Fords on Fourth. Did you know that the Southern Arizona Mustang Club is (at least according to their website) the oldest Mustang club in the world? It started off as the Ford Falcon Owners club in 1963, and when the Mustang came out in '65, many club members traded their Falcons in for Mustangs. Thus, this club, dedicated to the preservation, restoration and pure enjoyment of all things Ford Mustang, was born. At this annual event, 325 gorgeous vehicles will take over Fourth Avenue, so we can all collectively drool over how shiny and well-made they are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 8. Historic Fourth Avenue. Free.
Free First Saturday Teddy Bear Picnic. Does this event sound too whimsical to be true? Well, it's hosted by Valley of the Moon Tucson, where everything seems too whimsical to be true, but is, in fact, true after all. Round up the kids and all of their favorite teddy bears, and make sure everyone brings their imaginations to this sweet afternoon event. They've got games, crafts, plenty of photo ops and lots of fun. Have you ever in your life regretted going on a picnic? 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 7. Valley of the Moon Tucson, 2544 E. Allen Road. Free.
Learn Something New
Beaded Histories: Intergenerational Knowledge and Northern Plains Beadwork. In honor of Women's History Month, the Arizona State Museum is hosting this talk by Jessa Rae Growing Thunder, a PhD student at UC Davis who comes from the Fort Peck Dakoda/Nakoda tribes of Notheastern Montana. She'll be speaking about her work as a quill and beadwork artist along with how Indigenous women have encrypted histories into their beadwork for generations. This free talk is followed by a reception and a special beadwork exhibit. 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 10. Center for English as a Second Language (CESL) 103 on the UA campus, 1100 James E Rogers Way. Free.
Southern Arizona Transportation Museum Lecture Series. If you've been attending this weekly lecture series since the beginning of February, there's no doubt you're on your way to becoming an expert on all things railroad. This week, David Quakenbush takes us home with his talk about railroad watches, which, though you may have never heard of them, were really important for keeping the trains movin'. At the beginning of railroad transport, there was no "standard time," so every city, town and railroad had its own "standard time." Obviously, this would not do. Also, having high-precision watches that are synced across the whole system was critical for preventing things like disastrous train crashes. Like I said: really important. 3 p.m. Sunday, March 8. Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, 414 N. Toole Ave. Free.
Intro to Forest Bathing. So, forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, does not actually involve bringing your bubble bath and shampoo into the woods. At least not the kind of forest bathing that Lee Ann Woolery, ecologist, artist and Sonoran resident, will be talking about at this event. Rather, it involves practicing mindfulness in nature and attuning your senses to your surroundings to calm your mind and spirit. It offers benefits ranging from increased energy to lower blood pressure to improved concentration. Some even find they enter a flow state! Bring an open mind and heart, but leave your loofah at home. 9 a.m. to noon. Wednesday, March 11. Yume Japanese Gardens, 2130 N. Alvernon Way. $55.
Music & Performances
NIYAZ. NIYAZ is an ethno-electronic Iranian-American group that will blow your mind. They combine live music and dance performance with all sorts of interactive, immersive technologies. We're talkin' projection and body-mapping techniques that respond to sound in real time! We're talkin' crazy lasers! We're talkin' sound and light and gorgeous visuals all coming together in a symphony for the senses. And it's all set to music that brings together electronics with Middle Eastern instruments and songs for a uniquely beautiful blend. Right now, they're touring through the U.S. with this show designed around their latest album, The Fourth Light. Don't miss them in Tucson! 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 5. Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. $19 to $60+.
PCC Chorale & College Singers Spring Concert. You know spring has arrived when the spring concerts start happening! At this production, several vocal groups at PCC will perform. The mixed voice Chorale will be singing songs including Ruth E. Scham's "Snow is Falling" and the classic "Over the Rainbow," while the select mixed-voice a cappella choir College Singers will be singing pieces including the hymn "This is my Father's World" and Kim A. Arnesen's "Even When He Is Silent." Then, both groups come together to sing more pieces, including "Auld Lang Syne" and Reese Norris' "Paper Crane." 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 10. PCC Center for the Arts Proscenium Theater, West Campus, 2202 W. Anklam Road. $5 to $6.
Hansel and Gretel. Now, this might be a matter of opinion, but, if you ask me, Hansel and Gretel is one of the best fairy tales, or at LEAST the most interesting. It's got a brother-sister team, an edible house, a terrifying villain, and a refreshing lack of romance. Did we mention the EDIBLE HOUSE? Don't miss this performance of the show by the Red Herring Puppet Studio, an award-winning national company whose director, Lisa Sturz, has worked with the likes of Jim Henson Productions, Walt Disney Imagineering and Lucasfilm. The show comes to life with traditional marionettes, shadow puppets and classical music. 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 8, 15, 22 and 29, plus one Saturday show on March 28. Red Herring Puppet Studio at the Tucson Mall, 4500 N. Oracle Road (between Macy's and Forever 21). $8.
The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Much like quantum physics and the process of putting together IKEA furniture, mother-daughter relationships are extremely complicated, but often worth all the complications. The characters in this play by Martin McDonagh—mom Mag and her aging spinster of a daughter Maureen—are an excellent example of at least part of this sentiment. It's dramatic and appalling and at times comical, and the Rogue Theatre's production of it is a must-see. This show was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award as Best Play for the London production, and the Broadway run won four Tony Awards. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through March 15. The Rogue Theatre at The Historic Y, 300 E. University Blvd. $42, plus $15 student rush tickets, 15 minutes before curtain, pending availability.
