The 21 Best Things to Do in Miami This Week

Thursday: Rooftop Unplugged
Thursday: Rooftop Unplugged
Photo by Masson Liang

Thursday

Those who can't do, critique (or write articles). So we at New Times make our contribution to culture with cold, hard cash for the artists and musicians who inspire its readers. Artopia is the culmination of our MasterMind Awards, in which three winners will be given grants to continue the groundbreaking work they do in our city. If that doesn't titillate you, we do know how to throw an awesome party (if we do say so ourselves): This year's Carnival theme will invigorate our lineup of live art and music, drinks, food, and revelry. 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday at Coral Gables Museum, 285 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; 305-571-7579; newtimesartopia.com. Admission costs $25 for general admission, $45 for VIP.

Pop art has become the stuff of hotel lobbies and '60s TV shows, but in its heyday, it was a transgressive movement that deconstructed popular imagery. Far from being just a U.S. affair, pop art had iterations all over the globe. Claudio Tozzi was a pioneer of Brazilian "nouvelle figuration" in the late '60s, and though his work has transformed over time, he's still using shape, color, and line to dismantle the symbols and pictures we encounter constantly and without much thought. "Territorios" is an exhibit of his latest work with form and conceptual construction. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday at Gary Nader Art Center, 62 NE 27th St., Miami; 305-576-0256; garynader.com. Admission is free.

Rooftop parties are trendy, romantic, and well-lit — all the makings of a great selfie. But the Rooftop Unplugged Sessions are more than just the opportunity to beef up your Instagram. Atop a midtown Miami building of spacious lofts, the craft cocktails, ice-cream sandwiches, and skyline views are the cherry on top of an intimate night of acoustic jams. The first show of this season features Soulixer, a three-piece funk-soul band from the west coast of Florida. RSVP is required, so snag your spot for this evening of open starlight. 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Filling Station Lofts, 1657 N. Miami Ave., Miami; aedistrictmiami.com/calendar. Admission is free with RSVP.

Friday

Driving toward the mainland on the Rickenbacker Causeway affords a view of the bay on the left and the edge of Brickell on the right — surroundings that make this roadway a favorite among runners and bikers. But Miami hasn't gotten on the green-living bandwagon. Plan Z Miami is looking to change that fact by reimagining Rickenbacker as a public park that complements the beauty of the landscape and provides safety and security to those sans vehicles. The opening of the project's exhibit will include a talk with global urban mobility expert Mikael Colville-Andersen and Plan Z founder Bernard Zyscovich. 6 p.m. Friday at Coral Gables Museum, 285 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; 305-603-8067; coralgablesmuseum.org. Admission is free opening night; regular museum admission costs $10.

Forget the art museums and galleries for the next ten days: The Miami Film Festival is steering the city toward the big screen. Aside from a star-studded schedule including an opening night with Richard Gere and premieres with Emilio and Gloria Estefan and Rashida Jones, the festival is bringing back last year's Marquee Evenings with directors Radu Mihaileanu and Lone Scherfig, plus actress/muse Rossy de Palma. Of course, a bevy of flicks in the oasis of a cool, dark theater with bags of buttery popcorn is worth the price of admission. Friday though March 12 at various locations; 844-565-6433; miamifilmfestival.com. Admission varies by event.

Less than half of U.S. states have clear anti-discrimination laws in place to protect transgender people — and you've probably already guessed that Florida is not one of those states. That's why TransCon is in its seventh year of community organizing to create, inform, and embolden a community of trans activists and allies. The two-day event kicks off with a job fair that will be attended by representatives from IKEA, Wyndham, and other companies. Saturday workshops range from art-making to sex and relationships to laws and rights, and will include a keynote address by Dr. Kelley Winters. Noon to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Barry University, 11300 NE Second Ave., Miami; transconmiami.tumblr.com. Free transportation provided from Yes Institute, Pridelines, and Sunserve. Admission is free.

Saturday: Las Olas Art Festival
Saturday: Las Olas Art Festival
Courtesy of Howard Alan Events

Saturday

If you missed the Las Olas Art Festival's first installment this year, you're getting a second chance. The nearly 30-year-old fest will roll out another lineup of national artists on the already-art-laden boulevard this weekend. Two hundred artists from 30 states will mingle among their creations for your personal enjoyment and possible patronage. And with prices ranging from $25 to $40,000, you might just find something to fit your taste and your budget. If your pups are fellow connoisseurs, they're welcome to come along. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on Las Olas, 600 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 561-746-6615; artfestival.com. Admission is free.

You don't need much to celebrate when beer is involved. So when Concrete Beach Brewery releases a new saison, why not throw a party? Miami Gras nods to the New Orleans original by offering a brass band, Cajun food, and costumes, but because Miami is home, guava king cake, a Latin food truck, and local flair will abound. Don your best getup for a chance to win a VIP party at the brewery's Social Hall, and definitely buy a six-pack or two of Miami Gras beer — a fruity concoction of juniper berries and orange-blossom honey. Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at Concrete Beach Brewery, 325 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-796-2727; concretebeachbrewery.com. Admission is free.

There's never a shortage of out-of-town acts coming into Miami, but we can't forget there's an increasing amount of local love to give to our homegrown comedians. Kyle Grooms, a 20-plus-year veteran of comedy who started his career in the 305, is an example of what Miami offers to the vigilant seekers of our city's laugh-makers. If you haven't caught his show during his recent performances around town, take the opportunity at this HaveNots Comedy event to see the talent that landed Grooms on Chappelle's Show, The Bad Boys of Comedy, and Last Comic Standing. 8 p.m. Saturday at the Open Stage Club, 2325 Galiano St., Coral Gables; 305-753-5077; havenotscomedy.com. Admission costs $15 for general admission, $40 for VIP.

Coral Gables, with its tree-lined streets, quaint Mediterranean-style architecture, and countless shops and restaurants, seems made for block parties. So you can feel good adding Carnaval on the Mile to your winter festival roster. The event boasts two stages featuring music performances by Palo!, Electric Piquete, Stokeswood, and other acts; local painters; jewelry makers; and other diversions. And the corresponding Cork & Fork adds wine pairings and tastings from Finka, Taste, Ortanique, and Chef Adrianne's. 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday on Alhambra Circle between LeJeune and Douglas Roads, Coral Gables; carnavalmiami.com. Admission is free for Carnaval and $50 for Cork & Fork.

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