Important AZ Speaks Notice
Please be advised that bookings for the AZ Speaks program for the current fiscal year (through October 31) have now closed. This year over 80 organizations booked over 200 presentations in 45 communities. This accomplishment would not have been possible without the efforts and support of Arizona communities. Thank you!
Visit the Calendar for upcoming presentations through October 31. We will resume booking later this spring for programs taking place November 1, 2018 through October 31, 2019.
Presentations by Subject listed alphabetically. Click on the sidebar to view presentations.
In this presentation, Mr. Dart shows and discusses Native American ceramic styles that characterized specific peoples and eras in the U.S. Southwest prior to about 1450, and talks about how archaeologists use pottery for dating archaeological sites and interpreting ancient lifeways. He discusses the importance of context in archaeology, such as how things people make change in style over time and how different styles are useful in identifying different cultures and dating archaeological sites. His many illustrations include examples of ancient pottery types made throughout the American Southwest from about 2,000 to 500 years ago.
It has been thought that the Apache do not become Apache until the adoption of the horse, which triggered the raiding adaptation. While horses played a central role in the Apachean world, the horse divide is not as pronounced as thought. Horses changed the ancestral Apache lifeway and horses survived and thrived without European horse culture. Horses shaped warfare and intercultural relations, were intertwined with family and inter-band relations, and were integrated into Apachean lives through use of horse power and in ceremonies. The horse is maintained in contemporary culture and archaeological traces document the historical role of horses in rock art, bones, landscape use, and artifacts.
Ancient Indian pictographs (rock paintings) and petroglyphs (symbols carved or pecked on rocks) are claimed by some to be forms of writing for which meanings are known. However, are such claims supported by archaeology or by Native Americans themselves? Mr. Dart illustrates southwestern petroglyphs and pictographs, and discusses how even the same rock art symbol may be interpreted differently from popular, scientific, and modern Native American perspectives.
The ancient Hohokam culture of Arizona constructed at least 200 ball courts more than 800 years ago. These oval depressions were likely used to play a ball game that originated in southern Mexico, where the game was played with a rubber ball and had a very important role in reenacting the creation of humans in this world. This presentation will describe the recorded Hohokam ball courts located within Hohokam villages scattered throughout Arizona, summarize what archaeologists propose they were used for, and discuss how these public structures may relate to what is known about the Mexican rubber ball games, which are still played today.
How did the Apache impact late prehistoric peoples? Research provides evidence of ancestral Apaches in the southern Southwest as early as A.D. 1300. Evidence comes from chronometric dates obtained from storage features (covered with grass or leaves), on Apache pottery, and from roasting pits, all in direct association with other types of Apache material culture. A continuous sequence of use from the A.D. 1300s through the late 1700s provides new insights into a western route into this region and the presence of the earliest ancestral Apache three centuries earlier than previously thought, even in areas where Coronado did not see them.
Salt has been a valuable trade item throughout human history. Native American salt procurement in the Southwest involved dangerous journeys across sacred landscapes associated with a deity called Salt Woman. This presentation describes the history of a famous salt mine in Camp Verde, Arizona, where prehistoric Sinagua tools used for mining salt were discovered in the 1920s by historic miners deep inside tunnels dug into a thick, fresh-water salt deposit. Numerous photographs are shown of these well-preserved, 700-year old tools to illustrate the story of this unusual discovery. Comparisons are made with other Native American salt mines in the Southwest.
The novelty of these bands—initially employed by the U.S. military to support bond drives—drew enough spectators for the bands to be placed on tour, raising money for the war and boosting morale. The women, once discharged at the war’s end, refused to fade into post-war domesticity. Instead, the strong bond fostered by youthful enthusiasm and the rare opportunity to serve in the military while making professional caliber music would come to last some 60 years. Based on interviews with over 70 surviving band members, Bands of Sisters tells the tale of this remarkable period in the history of American women.
Whether or not you grew up when Western films competed favorably with the popular films of the day, you will definitely want to take yourself back in time to hear the music that made cowboy legends out of the Sons of the Pioneers, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Jimmy Wakely and so many other Western singers. Music Historian Erik Larson will ‘stir the campfire’ and feature a generous number of original Western recordings that were so much a part of the 1930s and 1940s.
Invented in Ancient Greece, keyboards allow an individual to play all the voices or music, replacing an orchestra or a choir. Keyboards are such a powerfully disruptive technology that they changed the very language of music, and allowed for some of the most beautiful music in human history to be created. Found all over the world, the keyboard is one of the most democratizing forces in music, allowing music to be experienced and created by all societal groups. There is a dark side, however! The pervasiveness of keyboards has taken Western music across the globe, often crushing indigenous music. This presentation will include musical examples from many time periods and across the planet.
This session examines the lives, works and influence of The Beatles on contemporary society. We will follow in the footsteps of The Beatles as they embark on their extraordinary career. Our journey will start from their early days as a cover band in Liverpool and Hamburg, into the excitement of Beatlemania to the formation of APPLE, and finally to their remarkable final recordings at Abbey Road Studios. Coming full circle, we will explore highlights of each individual’s post Beatles work.
The Big Band era, 1930s and 1940s, came during turmoil in the United States with Prohibition, the Depression and World War II. People were anxious to temporarily forget their troubles and the insurgence of the Big Bands gave them that outlet. For many, dancing and romancing to the bands were some of the happiest moments of their youth, and this music brings back those memories, both to those who lived through the era and now their children who grew up listening to their parents’ music. Erik brings original recordings of the bests of the bands and vocalists and when playing them, encourage my audiences to ask questions, identify the performers and share stories in an interactive environment.
