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In February 2021 Jeremiah “Jody”, our seven-year-old grandson, was assigned to complete a report during Black History month on an African American Hero. He went online and then asked, “Nanu (that’s what our grandchildren call me) don’t you help people with a museum in Michigan?” I said, “Yes, I do.” Then he went on to say, “So, where is the museum I can go to here in Tucson to learn about African American people who lived around here?”

I told him I would look into it and found what I already knew would probably be the case. The history of African American people, particularly around the country, is more like collections of artifacts, hearsay, documents, and things in trunks, garages, basements, and attics. Jody wanted me to know that we should have an official museum in Tucson, and I agreed! So, on April 15, 2021, I began my research.

- Beverly Elliott

The vision of the African American Museum of Southern Arizona (AAMSA) is "To serve as a resource and to provide the community with an applied and virtual venue and repository for stories, histories, and cultural contributions by African Americans and Blacks in Southern Arizona". Museums allow the community to improve its knowledge of the triumphs and progress of the African American and Black experience in spite of the struggles. AAMSAZ plans to engage voices from the past and the present including the youth. AAMSAZ will enable the community to join together and respect the past, honor the present, and pay reverence to the future while engaging and sustaining social action.

Everyone can learn more about African American and Black history and culture of Southern Arizona.

AAMSAZ is located in the student union room 244 on the campus of the University of Arizona. They are devoted to gathering and sharing stories, images and artifacts as they document, digitize and preserve African American and black life, culture and history in southern Arizona.

If you would like to learn more about AAMSAZ for donations or to be involved as a volunteer, simply click HERE for further information.

Tucson’s James Clark interviewed at Fort Lowell Park / 1984 Recording

Here at The Drive Tucson, we are always thinking about road trips. Especially road trips you can take while the family is in town for the holidays. The Tucson-area has some really special places to take your relatives. Even if you have been to any one of these places before, they are still a wonderful place to build memories. We thought we would assemble a list of some of our favorite places to hit the road and enjoy a drive. Happy driving!

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a is a 98-acre fusion experience: zoo, botanical garden, art gallery & classes, natural history museum, and aquarium and art gallery, founded in 1952. Located just west of Tucson, it features two miles of walking paths traversing 21 acres of desert landscape. A local favorite for generations.

Reid Park Zoo

Reid Park Zoo has been a destnation point for Tucsonans for decades. The zoo features more than 500 animals. It was unofficially established in 1965 by Gene Reid, the Tucson Parks & Recreation Director at the time.

Mount Lemmon

Mount Lemmon was named for botanist Sara Plummer Lemmon, who trekked to the top of the mountain. Mount Lemmon is always a pleasant and beautiful road trip. Just make sure if you stop by The Cookie Cabin that you bring some back for us!

Sabino Canyon

Sabino Canyon is a significant canyon located in the Santa Catalina Mountains and the Coronado National Forest. It's a popular recreation area for many of our local residents as well as visitors of Southern Arizona, providing a place to walk, hike or ride.

Tucson Botanical Gardens

The Tucson Botanical Gardens is transcendently impressive and a tranquil oasis in the heart of Tucson. TBG strives to be recognized and respected as the best small public garden in America. This is one of Tucson's gems. For us, the Tucson Botanical Gardens never gets old. They're mission is to connect people with plants and nature through art, science, history and culture.

Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2 advances our understanding of natural and human-made ecosystems through integrated research to increase the resilience and sustainability of Earth systems and human quality of life. They advance research in unique facilities, conduct interdisciplinary science education, and foster leadership initiatives focused on developing scalable solutions for our planet and beyond. This place is CRAZY COOL.

The International Wildlife Museum

The International Wildlife Museum is dedicated to increasing knowledge and appreciation of the diverse wildlife of the world as well as explaining the role of wildlife management in conservation. Founded in 1988, the museum highlights over 400 species of insects, mammals and birds from around the globe.  Some of the collections are more than 100 years old and all the animals found at the museum were donated by various government agencies, wildlife rehabilitation centers, captive breeding programs, zoos and individuals.

Pima Air & Space Museum

The Pima Air & Space Museum features about 400 historic aircraft, from a Wright Flyer to a 787 Dreamliner. Sitting on 80 acres the museum opened its doors to the public in May of 1976. Over the past forty years, the museum has grown immensely and today encompasses six indoor exhibit hangars (three dedicated to WWII).

Titan Missile Museum

At the Titan Missile Museum, visitors journey through time to stand on the front line of the Cold War. This preserved Titan II missile site, officially known as complex 571-7, is all that remains of the 54 Titan II missile sites that were on alert across the United States from 1963 to 1987. This one-of-a kind museum gives visitors a rare look at the technology used by the United States to deter nuclear war. What was once one of America’s most top-secret places is now a National Historic Landmark.

Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium

The Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium is a science museum and planetarium in Tucson, Arizona. It is part of the University of Arizona. It is named after American author Grace Flandrau. The Eos Planetarium Theater has a 15.2 meter dome and seats 146 people. The science center includes fossil and mineral exhibits

DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun

Photo Credit: DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun

The DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun celebrates both the life of Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia and his art. Established in 1950 by DeGrazia, the Gallery in the Sun is a Tucson tradition that is a favorite among visitors and local Tucsonans alike. DeGrazia and his work are characterized by their rebellious approach and passionate depiction of Southwestern life.

