The Best Free Events in Miami This WeekEXPAND
Photo by Amadeus McCaskill

The Best Free Events in Miami This Week

If you're not ready for Monday and the looming work grind, take a few opportunities to unplug this week. FIU's Green Library hosts "Awaken Florida" — an exhibit spotlighting the natural wonders of our unique state — and the third-annual Water Dance offers a chance to reconnect with the world's most plentiful and precious resource.

De-stress at UHealth's Journey to Wellness, offering free yoga, Pilates, and meditation, or check in with your inner DIY artist at the fifth-annual Miami Zine Fair.

Here's a look at the best free events happening in Miami this week. Take a breath and get your Zen on.

Photographer John Bob Carlos' River of StarsEXPAND
Photographer John Bob Carlos' River of Stars
Photo by John Bob Carlos

In the tech era, it can be so easy to get bogged down with emails, texts, and Instagram posts that people forget to look up at the beauty of a South Florida sunset or the meditative repetition of waves crashing on our beaches. "Awaken Florida," a new exhibit at the FIU Green Library, presents the work of Florida artists who paint, sculpt, and photograph the natural wonders of the Sunshine State. Photographer John Bob Carlos curated the show after becoming increasingly alarmed by the elimination of Florida's various fragile ecosystems, largely because of rapid development and expansion of construction projects. "Awaken Florida" runs Thursday, April 12, through Monday, April 30. Opening reception takes place at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 12, at the Steven and Dorothea Green Library on the FIU Modesto A. Maidique Campus, 11200 SW Eighth St., Second Floor, Miami; facebook.com. Admission is free.

Christopher Knight left his Massachusetts home when he was 20 years old. For 27 years, he lived in a tent in the woods in Maine, where he survived off items he stole from neighbors. Yes, that actually happened, and journalist Michael Finkel wrote a book about the fascinating retreat, The Stranger in the Woods. He'll discuss the fascinating "stranger-than-fiction" tale at Books & Books this week. 8 p.m. Thursday, April 12, at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; booksandbooks.com. Admission is free.

The weekend is not only made for partying, but also for much-needed self-care. UHealth is helping the cause through its Journey to Wellness — part of Parkinson's and Public Health Awareness Month. Enjoy healthy food samples, cooking and workout demos, informative panel discussions, free meditation, yoga and Pilates sessions, and even raffle prizes. You can also get a free biometric reading and enjoy a performance by the Frost School of Music. 11 a.m. Saturday, April 14, at Lennar Foundation Medical Center, 5555 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables. Admission is free with RSVP via eventbrite.com.

National Water DanceEXPAND
National Water Dance
Photo by Miana Jun

All kinds of water issues plague our planet, such as access to clean drinking water and ice caps melting due to climate change. This Saturday, as part of the third-annual National Water Dance, communities and dancers across the nation will unite to perform at local water sites to raise awareness about critical water-related issues. The event — which includes more than 1,500 dancers nationally — was spearheaded by Miami choreographer Dale Andree. For the Miami performance, she'll lead more than 70 dancers from local schools, ensembles, and dance companies when they perform by the bay. 4 p.m. Saturday, April 14, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center, 747 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne; nationalwaterdance.org. Admission is free.

With the exception of rush-hour traffic, we could all use a little slowdown. "Slow Art Day" invites guests to take their time with each piece in the museum's galleries. Instead of speeding past a work of art you might not grasp or understand at first, sit with it. Get lost in it. Dig in and see what you can gain from it. Participants will look at pieces and then discuss them as a group. Henry Murphy, founder of Awakin — a startup meditation platform that serves corporate wellness, education, and consumer meditation spaces — will join you. Noon Saturday, April 14, at Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at FIU, 10975 SW 17th St., Miami; frost.fiu.edu. Admission is free.

Miami Zine Fair 2016
Miami Zine Fair 2016
Photo by Monica McGivern

The Miami Zine Fair, created by Exile Books in 2014 to show off Miami's DIY zine movement, is already a staple of the local cultural community. This year, the fair will take place at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex as part of O, Miami Poetry Festival. If you've never made a zine or even heard of one, it doesn't matter — there's something for everyone at this fair. A portion of the proceeds will go to help the youth arts initiative in Little Haiti, Tradisyon Lakou Lakay. You've never zine anything like this. 11 a.m. Saturday, April 14, at Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212-260 NE 59th Ter., #302, Miami; exilebooks.com. Admission is free.

We live in an age when millions of us walk around with a wealth of scientific, artistic, and historical knowledge in the palms of our hands, and what have we done with it? At the moment, little more than Twitter trolling and SpongeBob memes. But it doesn't have to be this way. The Bass reopened in October to save us from this mundane existence through exhibits and panel discussions such as Curator Culture, a conversation series launching this Sunday with Questlove, visual artist Pedro Reyes, and poet Tom Healy. In the age of media oversaturation and sensory overload, what is really worth our time? Questlove, Reyes, and Healy will attempt to sift through the noise and find the substance. 4 p.m. Sunday, April 15, at the Bass, 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; thebass.org. Entry to the event is free with museum admission.

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