We know from his criticism that art collector and developer Martin Margulies doesn't support plans for the Miami Art Museum to build a new structure at Bicentennial Park. Last year the art-loving Margulies began hosting regular art discussions with invited guests to address issues regarding museum building. Today guest speaker Michael Govan, director of the Dia Art Foundation in New York, makes a presentation about renovating industrial buildings to function as art museums and galleries. Govan's recent projects include the Dia:Beacon Riggio Galleries in Beacon, New York, said to be the largest museum of contemporary art in the world. Govan's foundation was instrumental in converting a 1929 factory into an art center. Tonight he will detail the process of making the project a reality. The program starts at 7:00 at the Margulies Collection Warehouse, 591 NW 27th St. Admission is free. Call 305-576-1051 to reserve your seat. (JCR)
Master of the mundane Nicholson Baker, whose previous novels have presented an extended phone sex dialogue (1992's Vox), all the details of one lunch hour (1988's Mezzanine), and the joys of feeding a baby her bottle during a twenty-minute span (1990's Room Temperature), makes a visit to Miami to discuss his first book in five years, also centering on the minutiae of everyday existence. Box of Matches tells the tale of 44-year-old Emmett, who lives in the country with his wife and kids and rises early every morning to mull over his completely ordinary life by the light of a fire. Somehow Emmett finds meaning in the course of 178 pages. You might too. Baker reads at 8:00 p.m. at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Admission is free. Call 305-442-4408. (NK)
Hey, rock and rollers, the Everglades needs your help. Thanks to insensitive development, poor water management, and improper agricultural use, shifting water patterns are threatening its survival. Aside from riding your bike through Shark Valley and occasionally setting up camp among the alligators, you need to show your support for our lovable swamp in another way. You really need to attend today's Everglades Awareness Benefit Concert. The folks at Tobacco Road and Ploppy Palace Productions are throwing this musical, comedic, and spoken-word shindig to benefit Audubon of Florida and Sierra Club of Florida, two organizations devoted to protecting the Glades. At least one of your favorites is bound to be featured on the four stages that will boast acts such as Inner Voice, Little Atlas, Grant Livingston, Ann Hoffman, Monica Jones, Tom Neilson, and Deep Water Willy. Stay all day and night: The event runs from 4:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. at Tobacco Road, 626 S. Miami Ave. Tickets cost ten dollars. Call 305-374-1198. (NK)
Making theater is always a tricky proposition. Though a director's vision may be clear, it takes money to make the vision work. And money is what Mad Cat Theatre Company, one of Miami's grassroots troupes, needs to get its fourth season up and running. So in the tradition of rent parties, Mad Cat presents Cat Nip 2: A Swinging Evening of Music and Mayhem. Local funksters DJ Le Spam and the Spam Allstars headline the event with performances by Council of the Sun, Hanan, Cuppa Kidd, and popping poppa extraordinaire Chillsky. Proceeds go to Mad Cat's upcoming production Trembling Hands by local playwright Ivonne Azurdia. The festivities start at 8:00 p.m. at Churchill's, 5501 NE Second Ave. Admission is six dollars. Call 305-757-1807. (JCR)
Citizen of the world and hard bop/straight-ahead jazz multi-instrumentalist Tim Armacost grew up in Tokyo, where he took up the clarinet at age eight, and has since lived and played in a variety of cities including Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Bombay, and New York. Among the greats he's gigged with: trumpet player Roy Hargrove, pianist Kenny Barron, and the Maria Schneider Orchestra. Now he's taking his own Tim Armacost Quartet on the road. Check them out this evening only during two shows (9:00 and 10:30 p.m.) at the Van Dyke Café, 846 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Music charge ranges from $10 to $15. Call 305-534-3600. (NK)
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What will it take to come to a peace agreement that really works regarding the conflict between Jews and Palestinians in Israel? Violence proves too often to foment more violence in an ever-escalating cycle of war. Rabbi Michael Lerner, author and editor of Tikkun magazine, calls for a transcendent vision of a healed world as a way to resolve this conflict once and for all. He encourages all people to become spiritual visionaries to help create a better world. His method not only provides a way for peace in the Middle East, but he claims it proves valuable to individual spiritual survival. Rabbi Lerner speaks at 7:30 p.m. at the Whitten Learning Center at University of Miami, 5150 Brunson Dr., Coral Gables. Admission is free. Call 305-371-3439. (JCR)
What came first, the founding of the state of Israel or the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra? Believe it or not, the orchestra, which Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman founded in 1936. After a war for its independence in 1948, Israel came into being. Of course, the orchestra celebrated that fact by performing "Hatikvah" (the Israeli national anthem) at the official ceremony marking Israel as a sovereign and independent land. These days the ensemble still plays some dangerous shows, giving more than 150 concerts each year at home, but also traveling the world. Tonight at 8:00 under the auspices of the Concert Association of Florida, the Phil fills the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) with music. Guest conductor Yoel Levi leads the orchestra and guest violinist Pinchas Zukerman in a program of works by Bruch, Prokofiev, and Sibelius. You just might hear "Hatikvah" too. Tickets range from $20 to $75. Call 877-433-3200, ext 301. (NK)