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Tucson, Arizona

Tucson Arts: Art Scene in Tucson

Discounts

The striking mountainous beauty of Tucson has long been a draw for visitors to the American Southwest. Recently recognized by the Wall Street Journal as a “mini Mecca for the arts”, Tucson is home to numerous successful performing arts organizations, including a homegrown ballet company, symphony and professional theater. Additionally, Tucson features an extensive collection of museums and fine art galleries with Native American folk art in particular abundance.

Tucson Arts Information

  • Tucson Weekly — Local paper’s website has a comprehensive Arts section
  • showup.com — Comprehensive and colorful guide to arts and entertainment events in the Tucson area

Art Museums

Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block

Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block

The Tucson Museum of Art encompasses an entire city block in the historic downtown center of the city, the site of what was once the adobe-walled Presidio of San Augustin del Tucson, established in 1775. The museum operates out of five buildings on this block to exhibit original and traveling exhibitions focusing on Latin American art, art of the American West, rare books and manuscripts, and modern and contemporary art. …more…

University of Arizona Museum of Art

University of Arizona Museum of Art (Tucson, AZ)

The University of Arizona Museum of Art (UAMA) is part of UA’s ‘Museum Neighborhood’, a grouping of four museums in close proximity on the University campus. UAMA maintains a busy schedule of exhibitions, of works in all different media from all eras in art history to the present, including exhibitions by UA students and faculty. ...more...

Theater

Arizona Theatre Company

Arizona Theatre Company

Billed as the “State Theatre of Arizona”, ATC offers an exciting season of area premieres and important classics that play venues in both Tucson and Phoenix. Pulling an impressive roster of local and Broadway talent, ATC prides itself on outstanding production values and extensive education and outreach programs, offering patrons and students a vast array of master classes and talk back sessions. With over 40 seasons of professional productions under …more…

Borderlands-Collaboration-Play-Contributors

Borderlands Theater

Founded in 1986, Borderlands Theater offers theatrical productions and educational programs that reflect the voices of the U.S./Mexico border region, focusing primarily but not exclusively on Latino(a)/Chicano(a) artists and productions. The company’s 25th anniversary season includes Arizona: No Roosters in the Desert by Kara Hartzler, based on field work by Anna Ochoa O’Leary; White Tie Ball, a new political play by Martin Zimmerman; and Oedipus El Rey, Luis Alfaro’s Chicano adaptation of Sophocles’ …more…

Invisible Theater

Invisible Theater

This nearly 40-year-old company is named for “the invisible energy that flows between a performer and audience, creating the magic of theatre.” In its intimate 80-seat venue, IT showcases local professional talent as well as guest artists. Founded in 1971 as an arena for local playwrights, the theatre has expanded to include adaptations of classics and recent Off-Broadway plays and musicals while continuing to encourage new writers through full productions …more…

Classical Music

Tucson Chamber Artists

Tucson Chamber Artists

Performing a variety of sacred and secular works from plainsong to new commissioned pieces, Tucson Chamber Artists bring the finest in chamber music to the Tucson area. Since 2004, this ensemble has produced eclectic programs of the highest caliber. In 2009, the 42-member group received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts for their American Masterpieces program, featuring works by the great American composers of the 20th century. ...more...

Tucson Symphony Orchestra

Tucson Symphony Orchestra

A law office may seem an unlikely birthplace for a great musical institution, but that is where a group of Tucson’s civic leaders and music devotees met way back in 1928 to decide who would conduct the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, which musicians would play in it, and what they would play. Now the oldest symphony in the Southwest, each year the TSO offers an orchestral smorgasbord with series dedicated to the classics, masterworks, chamber music, and pops – plus special treats like kids concerts and dinner + music concerts. ...more...

tucsonchamber

Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival

A week-long series presented in March by the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, this winter festival features such beloved composers as Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. Guest ensembles have included the Tokyo String Quartet and Apollo’s Fire Baroque Ensemble. The festival also boasts a strong Commissioning program, having performed premieres of works by Lee Hoiby, Augusta Reade Thomas, Stephen Paulus, Joan Tower, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, and more. ...more...

Opera

Arizona Opera

Arizona Opera

Founded in 1971 as the Tucson Opera, the company began performing in Phoenix within a few years and changed its name to Arizona Opera to reflect its scope as one of the nation’s few companies serving multiple cities.

The arrival of Glynn Ross as general director in 1983 was crucial. Ross, who introduced the Ring Cycle to the United States as a week-long festival (Richard Wagner’s own preference for his mammoth …more…

Jazz

Tucson Jazz Society

Tucson Jazz Society

TJS is a non-profit organization devoted to preserving jazz in Tucson, nurturing a local jazz audience, and inspiring new generations of jazz listeners and performers.  It is one of the nation’s largest such organizations, iin terms of membership, and is well into its fourth decade of existence.

