Art show (sans Chong)
When Cheech Marin torched his way out of the barrio and onto the big screen as half of the burnout franchise Cheech and Chong, few might have guessed he would become a respected art collector and author. Today, Marin, who tripped the counterculture with his glassy-eyed rendition of the "Mexican-American" ditty and whose Up in Smoke cleared $100 million at the box office in 1978, has amassed one of the most important collections of Chicano art in the world and published Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge. The collection, featuring the work of 26 Chicano masters, has left crowds buzzing while touring museums across the U.S. "Chicano Visions," curated by Rene Yanez, a San Francisco artist, has catalyzed interest in the Chicano art movement and its history of political activism and cultural pride. The exhibit includes pieces by Carlos Almaraz, Melesio Casas, Patssi Valdez, GRONK, Carmen Lomas Garza, and Margaret Garcia among others, and reflects on how the artists have recontextualized Mexican popular and religious iconography with images of modern angst to relate the Latino experience within American society. "Chicano Visions," making its way to thirteen cities over five years, explores issues of identity, family, and politics while offering commentary on the physical and psychological impact of the 2100-mile border between Mexico and the U.S. Marin speaks out tonight on art collecting at Florida International University's Frost Art Museum as part of the Steven & Dorothea Green Critics' Lecture Series, sharing his passion for Chicano art and a bale of knowledge regarding its development since the Sixties. Still best known for his critically acclaimed fifteen-year run with Tommy Chong, the dopehead duo produced eight films including Cheech & Chong Still Smoking and Things are Tough all Over, remaining high on the list of weekend video rentals nationwide. Marin went on to star in and direct the hit comedy Born in East LA, was the voice of Banzai the hyena in The Lion King, and recorded a popular bilingual children's album, My Name is Cheech, the School Bus Driver. Cheech lights up the crowd tonight at 8:00 at FIU's Green Library, SW 107th Avenue and Eighth Street. Call 305-348-2890.-- Carlos Suarez de Jesus
Music, Models, Mentirosa
Gamble and girlwatch for charity
Ah, deceitful woman, what a treacherous game you play. Add a handful of dice, a selection of playing cards, dice rolling tubes, poker chips, call it by its Spanish name -- mentirosa -- and you have an activity the whole family can enjoy. Based on a game that dates back to nineteenth-century Cuba, and similar to liars' poker with dice, the bluffing and betting will be part of the grand finale as A Festival of Voices wraps up its second annual run with an evening of Fashion, Mambo y Mentirosa. The event will feature a high-end fashion show, dinner, cocktails, and Mambo dancing to Ahi Na Ma, besides the mentirosa tables. And while the $100 ticket may seem steep for dinner and dice, the proceeds go to a very worthy cause -- the Voices For Children Foundation. Established in 1984, the group insures that at least 3000 of the abused, neglected, and abandoned children in Miami-Dade County each year have a voice in the courtroom and are taken care of outside it. Party starts tonight at 7:00 at the Village of Merrick Park, 358 San Lorenzo Ave., Coral Gables. Call 305-324-5678. -- John Anderson
Teenagers speak their piece
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One positive result of the current political climate: Self-expression is everywhere. For Miami teens, the spoken word movement has served as the mouthpiece for change. Tigertail Productions' spoken word showcase is spearheaded by San Francisco performance artist Paul Flores. As a member of Los Delicados, Flores has spit rhymes for enthralled audiences at the national hip-hop festival in Havana and won a coveted spot on Russell Simmons's Def Poetry Jam on HBO. Last summer WordSpeak bloomed at Tigertail's youth program. There, Flores worked with Little Havana teens, encouraging them to put pen to paper, pick up the mike, and let their voices be heard. Now the teens from WordSpeak will spread the message. In addition to performances by local teens, expect to hear from members of San Francisco's Youth Speaks. The weekend-long event is free. Hear the voice of adolescence tonight at 8:00 at the Jose Marti Park, 351 SW Fourth Street. Call 305-545-8546 for tickets. -- Terra Sullivan
Help Is on the Way
As difficult as overseas military duty can be on soldiers, it can be just as depressing to their loved ones back at the home front. The stress of fear, loneliness, bills, mortgages, and other related worries can be very taxing to family members. Not only do the people at the American Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Services (AFES) understand this, but they provide the unique help that military families need. With that in mind, the American Red Cross of Greater Miami & The Keys organized the South Florida Family Readiness Network (SFFRN) and is presenting its First Annual Family Readiness Fair to raise awareness for the varying levels of support SFFRN provides to local military families. Friends and families of service personnel are asked to attend the fair at the Base Exchange at Homestead Air Reserve Base, 29050 Coral Sea Blvd., Homestead, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Exit the turnpike at Biscayne Street, the fair is across the street from the Air Base. Admission is free. Call 305-644-1200. -- Margaret Griffis