This session features the principle that Hip Hop performs an important social function, and consequently the messaging within it. We will examine why and how something so controversial and marginal could become so mainstream and central, becoming a billion-dollar business today! Using history as a backdrop, we explore particular genres, artists, styles, sounds, images, and rhetorical techniques within the Hip Hop movement. Finally, by analyzing the various literary, musical, and methodological techniques employed in Hip Hop, participants will better understand the messages, meanings, and impact of this artistic form and hear how they can better use this medium constructively today.
Although stereotyped as an unmusical machine only fit for The Addams Family, the harpsichord is the most expressive and subtle of musical instruments. It has a unique and beautiful repertoire, and a very special and distinctive playing style. In this session, Dr. Guy Whatley will demonstrate the stunning music written for the harpsichord, and the astonishing techniques needed to bring it to life in the twenty-first century. We will also explore the societies and intriguing personalities connected to the harpsichord’s history, and we will come full circle and see how the harpsichord is a vibrant and living instrument today.
This session will focus on the phenomenon rise of the British pop and rock acts that invaded our shores in the 1960s, which captivated a generation whose influence endures five decades later. From pop groups (The Beatles, The Dave Clark Five, The Animals, The Kinks) to the psychedelic and progressive bands (The Who, Pink Floyd, Cream, Traffic), we will explore highlights from landmark recordings that clearly defined this British pop renaissance era. Our journey will also include aspects of popular culture (including cinema, fashion, TV and UK underground movement) whose influence added greatly to the impact of this remarkable period.
Women’s Bands in America is the first comprehensive exploration of women’s bands across the three centuries in American history. Sullivan will trace women’s emerging roles in society as seen through women’s bands—concert and marching—spanning three centuries of American history. The author will explore town, immigrant, industry, family, school, suffrage, military, jazz, and rock bands, adopting a variety of methodologies and theoretical lenses in order to assemble and interrogate their findings within the context of women’s roles in American society over time. The presenter brings together a series of disciplines in this unique work, including music education, musicology and American history.
Fort Huachuca, in Sierra Vista, is the surprising site of a remarkable story of African American art during World War II. Central to the chronicle is Arizona painter Lew Davis. The base was home to two black divisions, and Davis painted murals for the two segregated officers’ clubs. For the black officers’ club Davis produced something stunningly original: The Negro in America’s Wars, representing African American participation in the Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War, and World War I. Davis then produced a series of morale-building posters with, African American faces. Finally, Davis helped organized an exhibition of eighty-six works by thirty-seven African American artists.
Featuring compelling documentaries based on interviews, this presentation shares stories about prominent African Americans who contributed to the life and culture of Arizona. Such luminaries include the late Dr. Eugene Grigsby, Betty Fairfax, Judge Jean Williams, Rev. Warren Stewart, Councilman Calvin Goode, and Carol Coles Henry. Each individual’s life is contextualized using prominent events that have taken place in Arizona and the impact his/her work had on the social, cultural and political lives of the state is discussed.
When the African slave was brought to the Caribbean and North and South America, s/he brought her oral literature and performance style. This presentation focuses on the transfer of those oral traditions from African culture to African American culture. Such traditions can be heard in trickster stories, but also observed in the narration of myths, folk tales, sermons, jokes, proverbs, folk sayings, signifying, capping, testifying, toasting, on street corners, in barbershops, in beauty shops, the blues, rapping and hip-hop. In demonstration of the connections between African and African American oral traditions, a variety of Ananse tales, African American proverbs and other verbal arts will
This is an interactive workshop that explores influential and little known African American contributions and the road they paved to make it possible for African American leaders we have today such as Oprah Winfry, Michael Jordan, and Maya Angelou.
Tucson’s African-American community overcame numerous scandals to become some of the city’s most prosperous and well-known citizens. Newspapers throughout the Arizona territory captured more than their unlawful exploits but gave biographical information about each African-American. Men like George Bragg, who was a barber by trade, made headlines that rocked when he was charged with the attempted murder of the railroad Superintendent and his family. Women like Fannie Garcia challenged social mores by using her millions to fight conviction for marrying the man she loved. This hour-long presentation will discuss these and other key African-Americans, who stirred controversy, challenged territorial laws and contributed to the Old Pueblo’s early history. This talk will also include the importance of the African-American social club and their unique ability to mobilize African-Americans for political causes.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1942 WWII Executive Order 9066 forced the removal of nearly 125,000 Japanese-American citizens from the west coast, incarcerating them in ten remote internment camps in seven states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. Government photographers Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, and Ansel Adams documented the internment, and artists Toyo Miyatake, Chiura Obata, Henry Sugimoto, and Miné Okubo made powerful records of camp life. Arizona’s two camps (Gila River, Poston) were among the largest, and this chronicle illuminates an important episode of state history, one grounded in national agendas driven by prejudice and fear.
Dressed in a Mexican huipil with her face painted in a traditional calavera (skull), Elena Díaz Bjorkquist answers the questions of what Día de los Muertos is, where it came from, its roots, and how it’s celebrated. Día los Muertos is a significant and highly celebrated holiday in Mexico and the Southwestern United States. Many Mexicans and Mexican Americans believe death isn’t a subject to be feared or ignored from the living. Life cannot be celebrated without celebrating death. This plática (talk) traces the origins of the Mexican festival and describes the traditional elements associated with the holiday including foods, folk crafts, and altars.
Through a series of monologues and costume changes Elena Díaz Björkquist portrays the lives of her great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, and six aunts in their own voices. The presentation is a historically accurate picture of life for Chicanas in a segregated copper mining town from 1910 to the late 1960’s. This inspirational presentation pays tribute to three generations of Chicanas who, in spite of discrimination, persevered and showed that “si se puede” (it can be done). These women represent the “glue” that kept the family unit together by showing courage and strength combined with their unique cultural spirit.
