Naming herself after the provincial flower of Alberta, Canada, Loca Rosa is a performer with international flair.

“I’ve been performing the folk songs and stories of my family heritage for many years,” says Loca Rosa, whose real name is Tish Dvorkin.

Originally from Canada, Dvorkin has lived in east Mesa for 30 years. For just as long, she has been performing the traditional folk songs of western and eastern Europe passed down along her Russian-Jewish family line.

She is one of nearly a dozen acts that will be showcased at the Phoenix Art Museum’s cultural festival, Walkabout, on Jan. 27.

“For this specific performance, I will be appearing in Renaissance costuming, playing a 12-string flat back lute and singing folk songs from approximately around the Renaissance,” she says.

Along with Dvorkin, Walkabout will also feature cultural dancers, scavenger hunts, hair and makeup styling inspired by pieces of art, and a variety of ethnic foods including hummus, Swedish meatballs and Russian tea cakes.

Guests will be able to wander through the museum, partaking in both events for Walkabout and strolling through the museum’s galleries.

Revera, a Phoenix beauty and aromatherapy boutique, has created custom scents based on five art pieces showcased in the museum. Visitors will be able to pick up scented cards and experience pieces of art through both sight and smell.

“We like to open up what people think museums are like,” says Nicole DeLeon, spokeswoman for Phoenix Art Museum. “People have an idea that a museum is just a quiet place that you come and walk around.”

DeLeon hopes that Walkabout will open up visitors’ minds about museums and their influence on culture.

“Our museum is always alive with something,” she says. “(Walkabout) is a great way for families and people in the community of all ages to broaden their horizons and explore the culture around them.”

• Ellen Kuni is a junior studying journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Contact her at (480) 898-6514 or

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