This week's events begin with a Wingspan Open House on Thursday, June 26, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Share food, network with others, meet the new staff and interns and find out what's happening at the community center. Wingspan is located at 300 E. Sixth St.
When's the last time you played miniature golf? (My answer: on the Atlantic City boardwalk, circa 1970, visiting my grandparents.) And when's the last time you did it with a bunch of queer folks? (Does Skee Ball count?) On Friday, June 27, from 7 p.m. to midnight, play to your heart's content at Funtasticks Family Fun Park, 221 E. Wetmore St. Cost for two hours of all kinds of fun at the park is $10. Get your tickets from the Tucson Pride booth at the park until 10 p.m.
On Saturday, June 28, from 1 to 3 p.m., check out a seminar with a great title, "A Black Belt Is No Longer Just an Accessory." Learn a thing or two about martial arts self-defense, presented by Gay Men's Health Project. The seminar is open to all genders and demonstrates how to escape from dangerous situations, including striking techniques, pressure points, takedowns and how to swing at your assailant with common objects (leave your frying pans at home). Larry Maestas is a fourth-degree black belt with 20 years experience in karate, judo, jujitsu and kobudo weapons. He'll talk about safer sex as self-defense, too. The session takes place at The Muse, 516 N. Fifth Ave., in Room 101.
Also on Saturday, at 6 p.m., the "only in Tucson" event that most people associate with Pride Week happens out at Old Tucson Studios. Gay West 7 features concerts by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts with special guests The Motels with Martha Davis. In addition to the music, there's Diana Flair and Lucinda Holliday presenting Ladies With Flair and Lipstick and Lashes; Salud es Poder presents Fuerza Latina Travesti; and take your pick of DJ dance venues with Hi-NRG and country genres. Stunt shows kick off the drag shows and Gun Belts and Garters is performed in the saloon during the dances. Don't miss the fetish fashion show hosted by Hydra Leather during intermission.
Tickets cost $25 in advance from Zia Records, Wingspan, Antigone Books and other venues. It'll cost you $30 at the door. Old Tucson Studios is located at 201 S. Kinney Road.
Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea strategically picked Pride Week to begin its new Saturday evening Women's Coffee House. Each week, at 9 p.m., a local musical talent shines. This week it's Vanessa Zubà@r (yes, that's her moniker) performing in a nonsmoking, alcohol-free space. Bentley's is located at 1730 E. Speedway Blvd. All are welcome and there's no cover.
To round out all the events this week is the fourth annual LGBT Pride Parade held on Sunday, June 29, at 6 p.m. Brave the heat (or wait until October's Pride festivities). Tucson Lesbian Avengers and OUTrage sponsor the parade that gathers steam at the park at Fourth Avenue and Second Street and continues south on Fourth Avenue until it ends at El Presidio Park at the corner of Alameda Street and Church Avenue. Once at El Presidio Park, there's live music with Betty Diamond followed by DJ Ricardo Gonzales spinning tunes and the ever-fabulous Faith Michaels and the girls doing their drag show with special drag king guests, Boys-R-Us. Don't forget to buy your raffle tickets--10 bucks a pop--for a chance to win up to $5,000. You can buy them at Wingspan, Antigone Books, Bentley's, EON Youth Lounge or at the parade.
For details about all of these events, call Tucson Pride Inc. at 622-3200 or Wingspan at 624-1779.
TO BEE OR NOT TO BEE. That is the question for eight contestants of a national spelling bee.
Spellbound is an Oscar-nominated documentary that features grueling competitions and follows the kids to the bitter end. Knowing what a word means is less important than discerning whether the "i" follows or precedes the "e."
Sean Welch is the producer of the film, and he shows up at The Loft Cinema for opening night on Friday, June 27. Screening begins at 7:30 p.m. and Welch answers questions afterwards. Tickets cost $10 general and $7 for members of the Tucson Film Society.
On Saturday, June 28, at 11 a.m., Welch holds a free, informal producer's Wworkshop for those interested in the process of going from concept to celluloid.
Both the screening/discussion and the workshop take place at The Loft, located at 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Call 529-0764 with questions.
BY CAR, MINIVAN AND MAYBE EVEN RAIL. If Phoenix can join 27 other cities in operating a light-rail system, Tucson ought to come up with a plan of its own. The Phoenix system launches in 2006. Albuquerque just announced plans to build one. In fact, we are the only major Western city whish hasn't yet pursued light rail.
It's not like folks haven't been trying.
You can get a glimpse of the history and future of mass transit in and around our town. On Saturday, June 28, at 6 p.m., and repeating at 9 p.m. and again on Sunday, June 29, at 6 p.m., tune in to Access Tucson Channel 74 (Cox and ComCast Cable) for a series of videos. The line-up is presented by Citizens for a Sensible Transportation Solution and includes Back on Track, a 10-minute video about their proposed transportation plan for Tucson. Plus, there's a documentary that examines General Motors' role in dismantling streetcar lines. Did you know they pulled up tracks (sometimes overnight) all across the country and introduced diesel-fueled buses as an "alternative"?
CFASTS is in its last week of gathering signatures in support of its transportation initiative for placement on the November 2003 ballot. The plan would improve existing Van Tran and Sun Tran service, expand the Old Pueblo Trolley from Fourth Avenue to downtown, build sidewalks and bikeways and add light rail on Broadway Boulevard and south on Sixth Avenue. You can sign the petition during store hours at Full Cycle at 3302 E. Speedway Blvd. or in the evenings in front of Casa Video, 2905 E. Speedway Blvd., before June 30.
Questions? Call Access Tucson at 624-9833 or visit www.savetucson.org.
IT'S A PLAN. During the uneasy years of World War II, UA alumnus C. Leonard Pfeiffer amassed more than100 paintings and drawings for what was to become the first art collection donated to the university.
He worked with the UA's art department and artists from New York. His collection opened to the public at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York before traveling to several American museums and finally landing as a gift to the UA.
Pfeiffer's daring and determined wartime collecting strategy became known as The Arizona Plan.
Part of his collection is on view through July 20 at the UA's Museum of Art, located in the fine arts courtyard, just east of Speedway Boulevard and Park Avenue. Summer viewing hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. The museum is free and open to the public. Call 621-7567 for details.