During WWII a select group of young Navajo men enlisted in the Marines with a unique weapon. Using the Navajo language, they devised a secret code that the enemy never deciphered. For over 40 years a cloak of secrecy hung over the Code Talker’s service until the code was declassified and they were finally honored for their military contributions in the South Pacific by Presidents Reagan, Bush, and the Navajo Nation. The Code Talkers’ cultural background, how the code was devised and used, photos, and how Navajo spiritual beliefs were used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) form this presentation.
In 1861, Lieutenant George Bascom confronted Chiricahua Apache leader Cochise demanding the return of the abducted boy, Felix Ward (aka Mickey Free). The epic 14-day affair, 70 soldiers surrounded by 500 Apaches rescued by the timely intervention of the cavalry, ended in blood with hostages slain on both sides. Congress recognized Dr. Bernard Irwin, who rode with 12 men to relieve the beleaguered soldiers, with the first Medal of Honor. Historians have come to credit Bascom with starting a war. This talk explores the circumstances that led to the confrontation and how blame came to rest on the lieutenant.
The ethnobotanical story of the Southwest begins with the plant knowledge the people
have inherited from their ancestors who lived entirely off the land. The nutritional values of many wild foods are only recently gaining attention of western dietitians. These foods however, have long been known by local Tribes for their nutritional and medicinal value. So called “superfoods” are those foods which contain high amounts of phytonutrients and antioxidants. Such foods can in some cases reduce the risk of chronic disease. This talk will examine several key traditional foods utilized by Southwestern Tribes – foods that have been utilized by the Tribal people for centuries.
For centuries, Hopi men grew cotton and wove the fibers into blankets and clothing. In the 1880s, with the arrival of Anglo missionaries and government officials, quilting was introduced to the Hopi people and it quickly became integrated into Hopi culture and ceremony with quilts being used in every Hopi household. Hopis today are 4th and 5th generation quiltmakers and as the atistic traditions of two cultures are blended, it is not uncommon to see a quilt with a traditional Anglo pattern and an ancient Hopi image, such as a kachina or a clan motif. This presentation includes a trunk show of Hopi quilts.
Where lies the cure to diabetes? “Ask the prickly pear, or the mesquite bean pod…maybe they will tell you.” This is the answer you may hear from elder instructors of the Hualapai Ethnobotany Youth Project. The ethnobotanical story of the Hualapai Tribe begins with the plant knowledge the people have inherited from their great grandparents who lived entirely off the land. Hualapai grandchildren live in a completely different modern world. A world of cell phones, text messages, and iPods. The information presented will share about the project examining the crucial role that plant resource acquisition has played in Hualapai culture, knowledge fine-tuned and perfected over millennia.
Royce Manuel (Akimel O’odham) best describes his work through the “Tools of Yesterday” using plant fiber, primitive bows & arrows, knapping stone, and making agave plant cordage. As a tribal and cultural educator and member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Royce and Debbie specializes in the revival and teaching of artistic traditions while renewing and protecting indigenous knowledge for generations to come. Debbie’s traditional and bi-cultural lifestyles, provides valuable insight and practices in both urban and tribal community settings while preserving their heritage.
In many Southwestern matrifocal cultures, Indigenous women’s lives are modeled after female heroes and sacred women who exemplify and express courage and kinship values. Among some tribal cultures, rites of passage celebrate female creativity and the transformative nature of women, hence there was not a need for the concept of feminism. Nevertheless, Indigenous women’s lives remain invisible and stereotyped by Hollywood. This talk presents how Indigenous women have contributed in significant ways, not only to their tribal nations, but also to many aspects of contemporary American life.
The presentation will describe the historical landscape including plants, people, river and surrounding mountains. “The way of life” is how many elders described everyday activity that involved chores, work in the fields, seasonal storytelling, seasonal harvesting and craft making of baskets, bows, and arrows. Come take a journey about the River People who live in the desert.
Although history tries to tell us ONLY men settled the Old West, that is shattered by Jana’s verbal tour through some of the amazing women who made all the difference. Any woman who came West in the 1800s had to be full of grit and spit to survive and Jana has collected the stories of dozens of women who prove it. Ever heard of Donaldina Cameron or Biddy Mason? Sharlot Hall or Pearl Hart—Arizona’s infamous stagecoach robber? Jana reveals the contributions of women like Lozen, the Apache warrior considered the “Joan of Arc” of her people, and Terrisita, the most famous Mexican woman in the nation at the turn of the century. Meeting these women, you will never think of the Old West the same again!
During this workshop students will have the opportunity to learn about the historical achievements of popular U.S American women, in addition to contributions made by African America, Latino, and Native American women. Additionally, students will learn about the social and political background surrounding each woman presented in order to understand why their achievements and contributions were considered significant. The timeline will cover events such as the Seneca Falls Conference, the Women’s Suffrage Movement, World War II, the Civil Rights Movement, and women in key leadership positions today. Teachers will be given worksheets and projects that students can do once the presentation ends.
From artists and healers, teachers and entrepreneurs, women who plowed the land and those who were instrumental in establishing laws for the new territory of Arizona. Many early Arizona women became known for their fortitude in the face of adversity, their confrontation of extraordinary and sometimes dangerous situations, their adventuresome spirits, and their dedication to improving the lives of others. Some of these women gained a degree of celebrity across the state, within their communities, and throughout their tribal regions, while others remained relatively unknown. This PowerPoint program details the lives of remarkable Arizona women who had an impact on the territory and the state.
