Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Weekly List: 22 Things To Do In Tucson This Week

Posted By on Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 8:48 AM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.

The Tell-Tale Art

Live Drawing Atelier. Can we all agree that you’re held a little bit more accountable when someone is watching you? You try just a little bit harder, maybe turn out work that’s just a little bit better? At this event to benefit the UA School of Art Advisory Board, you can be either the accountable or the accountability. Artists are invited to take part in two 45-minute sessions at 5:45 at 6:45 p.m., and can purchase drawing kits or bring their own supplies. Non-artists are invited to ogle over the skills of artists while enjoying wine, beer, a complimentary “Artist’s Alchemy” cocktail from The Independent Distillery’s Mixologist and appetizers from Johnny Gibson’s. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1. The Independent Distillery, 33 S. Arizona Ave. $80 (includes appetizers and two drink tickets). First-time attendees to a School of Art Advisory Board event get a 15 percent discount, so tickets are $68. ($40 tax-deductible from either ticket.) Drawing kits are $10.

Arts in the Plaza. You are about to experience so much art that you are going to come away from this event with an urge to buy a downtown studio apartment and start wearing a beret. But really, with more than 50 artists participating in this festival, as well as violin, guitar, jazz piano, harp, and cello music providing a soundtrack to the event, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more pleasant way to spend a day, not to mention a better opportunity to support local artists. Jewelry, ceramics, glass, metalwork, photography, acrylic, digital art, leather, sculpture, mixed media and even custom wood designs are all available for perusing, ’preciating and purchasing. Mention you’re attending Arts in the Plaza for a 10 percent discount at Union Public House or Reforma Cocina Cantina. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Oct. 29. St. Philip’s Plaza, 4280 N. Campbell Ave. Free.

RICARDO DIAZ/FLICKR
  • Ricardo Diaz/Flickr
Sugar Skulls! If you’re not skully prepared for Dia de los Muertos yet, here is your chance to finally get your head in the game. As supplies last, the library will be providing materials for patrons to decorate sugar skulls with glitter, feathers, sequins and a skeleTON of other stuff. Don’t miss this opportunity to customize a Day of the Dead staple to your liking. 3 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26. Miller-Golf Links Library. 9640 E. Golf Links Road. Free.

Portentous Performances

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Carnival of Illusion Season Opener. Carnival of Illusion, the vaudevillian, close-up sleight of hand, cozy magic show founded by Tucson locals Susan Eyed and Roland Sarlot, is kicking off its ninth season with a (Mesa performance and then a) Tucson performance! Take a night off from all the tragic stuff going on and get some magic stuff going at a show one reviewer called “Better than the pool on a 100 degree Arizona day.” Is that even possible?! It’s definitely worth looking into, wouldn’t you say? 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Scottish Rite Grand Parlour, 160 S. Scott. $33-$48.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Fed Tax Cut, AZ School Grades, Results-Based Funding, and a W.A.G.

Posted By on Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 6:33 PM

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The federal tax cut proposals Republicans are putting together will most likely throw a few tax cut bones to the middle class and toss a couple of chicken wings in the direction of the poor so it looks like everyone gets a tax break, but the richest Americans will be the folks getting thick, juicy, medium-rare ribeye steaks grilled to perfection. No one knows whether the bones and wings will make it into the final bill, but it's a sure bet the most powerful Americans can count on being hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars richer if their friends in Congress and the White House can figure out a way to put together the needed votes.

On a smaller scale, something similar is happening with Arizona's school grades and results-based funding. The richest, most powerful Arizonans were promised steak dinners in the form of results-based funding bonuses for the schools their children attend. That worked out just fine in lots of cases, but a few were surprised to find their plates empty, and they're crying foul. Now the state is trying to figure out how to make things right.

Meanwhile, the rest of the schools, those with families in the middle and lower economic ranges, are getting a few results-based bones and chicken wings, but I'm betting some of those will be taken away to make sure the people who really matter to the Republicans in power get the steaks they were promised.

Lots of reporters have been picking up on the story about the state's long-awaited school grades over the past week, because it's a really big deal. The grades posted by the Department of Education were supposed to be final unless a school appealed. Then Tim Carter, president of the state Board of Education, stepped in. He declared the grades "preliminary," to the surprise of pretty much everyone including the other board members who knew nothing of the change until he announced it. As of Monday, however, the Board is on board as well. The posted state grades don't mean a thing until we swing into January, and even the January deadline is far from final.

The state grades worked out almost the way they were supposed to. Almost. The top schools in terms of family income, the ones attended by the children of the wealthiest and most powerful Arizonans, grabbed most of the A's — the top 11 percent got close to 40 percent of all the A grades — and grades slid downward in rough correlation to the family income of students attending the schools. The results should have been acceptable to the people who run things in the state, except for two important problems.

Next school year, every A school will get a whole lot of extra money in the form of results-based funding while the B through F schools get nothing (The funding system works differently this school year). So a number of schools in the high rent areas with B's, or even C's, feel cheated because they didn't get one of those big, juicy results-based steaks they know they deserve. They figure, "Why should the top 11 percent only make up 40 percent of the schools getting the extra funding? Why not more like 50 percent, and include my child's school?"

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Chance The Rapper Does First Show As Grammy Award Winner At Lost Lake Festival

Posted By on Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 9:00 AM

JEFF KRAVITZ FOR LOST LAKE FESTIVAL
  • Jeff Kravitz for Lost Lake Festival
Chance the Rapper’s Twitter video of him helping his 2-year-old daughter learn to count went viral just a few days before his performance at Phoenix’s Lost Lake Festival on Friday. The video might evoke a sense of nostalgia or familiarity for most parents, if he weren’t using his three recently awarded Grammy’s for the counting lessons.

In his first performance as a Grammy-award winning artist, Chance was his signature self: big and bold, but also humble and sending praises up for all the blessings coming down.

Of course, Chance wasn’t alone onstage, but he also wasn’t playing with just any old band––he was joined Nico Segal and the other members of Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment. When Chance asked the audience if they knew which song was the only one off their debut album, Surf, to have a music video, the crowd screamed “Sunday Candy” in excitement.

The song’s smooth, impossible-not-to-sing chorus and fun verses (there’s a line about Chance putting 50 rolls on his plate at Christmas dinner) came early in the set, despite it being such a show-stopping number.

Between other songs, Chance mentioned that he was leaving for a vacation soon, and that this would be his last performance of 2017. He thanked the audience, thanked his loved ones, thanked God. Then, he closed out his set with “Same Drugs,” a song about growing apart from the people in your life with heavy allusions to the movie Hook, and is way more touching and way less weird than it sounds on paper.

As he was the last performer of the night, the audience held out hope for an encore, and didn’t stop applauding until Chance came back onstage to do “Blessings,” a powerful, gospel-y, track from 2016’s Coloring Book, which just won a Grammy for best rap album.

Rap fan or not, religious or not, maybe even a Chance the Rapper fan or not, between the rapper's nonstop smiles, a spectacular light show, and two separate confetti/streamer shoot-offs, the whole production was hard not to enjoy, and had most people counting their blessings.

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Staff Pick

Carnival of Illusion: Magic, Mystery & Oooh La La!

This top-rated illusion show is "Revitalizing Magic" by blending an international travel theme with all the charms… More

@ Scottish Rite Grand Parlour Saturdays. Continues through April 14 160 South Scott Ave

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