Traditionally the Mexican Dia de Los Muertos celebration is observed by families seeking to reunite with their dead relatives in a spirit of joy and remembrance. Across the USA, Day of the Dead festivities have morphed into raucous events featuring skull-rattling parades, Ms. Sexiest Skeleton wet T-shirt contests, gut-rupturing feasts, and enough hooch to flood the Styx. But no place can grind its pelvis at a party like Miami, and organizers of the third annual Day of the Dead celebration at Damien B. Contemporary Art Center (282 NW 36th St., Miami) warn revelers to come prepared for a bone-jangling good time.
Beginning at 8:00 tonight, expect to rub elbows with booty-shaking skeletons and shimmy shamelessly to the femur-twitching caterwauling of Collins, The Jack, and others. Encounter Graham Drout's mind-zapping voodoo art and Fernando Calzadilla's quirky altars, including one piece featuring the archangel Michael grappling with "Woody," a bug-eyed phallus. The haunting hootenanny promises a mysterious potluck buffet and an open bar. "This is more a black bean than pinto bean affair," says organizer Susan Hopper. "We'll have some Mexican food too, but a lot of fried chicken, cakes, and casseroles as well." Admission is five dollars. Call 305-573-4949. Carlos Suarez de Jesus
Will draw for dollars
Artists bellyaching about surviving on a diet of government cheese sandwiches love LegalArt. The nonprofit has been veddy, veddy gooood to them the past three years. The organization has launched a grant-giving program, awarding $3000 to an emerging local artist, with the first selection chosen from among more than 60 applicants. Tonight LegalArt will announce the latest winner during Enriched, its third annual auction to support its programs. The event begins at 7:00 at the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery (3550 N. Miami Ave., Miami) and features works by Glexis Novoa, Tao Rey, Karen Rifas, and others.
"We saw a shortage of grants and wanted to provide locals an opportunity to grow professionally," explains LegalArt founder Carolina Garcia. Sponsored by Grey Goose, the event includes live entertainment and rib-tickling hors d'oeuvres and desserts provided by Fare to Remember and Cookie Personality. Festivities spill over to Gigi Bistro in the District with an open bar from 10:00 to 11:00. Tickets cost $50. Artists pay $25. Call 305-804-3630. For grant information, visit www.legalartmiami.org. Carlos Suarez de Jesus
Ten years of the Cosford Cinema
Adjunct professors come and go, so it takes a truly unique and memorable one to be forever immortalized on a college campus. Bill Cosford was such a man. "Bill was a treasure in many ways, not the least of them being as a teacher for us," remembers Paul Lazarus, program director of the University of Miami's motion picture department. Tonight everyone is welcome to commemorate the former Miami Herald film critic's spirit at the tenth anniversary rededication of the Bill Cosford Cinema (1111 Memorial Dr., Coral Gables), with cocktails and a free screening series of the films the dearly departed professor loved best, beginning with Singin' in the Rain at 6:30. Call 305-284-4861, or visit www.miami.edu/cosford.
Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
We Want Candy!
Does anyone dress up like ghosts and goblins anymore? Maybe you'll catch a ghoul among the Darth Vaders having a frightening (or not-so-scary) time tonight through Halloween at the Miami Children's Museum (980 MacArthur Cswy., Miami). Youngsters can cruise through a gentle haunted house from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., and the older crowd can get spooked from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Admission is ten dollars for children and adults. Call 305-373-KIDS, or visit www.miamichildrensmuseum.org. Lyssa Oberkreser