The Society produces performances at a number of venues in and around Tucson.  Discounts are always available for TJS members, as well as students …more…

Venues

University of Arizona Centennial Hall

University of Arizona Centennial Hall

The University of Arizona has played a key role in Tucson’s cultural life for over a century. An official school of music was created in 1926, allowing the small desert town of 30,000 to enjoy an uncommonly active musical climate.  In 1937 the school’s Main Auditorium opened, featuring a wide variety of performing arts over the subsequent decades.  A renovation beginning in 1984 brought the Auditorium into the modern age, …more…

Art Museums

Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block

Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block

The Tucson Museum of Art encompasses an entire city block in the historic downtown center of the city, the site of what was once the adobe-walled Presidio of San Augustin del Tucson, established in 1775. The museum operates out of five buildings on this block to exhibit original and traveling exhibitions focusing on Latin American art, art of the American West, rare books and manuscripts, and modern and contemporary art. …more…

University of Arizona Museum of Art

University of Arizona Museum of Art (Tucson, AZ)

The University of Arizona Museum of Art (UAMA) is part of UA’s ‘Museum Neighborhood’, a grouping of four museums in close proximity on the University campus. UAMA maintains a busy schedule of exhibitions, of works in all different media from all eras in art history to the present, including exhibitions by UA students and faculty. ...more...

Theater

Arizona Theatre Company

Arizona Theatre Company

Billed as the “State Theatre of Arizona”, ATC offers an exciting season of area premieres and important classics that play venues in both Tucson and Phoenix. Pulling an impressive roster of local and Broadway talent, ATC prides itself on outstanding production values and extensive education and outreach programs, offering patrons and students a vast array of master classes and talk back sessions. With over 40 seasons of professional productions under …more…

Borderlands-Collaboration-Play-Contributors

Borderlands Theater

Founded in 1986, Borderlands Theater offers theatrical productions and educational programs that reflect the voices of the U.S./Mexico border region, focusing primarily but not exclusively on Latino(a)/Chicano(a) artists and productions. The company’s 25th anniversary season includes Arizona: No Roosters in the Desert by Kara Hartzler, based on field work by Anna Ochoa O’Leary; White Tie Ball, a new political play by Martin Zimmerman; and Oedipus El Rey, Luis Alfaro’s Chicano adaptation of Sophocles’ …more…

Invisible Theater

Invisible Theater

This nearly 40-year-old company is named for “the invisible energy that flows between a performer and audience, creating the magic of theatre.” In its intimate 80-seat venue, IT showcases local professional talent as well as guest artists. Founded in 1971 as an arena for local playwrights, the theatre has expanded to include adaptations of classics and recent Off-Broadway plays and musicals while continuing to encourage new writers through full productions …more…

Classical Music

Tucson Chamber Artists

Tucson Chamber Artists

Performing a variety of sacred and secular works from plainsong to new commissioned pieces, Tucson Chamber Artists bring the finest in chamber music to the Tucson area. Since 2004, this ensemble has produced eclectic programs of the highest caliber. In 2009, the 42-member group received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts for their American Masterpieces program, featuring works by the great American composers of the 20th century. ...more...

Tucson Symphony Orchestra

Tucson Symphony Orchestra

A law office may seem an unlikely birthplace for a great musical institution, but that is where a group of Tucson’s civic leaders and music devotees met way back in 1928 to decide who would conduct the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, which musicians would play in it, and what they would play. Now the oldest symphony in the Southwest, each year the TSO offers an orchestral smorgasbord with series dedicated to the classics, masterworks, chamber music, and pops – plus special treats like kids concerts and dinner + music concerts. ...more...

tucsonchamber

Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival

A week-long series presented in March by the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, this winter festival features such beloved composers as Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. Guest ensembles have included the Tokyo String Quartet and Apollo’s Fire Baroque Ensemble. The festival also boasts a strong Commissioning program, having performed premieres of works by Lee Hoiby, Augusta Reade Thomas, Stephen Paulus, Joan Tower, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, and more. ...more...

Opera

Arizona Opera

Arizona Opera

Founded in 1971 as the Tucson Opera, the company began performing in Phoenix within a few years and changed its name to Arizona Opera to reflect its scope as one of the nation’s few companies serving multiple cities.

The arrival of Glynn Ross as general director in 1983 was crucial. Ross, who introduced the Ring Cycle to the United States as a week-long festival (Richard Wagner’s own preference for his mammoth …more…

Jazz

Tucson Jazz Society

Tucson Jazz Society

TJS is a non-profit organization devoted to preserving jazz in Tucson, nurturing a local jazz audience, and inspiring new generations of jazz listeners and performers.  It is one of the nation’s largest such organizations, iin terms of membership, and is well into its fourth decade of existence.

The Society produces performances at a number of venues in and around Tucson.  Discounts are always available for TJS members, as well as students …more…

Venues

University of Arizona Centennial Hall

University of Arizona Centennial Hall

The University of Arizona has played a key role in Tucson’s cultural life for over a century. An official school of music was created in 1926, allowing the small desert town of 30,000 to enjoy an uncommonly active musical climate.  In 1937 the school’s Main Auditorium opened, featuring a wide variety of performing arts over the subsequent decades.  A renovation beginning in 1984 brought the Auditorium into the modern age, …more…