City Week

Shake Those Hips!

Salsa Dancing Social benefits BorderLinks

5 to 9 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11

Arizona Ballroom Company

5536 E. Grant Road


Dancing the night away is a requirement for this salsa-dancing fundraiser that benefits BorderLinks, a nonprofit organization that educates individuals and groups on issues involving the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.

The Salsa Dancing Social is meant to be a place for interested parties to mingle and have fun—while raising money for a good cause.

"It's a very innovative way to connect the salsa-dancing community in Tucson to other people who also might be interested not just in salsa dancing, but in social justice and education," said Nancy Cordova, an administrative and development assistant for BorderLinks. "I'm from the border and have always been interested in border issues and how global economics affects our local economics—and how all of this is connected to (migration). ... BorderLinks has offered me a very good place to learn."

Cordova, who has been with BorderLinks for 2 1/2 years, said the organization uses experimental educational tools to reach people who have questions about border issues.

The salsa event is also a way to celebrate the group's accomplishments, she said, adding that it is the first time she and Susanna McKibben, a program organizer for BorderLinks, have used a social experience to raise awareness and funds for the group.

"Susanna has been involved with the border community in Tucson and is well-connected to the dancing company that will be with us at the Arizona Ballroom. That's how the idea evolved," Cordova said. "We're trying to provide an opportunity to meet with our community. We're offering a meeting point."

Admission is $10. —D.H.

By Women, for Women

"Our Voice: Migration, Gender and Human Rights"

9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10

Wakefield Middle School

101 W. 44th St.


Every year, Coalición de Derechos Humanos hosts an event to commemorate international Human Rights Day on Dec. 10—and this year's event is a teach-in that includes a mixture of discussions and presentations specific to women.

"The issue of human rights is a continuing problem in our world," said Kat Rodriguez, program director for Derechos Humanos. "This year, we're doing this from a perspective from women. Conferences are a good way to have those kinds of conversations about violence and how resistance can begin."

Derechos Humanos is a self-described grassroots organization that aims to protect civil rights while fighting against discrimination by law enforcement.

"Our Voice" will be presented in two parts. During the first part, discussions will center on women and violence. Workshops will involve issues of women's rights and what can be done about violence toward women—regardless of their race, sexual orientation or legal status.

During the break, James Jordan of the Alliance for Global Justice will read from Beyond the Walls: An Evening With the Women of Buen Pastor, Patio Six, a play that features the stories of seven female prisoners in Colombia.

The second part of the conference focuses on women and resistance.

"A woman will speak about her perspective (of) living in the immigrant community," Rodriguez said. "Representa-tives from UNIDOS and the LGBTQ community will also lead discussions."

The workshops that follow will be centered on food justice (what you eat), female youth and women in media.

"We hope that people, including men, are interested. ... We would love to have a broad and diverse group," Rodriguez said.

Admission is a $10 suggested donation, or $5 for people with low incomes.—D.H.

A Traditional Feast

Posada benefits Save Ethnic Studies

6 to 8:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10

Mercado San Agustín

100 S. Avenida del Convento


Las Adelitas Arizona, a Tucson nonprofit dedicated to empowering Latinas and encouraging them to get involved in the political process, is hosting a posada—a traditional Mexican holiday celebration.

The aim is to raise money for Save Ethnic Studies, a group of teachers, administrators and students fighting to keep Mexican-American studies as part of the Tucson Unified School District curriculum, said Laura Dent, chairwoman of the board of Las Adelitas Arizona.

Of the four ethnic-studies programs in TUSD, "Mexican-American studies is the only ethnic program that's targeted," Dent said. "So we decided as a community to support Save Ethnic Studies," a group which has gone to court to fight legislation that outlaws the program.

"It's important for Las Adelitas, because all of us are grandmothers, mothers, sisters and friends of people who are benefiting from this program," Dent said. "The program has almost completely inverted the achievement gap for Mexican-American students."

The tradition of posada, which means "inn" in Spanish, includes a feast as part of a nine-day celebration that recalls the biblical story of Mary and Joseph's search for lodging before Mary gave birth to Jesus. The dinner will feature traditional Mexican foods such as rice, beans, tamales, birria (shredded meat) and champurrado (a kind of traditional Mexican hot chocolate), Dent said. There will also be a piñata for the kids, she said.

"We have a lot of awesome Latinas and women in government attending," Dent said, including Tucson City Councilwomen Regina Romero and Karin Uhlich.

"It's just going to be a lot of fun, and it's for a good cause," she said.

Tickets are $20 for adults, and $10 for students; kids eat free, Dent said. —K.M.

Jazz Up Your Holiday

Tucson Community Music School Winter Jazz Bash

2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11

Berger Performing Arts Center

1200 W. Speedway Blvd.


It may be cold outside, but student jazz musicians will warm things up at the Tucson Community Music School's Winter Jazz Bash.

The award-winning jazz groups' concert will feature classics as well as a brand-new arrangement of Radiohead songs.

"They're fantastic and really interesting," said Doug Tidaback, director of big bands at the Tucson Community Music School, said of the Radiohead arrangements. "The kids love them. They're very excited to be playing them and hearing them."

The concert also serves as a CD-release party for the school's Ellington Big Band, which in 2010 was named the No. 1 community high school jazz band in the United States by jazz musician Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The school topped hundreds of bands in the U.S., Tidaback said. "Recordings were featured on National Public Radio."

The school provides students with an opportunity to learn jazz skills in an environment that does not compete with high school programs, Tidaback said. "Our goal is not to replace anything that's in the community, but to supplement them. If (students) are in our program, we require them to be in their high school program."

One especially rewarding part of this concert is to see how the students have matured as musicians, Tidaback said.

"Every time they perform, they get a little bit better and develop more concepts," he said. "We have some incredibly talented students. Our top groups sound like professional groups. They don't sound like high school groups."

Tickets are $20 for adults, and $15 for students. Children younger than 10 are admitted for free. —K.M.

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