Whether you're looking for live music, block parties, or informative documentaries, there's no shortage of options for events to attend in Miami this week.
The Afro Roots Festival continues its six-month-long 20th-anniversary celebration with a concert by Colombia's Grupo Barrio Abajo at the North Beach Bandshell, and Concrete Beach Brewery wraps up the week with its Mardi Gras block party. Barry University hosts a screening of Operation Pedro Pan, which details the mass exile of unaccompanied Cuban minors in the aftermath of Fidel Castro's rise to power, and the Deering Estate hosts a screening of The Fate of Carbon, followed by a panel discussion about the effects of excessive levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Here's a look at the best free events happening in Miami this week.
The Afro Roots World Music Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary with six months of music and performances. Some performances began last month at Guanabanas Island Restaurant & Bar in Jupiter, but Afro Roots returns to its home in North Beach this week with Colombian cumbia collective Grupo Barrio Abajo. It's all part of the Road to Afro Roots concert series, running through March and leading up to the finale festival April 7 with the Sun Ra Arkestra. 6 p.m. Wednesday, February 28, at North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami; communityartsandculture.org. Admission is free.
Last week, scientists in Alaska announced the Bering Sea had lost half its ice in only two weeks. They also recorded temperatures 45 degrees above the seasonal average in the region. High levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are to blame for these and a rising number of dangerous conditions on the planet, including increasing numbers of endangered species, monster hurricanes such as Irma and Maria, and rampant wildfires on the West Coast. Though the stakes are daunting, particularly in light of the hostile administration in power, it's up to citizens to stay informed and active on critical environmental issues. As part of the Speaking Sustainably Film Series, South Florida PBS and the Deering Estate have teamed up for a screening of The Fate of Carbon, which explores the dangerous effects of high carbon dioxide levels, including ocean acidification. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with experts on the topic and the film's production crew. 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 28, at Deering Estate, 16701 SW 72nd Ave., Miami; eventbrite.com. Admission is free.
The Cuban exile community made Miami its second home after Fidel Castro's revolution took an authoritarian turn in the late 1950s. Many of those new arrivals were unaccompanied minors who fled Cuba via Operation Pedro Pan. Some believed the separation from their families would be temporary, but a large number of these children never saw their relatives again. The film Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Children’s Exodus relays the stories and experiences of many of these children and the painful sacrifices they endured to flee Castro's dictatorship. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 1, at Barry University's Broad Auditorium, 11300 NE Second Ave., Miami. Admission is free with registration at community.barry.edu.
The Yi Love Yiddish Fest at Colony Theatre is a four-day celebration of readings, music, kids' activities, lectures, and other happenings, all focused on the 1,000-plus-year-old Yiddish Jewish culture. With 13 unique events, the festival is bound to have something for everyone to learn and enjoy. Thursday, March 1, through Sunday, March 4, at Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; colonymb.org. Ticket prices vary by event, from free to $180 for an all-access pass for all performances.
In addition to disproportionate threats of violence, one of the major issues affecting transgender or gender nonconforming individuals in this country is their lack of access to decent jobs. TransCon is a two-day event aiming to improve employment prospects for this community. The first day boasts a job fair including trans-ally employers, resumé prep, and interview coaching. The second day is a full-on conference with numerous educational workshops and a keynote speech by author S. Bear Bergman. Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3, at Barry University, Landon Hall, 11300 NE Second Ave., Miami; eventbrite.com. Admission is free.
Whether they live on the ocean or 20 miles from it, South Floridians love their proximity to the sea. Now a cultural festival aims to celebrate that big blue beauty. The ArtSea Festival is a free, family-friendly event that promotes ocean conservation and a love of the ocean. With yoga, interactive art, live tunes and drumming, a dance party, and a beach cleanup, you certainly won't be left feeling salty. 11 a.m. Saturday, March 3, at Virginia Key Beach Park, 4020 Virginia Beach Dr., Miami; bigblueandyou.org. Admission is free.
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One year after director Barry Jenkins and playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney made Liberty City proud by taking home an Oscar for their groundbreaking film Moonlight, the Fantasy Theatre Factory at the Sandrell Rivers Theater will host a free screening of the Best Picture-winning film. The movie follows a young man's sexual self-discovery and coming of age set against the backdrop of the streets of Liberty City. 8 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at the Fantasy Theatre Factory at the Sandrell Rivers Theater, 6101 NW Seventh Ave., Miami. Admission is free with registration via tickets.ftfshows.com.
New Orleans gets Mardi Gras, but the Magic City has the next best thing: Miami Gras. Concrete Beach Brewery is throwing a daytime block party with music by South Florida's own New Orleans-style Bad Apples Brass Band and the samba ensemble Bateria Unidos de Miami. The best part is you'll drink for a cause: Concrete Beach is donating $1 from every Miami Gras beer sold to the Rhythm Foundation. 1 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at Concrete Beach Brewery, 325 NW 24th St., Miami; concretebeachbrewery.com. Admission is free.
Even on a lazy Sunday afternoon, you could always use some cafecito. The caffeine peddlers at 3:05 Cafecito are once again hosting their Official 305 Day Block Party, presented by Jameson and Sprint, in Hialeah beginning at — of course — 3:05 p.m. Sunday. Treat yourself to live music, food, and products from local vendors, plus a little R&R. Are you 305 till you die? 3:05 p.m. Sunday, March 4, in the Leah Arts District, 1501 E. Tenth Ave., Hialeah; eventbrite.com. Admission is free.