The Children's Advocacy Center of Southern Arizona stands at the forefront in responding to reports of child abuse, serious maltreatment, and situations where children have witnessed violence or other crimes in southern Arizona.

Help us reach our giving goal of $10,000. We are almost there! If you would like to donate an amount now, just click Donate Now to be taken directly to the Children's Advocacy Center's website.

Your information will remain secure and confidential. We have also collaborated with the Children's Advocacy Center to spread joy by collecting new, unwrapped toys for Tucson-area children. If you'd like to contribute, see the list of drop-off locations below throughout the Tucson area. For additional community events, click HERE.

Toy Box Drop-off Locations:

To go back to events page, click HERE.

Spreading kindness is the mission behind Ben's Bell's,

because of the scientific effects that kindness has on one's health.

The smallest actions by other individuals, especially strangers, can greatly impact the lives of others. Reaching out to those in need and showing support can be all that they really need in order to cope — just knowing that someone is there. The random acts of kindness and paying it forward movements have become a trend; however, they do more than people may think. Not only does performing a random act of kindness make the recipient feel good, but the one performing the act benefits as well.

Since 2003 Ben’s Bells, right here in Tucson, has been operating as a nonprofit by growing kindness education programs and continuing to distribute thousands of Bells every year. Today Bells are found all over the world and their free kindness education programs have reached over 1.6 million students.

Studies have shown that people who perform random acts of kindness for others tend to be happier than those who do not. Spreading kindness to those in need creates a kindness ripple-effect in which people in turn go out and do further kind acts for others, making society a better place.

Kindness Art Inspiration Project

As a way to help them continue their mission, this is a great project to introduce to the students in your life. Projects like these help Ben Bell's create beautiful visual reminders of kindness and raise funds needed to support free educational programming. Selected designs will be translated into mosaic steppingstones or used in Ben's Bell's merchandise design.

Ben's Bells will feature the design along with the completed steppingstones, your school’s name, and the student designer’s first name when featuring the design. All proceeds go towards furthering Ben's Bells education programming and spreading kindness in our communities.

If you are or know a student that would like to enter the Ben's Bell's Kindness Art Inspiration Project, simply click Art Project. If you would like an opportunity to help spread kindness and own a Ben's Bells, then click Bell Shop.

The YWCA Southern Arizona Women’s Business Center is all about helping local businesses thrive.

In our Women’s Business Center, we work hard to assist lots of small businesses in our community each year. We offer specialized programs like IncubateHer and Build Academy that provide valuable help to current business owners and folks who dream of starting their own businesses. These programs cover important aspects of business, like creating a strong business plan, finding the right customers, improving branding and marketing, managing money wisely, and getting the funding you need through loans and grants from us and our partners.

Every year, we meet many exciting new local businesses. When they do well, we want everyone in our community to know about them. So, we're thrilled to introduce you to five fantastic Tucson businesses that have benefited from the support we offer. These businesses show what can happen when people with passion and determination get a helping hand from their community.

To learn more on how the YWCA Southern Arizona Women’s Business Center in Tucson can help you, just click The Button

  1. Infinite Prism Body Piercing
    • Address: 4625 E Broadway Blvd Ste 200Open from 12-7 pm Wednesday to Sunday
    Infinite Prism Piercing is the first inclusive and accessible piercing studio in Tucson. Owner Sydni Engle, who opened the studio in 2022, created a welcoming space that values disability access, equity, and inclusion. They have a vibrant atmosphere with a large pride flag and local artwork. Plus, they're an Association of Professional Piercers member, ensuring top-notch quality.
  1. Titi Boba Corner
    • Address: 4016 N 1st Ave Unit 180, Tucson, AZ 85719Open from 11 am-9 pm (Monday-Thursday) and 11 am-10 pm (Friday/Saturday)
    Titi Boba Corner is a tea shop offering a delightful range of beverages and snacks, from milk tea to boba, smoothies, coffee, and more. Their unique menu includes sea salt teas and delicious snacks. It's a perfect spot to take a break, relax, and enjoy a moment of happiness.
  1. Di Luna Candles
    • Phone: 520-223-0085Website: DiLunaCandles.com
    Di Luna Candles crafts non-toxic, plant-based candles that not only smell amazing but are also safe for your health and the environment. Their candles are made from 100% natural materials and are topped with beautiful flowers and dried fruits for an even stronger scent. YWCA staff favorites include grapefruit mint, verbena, and apple scents.
  1. El Antojo Poblano
    • Address: 1108 W St Mary's RdOpen Tuesday through Thursday 11 am - 8 pm, Friday & Saturday 11 am - 9 pm (Closed Sunday & Monday) Phone: 520 406 5905Website: El-antojo-poblano.square.site/
    El Antojo Poblano is a restaurant offering the authentic flavors of Puebla, Mexico. They've been serving up delicious dishes since 2019 and opened a new location in 2022. Their menu is a blend of traditional Puebla cuisine with a burst of colors, flavors, and textures. Their signature dish, mole poblano, is a customer favorite.
  1. Raspados El Paraiso
    • Two locations: 5917 E 22nd St and 7701 E Golf Links Rd.Phone: 520-398-5817Open daily from 11 am-10 pm
    Raspados El Paraiso is a family-owned business run by Ana Castro and her four sons. They've been serving natural fruit shaved ice since 2002, using fresh produce and traditional family recipes from Sinaloa, Mexico. People love their refreshing treats, which are like Hawaiian shave ice but with fresh fruit instead of syrup.
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