City Week

Starting the Month Off With Some Culture

First Thursday Art Walk

6 to 8 p.m., next Thursday, May 7

Main Gate Square

University Boulevard, between Park and Euclid avenues


Sculpture, glass art, culinary art and media art are just some of the things that will be showcased at a variety of venues on University Boulevard—including the Auld Dubliner Pub, Espresso Art and Grand Central Clothing—next Thursday, May 7.

"Our goal is to support local artists in a local way, and no matter what age you are, you can enjoy it," says Marshall Foundation general manager Jane McCollum.

Vila Thai restaurant and the Vila Art Foundation have been presenting art showcases like these since 2007, according to McCollum, but the Marshall Foundation only recently got involved with what has become a regular event on the first Thursday of each month. (See "Sex and Art at Main Gate Square," City Week, Feb. 5.)

The nonprofit foundation was founded in the 1930s, and owns and manages the buildings in Main Gate Square. Thanks to profits from the businesses located in the area, the foundation can give money back to Pima County and the University of Arizona.

More than 30 local artists will be showing their wares at the art walk. The goals of the event are to bring more traffic to Main Gate businesses and to present some of the best in local art and live music.

"We have always supported artists and culture. ... They make up the fabric of our community," says McCollum.

Other events include a wine tasting at Vila Thai for $5, a public-participation mural and live music at Frog and Firkin.

"We just think (Main Gate Square) is a great location, because it's pedestrian-friendly, and you really feel like you're in a city. ... (The Art Walk) creates a place where students and the community can benefit," says McCollum. —L.A.

Get Your Pog On

Pogs and Cogs Championship Alleycat Race

3 p.m., Sunday, May 3

UA Old Main

1200 E. University Blvd.

Remember pogs? They are those flat, smooth discs that kids everywhere traded and invested in during a burst of popularity in the 1990s.

While the pogs fad fizzled out for the most part, there are still many fans of pogs, and there's a good chance those fans will be at this weekend's Pog and Cogs Championship Alleycat Race—where they'll be joined by bike enthusiasts. And they'll all get a good workout.

Event organizer Beca (who asked that only her first name be used) explains that bike-riding participants will be given a list of pog-collection checkpoints to go to within a certain amount of time. After bicyclists complete the list and collect the pogs, they will make their way back to the starting point at Old Main.

Beca says that only single-speed, fix-gear bikes can be used. For those who are unfamiliar with these types of bikes, Beca explains: "They are bikes you have to pedal to keep moving. With other bikes, you can pedal for a bit and then stop and cruise on your bike. Single-speed bikes pose more a challenge for bikers. ... These types of bikes are becoming more popular, because they don't require much attention, and because people like the challenge."

At the end of the race, racers will use the pogs they collected from each checkpoint to compete in a pog championship for various prizes.

"I think that anyone who loves bikes will enjoy this race!" Beca says.

Signup for the race begins at 2 p.m., with the race itself beginning at 3 p.m. There will be an entry fee of $7. —L.L.

¡Fiesta Beneficio!

Calexico benefit concert

8 p.m., Saturday, May 2

Rialto Theatre

318 E. Congress St.;

Calexico's Joey Burns has a heart like an over-ripe avocado: It's got a lot of soft spots.

Over the years, Calexico shows have raised money for a variety of causes, including the gallery/studio/venue Solar Culture, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' re-election campaign, and Pueblo High School's Mariachi Aztlán, which needed funds to travel to Washington D.C., to play.

Calexico will be home in Tucson this weekend, wrapping up a five-state tour which included playing at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival. And what better way to celebrate the end of the tour than, you guessed it, a benefit show?

The beneficiaries this time are the Gentle Hands Center for Children, the daycare where drummer John Convertino sends his son; and Pan Left, Tucson's progressive nonprofit film production collective, which is celebrating its 15-year anniversary.

Socially and politically conscious causes are Calexico's specialty, Burns says, and giving back to the Old Pueblo is top priority.

"We like to play benefits here in town," he says humbly. "So as a result, I think there have been several people who have asked us to get involved with their causes, and we try to do what we can, when we can."

Though they tour the world, Calexico keeps it local. From the recurring immigrant theme in their music to the collective spirit and improvisational style, Calexico represents Tucson.

During their latest tour, they took advantage of their location, Burns says, by taking mini-trips around the Southwest with other Southwestern musicians.

Sergio Mendoza y La Orkesta, a big band with a big sound, will open the show, as will Calexico's longtime tour buddy Salvador Duran.

Tickets are $20 for general admission in advance; $22 at the door; and $26 for balcony seating. —H.S.

Thirst Quencher

Carry5 Walk for Water

8 a.m., Sunday, May 3

UA Old Main

1200 E. University Blvd.

While getting drinkable water here in Tucson is easy—just turn on the tap—in countries around the world, potable water is a hard-to-find commodity.

To raise awareness of this problem—and to raise funds to help—students in the UA's Department of Hydrology and Water Resources have put together an event taking place this weekend.

As event coordinator Michael Barnes says in an e-mail, "The walk represents the daily struggle to obtain water, and through participating, we can help end it."

How will the 5k walk work? "Participants carry (5 gallons of) water with them as they walk, allowing them to experience part of what people struggle with daily as they gather unclean water from streams and ponds," Barnes writes.

While this weekend's Carry5 Walk for Water will be a learning experience for participants, the walks made in other countries can be a matter of life and death.

"The lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitary latrines is the top public-health problem in the world and the no. 1 killer of children in the world," Barnes writes.

The walk will begin at Old Main, where participants and groups can sign up.

"By walking, we can make a very concrete impact on the lives of those in need of clean water," Barnes writes.

Participants can register for the event at the above Web site, or at the UA Old Main building on the day of the event. Registration is free, but fundraising is encouraged; all proceeds will help provide the poorest communities with access to clean water and sanitation. For more information, e-mail —L.L.