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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Southwest Soundoff! blasts museum patrons

    Marge Pellegrino, right, is a recurring guest at Arizona State Museums monthly cultural events who help visitors like this little girl bring out their inner writer.
    Marge Pellegrino, right, is a recurring guest at Arizona State Museum’s monthly cultural events who help visitors like this little girl bring out their inner writer.

    You may have noticed a big hubbub going on outside the Arizona State Museum for the last few months. The Culture Craft Saturday program has been bringing craft fairs and southwest-themed events to campus about once a month, and this weekend the museum is holding Southwest Soundoff!. Both entertaining and educational, this event gives people a chance to fully comprehend our unique southwestern surroundings.

    “”We wanted interactive programs for parents and children to enjoy the museum,”” said Lisa Falk, director of education at the museum. “”We designed Culture Craft Saturday around our exhibit themes and ideas. Our permanent exhibit deals with native cultures in Arizona.””

    The ever-advancing art world has seen increased interest in auditory senses. The Southwest Soundoff!’s main focus is to get people to sit back and listen carefully to their surroundings. Besides just employing the visual aspect of seeing desert objects, the museum will utilize a super sensitive microphone to amplify the sounds of cacti, clay pots and other things common in the Southwest.

    “”The ‘listen closely’ station is based off the way that sound designers in Hollywood create sound effects and a sound environment for a film. Using objects that you find in the southwest as well as objects that are found in our exhibits, we are going to listen to them through a very sensitive microphone,”” said Aidinha Gaxiola, education program coordinator at Arizona State Museum.

    “”What you get is this enhanced audio experience. There are things like a pot which you don’t usually think of as making sound, but if you rub it and you have a very sensitive microphone you’re going to hear it.””

    Another activity that involves auditory tasks will be story-telling from American Indians. Jonah Thompson, a member of the Navajo Nation, will share the history of the Navajo people through music, Francis Delgado, a Yaqui, will share the language and teachings of the Pascua Yaqui people and storyteller Martin “”El Cuento”” Rivera will tell Southwest folktales.

    Another southwestern tradition celebrated at the event includes corridos. Many of these traditional Mexican-American songs used to tell stories will be performed and participants will help write their own corrido about living in Tucson.

    Hands-on activities include making whistles from desert clay. Led by artist Lauren Garlovsky of the Tucson Clay Co-op, this activity will allow whistlers to interact with the event and take home their own traditional musical instrument. Other instruments will be on display and available for recreational engagement.

    On the arts and crafts side, visitors can color game boards and cut up cards to create their own loteria or bingo game. Anyone who misses the old days of grade school when you’d wile away an afternoon playing bingo will enjoy having their own version to take home and play.

    An activity that focuses on interaction with your spiritual side will be a creative writing activity. Marge Pellegrino, a literacy specialist, will assist visitors in transforming the many sounds they hear into words. Pellegrino encourages people to listen to their inner writer and create sonorous stories related to the southwest.

    Glaxiola is very excited to see how Tucsonans will react to the Southwest Soundoff!.

    “”It relates to them. It’s about them. It’s about their environment and the cultures that surround them everyday. It will be great to see young visitors and adults get really excited about our hands-on activities.””

    Southwest Soundoff! will take place Saturday from 1-4 p.m. at the Arizona State Museum, 1013 E. University Blvd. After the Southwest Soundoff!, Culture Craft Saturdays will continue on May 9 with a celebration of pottery and June 21 with a day of family fun devoted to the summer solstice.

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