Riders of the Purple Sage. So, yes, this is the name of what's probably the most popular western novel in history, by Zane Grey. But it was also Arizona Opera's first commission, back in 2017. What could be more fitting for Arizona? Heroes and villains, soaring melodies, a love story, even a scene with a stampede. Now that we think about it, it's a wonder this didn't get made into an opera much earlier. Be sure to check out the much-anticipated return. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8. Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. $25 to $120.
Odyssey Storytelling Presents: Sweet Sixteen. Where were you on your 16th birthday? At a sleepover with your friends? Getting drunk with whatever you could find in your parent's liquor cabinet? At a lavish coming-of-age party? Come help Odyssey Storytelling celebrate its Sweet 16 with their newest storytelling event. The anniversary show also includes a food truck, a raffle and a silent auction with items from Tucson businesses. Get ready to party like it's your Sweet 16, or like it's the Sweet 16 you wish you'd had! 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 5. The Sea of Glass–Center for the Arts, 330 E. Seventh St. They're asking a one-time $16 fee in honor of their birthday, but you won't be turned away if you can only afford the usual $10 fee.
Heart of Tucson Art Spring Open Studio Tour. Tucson is so full of art that it can be almost overwhelming! We want to support all the artists! We want to buy all of the art! But where do we start?! The great thing about this tour is that more than 40 artists in midtown Tucson—working in mediums ranging from paint to ceramic to jewelry to baskets to fiber and beyond—will be opening their doors so you can check out their work and chat with as many of them as you want in one day. It's enough to turn you into the type of person who gets all their Christmas shopping done in March. Ready, set, art! 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8. Various locations—see details at HeartOfTucsonArt.org. Free.
Second SundAZe Family Day at the Tucson Museum of Art. Happy International Women's Day! The Tucson Museum of Art is celebrating with a day full of artmaking activities, including collage and portraits, as well as an afternoon panel, The Presence of Women and the Legacy of Elaine Horwitch. It lines up with the museum's current exhibit on gallerist Elaine Horwitch, and features TMA Chief Curator Julie Sasse in conversation with three of the artists Horwitch represented: Anne Coe, Suzanne Kotz and Lynn Taber. Hooray women! Hooray art! Hooray women in art! 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 8. Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, 140 N. Main Ave. Free.
Jessie Shinn Solo Exhibit + Member Artist Show. Untitled Gallery is a relatively new collective gallery in town, run by artists. Come see the opening of their newest exhibit, featuring the abstract black and white photography of Jessie Shinn. Shinn's work draws inspiration from philosophy, poetry, the ephemeral, the ordinary and the abstract (like the concept of time or the juxtaposition of light and dark). Where language fails, Shinn hopes her art speaks. It's the stunning sort of work that gives you a sense of déjà vu, makes you feel all cozy and gets you thinking about the meaning of life all at once. 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 7. Untitled Gallery, 101 W. Sixth St. #121.
Meme Art Show! Maybe you don't think of memes as an art form, but is there really any valid argument against the idea that memes are an art form? They're expressions of skill and imagination and humor that reflect our worldviews, ideas about pop culture and the way we feel about ourselves. They bring us together and divide us and challenge us to try new things, like kombucha, or storming Area 51. Come check out work and celebrate all things meme with local artists including Sophie McTear, Ben Ervin, Tania Verdugo, Jazzy and Cynthia McManus. DJ Pike Romero will be on site as well. 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 7. & Gallery, 419 N. Fourth Ave. Free.
Especially for Kids
Drag Story Hour. All hail the concept of Drag Story Hour, in which drag queens read stories to kids in libraries, schools and bookstores, igniting their imaginations and providing the next generation with a set of positive queer role models. Antigone Books and the UA Institute for LGBT studies worked with Drag Story Hour–Arizona to put on this event. The project's co-founders will do a miniature Drag Story Hour performance with a story, song and a craft, then discuss how they developed the concept and its place in the history of drag performance. Then, you can help brainstorm ideas for how to create more LGBTQ+-inclusive spaces for young people. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 7. Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave.
Fun in General
The Gran Fondo After Party. The Tucson Gran Fondo, hosted by Ten55 Brewing Co. and the Greater Arizona Bicycling Association, is an event designed to bring together cyclists of different levels for either an 11-, 31-, 62- or 76-mile ride. But we all know that the REAL camaraderie happens at the after party. Plus, you can go to the after party even if you don't do the ride, which makes this truly inclusive, even for those of us who don't want to get any exercise. Food and beer are for sale, The Fifty Shades of Gray Hair Band and Hey, Bucko! are performing live music, and there are raffles and awards as well. A portion of proceeds benefit the American Diabetes Association–Arizona and Wheels for Kids. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 7. Ten55 Brewing Company, 110 E. Congress St. Free entry.
The Mercado Flea. This monthly this open-air market, featuring 35 + vendors selling antique, vintage and all sorts of used and collectible items, is back. Come find the perfect piece to tie your living room together, an ideal gift for your BFF with a spring birthday, or something beautiful just because. There's plenty of fuel on hand to keep you shopping until you drop, including Substance Coffee Diner and La Estrella Bakery. If you're looking for something with a little more edge, Westbound is serving Bloody Marys as well. Wooden Tooth DJs will be playing in the Annex from noon to 2 p.m., providing you with a soundtrack to your shopping spree. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8. In the parking lots on Avenida Del Convento between the Mercado San Agustin and the MSA Annex, 100 & 267 Avenida del Convento. Free.