guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.
Sculptural Gourd Vessel
. Admit it. You’ve always wanted a sculptural gourd vessel to display in your home. And what better sculptural gourd vessel to display in our home than one you’ve stippled, couched and papered yourself? If you don’t know what a sculptural gourd vessel is, it’s a really beautifully detailed, curvaceous piece of art made out of (obviously) a gourd. And you can make one in these seven-hour class at Tohono Chul—so bring a lunch. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 24. Tohono Chul Education Center #2, 7211 N. Northern Ave. $100 general public, $90 members.
Star Wars “Stormy Night” Painting
. Finally! A mash-up that lets you combine our love of Van Gogh with our love of Star Wars. Tipsy Picassos hosts this event where they’ll walk you through a painting and—if you’re over 21 and so inclined—you can drink your way through the experience. Painters under 21 are welcome, as long as they’re accompanied by parents or guardians. Wear something you don’t mind getting paint on, and don’t stress about making your painting perfect. It’s supposed to be fun, and besides, “Do or do not. There is no try.” 6 p.m. Friday, March 23. HighWire Lounge, 14 S. Arizona Ave. $35.
Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon
. This could be an oversimplification, but there are pretty much two types of people in the world, right? The people who are strictly readers of Wikipedia, and the people who actually make edits and contributions to the site. Now’s your chance to move into the second camp for a good cause, especially if you’re a woman, or identify as a woman—only 10 percent of all editors on the site are!—but people of all gender identities are welcome. Art + Feminism and the UA Poetry Center are partnering to improve the coverage of transgender women, feminism and the arts on Wikipedia by updating and expanding bibliographies on poets’ Wikipedia pages. Easy, fun and important! Noon to 3 p.m. Friday, March 23. University of Arizona Poetry Center, 1508 E. Helen St. Free.
Spring Festival of the Arts
. It’s finally here! The Spring Festival of the Arts is one of the largest regional art events in Southern Arizona, and is so big that it has to be held twice annually and spread across two days each time. Check out art from up to 150 artists, and enjoy the classic double whammy of supporting local artists and picking up some new pieces to decorate your home. Plus, enjoy lots of food trucks, live music and hands-on family art activities. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 24. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 25. Oro Valley Marketplace, 12155 N. Oracle Road. Free.
. The Artifact Dance Project has put together this performance piece, filled to the brim with different forms of art, to honor one of the most iconic female artists in history. With original music by Lane Harmon and Roger King and original choreography by artistic director and choreographer Ashley Bowman, the piece tells the story of Kahlo’s complicated relationship with her partner, Diego Rivera, of her boldness, of her playfulness and of the art that was born of it all. Claire Hancock dances as Kahlo, and David Alexander Johnston dances as Rivera. The group of talented musicians will be joined by the Tucson Girls Chorus in a special appearance. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 22 through Saturday, March 24. 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 25. Stevie Eller Dance Theatre, 1737 E. University Blvd. $31.
The UA Poetry Center and True Concord Voices & Orchestra are teaming up to offer these works, which are based in the poetry and letters of esteemed poet Emily Dickinson. This is the premiere of the first work commissioned by the Dorothy Dyer Vanek Fund for Excellence by Gerald Near. And now, a fitting line by Dickinson, who only achieved widespread fame after her death. “Success is counted sweetest / by those who ne’er succeed / To comprehend a nectar / requires sorest need.” 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 22 at Catalina Foothills High School, 4300 E. Sunrise Drive. 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 23 at the Scottish Rite Temple, 160 S. Scott Ave. 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 24 at the Valley Episcopal Church in Green Valley, 600 S. La Canada Drive. 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 25 at Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams St.
. You might be asking yourself: “Oh, Chicago’s still touring?” And the answer is yes. They are on their 50th consecutive year of touring, which is absolutely bonkers and also completely impressive. The legendary ensemble is the first American rock band to chart Top 40 albums during six consecutive decades. Honestly, their perseverance alone is enough reason to go see them live, but hearing them sing “Saturday in the Park” sounds like it could change your life.
7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 25. Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. $49 to $119+.
Tucson Premium Outlets Concert Series
. Tucson band Split Decision is set to play at the outlets this month, and to bring us covers of some of rock and roll’s greatest hits. They’ve got a formula that works: two guitars, a bass, drums and some killer three-part harmonies. They play everything from Hendrix to Morrison to Marley to the Stones, and you won’t want to miss any of it. 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 24. Tucson Premium Outlets, 6401 Marana Center Blvd. Free, but bring your own chairs if you want a guarantee to sit down. The outlets provide limited seating.
