City Week

Up Close With Southwestern Birds

Tucson Botanical Gardens Flock Party

10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, May 18

Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way


Tucson Botanical Gardens will host its second "Flock Party" this Saturday, giving attendees the chance to see large birds up close and learn about them from ornithologists.

The second Flock Party coincides directly with the garden's Flights of Fancy exhibit, which runs through June 30, and showcases 44 painted birdhouses from 22 local artists. This year's party has expanded quite a bit from last year's, said Darlene Buhrow, the Botanical Gardens' director of marketing and communications.

Birds at the party will include a great horned owl and an American kestrel, which is a small falcon. Both birds are native to the Southwest and will be handled by professionals from the Tucson Wildlife Center and Tucson Audubon Society.

Additionally, Botanical Gardens docents will lead a tour that will focus on gardening techniques that attract birds.

The Doolen Middle School Chamber Orchestra will play bird-themed music during a portion of the exhibit.

The event is designed to be hands-on, with a crafting table available for attendees to try their hand at making birdhouses like the ones hanging throughout the garden. The idea, Buhrow said, is to make the event as accessible for as many age groups as possible.

"We're always trying to involve all groups in the garden," she said. "Trying to get a family where there might be a mom and dad, little and bigger kids, even grandparents, to come out and participate together is always a bonus. The way this event is structured, we feel like there will be something for everybody." Admission to the Flock Party is included in the regular Botanical Gardens admission price.


No Two Images Alike

Fifth Annual Curious Camera Event

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, through July 31

ArtsEye Gallery3550 E. Grant Road


Photography today is more technologically varied than ever before, and Tucson's ArtsEye Gallery is calling attention to the medium's storied past—and promising future—with the return of its Curious Camera gallery.

The three finalists in this year's competition—taken with a pinhole camera, an iPhone 4S and a Polaroid SX70—represent the stark divergence in today's cameras of choice, but the results are similar: An aesthetically bold image with a perspective unique to the person behind the viewfinder. Those prints, along with 30 honorable mentions selected from more than 400 submissions from around the world, are on display and can be viewed free in the main lobby of the ArtsEye Gallery.

"The prints, I think, are what really shock everybody; to see such a beautiful print made out of a cell phone file, or something made out of a paper pinhole box or expired instant film," said Rachel Castillo, a spokeswoman for the gallery. "It really surprises people how beautiful they come out."

Experimentation is key when it comes to Curious Camera, and it has the roadside attraction to prove it: The gallery's fully functional, giant Holga camera is large enough to fit four to five people inside its body. Images taken with the one-of-a-kind camera by photographer Wayne Belger are also on display.

"To know that it's a working camera, and to see the images that were made with it, it just comes full circle," Castillo said. People think of it as a toy, something fun, and are "amazed by the content that comes out of it."


Join the Fight

AIDS Candlelight Memorial

11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday, May 19

Himmel Park

The AIDS Candlelight Memorial is commemorating 30 years of working to increase global awareness of the disease, and Tucsonans are ensuring that the local event honors both the lost and the living.

More than 25 million people have died from AIDS, and balancing the mourning process with celebrating those who are successfully battling the disease can be challenging. Assimilating these conflicting emotions was the goal of this year's event.

"This event really is a response for Tucson to stand up and say, 'We are a part of the solution,'" said organizer Jeffrey Scott Brown.

A food truck roundup on First Street between Tucson Boulevard and Treat Avenue will kick off the event, and mobile units from the Pima County Health Department and the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation will offer free HIV testing. At 5:30 p.m., a nondenominational service will be held at nearby Catalina United Methodist Church, followed by a procession to the Celebration of Life concert in the Himmel Park amphitheater. Local musicians LeeAnn Savage and Susan Artemis will headline a tribute to notable figures in the global fight against AIDS, including Rock Hudson, Liberace, Elizabeth Taylor and Ryan White.

The ever-expanding red ribbon, which bears the names of those affected by the disease and acts as the dominant symbol for Tucson's AIDS events, will be carried at the front of the procession. Names from the ribbon will be read during the memorial, to be followed by a mass lighting of the candles that have been distributed throughout the day.

This focus on self-awareness and prevention remains a priority with every event, according to Brown, who was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1991.

"Automatically assume that anyone you have intimate relations with is HIV-positive," Brown said. "Once you get that ... you're going to protect yourself no matter what."


Rockin' to Rachmaninoff

Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra Season Finale

7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 18, at the DesertView Performing Arts Center, 39900 S. Clubhouse Drive, SaddleBrooke.; 3 p.m., Sunday, May 19, at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 7575 N. Paseo del Norte


Music lovers have two chances to catch the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra's final performance of the season, which features a combination of contemporary and classical pieces.

The performance includes two late-19th century compositions: Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 and Saint-Saëns' Violin Concerto No. 3, which will spotlight Chilean-American soloist Francisca Mendoza.

Each orchestra concert includes a piece written by a local composer, said Tim Secomb, the orchestra's second vice president. This concert will showcase "Landscapes," a piece written for the orchestra by local composer Pete Fine, inspired to write it after Rocky Mountain National Park trip.

Secomb described the two classical pieces as very tuneful, each with a variety of slow and fast sections. Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2, he said, is a long piece with a variety of slow and fast sections, while Saint-Saëns' violin concerto is more of a virtuoso performance.

Fine's "Landscapes," he said, has a number of Western harmonies and clearly reflects the inspiration Fine felt during his trip in Colorado.

The Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra was formed in 1979. Secomb said he and other members suggested that they close the season with Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2. "It has wonderful melodies, and it was written in the Late Romantic period of classical music," Secomb said.

Tickets for the Saturday concert are $21 in advance or $23 at the door; tickets for the Sunday show are $20 in advance and at the door. Admission on Sunday is free to anyone 17 or younger.


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