July 9

Street Minstrels will play diverse show

The Street Minstrels will bring their "Special Fun Summer Concert" to the Arizona Senior Academy at Academy Village at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The Street Minstrels is a talented musical trio whose members entertain with guitar, flute, clarinet, violin and percussion.

They play a wide variety of music ranging from American standards, oldies, swing and jazz to country, as well as music from France, Italy, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, Peru and other countries.

The performers, Michael Fan, Frank Ross and Jay Vosk, are well-known and loved by Academy Village audiences, in this group as well as with different ensembles.

Fan, a composer, author and violinist, has composed numerous works for children of all ages, and especially for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra's Just for Kids series.

Besides playing saxophone, clarinet and flute with The Street Minstrels, Vosk plays clarinet and saxophone with the River Ramblers, a Dixieland group, and clarinet with The Klezmopolitans.

Ross is the group's founder and is constantly looking for great music to share with his audiences. Lately, he says, he has been adding to his tango list. His interest in music began as a child in Spain where he joined a group of students to play traditional folk music.

"We enjoy playing at Academy Village," Ross said, "because the people who live there always seem very knowledgeable about the music we perform, be it classical, American standards or music from other parts of the world."

July 10

Speakers to address whole-food diet

Two members of the Healthy You Network will be featured in the July wellness lecture at Academy Village Wednesday afternoon.

The network provides education to residents of Southern Arizona about the lifelong health benefits of whole, plant-based food.

Open to the public free of charge, the program is sponsored by the Arizona Senior Academy and will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the Great Room of the Arizona Senior Academy Building.

Dr. Martha H. Bergner, a chiropractic physician, and Kathleen Rose, health educator and hygienist, will speak on the topic "Whole Plant-Based Nutrition: Healthy Food for a Healthy Life."

Bergner has eaten as a vegetarian since 1977, as a vegan since 1990, and has pursued a whole food plant-based diet for the past year and a half.

"I am in a unique position to see the differences among those three lifestyles," she said. "I enjoy sharing this important information because it has positive ramifications for personal health, our economy, world hunger, the health of our planet, and the welfare of nonhuman animals."

Rose has lived in the Tucson area for more than 30 years and is a representative of Juice Plus, a company that produces whole foods as capsules and soft chews.

July 12

Dentist to share humanitarian tales

Americans offering humanitarian aid to needy Third World refugees can learn a surprising lesson: Their work is not always appreciated.

Eric Curtis, a dentist practicing in Safford, will attest to that in a talk at the Arizona Senior Academy on Friday. His lecture and photo presentation, set to begin at 3:30 p.m., will describe the pro bono dental work he did in Mainpat, a cluster of Tibetan refugee camps in central India.

"The thing that surprised me most," he said, "is that even as far off the grid as we were, when all treatment was free, when I was the only health provider some of the population had ever seen, when I had to pack in every single instrument I used, where there were not even any stores … people still behaved like consumers. They wanted to negotiate treatment and argue about the level and quality of care they were receiving."

Today, roughly 30 million people worldwide are uprooted from their homes. Of that number, more than 10 million have crossed international boundaries seeking haven. These are, by definition, "refugees."

Tibetans constitute a persistent refugee population triggered by Chinese occupation of their country in the 1950s. When the People's Liberation Army invaded in 1959, India offered the Dalai Lama political asylum. More than 120,000 Tibetans now live in India.

Known as "Mini Tibet," Mainpat was established in 1962 to handle a few thousand refugees. As elsewhere in India, Tibetan spiritual and cultural life at Mainpat is flourishing, but living conditions remain primitive by Western standards.

In 2011, a Tibetan monk, Tulku Tsori Rinpoche, contacted a group at Northern Arizona University in his efforts to find help for Tibetan refugees. NAU formed a team of teachers and students to provide medical and dental services and expertise in farming and hygiene. The team included Dr. Curtis' daughter, then a senior at NAU. She told her father about the trip, and he decided to pitch in. While working in India, he created an impressive photographic record and learned a great deal about Tibet, Tibetan culture and life in the camps.

He also learned a lesson for aid workers: "Volunteers shouldn't rely on the gratitude of their target population as a measure of success or for their own sense of meaning."

About Academy Village

• Events are 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 info@arizonasenioracademy.org or calling 647-0980.

• To learn more about the academy, go to www.asa-tucson.org 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 non-profit charitable organization whose mission includes offering free concerts and lectures to the public.

Marcia Reinagel H. Deon Holt Stan Davis