City Week

Beautifying Tucson

Rillito Basin Coalition
Cleanup Project
7:30-10 a.m., Saturday, May 14
Rillito Wash Basin, between Campbell Avenue and First Avenue
Parking at Cambri Corporate Center, southwest corner of Campbell Avenue and River Road

Susan Taylor has been walking the path by the Rillito Wash for 15 years. The Campbell Avenue area of the wash is a popular spot for dog walkers, joggers and bikers. But recently, Taylor noticed a disturbing trend.

"I am an avid walker and am community minded. I saw a lot of litter that no one was taking care of." In response to this need, Taylor organized a cleanup project to remove the trash accumulating in the Rillito Wash. She and other concerned citizens will clean the basin between Campbell and First Avenue.

"Once a year, I try to do something community-minded," says Taylor. "This is my next baby. I'm just one of these people that say, 'Hey, I want to do something.'"

Taylor organized the event in association with Tucson Clean and Beautiful, Trader Joe's and Ace Hardware. TCB will provide bags and dumpsters; Trader Joe's will provide water and snacks; Ace will provide masks. Participants are encouraged to bring a hat, sunscreen and gloves.

Taylor says that Pima County Flood Control is responsible for the basin, although they only maintain it for flood control. She decided to organize the basin cleanup out of a sense of community. "The idea of contributing is important to me. I love Tucson."

It is Taylor's hope is that people join her cause to make a lasting difference. "My goal is to have people register and say they are committed to this. If people make a commitment as a group to clean it three times a year, we will get recognition that we've adopted that part of the river. ... I'd like to see another person adopt another area, like from Campbell to Country Club (Road). The more we participate, the more we get done." --I.M.

Show Time

Take 5: A Night Of Five Student Shorts
5-7 p.m. Friday, May 13
The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.

This time of year, students at the UA are finishing up courses and taking final exams. Brains are being crammed with facts, figures and theories. But graduating students in UA's Media Arts BFA program have a much more creative final project: They make a movie.

Fifteen graduating media arts filmmaking students have created five short films, ranging from six to 15 minutes in length. "We were only allowed 10 minutes, but some stories need longer to come across on the screen," says student producer Lindsey Magee.

Magee produced two of the five films shown: '26 and Clowning Around. '26, directed by Stephanie Faust, is a historical drama. Clowning Around, directed by Tim Wong, is a claymation film. Other films shown will be action film The Black Seeker: Legend of Yeoja's Revenge, directed by Edward Kim; comedy Breaking News, directed by Logan Hall; and documentary Life List, directed by Tom Dunlap.

This year's students will show their films at the Loft Cinema. "It's the first year we've had this venue," says Magee. "It's a new experience."

Another new element is that it's "the first year everyone shot on video instead of film," says Magee. But it won't necessarily look that way. According to Magee, using a Panasonic 24P camera allows the finished product to look more like film instead of video.

Student filmmakers will introduce their films and get a chance to discuss their creations in a question-and-answer period after each film. The event is sponsored by the Department of Media Arts, the Tucson Cinema Foundation and the Hanson Arizona Film Institute. --I.M.

A Look at Nature

International Museum Day
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 18
International Wildlife Museum, 4800 W. Gates Pass Road

"Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples," according to the International Council of Museums.

International Museum Day was created in 1977 to give the public a chance to learn about how museums serve society and the challenges they face in development. To that end, the International Wildlife Museum is inviting the public for a free day at the museum in observance of this year's theme, "museums bridging cultures."

There will be a lecture at 7 p.m. about the history and conservation of African wild dogs, including a slide show about the endangered carnivores' behavior and habitat. Bob Robbins and Kim McCreery, co-directors of the African Wild Dog Conservancy, will talk about their project working with seven Kenyan tribes in an effort to preserve the wild dog population.

There will also be a hands-on exhibit geared toward children, featuring bears, a musk ox and a giraffe, among other animals. Two temporary exhibits are Big Horn Sheep: Past and Present and Crocodiles and Alligators.

The bird exhibit features the very rare birds of paradise from New Guinea and various birds from tropical rain forests in replicas of their natural habitats. The museum is home to more than 400 types of taxidermy animals from all over the world, from insects to elephants.

"(It's) really important to society, because people see things they wouldn't normally see. It just opens people's eyes to what's out there," says Kristen Massey, the education curator.

Admission is free. --A.L.

Pious Parody

Meshuggah-Nuns! The Ecumenical Nunsense
7:30 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays and Sundays
8 p.m., Fridays And Saturdays
2 p.m., Sundays
May 16 through June 5
Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave.

A band of nuns falls victim to seasickness on board a "Faith of All Nations" cruise. What do they do? Sing, of course.

The fifth in a series of "Nunsense" shows by Dan Goggin, Meshuggah-Nuns!--crazy nuns--is a takeoff of Fiddler on the Roof that takes four nuns with varying personalities and creates a combination of songs, skits and parodies.

"It has real-quick, fast-paced jokes. (It's) a bit corny and funny," says Liz McMahon, the actress who plays Sister Mary Amnesia, who was struck on the head with a cross several years ago.

Other characters include Reverend Mother, a tightrope walker who grew up in an Irish circus family, played by Gail Fitzhugh; Sister Mary Hubert, the Mistress of Novices; and Sister Robert Anne, the streetwise nun from Brooklyn. The sisters perform a musical revue with different religious influences.

"It's representative of both the Catholic religion with the presence of the nuns, and then it's also representative of the Jewish religion with the presence of Howard Liszt (who plays Tevye)," McMahon says.

One song is "Contrition: A Song of Guilt" which is a take off of Fiddler on the Roof's "Tradition." Others include "Matzo Man," "Say It in Yiddish" and a gospel song, "Rock the Boat."

"Whatever your religious background is, whatever your life experience is, when you're together and when you're laughing, you know all of these other things don't matter," McMahon says.

The performance will entertain kids as well, although some of the parodies will be over their heads.

Admission is $19-$23. --A.L.