Established in 1985, the Louis Wolfson II Media History Center had a mission: to collect, preserve, and catalogue film and video that reflect Florida's history and culture. Fans of their regular weekly programs at downtown's main library know they've been doing just that very successfully. In fact the Wolfson Center has become one of this nation's largest film and video archives. For the past eleven years, they have presented the Wolfson Center Film and Video Awards to honor outstanding film and video productions made in or about Florida. Entries come from around the state, across the country, and from overseas, and are judged by a national panel of representatives from esteemed organizations such as the Directors Guild of America and the Museum of Radio and Television. See excerpts of winning entries and watch host/news anchor Tony Segreto dole out the awards at 7:00 p.m. at the Colony Theater, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Admission is ten dollars. Seating is limited, so call 305-375-1505 for reservations. (NK)
Design groupies rejoice. Snaidero USA, the American affiliate of Snaidero R., Italy, those manufacturers of snazzy kitchens, is celebrating its twentieth anniversary in America by establishing Snaidero Cultura, a series of exhibitions, lectures, symposiums, competitions, and more. Although based in Los Angeles, the company has nevertheless decided to hold its first seminar, the 1999 Snaidero Design Forum, in our humble burg. An all-day event, the forum will concentrate on the topic "Trendiness and Timelessness: Design on the Edge of the New Millennium." Nathan Shapira, professor emeritus of design at University of California at Los Angeles, will moderate panel discussions with Ferrari stylist Paolo Pininfarina, Arquitectonica partner Laurinda Spear, and designers Lella and Massimo Vignelli. The fun starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Wolfsonian-FIU, 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Admission is free. Call 305-535-2631 to make reservations. (NK)
Two years ago when consummate cabaret singer Andrea Marcovicci last performed in these parts, she put on such a stirring show that it was voted second best concert of 1997 in New Times's Best of Miami issue. Tonight Marcovicci returns to Miami Beach for a performance to benefit Food For Life Network, a nonprofit organization that provides home-delivered meals and groceries for needy AIDS patients. In a program titled "Marcovicci Sings Movies and Other Love Songs," expect the onetime actress to expertly croon a discerning selection of standards and alternately tug at your emotions with poignant tales of composers' lives as well as a few personal anecdotes. Pianist Shelly Markham accompanies the vocalist tonight at 8:00 at the Colony Theater, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Tickets range from $25 to $100. Call 305-576-3663. (NK)
Directed by Emmy Award-winner Norton Rodriguez, the independent film Libertad tells the story of a young artist who tries to escape Cuba on a raft after he finds out he is destined to go to a Communist Youth Rehabilitation Camp. Captured and sentenced to fifteen years in prison, the artist suffers abuse and torture, yet he remains undeterred. He plans another escape. To find out what happens, check out the film, which screens at 3:00 and 8:00 p.m. at Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St. (Reportedly the 8:00 p.m. showing will be beamed to Cuba via TV Marti.) Tickets cost eight and twelve dollars. Call 305-547-5414. (NK)
Barbarito Torres plays the laœd, a Cuban version of the lute, and he was featured on the ubiquitous Buena Vista Social Club album. Since then he's released an album with his own band, playing traditional Cuban son. On his second trip to South Florida, Torres and his musicians perform tonight and tomorrow at 8:00 at Starfish (1427 West Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-1717). Admission is $20. Tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. he'll give a demonstration of his rarely seen instrument and answer questions about Cuban music at Esperanto Music, 513 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Admission is free. Call 305-534-2003. (JC)
In the past few years Miami hasn't been the ideal place for local musicians to make a living. Actually it's always been tough. Not a surprise then, that many bands move out of town. Art-punk outfit Kreamy 'Lectric Santa is one of those that relocated to Atlanta recently. Unfortunately in February Kreamy member Priya Ray was left partially paralyzed after a freak accident. Ray's physical condition is improving, but her financial condition is not. She is uninsured and needs help to foot her medical bills. That's why local promoter-about-town Danny Jessup has organized a Priya Ray Fundraiser getting under way at 8:30 p.m. at Tobacco Road (626 S. Miami Ave.). Artists will sell their work, there will be a silent auction, and three stages (upstairs, downstairs, and on the patio) will host a slew of local solo musicians and bands, including Amanda Green, the Goods, Humbert, the Kind, Matt Sabatella, Passion Seeds, Mr. Entertainment, Frank "Rat Bastard" Falestra, and more. Admission is five dollars for this 21-and-over event. Call 305-374-1198.
Tired of Trivial Pursuit, bored with backgammon? Maybe you should give mah jongg a try. Yes, mah jongg, the game that originated in China and that you remember your grandparents fiercely playing in the rec room of their condo, is quickly becoming a popular pastime among the hip crowd. This evening at 7:30 at the Sanford L. Ziff Jewish Museum (301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) Marc Levin, owner of the Indian Creek Hotel, and his fellow players demystify the game for you during a presentation called Just Sitting on the Porch and Playing Mah Jongg. Veteran players are also invited to bring their mah jongg sets along and pick up some tips. Admission is five dollars. Call 305-672-5044. (NK)