one year to the next on Dec. 31, the Chinese new year is tied to the lunar calendar, causing the date to vary. The date this year is Jan. 31, when the Chinese calendar will switch to the Year of the Horse, part of a 12-year rotation symbolized by different animals. It's actually the Year of the Fire Horse, said Dr. Larry Lang, senior program coordinator for the University of Arizona's Confucius Institute. In addition to the 12 animals, there are five elements: wood, fire, metal, water and earth, that rotate to create 60 different unique years in Chinese culture. Information like that is just a taste of what you'll get at the UA's Chinese New Year Festival this Saturday at Centennial Hall. The event will include martial arts demonstrations, a 230-person Chinese music ensemble and Chinese folk dance performances. "The Chinese New Year is also called the Spring Festival," Lang said. "Jan. 31 is the start of the year, but we'll celebrate before that." Lang said the event will also feature performances by the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus and the award-winning UA jazz band, providing for an afternoon of "Chinese melody with jazzy accents." Tickets are $15 to $18.

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