For me, it was Amelia Bedelia—the book that my mother read to me dozens of times when I was a girl. I adored the oddball title character and the wordplay: The maid, Amelia Bedelia, is told to draw the drapes when the sun comes in, so she pulls out a sketchbook and does exactly that. Ha ha! What I loved most, of course, was the time with Mom. If you need a nudge to create such a memory, make plans to read to a child tomorrow, on Read Across America Day.
Hosted by the National Education Association, the day-long observance marks Dr. Seuss’ 110th birthday and is the nation’s largest celebration of reading. It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s about spending time reading with the kiddos outside of school to help them form a lifelong relationship with the written word. While you’re at it, borrow a children’s book or two from the library. Remember, as Dr. Seuss himself says: “You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child." For tips on how to inspire children to read, call local Sylvan Learning Centers at 899-3061. Sylvan Learning Center • Mon Mar 3 • FREE • View on Alibi calendar
Under the baton of David Felberg, The New Mexico Philharmonic presents an afternoon sojourn into symphonic spaces tomorrow at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW). In addition to Mozart’s brief yet savory “Symphony Number 32 (K. 338)” and the accomplished “Symphony 38 (K. 504),” the orchestra uses this performance to highlight the graceful talents of Philharmonic violinist Ruxandra Simionescu-Marquardt; the award-winning instrumentalist, performer and educator—who interestingly entered the US after defecting from Communist Romania in 1986—will take on two notable works by Tchaikovsky, “Sérénade mélancolique in b-flat minor for Violin and Orchestra, op. 26” and “Valse-Scherzo in C Major, op. 34.” Tickets for this 2pm matinee concert range from $24 to $68 and are available via the New Mexico Philharmonic website, nmphil.org. National Hispanic Cultural Center • Sun Mar 2 • 2pm • $24-$68 • View on Alibi calendar
It might be counterintuitive, but limitations have a way of making us do more. On Twitter, the 140-character cap has been a boon to comedians who must hone their insights into the pithiest of possible zingers. From haiku to terza rima, poetry shows that language arranged in deliberate forms and bounded by rules can make for expressions that long outlive their creators. Enter PechaKucha, a 21st-century antidote to the wandering, self-indulgent unrestraint of old-timey PowerPoint presentations. By using just 20 slides for 20 seconds apiece, PechaKucha presenters clock in at under seven minutes while maintaining the freedom to convey real information and tantalizing ideas.
Now three local organizations are putting the format to excellent use. Tomorrow at 7pm, CityLab joins UNM School of Architecture and Planning and 516 Arts to spark conversation about the future of Albuquerque. Students from various community- and architecture-related programs will share their thoughts on the physical and social realities of our city at the CityLab space (505 Central NW). As part of 516 Arts’ ongoing Heart of the City project, the evening continues a line of inquiry about what Albuquerque’s “urban core” reveals about “the heart and soul of the city.” Join your friendly neighborhood visionaries for this free glimpse into ABQ not just as it stands right now, but as it might transform in the coming years. CityLab • Thu Feb 27 • 7pm • FREE • View on Alibi calendar
When it comes to gun violence, people usually try to pinpoint the root cause. Is it mental illness? Is it easy access to firearms? Many people are left wanting answers after any sort of particular tragedy. But when it's a situation involving guns and ammo, people wonder who's to blame. And these are just some of the ideas that will be touched upon in Jeffrey W. Swanson's lecture “The Truth About Gun Violence and Mental Illness.”
Swanson, who is currently a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University School of Medicine, will give this lecture twice: once at the Domenici Center for Health Sciences Education (1001 Stanford NE) tomorrow, and also in Santa Fe at the Center for Contemporary Arts Cinematheque (1050 Old Pecos Trail) on Wednesday, Feb. 26. The lecture starts at 6pm on both days and is free and open to the public. However, due to limited seating, registration is recommended. In this informative talk, folks will gain better insight into ongoing trends and research, which will give a better understanding over whether incidents involving gun violence can be predicted or prevented. UNM HSC Domenici Auditorium • Tue Feb 25 • 6-7:30pm • FREE • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
And the blue ribbon for a whizz-bang good time goes to Emerge ABQ, who’ve assembled a night of artistry at full tilt, “inspired by the talent shows and science fairs of our youth.” For ShowOff 3.0: Hypothesis Unknown, the arts council volunteers have corralled a heady array of entertainers, booths, exhibits and participatory projects into Downtown venue ArtBar (119 Gold SW). Look for the Amsterdam Ham Collective and their cabine photographique, talented aerialist Kaeti Frady in graceful contortions, an installation from Hand Eye Collective, plus music, dance, poetry, silk screen printing and quasi-science projects. RSVP at bit.ly/emergeabq for free entry, or buy a monthly membership to ArtBar for five bucks at the door. But consider pitching in a bit more—the organizers suggest $15—because 75 percent of contributions will go to the National Institute of Flamenco, still recovering from that craptacular fire last December. Nurture the arts and hobnob with the doers, movers and shakers at this 21-and-up event tomorrow at 7:30pm. ArtBar • Fri Feb 21 • 7:30pm • Donations accepted • View on Alibi calendar
This weekend UNM Opera Studio takes to the boards of Keller Hall for four performances of Wolfie’s ironically mystical Enlightenment-era opera The Magic Flute. The campus opera division is world-class; late Santa Fe Opera giant John O. Crosby often held SFO auditions on campus. The retirement of professorial diva Marilyn Tyler hasn’t slowed things down either.