Anyone who has ever stared down an angry bull coming full throttle across an arena will understand why rodeo photographer Louise Serpa often uttered the adage, “Never Don’t Pay Attention.” Born into New York society, Louise ended up out west with her nose buried in the dirt & her eye glued to a camera, becoming the first woman to venture inside the arena and shoot some of the most amazing photographs of rodeo action. The dust and dirt of the rodeo became Louise’s lifeblood for almost 50 years. This PowerPoint program demonstrates the courage and resolute of a woman determined to decide her own fate while ascending to the highest pinnacles of rodeo photography.
Winnie Ruth Judd, Eva Dugan, Dr. Rose Boido, and Eva Wilbur Cruz all shared one thing in common. They were all incarcerated at the Arizona State Prison in Florence. These women were players in both the sensational stories that made national headlines and local stories that made Arizona history. Who were these women and how did they end up in the Florence prison? How did their stories impact Arizona? Through the use of photographs, prison records and newspaper articles, their particular stories are told against the background of women in the Arizona prison system in general, covering the transition from the Yuma Territorial prison to Florence to the women on death row currently.
While many are familiar with the movement for women’s rights that began in the 1800’s, it is less known that, over three centuries earlier, there was a flourishing of women’s poetry prose during the Italian Renaissance. This presentation explores samples of these rich and varied writings, which include love lyrics by famous courtly ladies of Venice and Rome, arguments about the moral dignity of women by learned courtesans and radical nuns, and philosophical and mystical writings. Dr. Barca will provide handouts and read some of the writings in the original Italian, providing full English translations and explanations of poetic form and historical background along the way.
Tyrone Power, Andy Devine, Katy Jurado, Steve McQueen and, of course, John Wayne. From the earliest days of film, Arizona has been a setting and subject for hundreds of films. Some, like Junior Bonner and Red River, are considered classics, others, such as Billy Jack and Evolution, surely less so. Some may even be classics in the making, from Tombstone to Near Dark. In this entertaining talk, Gregory McNamee, a frequent contributor on film to the Encyclopaedia Britannica and former columnist for the Hollywood Reporter, looks at the Grand Canyon State on the silver screen.
This unique workshop provides a framework that allows everyone to engage in a constructive dialogue without sugarcoating the harsh realities of the disparities seen throughout Hollywood. First, attendees will quickly learn the six standard patterns for minority characters in mainstream movies. With the analytical framework serving as the foundation for the discussion, attendees will then be asked to analyze movie clips using the newly acquired rubric, and conduct small group exercises with timely industry research and eye-popping statistics about mainstream movies. After participating in this dynamically interactive experience, audiences will never see movies the same way again.
An ancient set of Indian paths and the natural flow of the Gila River created a major artery for travel through pioneer Arizona. The Gila provided a route for the earliest traders, including Toltecs of Mexico, who traded with the Anasazi and Hohokam. The intrepid Padre Francisco Garces, performed missionary work during six excursions along the trail. U.S. surveying expeditions, immigrants—such as the ill-fated Oatman family—and seekers of the California gold fields join the list. The journals, stories, songs and art that came from these travels is rich and revealing of our state’s pioneers. These stories are shared through images, music and stories.
Arizona played a key role in preparing to send humans to the moon in the late 1960s/early 1970s. The Apollo astronauts themselves traveled to the Grand Canyon and volcanic fields around the state to learn geology and practice their lunar excursions. Meanwhile, U.S. Geological Survey engineers worked with NASA staff members to develop and test instruments while artists joined forces with scientists to create detailed maps of the moon that were critical to navigating around lunar surface.
From bustling Hong Kong, to the opulent Grand Palace of Bangkok, to the world’s tallest building in Dubai, to the slums of Mumbai, this highly visual presentation will explore the culture, cuisine, and customs of this fascinating and rapidly changing region. Dan Fellner, an experienced travel writer and Fulbright Fellow in Asia, will share his experiences and in-depth observations from his extensive travels to such diverse countries as Vietnam, Myanmar, India, Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia. The presentation will both inform and entertain you and perhaps even motivate you to travel to this exotic continent.
Arizona has always been a geographical muse for writers, artists and composers, as well as a getaway for the rich and famous. In this talk, learn about some of the people who have had adventures, weddings and unusual experiences here, while also learning about some of the places they lifted a glass, and why you might want to follow their example.
Global warming presents humanity with one of the most difficult ethical challenges ever faced. More than just a scientific problem this is a collective action problem requiring that we work together to find appropriate strategies for adaptation. It requires recognizing attribution of cause and effect and careful consideration of the likely outcomes of harm to others. Future generations will have their quality of life impacted through the loss of species habitat and with it many of the creatures that have inspired us for millennia. In this presentation and discussion, we will pursue these and other philosophical and ethical questions that confront us today with human caused global warming.
The Empire Ranch, built by Walter Vail and family, was one of the most financially successful and long-lived cattle enterprises in Arizona. For over 140 years, the owners of the Empire wisely managed its natural resources – soils, waters, and vegetation in the Cienega Valley. Today those grasslands are some of the richest and most stunningly beautiful in this state. This talk will present the story of how those ranchers survived flood, drought, and economic challenges and how the Bureau of Land Management and its partners work to protect and preserve the historic ranch and those landscapes for you today.
Landscape is the stage upon which Arizona History “struts and frets.” That stage has never been more clearly readable for its past and present players than Fort Bowie National Historic Site. Its resources – vegetation, water, and topography – were essential for all users and yet those resources ignited conflict and retaliation for over three decades. This talk will present the history of Fort Bowie: its establishment, survival, and demise, and the clash between American military and Chiricahua Apache during the Battle of Apache Pass. Fort Bowie’s landscape still speaks to visitors today of past conflict and now relates the modern tale of Historic Abandonment.