Learn Something New
The Street Philosophy of Garry Winogrand
. Award-winning author Geoff Dyer (writer of “The Ongoing Moment,” “But Beautiful,” “Otherwise Known as the Human Condition” and several other titles) is coming to the UA’s Center for Creative Photography to share insights into his most recent book, which delves into the work of Winogrand, one of the biggest photographers of the ’60s and ’70s. The book includes 100 photographs from the Garry Winogrand Archive at the Center, and Dyer’s research into the photographer’s life and works makes for a truly fascinating read, and what’s sure to be a fascinating talk. 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 22. Center for Creative Photography Auditorium, 1030 N. Olive Road. Free.
Drunk History of the Santa Cruz River
. If you’ve ever seen Comedy Central’s Drunk History, you probably know that history has the potential to be fun in a whole new way when a drunk person is teaching it. For this event, Watershed Management Group’s cultural ecologist Joaquin Murrieta and river restoration biologist Trevor Hare will take us on a journey through the Santa Cruz’s cultural and ecological history by sharing science and stories that may or may not be coherent. If you’re interested in learning more about Tucson’s ecology but get bored easily, this is your moment. 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 25. Che’s Lounge Patio, 350 N. Fourth Ave. Free.
The Desert in Springtime
. There are people who don’t understand the beauty of the desert—and the only reason we can think of for that is that they haven’t seen it in action. At this talk at the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, John Lasseter will talk about the life and colors that burst out of the Arizona landscape when springtime arrives. Learn about flowers, fruit, cacti, birds and other desert animals, and enjoy some wine and hors d’oeuvres while you’re at it. 2 p.m. Saturday, March 24. Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, 1 Burruel St. $15, with a portion of proceeds supporting the park’s education and preservation efforts. Call 520-398-2252 for reservations.
The Magic of the Middle Ages: Lessons from the Past
. It seems like we were all more interested in the Middle Ages when we were kids—going to Ren Fair, pretending to be knights and wondering what it would be like to meet a wizard. But as adults, we tend to forget about how neat and magical the Middle Ages were. Albrecht Classen, university distinguished professor and grand knight commander of the Most Noble Order of the Three Lions, will lead this presentation about the art, philosophy and religion of the period using illustrated manuscripts, samples of Medieval music and old texts. 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28. Himmel Park Library, 1035 N. Treat Ave. Free.
Fun in General
. Easter is coming, and what better way to honor the rebirth of Jesus Christ than by teaching children about the law of scarcity in a good old-fashioned, dog-eat-dog Easter egg hunt? Just kidding—this city-hosted event is sure to be a civil affair full of cute kids looking for some candy. Plus, there will be carnival games, plenty of prizes and a special guest appearance by the Easter Bunny himself, in early before his hectic Easter weekend starts. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 24. Mansfield Park, 2000 N. Fourth Ave. Free.
Kyudo: Japanese Archery
. As per usual over in Japan, they’ve been doing something the Western world does casually or practically much longer, and in a much more artistic way. Watch the artists of Arizona Kyudo Kai work as they demonstrate and discuss the basic elements of kyudo, including the hassetsu, an eight-step piece of footwork that all shooting forms stem from. After their formal three-person shoot, they’ll welcome audience participation and teach the hassetsu (without the actual bow and arrow part) to anyone interested. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 24. Yume Japanese Gardens, 2130 N. Alvernon Way. $15.
Tucson Dragway Exotic Driving Experience
. Ever wanted to just take a few laps around an autocross style race course in a Lamborghini? How about a Ferrari, a McLaren or a Maserati? Here’s your chance. Dream Drive Exotics is coming to Tucson and giving you the chance to live out your Speed Racer dreams in an arena that’s almost as thrilling as it is safe—safety comes first after all, and their website advertises this as an experience you’ll get to tell your grandkids about someday. Sunday, March 25. Time varies depending on when you book. Tucson Dragway, 12000 S. Houghton Road. Call 855-227-8789 to book. $99 for three laps, $149 for five laps and $199 for seven laps.
Spring Home Tour
. Thinking about buying a mansion of an adobe on Tucson’s east side? Probably not. Wondering what the inside of some of Tucson’s most historic homes look like? Here’s your chance! Six adobe properties in the Fort Lowell District are opening their doors for the first time in a generation to support the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation. It’s a self-directed tour, so you can take your time moving between homes, driving or walking, during the five-hour event. The event is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 24, and the tour begins at 2900 N. Craycroft Road, Fort Lowell Park, in the northeast corner of the parking area. $40. There are also a few tickets for a cocktail party on Friday, March 23 in one of the homes, and tickets to this event include tickets to the home tour.
