Discussion Will Address How Arts and Culture Impact Our Daily Lives

November 9, 2011

The role the arts and culture play in the civil discourse of our lives in Tucson will be the subject of a provocative community discussion November 17 at the Temple of Music & Art’s Cabaret Theatre, 330 S. Scott.

“Arts, Culture & Democracy: A Tucson Community Discussion” runs from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Reserve tickets here.

The event is being put on by the Tucson Pima Arts Council and Alliance for Audience/ShowUp.com.

Douglas McLennan, founder and editor of ArtsJournal and the event’s keynote speaker, will give a talk titled “More than Applause: The Pursuit of Cultural Conversation.”

McLennan will examine the ways in which the arts and culture community can and must begin offering new perspectives and meaningful dialogue on essential issues like health care, immigration, education, and foreign affairs.

Since decisions affecting Tucson represent our community’s fundamental values and concerns, those issues merit examination on stages, in galleries, and everywhere the arts thrive in our community.

ArtsJournal, founded in 1999, is the leading online arts resource, presenting over 60 bloggers from across the world of arts and culture with daily news feeds about the arts nationwide.

Following the talk will be a panel discussion by Ron Barber, District Director for the Office of Gabrielle Giffords; Denise Uyehara, an award-winning performance artist, writer and playwright; and James Garcia, Co-founder of the Real Arizona Coalition and the Producing Artistic Director of New Carpa Theatre.

“Arts, Culture & Democracy: A Tucson Community Discussion” will be facilitated by the co-sponsors, Roberto Bedoya, Executive Director of the Tucson Pima Arts Council, and Matt Lehrman, Executive Director of Alliance for Audience/ShowUp.com.  The event is produced in part by a grant from the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.


Event Details


About the keynote speaker:

Douglas McLennan is an arts journalist and critic and the founder and editor of ArtsJournal.com, the leading aggregator of arts journalism on the internet. He has written on the arts for numerous publications, including as music critic for Salon.com, and for Newsweek, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and the London Evening Standard. He is a recipient of several awards for arts criticism and reporting, including a National Arts Journalism Program Fellowship at Columbia University and a Deems Taylor/ASCAP Award for music journalism.

About the panelists:


Ron Barber, District Director for the Office of Gabrielle Giffords, was wounded in the shooting in Northwest Tucson that claimed the lives of six people.  In the aftermath of the tragedy, he and his family founded the Fund for Civility, Respect, and Understanding at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona to support nonprofit organizations working to heal the community, honor the fallen, and foster dialogue and artistic performances that unify the Tucson community.


James E. Garcia is a playwright, journalist, university lecturer, and owner of Creative Vistas Media, a media consulting firm.  He also serves as the director of communications at the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and as a writer, researcher and policy strategist at Urias Communications. He has taught writing, theater and ethnic studies courses at Arizona State University since 2003. Garcia is the co-founder of the Real Arizona Coalition and producing artistic director of New Carpa Theater Co. in Phoenix.


Denise Uyehara is an award-winning performance artist, writer, and playwright whose work has been presented internationally. For over two decades her work has investigated what marks us in our migration across borders of identity. A founding member of the Sacred Naked Nature Girls, Uyehara conducts workshops for artists and a wide range of communities – LGBTQ, women, people of color and seniors. She has been named a “Critic’s Choice” by L.A. Weekly, the Bay Guardian, and SF Weekly and has been honored with an Emerging Voices Fellowship by the PEN West Center.


About the facilitators:


Roberto Bedoya is the Executive Director of the Tucson Pima Arts Council. He formerly served the Executive Director of the National Association of Artists’ Organizations (NAAO), a national arts service organization for individual artists and artist-centered organizations. Bedoya is the author of the monograph, U.S. Cultural Policy: Its Politics of Participation, Its Creative Potential, and has been a Rockefeller Fellow at New York University and a Visiting Scholar at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. He has Master of Arts in Arts Administration from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Matt Lehrman is the founder and Executive Director of Alliance for Audience.  Previously, Lehrman served with the Scottsdale Cultural Council as Director of Marketing for the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.  Matt moved to Arizona in 1988 and worked as a Corporate Sales Officer for Citibank, and then as Director of Sales & Marketing for Bank of Scottsdale. Prior to that, Matt held positions as a staff lobbyist in Washington D.C. for the National Association of Realtors and the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.