Cheap Thrills

ART PARTY: Help celebrate Tucson's heartbeat with the Tucson Arts District Partnership's 10th anniversary gala.

Raphael Moreno and Descarga anchor this blow-out with hot Latin sounds in the Ronstadt Center. And the Tucson Folk Festival strutts its stuff at five downtown locations, from Arizona Alley to the Tucson-Pima Main Library. There will also be Cinco de Mayo parties, and a music and dance preview from the Pan Asian Festival.

Adding even more color to the festivities are hanging banners by fourth and fifth graders at Carrillo Intermediate School, who created the sizzling signage with the Street Side Banner Project coordinated by Elizabeth Quinn-Worrall.

And that's just the beginning of this well-deserved nod to TADP for helping keep our cowtown's soul alive. Event runs from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at various downtown locations. For information, call 624-9977.

TALL TALKERS: Enjoy Latin heritage straight from the caballo's mouth with Tellers of Tales.

Like their name implies, this band of yarn spinners, tall talkers and lip-flappers whips up some whoppers -- and preserves a timeless human art form in the process. At 9 a.m. Saturday, May 6, longtime storyteller Martin Rivera presents Cinco de Mayo in the Himmel Park Library, 1035 N. Treat Ave. Admission is free. For details, call 795-2823.

HOME SWEET HOME: Pop quiz: What do Benji, Morris the Cat and Eddie of Frasier have in common?

Answer: They were once homeless critters, plucked from misfortune in various shelters to become major stars. While most animals can't expect such fame, they do all deserve a good home. Now you can help when the Humane Society of Southern Arizona joins the Fifth International Adoptathon.

"Last May, Pet Adoptathon was an international success, providing homes for 37,000 homeless pets during the 36-hour event," says Humane Society spokeswoman Cathy Ann Morrison. "We gave over 130 animals a new chance at life by matching them with new owners, and placed seventh in the nation for adoptions. This year we hope to place 150 animals in new homes."

Petsmart is aiding the cause with off-site adoption centers at its three Tucson locations from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow. The Humane Society also offers pets for adoption from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. today, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow, at 3450 N. Kelvin Blvd. For information, call 321-3704.

POTTERS' PILGRIMAGE: Two artists from the phenomenal Mexican pottery village of Mata Ortiz arrive in Tucson to display their craft.

Macario Ortiz and Eli Navarrete demonstrate the shaping, painting and firing techniques that have gained Mata Ortiz pottery world wide acclaim. Their presence also notes the dramatically beautiful, stylistic innovations of this younger generation of village artisans. During the demonstration, they'll take breaks to provide live music.

Pottery show/demonstration runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7, at ArteSpazio Gallery, 5101 N. Oracle Road. Call 888-8788 for details.