Arrangiarsi (pizza…and the art of living)
. Matteo Troncone has lived the kind of life the rest of us are always saying we want to live. This film, which took him eight years to direct, produce, write, edit, narrate and compose music for , chronicles his journey to find the secret of pizza in Naples To him, this meant doing more than just heading to Italy for a few weeks with a film crew. He spent five years living in a camper van in California and a tent in Naples, Italy, where he traveled nine times for filming. He’ll be at the Loft for one night only, bringing his van, to do a Q&A about the film. 4 p.m. Saturday, March 24. The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $10 in advance, $12 day of.
The Rebel Set
captures that body tingle just as the hit on your tongue kicks in, when shadows darken and swirl and eat at your vision. Once the trip unfolds, it’s a dirty speed jive—a jaw-grinder saved only by The Set’s overdriven guitar blurts. Focus hard on that wave of ’verb-drenched surf, try not to freak from any horror movie yawps. A heady backbeat that sounds straight out of old Ramsey Recorders pushes ever further from your ego while flashy synths distract you from unexamined angst. That’s when singer Joe Zimmerman confesses he’s out of his gord, suggests we all drop out, and reveals the monster-making blueprint. This Phoenix foursome hits harder than most ’billy acts, nailing the difficult balance between mirth and serious to create unironic (foreboding even!) roc ’n’ roll. Friday, March 23 at The Flycatcher, 340 E. Sixth Street. Doors at 8 p.m. 21+.
. There are arms to hold and arms to harm and Mary Ocher’s music explores both. Straddling the cultural lines of Tel Aviv and Germany, Ocher challenges the listener with sociopolitical and aural complexities. Yes, she’s a classically trained pianist and skilled operatic singer; and yes, she pairs those skills with Hebrew and Germanic folk traditions to create unexpected, dynamic builds (perhaps maybe reminiscent of Sigur Ros?). Ocher is an aural performance artist who evokes soundscapes that transport listeners to a stark Polish border crossing or way up north to take in an Aurora Borealis. Few outside of Tommy James and the Shondells could ever pull off a line like, “Blue Crystal Fire, smooth, sinking sunshine,” but Ocher does so beautifully, sans pretension. Using everything musically available to her, from simple acoustic instruments to heavy synth processors, Ocher supercharges lyrics and reminds us of the power of one who’s truly a global citizen. With Snackbirdy and Silky Velvet on Monday, March 26. Club Congress, 311 E. Congress. Doors at 7 p.m. 21+. Free. —B.S. Eliot
. Whether honoring the cosmology of their Native ancestors or daring others to think hard about modern day happenings along la frontera, Raza Ordinaria offer a perspective of life lived in the shadow of Trump’s wall. Originally founded in the mid-’90s in Nogales, Sonora, the band took a 15-year (!?) hiatus before returning with their third album and sweet brand of Spanish-language rock ’n’ roll of the alt variety. A female-fronted quintet ahead of its time, this dusty, Les Paul-driven combo soars on boy/girl harmony, drums and bass, with the occasional keyboard. Often a mixture of singing and shout-out, frontwoman Kaki Munoz and her husband, Vero, might be likened to a Sra. and Sr. Dexter Holland, with equally intelligent, satirical lyrics. The recent album, Dibujo
, centers on the idea of prison, both metaphoric and actual. Though sung in Spanish, this is a universal theme that Mexican and U.S. citizens can now more than ever begin to fully comprehend. With Mosto and Nico Maleon on Saturday, March 24. The Loudhouse, 915 W. Prince. 8 p.m. $6. 21+. —B.S. Eliot
. Imagine every inspirational bumper sticker you’ve ever read strung together with verve and sincerity and you’ll approximate Chad Wilkin’s lyrics. Now enter the music beneath: simplistic rhythm guitar, expansive bluegrass violin and tribal hand drums. It’s envisioned and manifested by Wilkins himself, in service to his unabashedly inspirational messages of trust and coexistence. It’s tempting to goof on his heart-first clichés, but we think fuck sarcasm—it’s braver now to offer simple truths, the hit-you-over-the-head “power of love” positivity. Non-denominational, Chad’s tunes afford non-believers the opportunity to participate in direct and all-encompassing call-and-response hymns and chants usually found only in houses of some god or other. Like Matisyahu minus the dogma, Wilkin’s voice brims with clean-living spirit. Each song is a devotional practice that begs for ironic commentary, yet feels authentic enough to be spiritually untouchable. With Dan Horner on Friday, March 23. Galactic Center, 35 East Toole Ave. Show at 7:30 p.m. $15. All ages.