Photojournalist Linda Solomon will celebrate the launch of her new book, “The Queen Next Door: An Intimate Portrait of Aretha Franklin” at the Tucson Museum of Art’s “A Night With Aretha” on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 6-8 p.m. The evening will include performances by Ann Hampton Callaway and Charity Lockhart, and a panel discussion. For more information, visit www.tucsonmuseumofart.org. Solomon also will sign books Wednesday, Dec.4, 3-6 p.m., at the W Boutique at St. Phillips Plaza. Both events will feature live music, hors d’oeuvres, and wine. Solomon is the founder of the nationally recognized Pictures of Hope program; Tucson children living in homeless shelters have participated in the program for eight years. Solomon lives in Tucson and Detroit.
The national Association of Realtors® honored Jill Rich as one of its original Good Neighbor Award winners at its annual convention in San Francisco earlier this month. The awards honor Realtors for volunteer efforts to improve the lives of people in need. First recognized in 2000 for her support of American Red Cross disaster relief efforts, Rich is the only person to receive the award in two separate years. A lifelong volunteer, Rich also has worked with nonprofits that combat homelessness. She founded an organization that provides support and resources to refugees who fled to the Tucson area from war-torn and poverty-stricken countries, including South Sudan, Guatemala, and Syria. Her second Good Neighbor Award honored her for helping 54 refugees from Sudan, known as “Lost Boys,” forge a new path in America. To date, she has touched the lives of 3,000 refugees from nearly 20 countries. Rich and three other original winners from 2000 each received a grant of $2,400 for a nonprofit — Rich designated the American Red Cross. The grants are funded by Good Neighbor Award sponsors realtor.com and Wells Fargo.
Former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, will ride in El Tour de Tucson on Nov. 23. Frequent El Tour participants, they will be riding this year for Friends of Aphasia, a non-profit Giffords recently co-founded. Aphasia is a communication disorder that can affect the ability to speak, understand, read, and/or write. Giffords suffered from aphasia after she was shot in Tucson on Jan. 8, 2011; six people were killed and 13 wounded in the attack.
Nate Marenfeld will play Tiny Tim in Arts Express’ “A Christmas Carol & Dickens Festival,” a musical theatre production at the Berger Performing Arts Center Dec. 6-15. For tickets, visit www.arts-express.org or call 319-0400