Arts and Culture | Events | Post-Its

A Look at Arts + Culture this Spring at the Tucson J

From the Song of Songs, we find a beautiful text elaborating on the beauty of spring. “For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers are seen in the land. The time of the nightingale is come, and the voice of the turtle dove is heard in our land. The fig tree brings forth perfume in its green figs. And the vines with young grapes are fragrant.” Even in Israel, where the war against Hamas is ongoing, there are signs of spring across the country. Spring is an opportunity to celebrate growth and renewal.

At the J, our arts, culture and community programming is in full bloom. Claire Hunter, the J’s Arts and Culture Engagement Manager notes, “As a premier destination for the arts, the Tucson JCC continuously invests in developing a unique community of individuals that value the intersection of Jewish community, arts, and culture. Springtime is a particularly invigorating season where growth and innovation thrive at the Tucson J, blooming with incredible opportunities to engage with our community through creative expression. Our programs are community driven, open to all, and a celebration of Tucson’s diverse art world.”

The Esperanza Dance Project (EDP) will host their Emerging Choreographers Showcase in the Jill Rosenzweig Memorial Sculpture Garden on Sunday, April 7, where EDP dancers will share the eight site-specific dances created for this event. Beth Braun, Founder and Artistic Director of EDP shares, “After being invited to perform at an event in the Jill Rosenzweig Sculpture Garden in 2023, we knew that this would be the perfect venue for our 2024 Emerging Choreographers Showcase. Each choreographer chose a sculpture in the garden that was used to inspire their dance piece. The audience will be led by EDP volunteers through the garden to view each dance as well as having the opportunity to view all the sculptures along the path.” The event will also showcase local artists and their artwork, and a “Founder’s Talk: Why I created EDP, and WHY DANCE?” taking place in the Garden of Hope. The event will culminate with the premiere of EDP’s newest narrated piece ProjectRIS: Respect, Inspire, Support. Made possible by a Community Impact Grant from the OneAZ Community Foundation, ProjectRIS was created for youth between the ages of 11-14. This new performance piece focuses on issues of concern expressed by youth such as isolation, bullying, impact and safety concerns regarding social media, emotional resilience, and advocacy. Past sites for this event have included Womankraft Art Center and the Tucson Museum of Art Sculpture Garden.

On Sunday, April 14, the J is hosting in partnership with Southern Arizona Cultural Alliance (SAACA) a Spring Arts Fest from 10am-4pm. The day includes live music, art and food vendors, artistic demonstrations throughout the day and free face painting and a kids’ craft area. Paired with the event is the J’s JCARE afterschool program annual art exhibit. The event will culminate with a presentation by Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra (SASO). SASO’s Music Director, Linus Lerner reflects, “It is always a pleasure to be performing outside our regular venues principally when we are bringing quality music to different segments of our community, playing a JCC will certainly fortify this sense of community that is so dear to our mission!”

We are thrilled to be bringing back the Celebration of Heritage concert series in the Jill Rosenzweig Memorial Sculpture Garden on Sunday, April 21. The first concert is “Voices of Spring” presented by Arizona Symphonic Winds under the direction of László Veres, conductor and music director, featuring soprano Dori Cardenas-Smith.

The Tucson J is once again proud to partner with Rabbi Sara Metz of Congregation Anshei Israel and Rabbi Stephanie Aaron of Congregation Chaverim for a Second Night Community Passover Seder. As tradition teaches, “let all who are hungry come and eat.” We hope you will join us at this community seder. Beginning the second night of Passover, the J will once again be counting the omer up towards Shavuot. Follow us on Facebook for learning, mindfulness moments, and counting.

Stories Untold: A Photography Group Show and Two of a Perfect Pair with Andy Iventosh, Ceramics and Russell Kahn, Pastels, Prints and Ceramics will be featured in the Fine Art Gallery. Visit HERE for the schedule and gallery openings. And, when you’re in the building, be sure to visit Lauri Kay’s Tucson Portrait Stories series in the Wellness Gallery.

We believe that art should be accessible across the ages, and there are multiple opportunities for families to engage with arts, culture, and community. Families with children 2 to 8 years old are invited to get their science on at STEAM Sunday – STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. PJ Our Way eligible youth (8.5 through 12-year-olds) and their grown-ups are invited for a pre-Passover Chocolate Seder to get ready for Passover, and PJ Library families are invited to the J for Passover playdate during the holiday (with Kosher for Passover delights, of course).

There is plenty to engage with community this spring, we hope you will join us for what speaks to you. And, in an effort to authentically get to know our community, we would love to connect with you! Please reach out to any of the Jewish Life + Engagement team so we can treat you to a cup of coffee or tea and get to know you.