Looking to vicariously escape the 100+ degree Arizona temperatures? Then take a trip through the eyes of a travel writer to four chilly and off-the-beaten path destinations – Greenland, Spitsbergen, Iceland, and Canada’s Yukon Territory. Greenland offers an interesting mix of Inuit and Scandinavian culture, Spitsbergen is about as close to the North Pole as you can get, Iceland is one of the most ruggedly beautiful islands on Earth, and the Yukon is known for gold-mining and spectacular scenery and wildlife. Dan Fellner, has written about and photographed all four destinations for the Arizona Republic’s Travel & Explore section.
Millions of travelers visit the Grand Canyon each year, but just 150 years ago, this was still considered the “last blank spot on the map.” One man, a one-armed civil war veteran, was determined to navigate and document the Colorado River as it winds through the canyon. Therefore, on May 24, 1869, John Wesley Powell set out with nine men, four boats, and ten months of rations on an adventure that would nearly kill them. Three months later Powell emerged 1,000 miles down-river with five men, two boats, and only one week of moldy flour left. Listen to their story and see film clips of the raging Colorado as it was in Powell’s time.
Arizona’s rivers were first, lush green ribbons of life through a desert landscape. They became sustaining paths, first for the indigenous, later for immigrants leaving wagon tracks. On the Salt River, Hohokam built vast canals to direct water for irrigation. The first European citizens of Phoenix used these same trenches. The history, stories and songs are shared interactively.
Ecologist and conservationist Aldo Leopold’s work has deep roots in the Arizona landscape. One of Leopold’s most profound experiences occurred in Arizona and formed the basis for his land ethic. He also contributed to the first working plan for the Grand Canyon. In this presentation and discussion, we will look at what has changed and what remains the same since Leopold was in Arizona. We will investigate the context and importance of his work for Arizona today, including how his ecological observations translate into moral and philosophical insights for how we should live our lives with nature, as well as some of the conflicts between preservation, restoration, and management of wilderness.
Animals have a long history in human culture, providing food, labor, sport, and companionship. In modern times, we have also seen the use of animals in scientific testing, their treatment as commodities in factory “farming,” and the destruction of natural habitats threatening the rights of humans and non-human animals to sustainably coexist. This presentation offers multicultural and historical perspectives on the moral status of animals, including those of the ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras, the Roman poet Ovid, Buddhist teachings on animals, first-wave feminists such as Harriet Beecher Stowe and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and contemporary thinkers Temple Grandin and Carol Adams.
In 1989, Alan Day lobbied the United States Congress and was granted approval to create our country’s first government-sponsored wild horse sanctuary on his South Dakota ranch. At the time, the government housed roughly 2,000 horses in feedlots. Fifteen hundred of those wild mustangs came to live at Mustang Meadows Ranch where, for four years, Alan trained and cared for them. Today, the Bureau of Land Management holds over 60,000 wild mustangs in feedlots, and the number keeps growing. Why are so many of these esteemed animals in captivity? Alan Day will share his experiences with the wild horses, as well as his insights into the present controversy surrounding these icons of the West.
When the first dining guide to the Valley of the Sun appeared in 1978, the authors had to explain what “sushi” was. Fast forward four decades, and Arizonans are munching rainbow rolls in shopping-mall food courts. The restaurant business in Arizona now brings in more than $11 billion a year. With stories, statistics and insider tidbits, former restaurant critic Howard Seftel explores the many ways that dining out reflects our evolving culture, as well as shapes it. He explains the rise of independent chefs, the boom in ethnic eating, the push for local sourcing and the growth of Arizona wines. Seftel also offers a rare inside look at the development of food criticism and the Internet’s impact.
U.S. Route 66, known as the “Mother Road,” was built in 1926. It ran from Chicago to L. A. During the depression of the 1930s, it became the major path by which people migrated west, seeking work, warm weather and new opportunities. Shore shares the history of Route 66 in Arizona, including the impact it had on the state during its prime, and what happened when the interstate ultimately bypassed some of the towns that drew life from the road. This multi-media presentation includes music, video clips, still photos, and Shore’s storytelling magic.
Taking the events from Billy the Kid, who killed his first man in Arizona, the Gunfight at the OK Corral, and the arrest and trial of Ernesto Miranda, this presentation will explore how these seminal events became watershed experiences for the American legal system, and still impact the lives of individuals living in the United States today. This presentation will explore the development of the legal system and law enforcement in the Southwest beginning with frontier justice and finishing with our current legal system, which continues to evolve and grow.
From mammoth hunters and canal builders to Native Americans, Hispanics, Americans, Irish, Serbians, and just about every nationality under the sun, Arizona has always been a land of many cultures. And while the Earps and the Geronimo are world famous, Arizona can also be proud of its unsung men and women and cooperative communities. Here we will share Arizona’s experiences from the famous to the little known, from Native American ceremonies to mining booms, cattle drives, cotton harvests, and religious settlements, we will learn how Arizona evolved from a violent frontier to a just and civil society dedicated to its people’s welfare.
Harvey Harlow Nininger was an American meteoriticist and educator who revived interest in the scientific study of meteorites in the 1930s and assembled one of the world’s largest personal collections. He is considered the Father of American Meteoritics and was the founder of the American Meteorite Museum near Meteor Crater which subsequently moved to Sedona. He eventually sold his collection to the British Natural History Museum and to the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University. This presentation covers his fascination with this extraterrestrial material and the many discoveries made by Dr. Nininger.
