With the Valentine State turning 100 next month, University of Arizona affiliates have joined in a statewide celebration of the milestone with events designed to embody the state's history.
Commemorative events around the centennial birthday began in 2010, but those forthcoming at the UA include lectures, tours, performances and a gem and mineral exhibition. All told, events will center on happenings since Feb. 14, 1912 and others predating statehood.
One UA series was organized by the colleges within the UA's Colleges of Letters, Arts and Science, or CLAS. The event, "Arizona – 100 Years and Counting," begins Jan. 21 and closes with Feb. 11 event.
"It's a very ambitious event. It's a really nice collaborative effort that represents very well the history of Arizona," said Javier D. Durán, who directs Confluence: Center for Creative Inquiry, which funded the initiative along with UA's offices of the president, provost and the vice president for research.
"Each of the college's events is really, really interesting, and they offer different kinds of ways to celebrate Arizona's history," said Durán, also a UA associate professor of Spanish and border studies.
Visit the Arizona – 100 Years and Counting site for full details on events, which include:
- The College of Fine Arts is hosting "The Arizona Radio Hour," Jan. 21, 7:30-8:30 p.m. at the Tucson Scottish Rite Cathedral, 160 S. Scott Ave. The UA's School of Theatre, Film and Television touring company, Encore!, will present a history of Arizona, the 48th state.
- The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences will present "Step Back in Time at the San Xavier del Bac Mission" Jan. 28, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend a 1 p.m. presentation by the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus at San Xavier, 1950 W. San Xavier Road.
- The culminating Feb. 11 event, "Arizona 100: A Celebration Through the Lens of Time," will be held at Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. The 3-5 p.m. event will spotlight the work of CLAS students and faculty members and will include spoken word, video, corridos, dance and music. Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will open the program. Tickets are available in advance at the UA Fine Arts Box Office.
"This is a wonderful idea," Durán said, crediting College of Fine Arts Dean Jory Hancock with devising the idea for the series. Confluence was approached with a proposal, which it then agreed to support.
"It was a very interesting proposal and really resonated with our mission," Durán said. "There is the public engagement aspect; it is innovative and a very special proposal to have been considered."
Also part of the series, the UA's College of Humanities and the Poetry Center will present the "Sharlot Hall and Hattie Lockett: An Arizona Centennial Exhibition," spotlighting the two poets who were Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame members.
The exhibition runs through March 31, with the College of Humanities hosting a Jan. 26, 5-7 p.m. reception at the Poetry Center, located in the Helen S. Schaefer Building at 1508 E. Helen St.
The UA Libraries is introducing another new exhibit, "Mapping Arizona: From Mexican Territory to U.S. State" to remain open through March 28 featuring books, documents and historic maps detailing the path Arizona took to becoming a state – first as part of the Territory of New Mexico, then as the Territory of Arizona.
Among the maps to be on display is a 1923 reprint of the Disturnell map of 1847, which was appended to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and is considered one of the most important maps in U.S. history.
In another event, UA anthropologist Thomas Sheridan will talk about the historical context that shaped Arizona's development, drawing from his book, "Landscapes of Fraud: Mission Tumacácori, the Baca Float, and the Betrayal of the O'odham." The free and open event will be held Jan. 25, 7-8:30 p.m. at the UA Main Library, 1510 E. University Blvd.
Sheridan also will speak with other panelists during a Feb. 7 talk, "Does Arizona History Matter?" The 6:30 p.m. event will be held at Hotel Congress and is sponsored by Zócalo Public Square.
During yet another event, UA Southwest Institute for Research on Women affiliate Elena Díaz Björkquist will present a living history of Teresa Urrea, a 19th century healer and the subject of two Luis Alberto Urrea novels. The Feb. 8 presentation will be held 6-7 p.m. at the Mission Branch Library, 3770 S. Mission Road.
And the UA Mineral Museum will show "100 Years of Arizona's Best: The Minerals That Made the State," a collection of hundreds of gems and minerals that have yet to be displayed together.
The museum exhibition, located at Flandrau Science Center, will open Feb. 3 and remain open for one year focusing on the gems and minerals that helped in the creation of the state, including malachite, gold, copper, azurite and wulfenites.
"This is literally one of the large reasons Arizona became a state," Mark Candee, assistant curator for UA's Mineral Museum, said referencing the state's immense reservoir of valuable gems and minerals.
And specimens also will be on display during the 2012 Tucson Gem and Mineral Soceity's main show Feb. 9-12 at the Tucson Convention Center.
"It's these sort of things that were displayed during the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago that made people realize the Arizona territory was more than just the Wild West," he added. "The mineral resources really established Arizona as a viable candidate to be a state."