Correction: The time for the talk on Iran was incorrect in the printed edition. The correct time for the lecture is 11:30 a.m..



Slavic music performance to include folk dancing

Dressed in authentic Russian folk costumes, performers from the Arizona Balalaika Orchestra will bring a program of Slavic folk tunes and dances to the Arizona Senior Academy on Tuesday beginning at 11:30 a.m.

The Arizona Balalaika Orchestra began in 1980 as a small student ensemble in the University of Arizona Russian Department, led by Mia Bulgarin Gay, who was born in Estonia and continues to be the group's musical director. It is now a nonprofit community folk orchestra.

Their instruments include the three-stringed triangular balalaika, the four-stringed domra (similar to a mandolin), accordions, woodwinds, percussion instruments and the gusli, a unique Russian table harp.

The orchestra has performed throughout Arizona and twice in Sonora, Mexico, and often performs with the Rusyny Dancers and the Lajkonic Polish Dancers. Its annual concerts feature world-class domra and balalaika performers trained in Russia and Ukraine. They also participate in local festivals such as Tucson Meet Yourself, the Tucson Slavic Festival and the Tucson Folk Festival.

The ensemble is one of only four such Slavic orchestras west of the Mississippi.

Tuesday's program will feature Russian folk tunes such as "Black Shawl," "Moscow Nights," "Korobushka" and "Kalinka," along with Jewish songs and the popular "Lara's Theme" from the movie "Dr. Zhivago."


UA Mideast scholar assesses Iran sanctions

Iran has been the target of a growing number of international sanctions for decades, yet the country shows no signs of abandoning what outsiders describe as its nuclear weapons program. Have the sanctions had an effect? Are they working?

Anne H. Betteridge, director of the University of Arizona Center for Middle Eastern Studies and a faculty member in the UA School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies, will discuss these and related questions in a talk at the Arizona Senior Academy at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Betteridge, an anthropologist with a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, said she plans to talk about varied aspects of the sanctions - their effects on the economy, health, scholarly exchanges and everyday life in general.

"As an anthropologist, I'm concerned to consider points of view that don't always find their way into high-level political calculations, but that most certainly make a difference on the ground," she said.

Her research interests focus on Iranian culture, and women and ritual in particular. She conducted field work and lived in Iran from late 1974 until early 1979, and has made three visits to Iran since then. She served as executive director of the Middle East Studies Association of North America from 1990 to 2002.

Betteridge is co-chair of the Council of Directors of Title VI of National Resource Centers; a member of the Academic Steering Committee of the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies at Tufts University; and on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Persianate Studies.

May 23

Speaker to update talk on monuments

A year ago, Chuck Tampio gave an illustrated talk at the Arizona Senior Academy on "Washington Memorials: What American Public Art Reveals About Our Nation and Ourselves."

The talk was so successful that he was asked to repeat it a dozen times around Tucson and to a group of educators in Washington, D.C., during the inauguration.

At 3:30 p.m. next Thursday, Tampio will return to the senior academy for an encore talk in which he will share the remarkable feedback he has received over the past year, with additional insights from his continuing research.

Tampio will give the audience an inside look at the decisions and controversies that determine what monuments get placed on the National Mall and what purposes they serve.

After graduating from Syracuse University, Tampio took a Peace Corps assignment in Africa, then worked for 25 years at the Close Up Foundation, eventually becoming its vice president. Close Up brings high school students to Washington for an in-depth learning experience about our government.

Later Tampio became president of the Washington-based international Earth Force program, which helps young people make positive changes to the environment in their schools and neighborhoods in partnership with local communities and governments.

About Academy Village

• Events are held in the Great Room of the Arizona Senior Academy Building adjacent to the Academy Village Community Center, 13715 E. Langtry Lane.

• Nonresidents who want to ensure priority seating can make reservations by emailing or calling 647-0980.

• To learn more about the academy, go to online.

• Visitors can buy lunch at the Academy Cafe across the courtyard from the Arizona Senior Academy Building. The cafe is open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday. Prices range from $4.50 to $9.50. For more information, call the cafe at 647-0903.

• Academy Village is an active-adult community located off Old Spanish Trail six miles southeast of Saguaro National Park East. Its residents support the Arizona Senior Academy, a nonprofit charitable organization whose mission includes offering free concerts and lectures to the public.

- Leslie Nitzberg - Mike Maharry - Brack Brown