Cheap Thrills PUEBLO PARTY: The Tucson Museum of Art celebrates its recent renovations with Fiesta del Pueblo, featuring music, storytelling, loads of great food, and the stunning exhibit, El Alma del Pueblo: Spanish Folk Art and its Transformation in the Americas.

All the action happens in the museum's lush courtyards and patios. Performers include R. Carlos Nakai, Irene Acosta's Folklorico dance group, the dancers of Flamenco y Más, Spanish guitarist Ismael Barajas, and Mara Carlson's Tango Duo. That's in addition to plenty of kidstuff, from puppet-making workshops to storytelling on the front porch of the historic Corbett House.

The exhibit arrives in Tucson via the museum at Florida International University, and focuses on Spain's long tradition of producing folk art--a craft that still permeates Spanish culture. Taking that legacy a step further, El Alma is the first show of its kind in the United States to explore Spanish folk art and its links to the folk traditions of Latin America.

Within the first 100 years after Europeans arrived in the Americas, three quarters of the indigenous population died from disease and warfare. With this depopulation, many pre-Hispanic traditions were lost, to be replaced by the culture of the new rulers. In some cases, Spanish folk traditions were assimilated directly into Latin American culture with little change. Other forms were distinctly enriched or altered by the people of the Americas.

Today, that cultural bridge is revealed through pieces ranging from the utilitarian--ceramic wine vessels, furniture and textiles--to book illustrations, woodcuts, and distinctly Latin American landscapes.

Fiesta del Pueblo will also include two exhibits by local photographers. David Burckhalter's La Vida Norteña: Photographs of Sonora, Mexico runs through May 24, and Amy Zuckerman's Point of Fracture runs through June 12.

Event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 25, at the TMA, 140 N. Main Ave. For information, call 624-2333.

LIGHT IN AUGUST: Frank August is an edgy San Francisco gumshoe who lights his life with the bottle--and nearly douses the flame when a busted, drug-dealing buddy comes knocking, in C.E. Poverman's crisp detective-noire novel, On the Edge.

Poverman will sign copies and read from On the Edge from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 25, in Clues Unlimited, 123 S. Eastbourne in Broadway Village, at the corner of Broadway and Country Club Road. Call 326-8533 for information.

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES: Sandy Rowe is editor of The Oregonian, the largest newspaper in the Northwest, with a daily circulation of 360,000 and Sunday circulation of 450,000. From 1984 to 1993, she was executive editor and vice president of The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Over 22 years with that newspaper group, she worked as a reporter, assistant city editor, features editor and managing editor, before being named executive editor in 1984.

In other words, Rowe knows journalism--from the good and the bad to the sublime. Now she brings that knowledge to the Old Pueblo with Truth or Consequences: Credibility and the Press, anchoring the UA Department of Journalism's fifth-annual William R. Mathews Ethics in Journalism Lecture.

Free lecture is 5 p.m. Sunday, April 26, in the UA Arizona Ballroom, located in the Memorial Student Union on the north end of the main mall. Call 621-7556 for information. TW

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