Leslie Umphrey and Bradley Ellingboe, successors to the vibrant vocal program, direct and perform as the villainous Sarastro respectively. Tenor Seth Hartwell takes on the lead role of Tamino, the dude who sings the haunting aria, “Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön” ("This image is enchantingly lovely"). Jorge Perez-Gomez guides the University Orchestra through these complex and classical proceedings wherein a wandering prince falls in love with the Queen of the Night's daughter. The curtain rises tomorrow through Saturday (Feb. 20-22) at 7:30pm with a Sunday (Feb. 23) matinee at 2pm. Tickets range from $6 to $10. Keller Hall, UNM • Thu Feb 20 • 7:30pm • $6-$10 • View on Alibi calendar
Reggae legend Derrick “Duckie” Simpson brings the latest incarnation of Black Uhuru to the Duke City tomorrow. The band, featuring Duckie, Andrew Bees and Kay Starr, will wrap up their tour of the western US when they drop a million pounds of groovy, luscious, high-grade reggae goodness on the Sunshine Theater (120 Central SW) tomorrow night.
In one configuration or another, the band has purveyed a defining sound in reggae since the early '70s. With collaborators like Keith Richards and a few Grammy nominations under his belt, Simpson remains a contender. This Black Uhuru tour also showcases the artist’s willingness to joyfully acknowledge the next generation.
Opening the show on a highly transformative set of notes, rootstronica (an eclectic mix of roots reggae, dancehall, prog-rock and electronica) act Indubious features brothers Evton B and Skip Wicked Burton. This could very likely be one hell of a smokin’ concert … I'm just sayin'. Tickets to this all-ages affair are $20. The music starts at 8pm. Sunshine Theater • Sun Feb 16 • 8pm • $20 • View on Alibi calendar
It's that time of year. A time for flowers, candy, stuffed bears and romantic dinners … or if you're anything like me, a night of staying in, Chinese food, a bad movie marathon and maybe a little Sonics to improve my mood. Regardless, some may view Valentine's as nothing more than an excuse to splurge on the one person who already eats up their wallet, but hey, who are we to judge? As Janis Joplin once said, “get it while you can.” But for those of you who aren't “getting it,” so to speak, there's an event that can make you feel good about yourself without having to sit at home, whining and pining for a nonexistant person.
It's called the I Heart the Bosque Valentine's Day Clean-Up. Granted, it's not today, but tomorrow, so you can actually partake in both the traditional festivities as well as this environmentally sound clean-up. Participants will be split into teams, and commence cleaning up the Bosque. People are encouraged to bring their own water, gloves, sack lunch, etc. Ps. The winning team gets a prize. And there will also be an educational walk at noon. So, if you're interested in sending a “valentine to the Bosque,” meet at the parking lot at Tingley Beach (1800 Tingley Dr.) at 10am. For more information, call Camilla at 715-8388. Tingley Beach • Sat Feb 15 • 10am-2pm • FREE • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
Envision the spirited festivals of the small villages that dot Eastern Africa. Red dirt under dancing bare feet. Brightly-colored clothing clad in beads, shells and feathers. Drums and songs and bright smiles from everyone.
Now imagine you didn’t have to take a 16-hour flight to see all this. If dinner and a movie are becoming too commonplace for your Valentine’s weekend, or if you need to travel to forget about the holiday, consider a trip to Santa Fe’s Greer Garson Theater (1600 St. Michaels Dr.) to experience international performing troupe the Spirit of Uganda.
The show, which is tomorrow at 7pm, is a 2-hour folkloric musical and dance performance featuring the group’s 21 performers, all 12 to 20 years old. The performance is produced by Empower African Children, a nonprofit that benefits the youth of Uganda.
The cast and some of the crew have benefited from the organization as either orphans or at-risk youth; these include Santa Fe University alumni Peter Kasule. “I have always wanted to leave a mark in every community, and this is a great opportunity for me to be back in Santa Fe,” Kasule said. “Long live the arts.” Tickets, available at ticketssantafe.org, are $25 and benefit Empower African Children. Greer Garson Theater, Santa Fe • Sat Feb 15 • 7-9pm • $25 • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
Randol Bass conducts the New Mexico Philharmonic in a presentation of the music of Gershwin, his contemporaries and successor tomorrow. Gershwin and Company features guest pianist and University of Michigan professor Logan Skelton. Skelton will perform the American Modernist masterpiece “Rhapsody in Blue,” along with companion piece, “An American in Paris.” The philharmonic will also tackle selections from Porgy and Bess, as well as compositions by Ferde Grofé, Duke Ellington and “Sleigh Ride” composer Leroy Anderson.
Grofé is significant here because he was responsible for orchestrating “Rhapsody in Blue.” His arrangement of the piece is considered a key moment in the development of 20th century American music. His signature piece, “Grand Canyon Suite,” is an orchestral standard. The Philharmonic will perform a selection from this deep slice of Americana, as well as Anderson’s notable celebration of American business, "The Typewriter." A medley of Duke’s wide-ranging work, arranged for orchestra, begins the second half of the evening’s program. Tickets for this event, starting at 6pm at Popejoy Hall, range from $20 to $68, and that’s a bargain to spend the evening with such legendary names and their combined sonic output. Popejoy Hall, UNM Center for the Arts • Sat Feb 8 • 6pm • $20-$68 • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar