Tonight at 7:30 Indian philosopher Sri Chinmoy visits Miami (and welcomes the new millennium a wee bit early) to perform a Peace Concert at FIU University Park's Wertheim Performing Arts Center (SW 8th Street and 107th Avenue). As a musician who plays his own intense, ethereal work on a variety of instruments -- cello, flute, vibraphone, esraj, and piano -- the 66-year-old Chinmoy has earned the admiration of the late conductor-composer Leonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic conductor Kurt Masur, and vocalist Roberta Flack. Since 1984 he has presented more than 450 peace concerts to half a million people at prestigious theaters such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Royal Albert Hall. Chinmoy's proclaimed goal is to bring people together to share a few hours of undisturbed tranquillity. That should be something of a challenge in this divisive town. Admission is free. Call 891-9933 to reserve a seat.
In the 1985 comedy Lost in America, protagonist David Howard (Albert Brooks) repeatedly announces his intention to quit his frustrating job, retire from the rat race, and take to the road in a Winnebago so he can "touch Indians." Peruvian sculptor Felipe Lettersten seems to have done just that. But Lettersten doesn't just touch Indians; he creates life-size castings of them. The exhibition Tribal Spirits: Indians of the Americas features 50 such castings made of Indians who live in the Western Hemisphere, notably from the Amazon rain forest. Lettersten, who has been creating his distinctive works since 1986, found the Indians he dealt with to be reluctant subjects at first. After making castings of himself to prove they would not be hurt by the process, the artist persuaded members of several tribes (Yanomami, Amerakaeri, Arara, and Wai Wai are just a few) to agree to have their images duplicated in plaster. To date Lettersten has made more than 130 sculptures, all incorporating ceremonial dress and jewelry. The show runs through August 30 at the Miami Museum of Science and Space Transit Planetarium, 3280 S. Miami Ave. Admission is nine dollars. Call 854-4247 for hours.