UA Presents Reimagined With a New Name – Arizona Arts Live
Committed to offering extraordinary, unique live experiences for Southern Arizona, Arizona Arts Live has announced a fall lineup of performances and exhibits that can be enjoyed safely.

College of Fine Arts
Sept. 24, 2020

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three faces projected on trees
"Monuments​" will be on display each night from October 29 through November 29 in the trees of the University of Arizona, projecting the faces of some of our local heroes in an outdoor environment that allows for physical distancing.

UA Presents, the University of Arizona's performing arts presenter, has a new name – Arizona Arts Live – and a new mission: to bring extraordinary live experiences to Southern Arizonans during a time they need them the most.

Chad Herzog, the organization's executive director, says the new name represents the organization's place within the broader Arizona Arts division at the University of Arizona, and its ongoing work to present the community on a global stage and make Tucson an arts destination. He says the wheels have been in motion for the change since he took the helm in May 2019.

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Chad Herzog
Chad Herzog

"Two items quickly came to my attention," Herzog said. "First, our regular patrons were only representative of a fraction of our diverse community. And second, we weren't bringing in programming that was nearly as inspiring, evocative or challenging as it could be. That is the beauty of great arts experiences, after all, to push us to new ideas and perspectives by lighting a spark within us."

He says the goal of Arizona Arts Live is to provide unexpected and compelling programming from all over the world and reach different audiences, including exploring new spaces outside of Centennial Hall, the primary venue for UA Presents in the past.

"Arizona Arts is a unified gateway to our unique visual and performing arts assets, experiences, and educational programs," said Andy Schulz, dean of the College of Fine Arts and the university's vice president for the arts. "With the launch of Arizona Arts Live, Chad and his team are creating a dynamic platform to engage in new and impactful ways with the University of Arizona campus and the communities of Southern Arizona. I can't wait for what lies ahead."

As part of the announcement of the relaunch, Arizona Arts Live is leading a campaign called "Ready for a Renaissance," in which local artists will be commissioned to create Renaissance-inspired murals rooted in this community and this moment in time. The mural projects and broader "Ready for a Renaissance" message will be amplified through social media and a number of strategic partnerships.

"The original Renaissance era was a period of enlightenment that followed the Black Plague in the 14th century and we've seen similar patterns throughout history, including The Roaring Twenties and the Harlem Renaissance following the Spanish Flu pandemic,” Herzog said. "What is Tucson's renaissance going to look like? Now is the time to answer that question as a community. My hope is Arizona Arts Live will play a big part in it."

"Monuments​" | Oct. 29-Nov. 29, University of Arizona campus

Australian artist Craig Walsh challenges the traditional concept of monuments to celebrate living, contributing members of our Southern Arizona community. "Monuments​" will be on display each night from October 29 through November 29 in the trees of the University of Arizona, projecting the faces of some of our local heroes in an outdoor environment that allows for physical distancing.

600 HIGHWAYMEN's ​"A Thousand Ways​ – Act 1"| Nov. 10-24, via telephone

"A Thousand Ways​" is a three-part performance in which words, actions, gestures, silence, thoughts and willingness are the tools. With two people, a telephone, a table and a stack of cards, a new type of performance emerges. Guided by a score of instructions, questions, prompts and physical directives, audience members who have never met build a series of performances for one another.

Scott Silven's ​"The Journey​" | Dec. 1-6, livestream

Illusionist, mentalist and performance artist Scott Silven takes audiences to his home in rural Scotland through an interactive, immersive, virtual live production. "The Journey" combines illusions and digital content into a singular live event, which viewers can experience from home.

Manual Cinema's "​A Christmas Carol" | ​Dec. 11-13, livestream

An avowed holiday skeptic, Aunt Trudy has been recruited to channel her late husband Joe's famous Christmas cheer. From the isolation of her studio apartment, she reconstructs his annual "A Christmas Carol" puppet show over a Zoom call while the family celebrates Christmas Eve under lockdown. Hundreds of paper puppets, miniatures, silhouettes and a live original score will come together to tell an imaginative reinvention of this cherished holiday classic. Each show will be performed live in Manual Cinema's Chicago studio and livestreamed. 

"Sounds From the Sonoran Desert" | Thursday evenings, 7 p.m., Oct. 15-Nov. 19, Arizona Stadium

During this open course, students and the public have an in-person opportunity to learn about and experience the music of Southern Arizona in the outdoor physically distanced space of Arizona Stadium. Starting with music of D Faktion Nyne and a land blessing from the Tohono O'odham Nation, and moving through some o Southern Arizona's greatest touring musicians, including Mariachi Luz de Luna, Ryanhood, Diluvio Az, XIXA, Orkesta Mendoza and others.

"Inside/Out" | Details to come

Initially inspired by some of the challenges artists had with video and sound in the early days of the pandemic, The Tucson Studio, a new program of Arizona Arts Live, provides resources to artists and others looking to produce higher-quality recordings, in addition to a YouTube music series featuring concerts from local artists. "Inside/Out" will feature live outdoor, physically distanced concerts. Attendees will be provided with wireless headsets, allowing them to enjoy the music from afar. More information as it becomes available will be posted on the Arizona Arts Live events page.

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Andy Ober

Assistant Director, News, University Communications