The To-Do List
February traditionally brings two big events to our area — one that lasts all month and the other just one delicious day. In Las Cruces, it's the 16th annual For the Love of Art Month, opening with the ArtForms member show at the Branigan Cultural Center, Feb. 7, and an art show and fair at the convention center, Feb. 7-8. This year's studio tours will be Feb. 15-16 and Feb. 22-23. But that's barely scratching the surface of a busy, artsy month; for a complete guide, see www.artformsnm.org.
The other February tradition is the Mimbres Region Arts Council's pre-Valentine's Day Chocolate Fantasia, Feb. 8, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in downtown Silver City. This year's theme, "Once Upon a Chocolate," promises to transform downtown galleries and shops into a chocolate-y fairytale wonderland. Tickets are $20 for 20 individual pieces of chocolate from your choice of over 30 chocolate stops in and around downtown. Merchants and galleries will decorate in keeping with the fairytale theme. The Silver City Museum will host a free children's activity, and there will be free music, site-specific events, games and other children's activities throughout the tasting area. Chocolate Stop maps and empty candy boxes ($2 each for collecting your chocolates) will be available along with Chocolate Fantasia merchandise at event headquarters, The Wellness Coalition, 409 N. Bullard St. Awards will be given out at day's end at Q's Southern Bistro.
February also brings opportunities to learn something new and get involved. The Western Institute for Lifelong Learning's (WILL) lunchtime talk series, "Lunch & Learn," features Lee Gruber of Syzygy Tile on "Downtown Silver City: Past, Present, and Future," Feb. 5. Other programs, all at the WNMU Global Resource Center, will feature "The Measure of Reality: The Rise of Quantification" with Bill Baldwin, Feb. 12, and "Men and Their Plumbing," with urologist Dr. Amos Lash, Feb. 19.
Gila/Mimbres Community Radio, KURU, now live on the air at 89.1 FM, hosts an open house on Feb. 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Silver City Museum wants to get to know you this month, with a Volunteer Social on Feb. 13 at the Museum Annex and two forums at the Silver City Food Co-Op, Feb. 25 and 27.
Music takes center stage beginning Feb. 20, when renowned songwriter and instrumentalist John McCutcheon performs at the WNMU Fine Arts Center Theatre in Silver City. McCutcheon, a Wisconsin native, immersed himself in the music of eastern Kentucky's coal camps, union halls, country churches and square dance halls. He is a master of a dozen different traditional instruments, notably the hammer dulcimer. His 30 recordings have garnered seven Grammy nominations.
Also on Feb. 20, mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin performs at the Rio Grande Theatre in Las Cruces. New York Times music critic Anthony Tommasini wrote that she possesses "compelling artistry" and "communicative power." Recent career highlights include her UK solo recital debut performance at Wigmore Hall in London, her solo recital debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and the title role in Rossini's La Cenerentola.
Then, on Feb. 22 at the WNMU Fine Arts Center Theatre, the Grant County Community Concert Association will present the young piano sensation Umi Garrett. In 2009, the then-eight-year-old prodigy appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," leading to invitations to perform with symphony orchestras in the US and around the world. Now age 13, she has won first prizes in several international competitions.
The next day, Feb. 23, the Silver City Public Library hosts a free concert by traditional Irish fiddler and fingerstyle guitarist Randal Bays. The Cork Examiner called him a "rare beast, a master of both the fiddle and guitar."
Finally, the month wraps up with the fifth Natural History of the Gila Symposium, Feb. 27-28 at the WNMU Global Resource Center. The Gila Region is under increasing pressures from both environmental and human threats. Drought, climate change, wildfires and battles over water are having significant impacts on the forests, plants and wildlife. The keynote address and many of the presentations will outline these effects and possible actions to mitigate and rehabilitate the natural aspects of the region. Other presentations will focus on education, paleontology, anthropology and wildlife conservation. Some of the sessions include presentations on the Arizona Water Settlement Act, wetlands and waterways restoration and monitoring, and wildfire recovery programs and monitoring, particularly in the Whitewater/Baldy burn area. The free symposium will be Thursday, 1-5:30 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. A Creative Voices session will be Thursday from 7-8:30 p.m., and the symposium wraps up with a social gathering in the Sunset Room, Friday 6-8 p.m. ($5).
Send events info by the 20th of the month to: firstname.lastname@example.org, fax 534-4134, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062 or NEW— submit your event online at www.desertexposure.com/submitevents.
BEFORE YOU GO:
Note that events listings are subject to change and to human error! Please confirm all dates, times and locations.