City Week

A Tucson-Centric Discussion

”TEDxTucson: Innovating Our Green Economy”

5:30 to 9 p.m., Friday, Dec. 3

Rialto Theatre

318 E. Congress St.

The historic Rialto Theatre is known for its sold-out concerts—but on Friday, something very different is squeezing into the Rialto: an evening of “riveting talks by remarkable people.”

TEDxTucson was created in the spirit “ideas worth spreading.” TED is an international movement designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue at the local level. The theme for this conference is “Innovating Our Green Economy.”

All of the talks at TEDxTucson will focus on ideas from and for Tucsonans. “It is a Tucson-centric discussion,” said Justin Williams, director of the Tucson office of the Arizona Technology Council, one of TEDxTucson’s organizing partners.

People in technology, entertainment and design created TEDx, a program meant to expand the reach of ideas and encourage deep discussion.

”They have unbelievable people talking about the most thought-provoking discussions,” said Williams. “The style in which they deliver these discussions is really cool. They are not just your run-of-the mill business talks. You are moved by the talks. Some will bring you to tears, and some are world-changing.”

Williams said that the Arizona Technology Council intends on making this a regular event here in Tucson. “There will be different themes ... and what we would like to do is try to foster community development around the chosen theme,” said Williams.

Speakers for this TEDxTucson event include host and emcee Jane Poynter, Dr. George Land, Bruce Wright, Eric Koester, James McAdams, Jonathan Northover, Dave Follette, Kevin Koch, Kimberly Ogden and Josh Hottenstein.

An after-party will take place at the Tucson Museum of Art in conjunction with the Tucson Young Professionals.

Admission is $10. Register online at —K.M.

Tamale Time!

Sixth Annual Tamal and Heritage Festival

10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 4

AVA Amphitheater

Casino del Sol

5655 W. Valencia Road

(800) 344-9435

In other parts of our big ‘ol melting pot of a nation, salsa closely resembles tomato sauce, both in flavor and consistency. In those parts of the country, the only words of Spanish that people are familiar with come from the bright, neon, trans-fat-packed menu at Taco Bell.

It’s a good thing we live in Tucson, where the tradition of the corn-based masa and luscious fillings that make the tamale is not only upheld, but celebrated.

It’s really celebrated at Casino del Sol’s Annual Tamal and Heritage Festival.

”It’s a fun family event. Normally, it is about 5,000 people that come out to it, and (admission) is free. Tucson had been extremely good to us; they supported all our casinos, so it’s really giving a little back,” said Wendell Long, CEO of Sol Casinos.

The event will feature everything from live music, live art and cultural performances to a children’s area complete with games and activities.

The best part, of course, is the tamales. Attendees can expect tamale offerings for sale from 125 different vendors in a variety of flavors, from traditional green corn to lobster. Local nonprofits will sell crafts as well as tamales to raise money for their respective causes.

The festival will also feature a tamal contest that will be broken up into three categories: green corn, traditional and gourmet. Much is on the line: Cash prizes range from $150 to $500.

”It’s a great festival. We really like doing these types of things,” Long said. —E.B.

Scrap Metal and Auto Nameplates

Rand Carlson: Mixed Media

Reception: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 3

Exhibit on display: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and before theater performances, through Jan. 18

Temple Gallery Temple of Music and Art

330 S. Scott Ave.


Rand Carlson has worked as a cartoonist for more than 20 years—including doing “Random Shots” for this very newspaper. After all that time, Carlson decided that collecting auto nameplates from wrecking yards to use in 3-D narrative works of art would be a good change of pace.

Now the Temple Gallery will be presenting these works in the exhibition Rand Carlson: Mixed Media.

For Carlson, this not-so-random change reflects a longstanding fascination with the ambiguity of language and its interplay with image. It allowed him to initiate wordplay into his collages.

”I had my first one-man show at the Etherton Gallery in 2006. When I was given this new show (also put on by Etherton Gallery), I was surprised to see that they were calling my work mixed media,” said Carlson. “But it really truly is mixed media.”

Carlson works with discarded tin snippets and other pieces of scrap metal, which he places onto wood panels. Using letters from automobiles to make narratives, he created an artistic trademark—now called mixed-metal media collages.

”One overreaching idea is that tin is getting harder and harder to find. It is one of the limitations of the medium of this work,” said Carlson.

Carlson will have 35 pieces of artwork, in all different shapes and sizes, on display, including the patchwork landscape “This Land Is Your Land.” The exhibit is running concurrently with Woody Guthrie’s American Song, Arizona Theatre Company’s now-playing production.

An artist’s reception with Carlson will be held this Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. —K.M.

Big Star, Little Town

Liza Minnelli

8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 3

UA Centennial Hall

1020 E. University Blvd.


Few names in theater shine as brightly or are as notable to the general public as Liza Minnelli. With an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a handful of Tony Awards in hand, she has conquered showbiz and soon will be making her way not to New York City or Chicago, but to the Old Pueblo.

”We are very excited and honored to be having Ms. Minnelli coming to Centennial Hall,” said Natalie Bohnet, executive director of UApresents. “As far as I know, this is her first time in Tucson. I have been with UApresents for 15 years, and I know we have not had her here before.”

Minnelli will perform a show chock-full of classic pop hits with help of accompanist Billy Stritch and a six-piece band.

”It was great to have her in our lineup for this season. It is really one of the flagship events of the season,” Bohnet said. “It is a real great thing to have in Tucson.”

Bohnet predicts that the show will be one of the sold-out shows during this UApresents season. With 2,000 tickets already sold as of our press deadline, she might be right—but she assures us that there are still a lot of great seats left.

Bohnet said, “She is not doing that many dates that I know of in the next few weeks, but we are really proud and honored. To have the small city of Tucson be having someone who is such a living legend is great.”

Ticket prices max out at $84. Military, senior, group and University of Arizona faculty/student/and employee discounts are available. Visit for ticket prices and availability. —E.B.

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