Up With People - a musical dance group that performs around the world and does community service - is announcing today the opening of its Tucson office downtown.
"Up With People started here in Tucson," Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said of the nonprofit organization that was founded in 1965 by Tucson resident J. Blanton Belk.
"They're reopening an office here to work with their office in Mexico on Latin American outreach and other projects. I look forward to Up With People renewing its Tucson roots and hope to have them headquartered here again someday," Rothschild said Wednesday in a prepared statement.
The organization moved its headquarters from Tucson to Denver in 1993, and has offices in Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro and Europe.
Belk, 89, will be at a news conference today at 4 p.m. at the Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St., where the plans will be announced, said Bill Holmes, an Up With People spokesman. The event is open to the public.
University of Arizona representatives also will be at the news conference to discuss the organization's archives, including paper documents, videos, photographs and news clippings that Belk donated about two years ago to the UA. The collection is housed in Special Collections of the UA Main Library.
The Up With People office is at 32 N. Church Ave. - in the same building that houses the Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation.
Information about joining the performing cast - members must be ages 18 to 29 - and how to become a host family is available at the office or by visiting www.upwithpeople.org
"The office is open, and our goal is to renew the bonds that we have here with over 500 alumni and more than 1,500 host families," Holmes said. "This office also will serve as the headquarters for Up With People's 50th anniversary in the 2015 tour and campaign," he said.
"Our mission is to build bridges of understanding among nations. We do this through music and community service all around the world," said Holmes, who toured with the musical group from 1975 to 1979, performing in Mexico, Argentina and Western Europe.
Up With People is scheduled to perform in Tucson next October, but the location has not been finalized, Holmes said.
Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at 573-4104 or email@example.com