City Week

Makin' Changes

Sustainable Tucson meeting and screening of In Transition

5:45 to 8 p.m., Monday, Jan. 11

Joel D. Valdez Main Library

Lower Level Meeting Room

101 N. Stone Ave.


It's now two years until 2012, when the Mayan calendar suggests the world will end.

OK, the world probably won't actually end in 2012—but considering global warming, dwindling resources, overpopulation and rapidly declining biodiversity, the world as we know it today can't last forever, and things could be very different in the not-so-far-off future.

That's what the international "transition movement" addresses—making a transition from our current, unsustainable way of life to a sustainable existence that can ensure our future existence for a good, long while.

Sustainable Tucson, a citizen-driven planning project—and part of the worldwide transition movement—looks to build regional resilience to crises by raising awareness of human impacts and engaging the community in sustainability.

This week, Sustainable Tucson will host its first 2010 general meeting—and it could be one of the most important meetings of the year. At the meeting, which will include the announcement of the group's new list of core members (who act as a board of directors), members will screen In Transition, a powerful film that introduces the key elements of sustainability and tells the story of people in "transition towns" across the world who are faced with the effects of climate change and diminishing oil—and who are actually doing something about it.

"We've been very much a consumer society," says Judith Mattson, one of Sustainable Tucson's nine core members. "Sustainability and doing something about our ability to live in the future helps us understand and value what we have now—and keep the best of what we have in a world that's changing around us."

The meeting and screening are free.

Fingerpickin' Good

Leo Kottke in Concert

8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Jan. 8 and 9

Temple of Music and Art

330 S. Scott Ave.

981-1475 (info);

622-2823 (tickets);

World-class guitar phenomenon Leo Kottke was influenced by folk and delta-blues music growing up—especially the music of Mississippi John Hurt. He picked up his first instrument at the age of 5 and actually learned to play the trombone and violin before he got started with the guitar—which he devoted himself to after he dropped out of college and played music on the streets for a living. He played his first performance in high school—motivated, he said in a 1994 interview, by the prospect of free beer.

Somewhere in there, Kottke developed and perfected one of the most unique and famously fast fingerpicking styles, one that can accommodate a slew of different musical genres, from folk to rock to jazz to bluegrass. Though he's known for his instrumentals, Kottke has lots of songs with vocals, sung in a baritone he's described as sounding like "geese farts on a muggy day." (We promise it actually sounds much better.)

Kottke's aggressive fingerpicking eventually led to a painful case of tendonitis and nerve damage in his right hand—his fingerpicking hand, of course. But he didn't stop playing; instead, he adopted a classical picking style and changed the position of his right hand to put less pressure on the tendons. Kottke also has hearing damage—but that doesn't stop him from playing, either.

Over 40 years, Kottke has released 37 albums; toured with jazz, flamenco and classical guitarists; and jammed with people like John Fahey, Peter Lang, Rickie Lee Jones and Lyle Lovett. Today, he's playing as fast and strong as ever—and anyone who's ever seen him in concert can tell you he's hilarious onstage.

Tickets are $22 to $26.

Reach for the Moon Rock

Driven to Explore multimedia exhibit

9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday-Monday, Jan. 9-11

Pima Air and Space Museum

6000 E. Valencia Road


Ever wish you could touch the moon? This week, you can—and do a bunch of other things that will make you feel cozy with outer space—at the Pima Air and Space Museum's interactive exhibit Driven to Explore, brought to Tucson by NASA itself.

For many, the highlight of the exhibit will be the 3-billion-year-old moon rock on display for viewing and touching, which was brought to Earth by Apollo 17 in 1972. It's one of just seven moon samples in the world that are available for people to touch.

On a walk-through tour, visitors will also get to see NASA's next-generation launch vehicles and human spacecraft, designed for exploring the moon through the agency's next big thing: the Constellation Program. Visitors can learn about the development of the vehicles, as well as what it takes to sustain a working and living outpost on the moon—and have all questions answered about why NASA wants to go back to the moon, and what astronauts plan to do while they're there.

On Saturday, Jan. 9, at 2 p.m., exhibit viewers will have the opportunity to see and hear NASA astronaut Mark Kelly (aka Mr. Gabrielle Giffords) give a presentation about his part in NASA and everything he's done.

"Anybody who is into space will enjoy this exhibit," says Laura Brown, of the Pima Air and Space Museum. "We're going to have a real live astronaut talking all about the future of NASA and going back to the moon—and beyond."

Admission to the museum is $15.50 for adults; $12.75 for seniors, AAA members and military members; and $9 for children 7 to 12 years old. Kids 6 and younger get in for free.

The Nuttiness of Tucson

Kenzo and Jerry art exhibit

Noon to 6 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday, through Wednesday, Feb. 3

Lulubell Toy Bodega

439 N. Sixth Ave., Suite 187


Local artists Kenzo Butler and Jerry Jordan have been making art since they were little kids. Now 28 and 31, respectively, they do art together—and you can see the results this month at Kenzo and Jerry, an exhibit of works at the Lulubell Toy Bodega and Gallery.

Butler, a tattoo artist by trade, likes to paint startlingly colorful surrealist paintings that are, according to a press release, "interwoven with shapes that seem to form spaces, and spaces that seem to form shapes."

The work of Jordan, who's a graphic designer as well as a painter, is somewhat less-trippy-looking, but still surrealistic, often featuring pop-culture-influenced characters and sometimes incorporating text.

When the two make paintings together—taking turns rendering layers and elements until both deem the work complete—the results are fantastic. And since the artists share a studio and office space in Solar Culture Gallery, they collaborate often.

"The art is an accumulation of our experiences and thoughts on the nuttiness of Tucson, put on multicolored canvases," says Jordan. "The artwork itself leans more toward a cartoony, tattoo style."

Jordan and Butler have also started an independent skateboard company called Larosa.

Butler and Jordan wanted to put on the Lulubell show, not only to spread the word about their art and skateboards, but to also give Tucsonans a chance to buy art without going broke.

"Our idea was to be able to sell at a show in which regular people could walk away with art they're stoked with," says Jordan.

The show is free.

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