Pussy Riot founder Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is at the Rialto Theatre tonight as part of the Tucson Humanities Festival.

Courtesy Nadezhda Tolokonnikova via Facebook

A member of one of Russia's most outspoken and politically active punk bands is taking a Tucson stage on Tuesday, Oct. 3, as part of the University of Arizona Tucson Humanities Festival.

Nadya Tolokonnikova, the Russia-born, U.S.-based founder of Moscow art collective/all-female punk protest band Pussy Riot, is bringing "Punk Prayer: Pussy Riot's Fight for Global Freedom of Expression" to Rialto Theatre at 7 p.m. today. Tickets for the all-ages event are $11 at the door or in advance here.

Tolokonnikova is expected to sing a few of her band's songs before taking questions from the audience as part of the UA College of Humanities' month-long Tucson Humanities Festival, that started Oct 3 and continues through Nov. 7, exploring the theme of "Resistance & Revolution."

“This year it seemed appropriate to do resistance and revolution," College of Humanities spokeswoman Helen Gomez Bernard said, then quickly clarified that the theme isn't really related to anything happening in today's political landscape.

She admitted, though, that people may draw that conclusion, but the festival's theme is actually rooted in historical references to resistance — such as the 500th anniversary of The Reformation, the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution and the Spanish Civil War — and standing up for a cause or belief.

That's something that Pussy Riot exemplifies perhaps better than any contemporary pop group. Tolokonnikova has been an outspoken critic of her country's president Vladimir Putin. After a 2012 protest that garnered international attention, she was sentenced to two years in prison. Since then she has addressed politicians around the world including the United States about human rights and free expression.

"They fit with the theme. They were standing up for something they believe in and there was sort of a political revolution there," Bernard said. "We are really excited to have them.”

This is the seventh year that the College of Humanities has hosted a humanities festival, which in its first six years had been confined to a week and all events were held on campus.

The hope this year is that by stretching the events out over a month and taking it off-campus, the Tucson Humanities Festival will introduce Tucson to the college, said its dean, Alain-Philippe Durand.

“I hope to continue expanding events off campus so we will have a well-balanced lineup of lectures, performances on-campus and off-campus, and maybe outside Tucson," Durand said, ticking off Oro Valley and Sierra Vista as possible places where the college could host talks.

Tonight's show starts at 7 p.m. at the Rialto, 318 E. Congress St. Among the topics sure to come out during the event is the relationship between President Donald Trump and Russian President Putin.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@tucson.com or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch

I cover music for the Arizona Daily Star.