City Week

Caffeine on Display!

Coffee and Tea Demonstrations
9 a.m. to Noon, Saturday, July 29
Oro Valley Town Hall Complex, 11000 N. La Cañada Drive

So many people rely on coffee to get their morning started, and with a Starbucks on every corner, lattes have become ubiquitous. If you are as much of an addict as I am, then you may want to head to the Oro Valley Farmers' Market this weekend.

The market is featuring things like latte art demonstrations and instructions for brewing the perfect cup of coffee--awesome things to be entertained by while working on a nice caffeine buzz.

Master barista John Hall will be performing latte art, which is the craft of making pretty pictures with the foam on the top of a latte, according to Roxanne McElmell, the director of the farmers' market

Hall has a coffee stand at the market every weekend, said McElmell.

There will also be seminars beginning at the top of each hour, starting at 9 a.m., with topics including how to use a coffee pot and instructions on French press and pour-over techniques, McElmell said.

In addition to the brewing demonstrations, there will be samples of freshly roasted organic fair-trade coffee, which, according to McElmell, is "the best coffee you will ever taste."

If coffee isn't your warm beverage of choice, the event is also showcasing teas. Demonstrations will include a Chinese Gaiwan tea ceremony and how to brew the tastiest cup of tea.

The farmers' market will also feature live music and local small businesses selling organic produce, fresh baked goods and much more, said McElmell.

This is the first time the market is doing the coffee and tea demonstrations, but McElmell said they hope to see them become a regular event. The market is open from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, and admission is free. --E.R.

Democracy on the March?

"Our Brand Is Crisis" Screening
Noon, Sunday, July 30
Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.

The Loft Cinema isn't showing Little Man or You, Me and Dupree this Sunday. This being the Loft, you won't even find the crazy-popular Pirates of the Caribbean sequel there.

Instead, you'll find a new film that gives viewers a look into the realm of American political spin used abroad.

Our Brand Is Crisis, which was nominated for a 2006 Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary Feature, offers an "intense behind-the-scenes look at the manipulation and orchestration involved in big-time political campaigning," according to a press release.

The film, by first-time filmmaker Rachel Boynton, follows former Clinton adviser James Carville and his spin team to Bolivia, where they try to get the unpopular incumbent president, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, re-elected, said Loft Program Director Jeff Yanc.

Throughout the film, the spin team discovers the American combination of democracy and capitalism may not cross over into all foreign climates, as the film culminates in a rather violent fashion, according to Yanc.

Yanc said one reason the film was selected was because of its ability to start a good discussion about the media's role in society and the responsibility of the media in politics.

The screening on Sunday, which is presented by the Society of Professional Journalists, will be followed by a panel discussion of the political, social and ethical issues raised by the film. Panelists include Raul Castro, the first Mexican-American governor of Arizona, and Paul Eckerstrom, former head of the Pima County Democratic Party.

Admission to the event is $10 and will benefit both the nonprofit Loft Cinema and the Southern Arizona chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The film is not rated, but it is probably not appropriate for the younger set. --E.R.

Get Down With Gospel

Gospel Music Workshop of America's Annual Musical
4 p.m., Sunday, July 30
Mount Calvary Missionary Church, 210 E. Lester St.

All aboard the gospel train! It's heading to the annual Gospel Music Workshop of America (Tucson chapter), with this year special guests, The Gospel Train of Switzerland.

The Mount Calvary Church has been holding this event for about 20 years, says Ann Fortune Gamble, the assistant chapter representative.

"We have this concert every year before our national competition, which is in Dallas this year," she says.

There are going to be about 180 singers participating in total, she says, and they'll perform all kinds of gospel music, from contemporary to the more classical style.

This year's special guest, The Gospel Train of Switzerland, has been in Tucson since July 24, and will be leaving on Aug. 1. Group members are between 18 to 80 years old, and hail from all around Switzerland.

The theme for this year's concert is "O' Lord We Praise You" and scripture from Psalm 133, Gamble says.

The Tucson chapter of the workshop has been around since 1984, and is part of a worldwide organization that was founded in 1967. There are more than 185 chapters worldwide, from Asia to the Caribbean, from Europe to the United States.

The Tucson chapter has held concerts in New Mexico, Georgia and all around Arizona, and will be traveling to Dallas later this year to perform in their national competition.

The event is expected to draw a crowd of about 800, Gamble says, and all are welcome to come, even if their level of gospel experience is somewhat limited. The event is free and open to the public, and a fellowship repast will follow the concert.

"There are going to be a few surprises that even I don't know about yet," Gamble says. --J.K.

Chance to Dance

Viva Arizona! Music and Dance Workshops
8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 2, through Friday, Aug. 4
UA Music Building, 1017 N. Olive Road

Trying to get rid of those two left feet you've got? Well, strap on your dancin' shoes and sign up for the Viva Arizona! Music and Dance Workshops at the University of Arizona, where you can learn to dance in the styles of flamenco, salsa, folklorico and hip-hop.

The workshop also offers music classes for mariachi, tejano, classical flamenco guitar and trio/boleros music. Both dance and music workshops are taught by working professionals in the field, says Julie Gallego, founder of the Viva Arizona! dance company.

"This is the first year that we're doing this, and we're planning on making it an annual event," she says.

Classes are open to anyone over the age of 5 who has a desire to shake his or her booty. No experience is necessary, but all levels of experience are welcome.

Included with the $65 cost per workshop is the Viva Arizona! Performance Extravaganza on Aug. 5, which will pay tribute to the musical history of the 1930s through still photos, film and local musicians.

"Everyone who took the workshop will put on a performance at 4 p.m. at Centennial Hall (on Aug. 5), and then they'll have the opportunity at 7 p.m. to watch the professional Viva dance musical that shows the history of the Tucson," Gallego says. Admission to the event is $15-$25.

The easiest way to register is online at the Web site, she says, and though there's no deadline, Gallego encourages signing up by the end of July; prices after that may include a late registration fee.

Viva Arizona! will also be holding a tardeada dinner and dance benefit on Sunday, Aug. 6, from 3 to 8 p.m., to raise money for the Elisa Gastellum Memorial Foundation. Tickets are $10 per person, and are available at the Viva Hispanic Performing Arts Center, 706 E. 46th St. --J.K.