Honoring Our Veterans
A Hero's Salute Memorial Day Concert
3 p.m., Monday, May 30
UA Crowder Hall Speedway Boulevard and Park Avenue
On most Memorial Days, there is nowhere a person can go to sing "America the Beautiful" with 500 fellow patriots.
That will change with Arts Express' first Memorial Day concert.
"We think it's important to slow down and recognize those who have served," said Arts Express executive director Karen Wiese.
The Arts Express Choir and Brass Quintet will perform several pieces to honor Tucson veterans. The concert will last about one hour and will feature several "uplifting and inspirational" songs, Wiese said. The selection includes "Taps," "God Bless the U.S.A." and "Salute to the Armed Forces."
"We'll have a 50-member choir that will be singing, as well as some featured soloists," Wiese said.
John Mills, a retired UA English and theater professor, will give a dramatic reading. Mills served in the military during peacetime, but his three older brothers served in World War II; one was killed in action. His younger brother fought in the Vietnam War.
Arts Express is a nonprofit organization that aims to enrich the community through the arts. For the past 12 years, it has organized a patriotic show for the Fourth of July to recognize soldiers and veterans. The organization hopes to replicate the success of that event, Let Freedom Sing, with its first celebration of Memorial Day, a holiday that Wiese said is scarcely recognized in Tucson.
"We're hoping it will be an annual event," Wiese said.
A Hero's Salute will pay tribute to first responders, public servants and volunteers, as well as the military.
The event is free, but tickets are required for guaranteed seating. Up to four free tickets can be requested at arts-express.org. Donations will be accepted. —C.A.
Rock's First Lady
Chris O'Dell speaks at Women Impacting Tucson luncheon
11:20 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday, June 6
Reservations requested by next Thursday, June 2
Manning House 450 W. Paseo Redondo
If you've ever heard the chorus at the end of the Beatles' "Hey Jude," you've heard Tucsonan Chris O'Dell.
As one of rock 'n' roll's first female tour managers, O'Dell worked with some of the most well-known musicians of the last half-century. During her time at Apple Corps Ltd., the media company owned by the Beatles, she witnessed the recording of the White Album, Abbey Road and Let It Be. O'Dell was close friends with Ringo Starr and George Harrison, who even wrote a song about her.
To have your own brush with fame, attend Women Impacting Tucson's monthly luncheon, where O'Dell will speak about her book Miss O'Dell: My Hard Days and Long Nights With the Beatles, the Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and the Women They Loved.
O'Dell, who graduated from Palo Verde High School in 1965, will also talk about her current career as an addictions counselor at Casa de Palmas, a drug-treatment program for women.
The Women Impacting Tucson luncheons offer a chance for women in the community to network and to share their experience and knowledge.
"Women Impacting Tucson is kind of a community brain trust," said group moderator Ellie Patterson.
The group holds a brainstorming session after each talk.
"We ask the speaker to present a question to the group, a challenge they've been working on," Patterson said.
People discuss possible solutions for about 10 minutes, write down their ideas and pass them to the speaker.
Beth Walkup usually updates the group on issues facing the community.
The event is $20 with an RSVP by June 2, or $25 afterward; attendees can RSVP to email@example.com or by calling 770-0714. —C.A.
One House at a Time
Watershed Management Group Open House
7 p.m., next Thursday, June 2 RSVP requested by Monday, May 30
Ward 3 City Council Office 1510 E. Grant Road
The Watershed Management Group was founded in 2003 by students at the UA who saw that there was a need for more of a focus on water-related issues—particularly in Tucson.
"(Watershed Management Group) started primarily because we saw a real need for getting this info out and training people," said Lisa Shipek, a founding member and now the executive director of the group.
WMG works to teach skills that are normally left to professionals, and provides numerous workshops, open to anyone, on topics including rainwater-harvesting, graywater harvesting, and creating a healthy and prosperous backyard garden.
According to Shipek, WMG has a number of different demonstration sites where they exhibit good water-harvesting practices. WMG also does work on a residential scale through their co-op program. Free to join, WMG's co-op helps private citizens make their landscaping more sustainable.
Next Thursday, WMG will hold an open house, where 10 people will give short presentations on the different programs.
"(The open house is) probably one of the best ways to get a comprehensive overview of what Watershed Management Group is doing," said Shipek.
The open house will also give info on technical trainings and show how people can get involved with the group.
"I want people to feel inspired to get involved," said Shipek. "... (I want to) get people involved at a grassroots level."
The event is free, but the group asks for RSVPs by May 30 by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shipek said that what the group does is really community water management. "We make a difference one house at a time, one neighborhood at a time." —A.G.
Our Western Heritage
Cowboy Music Festival
10 a.m., Saturday, May 28, and Sunday, May 29
Old Tucson Studios 201 S. Kinney Road
This weekend, Old Tucson Studios will host two days of Western cowboy music.
The festival, which will feature numerous musical acts over five stages, pays homage to the musical aspects of the American West.
"This is not country music," said Marie Demarais, marketing manager at Old Tucson Studios. "This is Western music. ... They do more songs about cowboy life."
The two days of music are divided into daytime events and evening events. The day events start at 10 a.m., and will be taking place across the park on various stages. The evening events will begin around 6:30 p.m., when the Grand Palace Saloon opens up for the headlining musical acts.
"Some of the musicians are also poets," said Demarais, and therefore, a lot of the music includes poetry and storytelling.
In addition to the music on Saturday and Sunday, there will be many of Old Tucson's signature shows, including gun fights, stunt shows and Miss Kitty's Can-Can Show.
Demarais also mentioned that there would be "short vignette" performances throughout the day. "(They) give visitors a sense of what life was like in the Old West," she explained.
Also, as part of the Cowboy Music Festival, there will be Cowboy Church on Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
Demarais said that the Cowboy Music Festival will "give people a common sense of heritage," and that people should come to enjoy that.
Daytime tickets are $16.95 for adults age 12 and older, and $10.95 for children age 4 to 11. Children 3 and younger are admitted for free. Night tickets are $20, and a pass for two full days is $50.
Visit www.OldTucson.com for tickets. —A.G.