City Week

Walking Safely

Take Back the Night

5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 10

Geronimo Plaza

820 E. University Blvd.


The Tucson community and the University of Arizona have teamed up to put on Take Back the Night, an annual event that raises awareness of sexual violence and offers support to survivors.

In past years, about 250 to 300 people attended, according to Stephanie Arendt, the senior prevention educator at the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault. Arendt said she likes the sense of community the event provides.

J. Frank Galarte, a visiting professor in gender and women's studies at the UA, is this year's keynote speaker. He said he will talk about gender violence and community accountability.

"For me, you can't talk about gender violence without talking about race and gender and sexuality," Galarte said. "I think Tucson's placement in Southern Arizona, being so close in proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border, is something we can't not talk about."

Because Tucson has a large university, there are a lot of college students partying, he said—and colleges generally have a higher rate of sexual assaults than the surrounding community. Galarte said it is also important to address the needs of the community outside of the UA.

Survivors can share their stories at the event. Arendt said last year's attendees also found the Esperanza Dance Project's performance to be very powerful, and the dancers will return for this year's event, along with other entertainers.

People of all colors and sexual orientations are encouraged to attend, Galarte said.

"You may not know the person standing next to you," Galarte said, "but (there's a) possibility they may have been a survivor of sexual assault, or they're an ally who could readily be someone who could end up supporting you. I think that's really important."

The event is free. —M.W.

Art Does a Hell of a Lot

"Expecting the Unexpected: Women Artists and Climate Change"

5:30 p.m., Monday, April 9

UA Center for Creative Photography, Room 108

1030 N. Olive Road


Lucy Lippard, 75, said she has been interested in art and writing since she was about 20. "I like to write, so that's how I spend my time," Lippard said, adding that her reward comes when people read her work.

Lippard has written 21 books about contemporary art and cultural criticism. She has been a visiting speaker in Tucson before, and is returning for "Expecting the Unexpected: Women Artists and Climate Change." It is part of the UA School of Art's speaker series, Present as Future: Science, Technology and the Visual Arts.

The series was developed with the goal of increasing the public's knowledge of important issues through the use of contemporary art. Lippard is concluding the series by focusing on how artists are responding to global warming and climate change, she said.

"Climate change is totally determining the future of the planet," Lippard said.

Lippard's talk will be based on her 2007 curatorial project, Weather Report: Art and Climate Change. She compiled 51 images of artists' works, including works by Patricia Johanson, Mary Miss and Mierle Laderman Ukeles. Though this is a global issue, Lippard said she has focused primarily on American artists.

Artists responded with collages, photographic images and paintings. Whether the works are about buildings, water, drought or how children will survive, "they're making people aware of (climate change)," Lippard said.

"We've been denying this for so long," she said, "and nobody seems to be coping with it except artists."

Female artists have been leaders in eco art for many years, Lippard said, in part because they are nurturing and care about animals and trees.

"Art can't change the world alone," she said, but "it can do a hell of a lot."

The event is free.—M.W.

Get Your Poet On

The Tucson Poetry Festival

Performances: 7 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, April 6 and 7

Geronimo Plaza

820 E. University Blvd.

Workshops/panels: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, April 7

UA Poetry Center

1508 E. Helen St.


April is National Poetry Month—and you can celebrate by attending the Tucson Poetry Festival.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the festival is one of the oldest and most honored festivals of its kind in the nation. This year's festival features four nationally recognized poets: Karyna McGlynn, Eduardo Corral, Patricia Smith and Ander Monson.

Each will give readings, and each will lead a writers' workshop designed to help attendees become better poets—no matter the skill level, said Matthew Conley, the festival's executive director.

The festival will also include local writers participating in a poetry slam, after which a city champion will be crowned, Conley said.

What makes the Tucson Poetry Festival special is the level of interaction, he said. Most poets are somewhat introverted and typically head for their hotel rooms once their readings are done, he said. But at this festival, they will stick around to answer questions and run the workshops.

"They are big names, but they interact with the community," Conley said.

The hour-long workshops will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, at the UA Poetry Center, while the readings and the Tucson Slam Championship will take place Friday and Saturday evenings at Geronimo Plaza.

The festival is a chance for Tucsonans to "get their poet on" and have some fun by reading poetry and listening to poets, Conley said.

All festival events and workshops are free.—R.K.

Creationism vs. Evolution

Inherit the Wind

Preview: 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 11

Regular shows: 7:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday; 2 p.m., Sunday, next Thursday, April 12, through Sunday, April 22

PCC Center for the Arts

Black Box Theatre

2202 W. Anklam Road


Pima Community College Theatre Arts is staging a classic play in a contemporary setting to show that the issues raised in the so-called Scopes Monkey Trial still resonate with us today.

Inherit the Wind is based on the 1925 trial of Tennessee high school teacher John Scopes, who broke state law by teaching students in his science class about the theory of evolution.

The play is about "tolerance and forgiveness," said director Nancy Davis Booth.

Pima's version of the play—although it still focuses on the famous 1925 trial—is set in current times because the debate over teaching evolution is still very much alive in the United States, she said. In the PCC version, residents of a small town are forced to confront their long-held beliefs as a war of words rages over the creation account in the book of Genesis versus the scientific theory of evolution posited by Charles Darwin in his 1859 work Origin of Species.

"The position I'm taking on the play is that science and religion are not at odds," Davis Booth said. "One can exist with the other."

Because the play addresses what is still a controversial subject to some, "there have been tremendous discussions among the actors, Davis Booth said. "They have really grown in their soul and their own beliefs."

General admission is $15, with discounts available for the preview, and to groups, seniors, students and PCC affiliates. —R.K.

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