Weeks after Pearl Harbor the War Department announced construction of a massive ammunition storage depot ten miles west of Flagstaff along U.S. Highway 66 at Bellemont. Flagstaff’s population jumped from five to 20 thousand in a spasm of boom town upheaval. Several thousand Navajo and Hopi construction workers labored at the struggling new depot – the key storage facility for the Port of Los Angeles. Meanwhile, 400 sailors and Marines of the Navy’s V-12 officer training program arrived on the Arizona State Teachers College Campus. Then, 250 enemy prisoners of war arrived at the depot. This story illustrates the results of military expansion on social, economic, and community development.
Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid and John Wayne: what do these famous characters have in common? They are not who we think they are because of the legends that have grown up around them. From the 1860’s dime novels to the books, movies, and television shows, writers have altered, exaggerated and sometimes lied about these folk heroes. In “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” the editor says, “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” We will examine how the legends grew and how they impact how we view the past, act in the present, and build the future.
In 1911, a one-track bridge across the Little Colorado River opened travel to northern Arizona, and Hubert Richardson’s trading post at the south end of the bridge provided a center for local Navajos to trade sheep, rugs and jewelry. Tourists going to the Grand Canyon also discovered Cameron Trading Post and it soon became a destination and a stopover for people from around the world. Movie stars, artists, writers, and scientists went to Cameron. Zane Grey wrote and filmed movies there, John Wayne was once locked in the men’s washroom, Richard Nixon met his mobster friend Bebe Rebozo at Cameron, and paleontologist Barnum Brown discovered nearby Dinosaur Canyon.
Buckey O’Neill was one of Arizona’s legendary pioneers, even author William MacLeod Raine called him “the most many-sided man Arizona has produced”. Before dying in Cuba while serving as one of Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, O’Neill made his mark in Arizona as a newspaper editor, sheriff, mayor, and prospector, among other professions. Whether chasing train robbers across the Arizona’s frontier, promoting the Grand Canyon as a tourist destination, or reforming education practices while serving as school superintendent, he lived with an eye toward helping Arizona mature from an untamed western territory to a creditable state.
Father Kino bridged the gap between the Anglo world and the Native American through his charismatic and caring heart. He was a cartographer, explorer, geographer, scientist, and a man with a mission. Through his knowledge of agriculture, he introduced new livestock breeds and taught animal husbandry to the native to increase the stock. The new plants and fruit trees he brought to the New World gave the native a variety of foods to eat and increased their ability to withstand seasonal changes. Father Kino brought a new religion to the native in a nonthreatening manner. His scientific knowledge allowed him to make new discoveries.
The best-known and perhaps most visited grave site in northern Arizona belongs to little Johnny Elden, Jr. His 1887 murder remains one of the most infamous in Territorial history. Today, Johnny rests alone in a rock-covered grave at the base of the mountain named for his father. A beautiful U.S. Forest Service interpretive panel nearby describes the awful crime. Johnny was just six years old when he was shot and killed by itinerant mule skinner Bob Roberts in a dispute over water. Although the murder has haunted Flagstaff for over a century, did it really happen? This presentation examines the story of pioneer John Elden, the murder of his son, and the contribution of myth to history.
Prostitution was a main stay business of frontier communities and Tucson was no exception. From 1870 to 1910, Tucson prostitutes worked openly without local government interference. However, as Tucson shed its frontier label for respectable city, Tucson began slowly to condemn its ‘soiled doves.” The talk will examine the lives of Tucson’s prostitutes, their struggles, clients, how they contributed to municipal revenues and eventual removal from Tucson’s growing city center. The talk will also highlight the many pressures Tucson’s prostitutes faced as the Women’s Suffrage movement gained momentum.
Throughout history, the ability of a people to survive and thrive has been tied to environmental conditions. The skill to predict the climatic change of the seasons was an essential element in the ability to “control” those conditions. Seasonal calendars thus became the foundation of early cultures: hunting and gathering, planting and harvesting, worshiping and celebrating were activities dictated by specific times of the year. In addition, celestial events such as eclipses and falling stars would have profound effects on belief systems.
When America entered the Second World War, Arizona’s sparse population and mild weather made it an ideal location for training facilities and prisoner of war camps. By war’s end, Arizona had trained more pilots than any other state, hosted the country’s largest POW camp, and was part of the largest military training grounds in history. This presentation tells Arizona’s war-time role by focusing on the stories of those WW2 sites in Arizona that still have significant remaining features from the war period. Includes many photographs and first-hand accounts.
Martha Summerhayes was a refined New England woman who entered the Arizona Territory in 1874 as the young bride of an Army Lieutenant. Traveling in horrific conditions and dreadful heat, she soon despised the wild and untamed land. She gave birth to the first anglo child born at Fort Apache where the native women took her under their care. Gradually, Martha’s attitude towards the desert changed and she soon came to love the starry nights, the clear air, and the simplicity of its inhabitants. She wrote about her experiences in the classic book, Vanished Arizona, still in print since 1908. Ranney has a personal connection to the Summerhayes family, which he shares in the lecture.
The dividing line of the U.S.-Mexico border may be the most significant feature of the Arizona-Sonora borderland today, but the region is also at the center of major north-south corridors of human migration. In this talk, Scott warren offers an in-depth look at historical and contemporary patterns of south-north migration through this region, from ancient Hohokam trade routes, to Spanish colonizers, to contemporary migrants—both documented and undocumented. While in some cases migration routes and patterns have changed over time, in other cases they have largely stayed the same. This talk is intended to increase awareness of Arizona’s south-north connections and how they shape our cultural landscape.
