Purposeful Party

Sat 5/17

Six years ago, Arroz Con Mango was a back-yard party with a neighborhood DJ put on by college kids to raise money for the fight against cancer. Today the event, organized by the Junior League Against Cancer, has graduated to a heavyweight fundraiser featuring performers like Latin pop diva Soraya and local fusion faves DJ Le Spam & the Spam Allstars. Unlike celebs who book charity gigs in the name of publicity, Soraya takes this event's cause to heart. She has battled breast cancer for three years and lost her mom to the disease. The event doesn't stop with music, though. A fashion show featuring Michael Shyka's designs should up the chic factor. Maybe that's what got Deco Drive personality Belkys Nerey to co-host? --By Humberto Guida

Arroz Con Mango takes place at 7:00 p.m. at 1232 NE 2nd Ave. Admission is $50. Call 305-978-8143.

Fri 5/16


Love and death, passion and deliverance, spirituality and toughness. These traits, along with La Virgen de La Guadalupe, prison tattoos, marijuana, and hairnets, are central tenets of low-rider culture, on display tonight at the "Chrome Show" at Diaspora Vibe Gallery (139 NE 39th St.). To aficionados, a cherry condition late-Sixties cruiser is more than just a car; it is a thumping hydraulic status symbol that reasserts one's place next to Jesus. Tricked-out bicycles, chrome-plated and rigged with hi-fi, get you closer to God. Works by Chicano airbrush artists are exhibited with Jody McDonald performing live. Bring some mota. Wear a wife-beater. The night is just one event in Diaspora's month-long Big Bang Hip-Hop Month, a celebration of contemporary urban American culture. The exhibit opens at 8:00 p.m. Admission is free. Call 305-573-7675. -- Juan Carlos Rodriguez

Sun 5/18


Free Expression

Way back in 1977, a Big Brother-type cultural group called the International Council of Museums created International Museum Day, a holiday boasting a different yearly theme. (Museums and Friends is 2003's.) The aim is "to raise public awareness of the vital role that museums play in society." You're already quite familiar with the role they play in your world. So what's so great about this manufactured observance? Free (or two-for-one) admission, baby! Get an early start today and you can hit the Lowe, the Bass, MAM, and even MoCA. Voila! You've saved 20-odd bucks. That's more to spend in the gift shops. -- Nina Korman


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