Curious about the complex roots of Santeria and the colorful beads employed in rituals? Then attend this event sponsored by the Tribal Arts Society at the Lowe Art Museum (1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables). John Mason, student of Yoruba culture in the Americas and West Africa, diviner in the Yoruba religion, priest of Obatala, and founder and director of Brooklyn, New York's, Yoruba Theological Archimistry will deliver a lecture titled "Beads, Strings of Light: Color Codes of Power in the Yoruba Universe." He'll discuss the link between the color of sacred beads and ethical, political, and martial power in the Yoruba world. Admission is five dollars. Call 305-284-3535.
This evening former Miami-based (now relocated to Atlanta) band Kreamy 'Lectric Santa was supposed to play at their old stomping ground Churchill's Hideaway (5501 NE Second Ave.). Sadly violinist Priya Ray (who's also a member of Monostat 3) suffered a fall from a twelve-foot-high skate ramp, sustaining severe head and spinal injuries. Amazingly Ray survived the fall and is now recuperating in an Atlanta hospital. She seems to have escaped brain damage but doctors predict she will be paralyzed below the waist. Tonight the bands that were to share the bill with Kreamy -- Drug Czars, H.A.L.O. Vessel with Juan Montoya, Macrocosm Research, plus a few more -- will play a benefit concert to collect money for Ray, who has no medical insurance. The show starts at 10:00 p.m. and the cover charge is five dollars. Donations, of course, will be welcome. Also on March 6 and 7, Gosport, Gemma, The Fun, and The Creepy T's will perform to raise money for Ray's medical expenses. Call 305-757-1807.
Miami Light Project brings poet and performance artist Keith Antar Mason and his theater collective, The Hittite Empire, to the African Cultural Center (6161 NW 22nd Ave.) tonight and tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. to perform Fathers, Sons, and Brothers, a theatrical piece on which they worked with local artists during a one-week residency in Miami. Mason (who considers himself a modern-day griot, a traditional West African storyteller), and the Hittites have worked with six communities around the country to create works from the experiences of young black men between the ages of 16 and 25. The piece they will perform here promises to investigate the effects of racial stereotyping on family roles. Tickets cost $20. Call 305-576-4350.
For movie lovers, it doesn't get any better than 31 films from all over the world packed into ten days. The Miami Film Festival opens at the Gusman Center (174 E. Flagler St.) at 8:00 tonight with the movie Tango, directed by Spaniard Carlos Saura. Tickets for opening night cost $25; admission for other films is $8. See "Calendar Listings," page 41, for details. Call 305-372-0925.
Special guest artist Javier Marin from Cordoba, Spain, stomps into town to join the La Rosa Flamenco Theatre for performances tonight at 7:00 and tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. at the Colony Theater (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Originating in fifteenth-century Spain, flamenco began with deeply emotional songs that protested the tyranny of the Spanish Inquisition. Influenced by North African, Jewish, Gypsy, and Middle Eastern cultures, the spirited, rhythmic dance often rouses audiences to stamp their feet, clap their hands, and sing along. One of a new breed of flamenco dancers, Marin blends traditional flamenco forms with classical ballet and modern dance. La Rosa, a local company, is known for its energetic performances featuring live music and authentic and cutting-edge dances. Tickets cost $20 in advance; $25 at the door. Call 305-674-1026.
What else would you rather be doing bright and early on a Sunday morning besides running, walking, or blading in the New Times 10K? Well, we can think of something: You could be cheering on your friends or loved ones who got off their lazy duffs and went to Aventura Mall (NE 197th Street and Biscayne Boulevard, Aventura) to do something other than shop. Registration begins at 6:00 a.m. and costs $20. The races start at 7:45 a.m. Call 305-571-7502.
So you opted out of participating in the New Times 10K? Well, you sloth, don't think you're off the hook yet, because AIDS Walk Miami also takes place today. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the walk commences at 10:00 a.m. at Bayfront Park (301 Biscayne Blvd.). Guests of honor include artist Xavier Cortada, who created and presented a mural at the World AIDS Conference in Geneva, and gospel diva Maryel Epps, who'll get your blood pumping with her exhilarating a cappella rendition of "Amazing Grace." Minimum pledge is $25. The dough benefits Care Resource, South Florida's largest agency providing services to people affected by HIV and AIDS. Call 305-751-9255.
What better place in town to study Art's Unusual Effects Across Time than Vizcaya Museum and Gardens (3251 S. Miami Ave.)? The elegant Italian Renaissance-style villa boasts one of the United States' finest collections of sixteenth- to nineteenth-century decorative arts. Clearly the perfect setting for Vizcaya associate curator and University of Miami professor Frank Cooper to deliver his series of lectures, which examine how European and American arts were transformed by contact with the arts of significant historical periods and places. The series began this past week with an exploration of Greek and Roman Neoclassicism. Tonight at 7:00 Cooper discusses China and chinoiserie. Admission is ten dollars. Call 305-858-0126 for reservations.