In 1880, Alan Day’s grandfather homesteaded the Lazy B ranch. This dusty dry tract of land produced a Supreme Court Justice, a lauded Arizona state senator, and a career rancher, cowboy, and land conservationist. Alan explores the ranching and cowboying life from the chuck wagon years of his childhood, through his adult years of increasing bureaucracy, airplanes, computers and now even drones. At the heart of his stories lie adventures that most of us will never experience, as well as a deep love of the natural world.
Sheep ranching has been greatly overlooked in the history of Arizona. While it never will compete with the five “C’s”, it added a great deal to the economic diversity in the state. Many different ethnic groups settled here and raised sheep for a living weathering the economic downturns as well as the prosperous years. They often weathered the storm better than cattlemen. These men and women raised their families on the frontier and left a lasting impact on the economic and ethnic diversity within the state. The story of the sheep industry is told through personal family memoirs collected over several years. The cyclical cycle taken each year will be shown in a photographic journey.
In spite of being one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World,” humans have not always seen the Grand Canyon in a positive light. First seen by Europeans in the year 1540, the canyon was not comprehended easily. Throughout the entire exploratory era, lasting nearly 320 years, conquistadores, explorers, trappers and miners viewed the canyon as an obstacle to travel or even useless. None of these early visitors ever returned a second time. However, when the first geologist laid eyes on it in 1857, he issued a siren call to humanity that it was something quite special on our planet. Every geologist who followed returned again, announcing to the world that the Grand Canyon was to be revered.
Motorized transportation, a national highway network, and a gas called neon converged at a propitious time in the early 20th century to become a unique communication system that forever changed the American roadside landscape. Saving Pvt. Neon explores how the discovery of the fifth most abundant gas in the universe emerged as a powerful, new and colorful advertising tool.
Now, rapidly disappearing from the landscape, identifying, restoring and protecting these remarkable resources have surfaced as a passionate movement in the preservation community. From novelty to clutter to a newly appreciated art form in a span of less than a century is the fascinating story of neon.
The promise of unimagined riches is what brought many of the earliest colonizers to the Arizona Territory. Following the trail to the discovery of the mother lode, they built, then dismantled and finally abandoned communities when mines played out – leaving behind tantalizing clues of difficult hardships. Some towns survived like Bisbee, Jerome, Tombstone and Oatman. Most disappeared, gradually becoming absorbed back into the desert from which they arose. This presentation explores more than a decade of historian Jay Mark’s journeys to these fascinating ghost places, along with their stories – long-forgotten places like Charleston, Contention City, Mowry, Fairbank, Gleeson and Congress.
Cowboy movie star Tom Mix was internationally famous, and many legends and tall tales have been told about his life. This presentation highlights some of the true stories about Mix and his connection to Arizona, debunking some of the Hollywood hype. What brought Mix travel that lonesome highway where he met his death south of Florence? Find out about his childhood, the early years in show business, his multiple marriages and divorces, his career path, his presence in Arizona and the final hours of his life. A wide range of photographs and newspaper articles illustrate this larger than life legend.
Toys and games are as old as civilization itself and reflect the need all people have for fun and recreation. Ancient Native Americans were no exception. This presentation engages the audience with hands-on exploration of modern and ancient toys. We explore the history of familiar toys and discover some ancient toys and games that give clues to old Arizona cultures. Participants can make their own split-twig figures like those found at the Grand Canyon.
Arizona’s wine industry is booming. Starting from almost nothing in the 1970s, there are now over 50 wineries across the state and more starting every year. Despite the youth of the current industry, there is a long history of wine-making in Arizona dating back some 200 years. Using numerous illustrations, this presentation traces the fascinating – and often amusing – story of Arizona wine from the Spanish Colonial period to the present. Topics include pioneering efforts using wild grapes, Mesa’s forgotten 19th century wine industry, the illegal raisin wineries of the Great Depression, and the unlikely band of aspiring winemakers that led the modern rebirth of Arizona wine in the 1980s.
For a state that has been home to Geronimo, Wyatt Earp, César Chavez and Wonder Women, you would think Arizona earned some respect. Yet achieving statehood was a 50-year struggle, which finally ended on February 14, 1912. Jana borrows from both her work for True West Magazine and her work for Phoenix Magazine to put the 48th state into perspective. She shares some of the secrets prissy folks would rather forget. You will learn why this small state has had an inordinate influence on American politics, and why, no matter what outrageous thing happens anywhere in the world, there is bound to be an Arizona connection. This wicked, weird and wild romp through Arizona’s colorful history will shock, delight, inform, tickle and leave you wanting to learn more!
Lieutenant William H. Emory, topographical engineer, rode with General Kearny in the 1846/47 conquest of New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Bold Emory, as he was known at West Point, fought beside the general at the Battle of San Pascual. Throughout his trek from Missouri to California, he recorded the terrain, its people, ruins, flora and fauna. His map opened the Southern Emigrant Road to travel and his published work introduced the Southwest to the American people and established the need for the Gadsden Purchase. After the war, he returned to survey our southern boundary. He was among the first to command a cavalry regiment.
This presentation will explore the US Army’s experiment with using camel from the Middle East to make it more mobile in the newly acquired Southwest. In order to teach the soldiers about camels, a local from the Middle East, who was called Hi Jolly, was shipped over with the camels. Even though Secretary of War Jefferson Davis desperately wanted the Camel Corps to be successful, the experiment was a failure. Find out what happened to the camels and their minder, Hi Jolly, with the conclusion of this experiment.
