Southwestern ‘Nutcracker’ Spices Up Holiday Classic

Young ballerinas rehearse their “dulce” roles for a performance of “A Southwest Nutcracker” with Tucson Regional Ballet Company (Photo by Cecelia Marshall).

Story by CECELIA MARSHALL for Arizona Public Media (NPR)


Just in time for the holiday season, the Tucson Regional Ballet Company offers its own unique version of the traditional “Nutcracker” ballet.

Instead of tin soldiers and sugar plum fairies, the annual “A Southwest Nutcracker” has a distinctly Arizona flavor: chili peppers, piñatas and Native American princesses.

The ballet uses the original Tchaikovsky score – “Waltz of the Flowers” – and other favorite holiday melodies, but a different setting. Continue reading “Southwestern ‘Nutcracker’ Spices Up Holiday Classic”


UA Hosts Solar Oven Bake-Off

University of Arizona’s ‘Nerd Herd’ solar oven team waits for hot biscuits (Photo: Cecelia Marshall).


University of Arizona freshman engineering students are learning about the power of the sun–by baking biscuits.

Students spent an October afternoon on the University of Arizona Mall huddled around cardboard boxes covered with tinfoil, slowly baking biscuit dough in these student-built solar ovens. Continue reading “UA Hosts Solar Oven Bake-Off”

RoughRider Eases the Way for Wheelchair Users in Mexico

Duke Duncan, a public health professor at the University of Arizona, is supporting e

Duke Duncan, a public health professor at the University of Arizona, is supporting efforts to bring the RoughRider to wheelchair users in Mexico through the Arizona Sonora Border Project (Photo by Cecelia Marshall).


Getting around some parts of Mexico can be difficult for people who use wheelchairs. It’s like an obstacle course: there are potholes, uneven sidewalks and muddy dirt roads.

But the nonprofit Arizona Sonora Borders Project is making it easier for people in wheel chairs to get moving across Mexico—thanks to the RoughRider. Continue reading “RoughRider Eases the Way for Wheelchair Users in Mexico”