It's the beginning of a new week, Miami, and if you threw down mad ducats over the weekend, your wallet might be hurting. We've got you. Here's a list of the best free events in the city, from readings and book signings to gallery premieres, so you can save up for next weekend.
Indie Film Night at Lincoln's Beard Brewing Co.
6:30 p.m. Monday, May 22
If you've ever snuck a 40 into a movie theater, you know the joys of drunk film watching. Rather than risk getting caught and shamed, you can head to Lincoln's Beard during the brewery's weekly movie nights to double-fist some beers while catching a double feature. This week is a special screening of works by local filmmaking twins Daniel and Lazaro Nuñez. Settle in to watch a repertoire that includes horror, drama, and romance, all while sipping a local craft brew like the true patron of Miami arts and culture we know you are.
Tameka Bradley Book Signing at Books and Books
6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 23
If you live in the Latin mecca of Miami, you can easily forget that Florida is part of the South, a region where the KKK was founded, where gas stations still sell Confederate flags, where the North never really won. Historian and author Tameka Bradley Hobbs took a long, hard look at this unsettling reality in her award-winning book, Democracy Abroad, Lynching at Home: Racial Violence in Florida. A native of the Sunshine State, the accomplished Florida Memorial University professor is an expert in oral histories and African-American history. She will read and sign her tome at Books & Books this week.
I Am She Swapfest at Atlantis University
7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 25
A new outfit is like a holy panacea: It can relieve foul moods, alleviate stress, and aid in motivation. But rather than help only yourself, you can reap the benefits of new threads while helping women in Miami at the same time. At the I Am She Swapfest, you can bring at least seven items of gently worn, undamaged, and clean clothing and accessories in exchange for manicures, makeup, and, yes, more clothes. The more you donate, the more you can walk away with, plus you'll be helping homeless women with new outfits for job interviews through Dress for Success and Atlantis University. RSVP is required, so sign up now for the sake of your wardrobe and your weekly fix of altruism.
"If Defined, Then Undefined" at Dimensions Variable
6 p.m. Thursday, May 25
Most Miamians are connected in some way to the Caribbean and/or Latin America, whether they left their homeland themselves or are the children of immigrants. In "If Defined, Then Undefined," Jamilah Sabur explores her connection to the region through images and memories of her mother's childhood in Jamaica. Using video and installation of visual and sculptural work, Sabur crafts what she describes as “a ritual of the dislocated with qualities of extreme absurdity and extreme desolation." She was born in Jamaica but lives and works in Miami.
Ben Greenman Reading at Books & Books
8 p.m. Friday, May 26
It's turning out to be a literary week, Miami, but in the case of Ben Greenman, it's mixed with a lot of sexy. After decades of listening to and writing about Prince, Greenman focused his fandom and journalistic excellence in a book about the life of a transformative artist and the generation that idolized him. Dig if You Will the Picture: Funk, Sex, God & Genius in the Music of Prince is a look at the rock star who challenged humanity's views on race, gender, and what it means to be an artist, all while seducing us with a falsetto that could bring a grizzly bear to its knees. A Q&A will follow the reading.
Haiti Jazz Roots Project at Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami
8 p.m. Friday, May 26
If you listen to jazz in this city, you've no doubt encountered Latin jazz or some variation on it. But the Caribbean has more to offer than rumba and salsa, as evidenced by the Haiti Jazz Roots Project. Headed by Haitian-born guitarist Jean Chardavoine, this six-piece band plays a blend of Haitian folk music and jazz infusions. For Haitian Heritage Month, MOCA NoMi is switching up its typical monthly Jazz at MOCA event to highlight talent from this oft-neglected island nation. Enjoy the music under the stars and wander through the galleries, which will be open late and accepting donations during the concert.
National Salute to American Heroes Air & Sea Show at Lummus Park
9 a.m. Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, May 28
Not all of us have service members in our families, but all of us have benefited from them, whether that's because they're defending our country or fueling the military industrial complex that keeps your dog's dress shop relevant in a luxury economy. Either way, our military personnel deserve to be honored, and the National Salute to America's Heroes Air & Sea Show is the way to do it. The two-day affair includes a display village, boat races, a hoverboard demonstration, and, of course, four hours of military might in the clouds.
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courtesy of Little Haiti Book Festival/Miami Book Fair
Little Haiti Book Festival at Little Haiti Cultural Center
6 p.m. Saturday, May 27, and noon Sunday, May 28
It's the end of Haitian Heritage Month. If the Haitian DJ Festival wasn't your thing or you couldn't attend the Compas Festival, you can still make it to the Little Haiti Book Festival to take part in writing and publishing workshops, listen to talks and readings from Haitian authors and scholars, and catch film screenings, performances, and music. The two-day event kicks off Saturday with a cocktail hour and meet-and-greet, followed by the keynote address by authors Marie-Alice Théard and Jean-Claude Exulien. Talks, kids' activities, and workshops are scheduled each day.