Life on the Streets
Homeless Youth Project
6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 21
Global Justice Center225 E. 26th St.
When Ron Austin was a homeless young man, he had a realization that changed the course of his life. He recalls this awareness with certain bluntness: "I (realized) that the mainstream public doesn't give a damn about homeless people. If I was going to pull myself up by the bootstraps, I would have to show initiative to do so."
He began advocating for himself, received assistance from others and got off the streets. Today Austin is the co-founder of the Carlos G. Figueroa Foundation, a group of volunteer videographers, photographers and others who are advocates for the homeless and poor. Figueroa was a homeless grandfather and veteran who was robbed and beaten to death in Tucson in 2003.
Austin, members of his foundation and others from Pan Left Productions partnered to produce a documentary to show "the degradation and poverty that homeless youth have to go through to survive," says Austin. The film will be shown as part of a free event on Thursday, Nov. 21.
"Doug Davis (music director of the foundation) and his group will sing a song they created for homeless youth. We've invited the public and agencies that provide services for homeless youth," says Austin. Agencies include Our Family Services, Open Inn, Youth On Their Own and StandUp for Kids. Audience members may ask questions to service providers.
Austin says it's important for the public to be informed about homelessness. He says that many people think the homeless are alcoholics, drug addicts and don't want to work. Austin believes the opposite: "Many homeless are non-alcoholics, not drug users, want to reemerge in the mainstream and be useful members of society."
Bringing the Sonoran Back
Camp Cooper Open House
3 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 16
Cooper Center for Environmental Learning5403 W. Trails End Road
For 49 years, Camp Cooper has brought the Sonoran Desert to the children of Tucson. Or to be more exact, they've brought the children of Tucson out to the Sonoran Desert. The camp is an outdoor facility dedicated to providing elementary school kids hands-on learning experiences away from the rush of the city in the midst of the beautiful Sonoran.
Either way, the organization has been responsible for fostering a heightened understanding, natural curiosity, and love of the desert in the youth of Southern Arizona. What could be more important? Seriously, though.
"We want the students who go through our programs to understand the human connection to the natural world," said Cooper Center Director Colin Waite.
This Saturday, the Camp will open its doors to the public to host an open house event aimed at reconnecting with their past community, and passing down the love of the outdoors to yet another generation of kids.
"At this point in our history we've had parents and grandparents, who are now coming back to the center with their children, (who) also had the experience when they were kids. So the idea of it is to reconnect those folks who've had these great Sonoran Desert experiences back with the place, and give them an opportunity to see how things have gone and revisit those memories," Waite said.
The event will include a number of festivities, including: facility tours and Demonstrations; presentations from a number of political and educational community leaders; musical performances from TUSD students; live animal demonstrations; campfires, s'mores, and storytelling; and stargazing and light pollution demonstrations. The open house is free to all. For a full schedule of events, parking information, and more, visit coopercenter.arizona.edu.
Images on Two Wheels
4 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 16
Borderlands Brewing Company119 E. Toole Ave.
Forget novelty mustaches or any other competitor for your attention during this month on the calendar. In Tucson, November should probably just be turned over to bicycles. The main event is clearly El Tour de Tucson on Saturday the 23rd, when thousands of cyclists will surround the city, but this Saturday the annual Greater Arizona Bicycling Association bike swap (at Fifth Avenue and Seventh Street, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; bikegaba.org) followed by the third installment of VelociPrints at Borderlands Brewing Company makes for an attractive doubleheader for fans of life on two wheels.
The premise of VelociPrints, adapted from an event called ArtCrank held in various cities each year, is to provide affordable art in limited-edition poster form. Works from 15 artists, including Nathan Saxton (the show's curator), graphic designer Matt McCoy, muralist Ruben Urrea Moreno and others will be on sale for $40, with a portion of each sale going to local charity Tu Nidito (disclosure: my wife is employed by that organization). A full set of the works offered are also donated to BICAS' annual art auction.
Why should you make time to come to the show? "There's no better opportunity to support local business, the art scene, the bike scene and have a craft beer at the same time," Saxton said.
Even if you don't feel the need to have a limited edition bit of local art adorning your walls (wait, you don't?), the event promises to be a fun evening out, with McCoy and Tucson Weekly contributor Casey Dewey DJing throughout the event. Plus (obviously), there will be beer.
Asked why Tucson and bicycling are so connected, Saxton answered, "Tons of sunshine, clear skies, great hills and miles of bike paths." While those elements (other than possibly the clear skies on Borderlands' patio) won't exactly be enjoyed during the show, they're certain to appear in the art for sale.
High No More
7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 21
Fox Tucson Theatre17. W Congress St.
Jim Breuer is coming back to town and a lot has happened since his last Tucson appearance in 2002.
The 49-year-old comedian and former Saturday Night Live cast member was in The English Teacher starring Julianne Moore, Greg Kinnear and Michael Angarano. Breuer embarked on a national tour with three of the country's top comedians, Dave Attell, Bill Burr, and Jim Norton, for "The Anti-Social Network" tour in 2011. That same year, Breuer's autobiography I'm Not High: (But I've Got a Lot of Crazy Stories about Life as a Goat Boy, a Dad, and a Spiritual Warrior), was released in paperback.
His other late night television appearances include Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel Live and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Breuer also earned his way on to the select company of cable channel Comedy Central's 2005 list of the "100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time" (number 91 between Dana Carvey and Louie Anderson) for his uncanny impressions, onstage charisma and recently cursing-free routine. These days, Breuer spends quite a bit of time on the road, but is also finding time to perform on a cruise for fans of the adult-alternative act Train in February of 2014.
While Breuer will likely forever be associated with his performance alongside Dave Chappelle in the 1998 stoner-comedy Half Baked, Breuer's humor now comes from how he's a middle-aged, married father with kids who has left the world of pot jokes behind him, or as he told Denver's Westword, performing a set resembling "(Bill) Cosby in a Metallica jacket." Tickets for his Fox Theatre show range from $12 to $38, $2 more day of show.