Like all great men and women, he was a mixture of talents and motivations. Yet, the one quality of Lincoln, above all else, that allowed him to achieve stratospheric heights, was his humble ability to tell stories. The goal of this presentation is to equip audiences with the very methods that Abraham Lincoln used to tell stories, such as mimicry, self-effacing humor and adding a moral to the story. Terry Sprouse, author of the book “How Abraham Lincoln Used Stories to Touch Hearts, Minds, and Funny Bones,” also illustrates how he uses stories in his daily life to connect with employees, co-workers, children, doctors and complete strangers.
July 1, 2018, marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps, an innovation for its time that addressed an acute healthcare delivery crisis during World War II. This presentation draws from the voices of those who participated in the program. Participants will have the opportunity to view and discuss Cadet Nurses’ accounts of their experiences. Through discussion of these experiences, participants will learn about the meaning of Cadet Nurses’ service during and after World War II. Participants will also learn about interviewing Cadet Nurses they may know and resources for the preparation and archiving of these stories for posterity.
A cultural, psychological and personal look at the effects of the Holocaust and war memories in German society after 1945, especially as they are passed on inter-generationally in German families. This larger frame will be exemplified by the presenter’s story about his father who had been drafted into the German army at age 17, and ended up in the vicinity of a Jewish slave labor camp in Poland. The presentation concludes with brief remarks on the value of dialogue between the communities affected by historical trauma due to violent, state-sponsored ideologies. (75 min recommended minimum time; up to 120 min, PowerPoint available).
The Nazis in Germany committed the worst crimes against humanity in world history. The Holocaust will remain in our collective memory and reminds us constantly of the profound dangers that threaten modern society. Democracy is a fragile construct. This presentation analyzes the causes and conditions for the rise of the Nazis in Germany, and traces the horrible history of the Holocaust through maps, images, and texts, focusing also on the culture practiced today in Germany in a most moving way. There is probably no other lesson from the twentieth century more important to keep in mind today than what we know about the Holocaust.
The Middle Ages were not a dark ages, which is really just a modern myth. This presentation will highlight some of the glorious and mysterious aspects from that time, working with fascinating texts, images, music, architecture, magical arts, philosophy, and religion, as well as addressing problematic issues and conflicts. Some of those pertain to the relationship between Jews and Christians, the crusades, multilingualism, the issue of toleration/tolerance, and the quest for God, especially through mystical visions. The focus will also rest on the most glorious art works from that time period, such as illustrated manuscripts, which will be accompanied by samples of medieval music.
Arizona’s history of the LGBTQ community begins long before Arizona was a state with the Native American belief of two-spirits, continues on through to the seismic shift of Marriage Equality. There are some surprises along the way as we talk about artists such as Keith Haring and George Quaintance. There is also the little known story of Nicolai De Raylan. This multi-media presentation includes music, video clips, still photos, and Shore’s storytelling magic.
Race has been a much-contested issue in U.S. history. Yet it has never been a single thing nor has it always been the same thing. Race has been part of a changing national identity. More personally, race has been part of variable individual identity. Who was white, who was Indian, who was black, for example, has not always had the same answer in U.S. history. Yet race has been a persistent element of identity. Every generation of Americans has wrestled with race as a defining issue. It has been long argued over in United States law. It has been crucial in national and local politics and has presented problems aplenty for government, public policy, and popular practice.
Most Americans think they know what the Constitution says but few have actually examined it. Here is an opportunity to review the concepts and composition of the document that functions as the legal foundation and framework of the nation. The Constitution provides principles for federal relations with the nation’s constituent states, citizens, and inhabitants. It has deployed a constitutional system called federalism. Its hallmarks have featured dual sovereignty, delegated and reserved powers, and guarantees of personal civil liberties and rights.
What’s it like going to a place where you don’t know the language or culture? Where you don’t have any family or friends? Where you don’t know what you’re eating or where you’re sleeping? Where you have almost no money in your pocket? And now it is your home!? Could you do it? Did you do it? Participants will have the opportunity to discuss and share their experiences as a new settler and/or native greeter.
Roman Jacobson stated that languages differ not in what they can covey but what they have to convey. Thus English has to refer to either foot or leg while Slavic languages can use нога/noga/noha for both, and Mandarin Chinese has to differentiate between younger and older brother (dìdì, 弟弟and gēgē, 哥哥) while English covers both with the word brother. These cases exemplify different manners in which the world is construed in various languages and their cultures. In this talk, based on the Sipka’s recent monograph with Cambridge University Press, he presents a taxonomy of such cases and discusses their practical consequences.”
From infants to the young at heart, our languages are evolving continuously. Let Polly and the Peaputts, Maddy and her daddy, and other Rodowrites characters, help you discover how to live, love, and learn with language. Polly and the Peaputts is a book series of fun adventures. My Maddy, My Daddy has two versions—English and Spanish. Find Your Nose is body discovery songbook for early development. Participants have opportunities to explore language through five development areas—listening/observing, speaking, reading, writing, and maybe even some acting out. All six books are also aligned with the English Language Arts Standards (ELAS) of the national Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
Since doing the first interview with one of Sedona’s daughters, 35 years passed before the final page of this biography was written. This is the journal her great-granddaughter wishes she had found in the family archives. Hear passages from the manuscript and how family stories were handled; as well as the cultural and family research process that plays a part in crafting a historically accurate biography.
Whatever we think about fundamentalism, it is a very dynamic religious movement that attracts men and women alike. What are the features of religious fundamentalism in the traditions of Abrahamic religions? This presentation is about neither the “right” or “wrong” of fundamentalism, nor about “right” or “wrong” of particular religious traditions. We learn why fundamentalism emerged in the beginning of the 20th century, what characteristics fundamentalist religious traditions share and how they differ from each other. (75-90 minutes, lecture with PowerPoint, printed worksheets & handouts available).