Upcoming Events

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UA Poetry Center Workshops
Throughout the summer, the UA Poetry Center will hold workshops for writers — both seasoned and beginners — in a variety of areas.

June 8-Aug. 17
The Art of Genre in Short Fiction with Ted Mcloof
Discover how to create modern short fiction pieces that draw on what made the pulp magazines of the 1930s-50s so popular and memorable.

July. 7, Aug. 4, Sept. 1
Movies in the Park at Reid Park
Cox Communications will sponsor free family friendly movie showings on a 40-foot screen. Also part of the festivities are balloon artists, face painting, and bouncy castles for the kids. Food trucks will be on site so patrons can purchase snacks, dinner and beverages. Bring your own lawn chair or blanket. The film schedule will be: July 7: The Secret Life of Pets Aug. 4: Zootopia Sept. 1: Finding Dory. Festivities begin at 6 p.m.; screenings will begin around 7:45 p.m. www.saaca.org/Cox_Movies_in_the_Park.html

July 15-Aug. 19
Poetry Lab with Sarah Kortemeier
Utilize the resources of the center to explore and experiment with specific poetry techniques and expand the boundaries of your writing.

Aug. 2, 6 p.m. (doors open)
Empire Ranch Foundation Western Movie
Ride the High Country
The Empire Ranch, located 50 miles southeast of Tucson, sponsors this fundraising screening of the 1962 Western, Ride the High Country. One of director Sam Peckinpah’s early successes, the movie presents veteran actors Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott as old pals who team up to transport a California gold shipment for a bank. Restrained and almost elegiac, especially compared with intensely violent later works such as The Wild Bunch and Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, this movie allows two seasoned performers to shine in a story that reveals the changing face of the West at the dawn of the 20th century.
Wyatt McCrea, the grandson of Joel McCrea, and author of the book Joel McCrea, a Film History, will attend the screening.
The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway. (888) 364-2829 (Empire Ranch Foundation).

Aug. 17, 7 p.m.
OUTCRY Summer 2017 Tour
When the OUTCRY tour hits Phoenix, audiences will experience a host of artists who have been honing their craft as singers, songwriters and worship leaders for many years. And you’ll even see performers — in a lineup that includes Lauren Daigle, Bethel Music, Jesus Culture and Martin Smith — sharing the stage with the very acts that inspired them to begin their journey.
Case in point: Chris Quilala of Jesus Culture. “So many different worship leaders and songwriters inspired me growing up. A big one would be Martin Smith and his band ‘Delirious?’ What appealed to me was the honesty in their songwriting, the arrangements, and how it was fresh and unique. Matt Redman would be another. They were both massive influences.”
Quilala grew up being home schooled and having a close association with his church. “I was pretty reserved as a kid, and it wasn’t until I began playing drums at age 12 that I started coming out of my shell. The first thing I ever played for at our church was a singles group,” he adds with a laugh. “There was a bunch of 30- to 40-year-old singles, and it was like, ‘What is happening right now?’”
His mom still had the guitar that she got as a girl, and he borrowed it and began playing sheet music that he found at church. “Eventually, someone discovered that I was learning how to play guitar and put me up on stage during youth group. I just started leading wherever an opportunity came up: street ministry, small groups.”
About two years later, he had an experience that changed his life forever. “I had an encounter during worship when I was 14 at youth camp that was a defining moment. It was like, ‘What is this that happens when we worship, when God shows up and He responds?’”
Feeling the power of that moment, and seeing how it affected his dad, affirmed both his commitment as a Christian, as well as the direction he would go. “ [Being a worship leader] didn’t start with the idea of, ‘How can I make this a living? Or support a family on this?’ It was just something I knew I wanted to give my life to.”
Jesus Culture, whose hits have included “Fierce,” “I Want to Know You,” and “In the River” is definitely the sum of many remarkable parts, including Quilala, Kim Walker-Smith, Bryan and Katie Torwalt and Chris McClarney. About the songs he has written with the group (as well as his solo efforts), Quilala notes, “My kids are constantly inspiring me. There’s an aspect of love that I didn’t know existed until I had kids. That translated into thinking, ‘If I feel this way for my kids, how does God feel about us?’ That’s been a journey, and definitely influenced my songwriting.”
But living in California, his surroundings can be both a distraction and a cause for a song to start. “Right now I’m looking out over the ocean, and maybe a song about waves or water could come out of it,” he says. “But it’s really all around me. If we’re listening, God can speak through so many different things.”
With a hectic tour schedule ahead of him, he says that the biggest challenge is being away from his family for extended periods. But he observes, “It is such a privilege, what we get to do, and my wife and our kids have been so supportive.”
The tradeoff for touring is that he is able to hang out with band members who have become like siblings to him, and deliver a message that goes beyond just catchy tunes. It makes missing his family worthwhile. “Hearing from someone how a song has impacted them in a way that’s changed their life … the fruit of it just seems so much greater than the sacrifice. It isn’t just a band making noise. There really is a lasting, eternal impact.”
While he’s on the road, he admits that being a tourist is one of the big perks. “If we have time off, especially if we’re somewhere like Europe, I have to go out to see the historic sights, and get a good cup of coffee. On the road, you’re always focused around coffee, even if you’re going to see some ancient ruin!” Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, AZ. 855-484-1991. www.premierproductions.com/tour/outcry-summer-tour-2017.

Aug. 21, 5:30 p.m.
Tucson’s Official 242nd Birthday
This free event honors the original presidio that was founded in 1775 on the spot where the re-creation now resides. Festivities will include performances by the mariachi group Los Changuitos Feos, folklórico dancing by DanzaCultura Mexicana, a cannon firing by Presidio Garrison Soldados, a birthday cake created by Mexican bakery Dolce Pastello, and food presentations and samplings by the Mission Gardens, Tucson Mormon Battalion Monument Foundation, San Xavier Co-operative Farm, Presidio La Gente, et al. Presidio Museum, 196 N. Court Ave. 444-3687. www.TucsonPresidio.com.

Aug. 26, 5 p.m.
Ukraine’s 26th Year of Independence Celebration
The Ukrainian American Society of Tucson recognizes 26 years since Ukraine adopted the Act of Independence, following the fall of the Soviet Union. The festivities will take place at the home of the Arizona Honorary Consul of Ukraine. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served, and ASU’s Professor Mark von Hagen will speak. He is the interim director of the Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies. Address provided on RSVP by Aug. 18 to 272-1536. www.ukrainianamericansociety.org.