City Week

Latin Creations

Nuestras Raices exhibition of artwork from Raices Taller 222 Art Gallery
Opens Tuesday, Feb. 17
On display through Tuesday, March 10
Joel D. Valdez Main Library
101 N. Stone Ave.

John Salgado searches thrift stores, antique shops and just about everywhere else imaginable for stuff that makes noise. He then combines his finds along with photographs to create mixed-assemblage sculptures--and his creations will be on display as part of the sixth annual Nuestras Raices Literary Arts Festival at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library.

Salgado is the president of the Raices Taller 222 Art Gallery; six other gallery members will also be displaying their art at the festival.

"It's an overlook of all our members' work, geared toward our roots," says Salgado of the show.

Raices Taller is the only Latino-based nonprofit contemporary-art cooperative in Tucson, and this is the second year the gallery will be displaying work at Nuestras Raices, which aims to celebrate Mexican-American art, literature and culture.

The gallery began 12 years ago to provide a space for artists to create and display their work publically. "There was a core group of Hispanic artists, and we didn't have an opportunity to show our work," says Salgado.

However, the co-op doesn't just serve artists from a Hispanic background. "It's open to not just Latino artists; there are (artists) from all walks of life and ages," says Salgado.

One of the gallery's biggest functions is its community-involvement and art-outreach programs, which allow members to teach art at the gallery and at local schools.

"We deal a lot with the underserved population that doesn't go to galleries or museums," says Salgado. "We are a community gallery; we bring classes in for instruction. That's the role we fill."

The Nuestras Raices Festival will also host a downtown mercado and a film festival. For more information, go to the festival Web site. --L.A.

Jazz and Love

Marion Meadows and Jessy J in concert
8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 14
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort Kiva Ballroom
7000 N. Resort Drive
(800) 595-4849

Mix one part red, two parts pink and a dozen roses, and your Valentine's Day may be taken care of visually. But what about aurally? One event that may just lead to sparks between you and your significant other is the Tucson Jazz Society's concert at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort.

At 8 p.m. in the Kiva Ballroom, sweethearts can indulge in sensational jazz from a duo of talented musicians. Bring your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, best friend, anybody, to enjoy Marion Meadows--known for his album Dressed to Chill--and Jessy J, of Tequila Moon fame. Both world-class artists will surely bring cuddle-worthy tunes to the table. After that, the rest is up to you! The Tucson Jazz Society's Christy Krueger says the concert has a goal beyond romance: It should also educate.

"There are so many subgenres in jazz that our audience is unaware of, and our goal is to introduce them to the varieties of jazz," she says.

Krueger says she's looking forward to the return of smooth-jazz great Meadows to Tucson.

"Marion Meadows has participated in many events for us in the past, and it is great that he and Jessy J agreed to collaborate for this event," she says. Tickets for students with ID start at $20; Tucson Jazz Society members get in for $25, and the general public can enjoy the jazz for $35. A small number of VIP tables are also available for an extra fee; the VIP treatment includes seats within the first three rows, a photo op and a meet-and-greet with Marion Meadows and Jessy J at 7:30 p.m. Special room rates are also available at Loews Ventana Canyon; call 299-2020 for more information on the hotel or for room reservations. --L.L.

Atmosphere of Experimentation

ZUZI! Dance Company's Gotta Have HeART! No Frills Dance Happenin'
7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 13, and Saturday, Feb. 14
ZUZI's! Theater
738 N. Fifth Ave.

I've learned a new word: zuzi. It means "move it" in Hebrew. I'm excited to test out my new word during bouts of frustration while driving, but for now, I will use it to describe the dance company in Tucson from which I learned about this wonderful word.

ZUZI! Dance Company is presenting its annual Gotta Have HeART! No Frills Dance Happenin' on Feb. 13 and 14. ZUZI! is opening up its theater to allow independent performers the chance to showcase their yet-to-be-completed-works to the public, in styles from hip-hop, to aerial, to belly dancing, to modern dance.

"No Frills is like an open mic for dancers," says ZUZI! co-founder and artistic director Nanette Robinson.

Robinson studied modern dance at Temple University and, along with Nancy Mellan, began the nonprofit ZUZI! in 1998. The company specializes in modern and aerial dance and has its own theater, public classes and three companies for advanced, youth aerial and apprentice dancers.

"We wanted to create modern professional work and to open a home for artists," Robinson says about the company. "We believe dance is more than just steps. Our mission is to create a connection through dance."

Because Robinson realized how vital it was for independent dancers to show their work to an audience, No Frills was conceived nine years ago. Friday is for adult artists to perform and receive feedback from the audience about their unfinished work; Saturday is youth night, dedicated to budding choreographers who may not otherwise have the chance to share their moves with the public.

"You don't really know where the piece is going to go until you share it with the audience. ... It breathes life into the piece," says Robinson.

Tickets are $10--so zuzi! --L.A.

Hit With a Ball for a Good Cause

Charity Dodgeball Tournament
Noon to 6 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 15
Lohse Family YMCA
60 W. Alameda St.

After learning about this weekend's charity dodgeball tournament, I thought of Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, with Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn. However, at this Lohse Family YMCA tourney, you won't have a teammate who thinks he's a pirate, and the outcome won't determine whether or not a gym closes.

Instead, this tournament is part of the YMCA of Southern Arizona's "Changing Lives Campaign," which seeks to provide for families who would otherwise be unable to afford YMCA programs. "Everyone should have the opportunity to get involved (with the YMCA); money shouldn't have to be an issue," says Manny Smith, an event organizer. For such a great cause, why not set aside your Sunday afternoon to do some good--and nail some competitors at the same time? Gather up five of your friends, softball-team members, co-workers, yoga partners--anybody you want--and head over to the Lohse Family YMCA. It costs $10 a person to participate. Don't have a team? No problem; you can still register and play. Just come by the Lohse YMCA with your $10 to sign up, and organizers will place you on a team.

So grab your tennis shoes and be ready to dodge. Let's bring back this elementary-school classic! --L.L.

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