When was the last time you went to Mango's? It's probably been a while, but you've likely never seen an art show there. A costume design and art display at the Ocean Drive tourist staple is part of this week's best free events, along with an album release by Florida favorite Astari Nite, plus Wynwood's Latin American pride festival, MegaRumba.
Here's a look at these and more of the best free events happening in Miami this week.
Kristen Hadeed founded the cleaning company Student Maid when she was attending the University of Florida. She has an interesting and inspiring story — and her new book, Permission to Screw Up, tells it with laughs. With no experience and plenty of mishaps, Hadeed turned cleaning toilets into an empowering experience and successful business. Now, business owners want her to teach them how to lead their companies. Listen to her story at Books & Books this week and get hyped to make some mistakes of your own. 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; booksandbooks.com. Admission is free.
MegaRumba started out as a Colombian Independence Day party, but this year, it’s widening its tent and celebrating all Latin American cultures. The massive event will offer heaps of artisans, food vendors, and performances by Danny Ocean, Sofia Reyes, Locos por Juana, Victor Drija, Feid, and many other acts. 7 p.m. Friday, July 20, at Wynwood Marketplace, 2250 NW Second Ave., Miami; megarumba.com. Admission is free.
The always funky and Cuban-to-the-core Palo! has been rockin’ for 15 years strong. To celebrate this feat, the Miami-bred band will play an intimate show Friday at Ball & Chain on Calle Ocho. In the decade and a half since it formed, the group has been nominated for a couple of Grammys — for Tropical Latin Album and Contemporary Tropical Album — and was a cornerstone of the popular PBS documentary Miami Boheme. 9 p.m. Friday, July 20, at Ball & Chain, 1513 SW Eighth St., Miami; ballandchainmiami.com. Free admission.
South Florida is right in the heart of its summer season, and nothing screams summer more than Zander. Armed with his guitar and some wicked hair, this artist transcends funk, reggae, and pop. Based in Miami, he’s rocked seemingly every place with a beach, including Australia and Latin America. In June, he released a new EP, Sunshine State of Mind, and opened for the Wailers on their U.S. tour. 10 p.m. Saturday, July 21, at Nancy, 2007 SW Eighth St., Miami; nancy305.com. Admission is free.
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The goth kings of Astari Nite are based out of Florida, but they've built a loyal following in pockets around the world that are steeped in the postpunk tradition they keep alive. This Saturday, they'll release their latest album, Midnight Conversations. Also, Smiths and Morrissey tribute act Ordinary Boys will play an intimate acoustic set. 9 p.m. Saturday, July 21, at Las Rosas, 2898 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; lasrosasbar.com. Admission is free.
The folks behind Period want to make menstrual care available to all women. For those living in poverty, this is not always the case. On Saturday, volunteers will hold a charity drive for unopened feminine products at the Wynwood Yard. If you're unable to contribute products, you can still volunteer to pack them for women in need. 3 p.m. Saturday, July 21, at the Wynwood Yard, 56 NW 29th St., Miami; thewynwoodyard.com. Admission is free.
If you grew up in Miami or as a regular tourist on South Beach, the Ocean Drive salsa club Mango’s has a special place in your heart. Arts organization and roaming gallery BFI got the brilliant idea to put an all-female art show in this classic Miami hot spot. “Percolate Anything You Want to Call It” will present art and costume design by Natalia Arias, Audrey Gair, and Marines Montalvo that celebrates the Magic City’s Latin dance culture. The work will even be incorporated into the programming at Mango’s. The dancers will start going hard and sweaty after 10 p.m., but get there early for the art. 2 p.m. Sunday, July 22, at Mango’s Tropical Cafe, 900 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; basfisherinvitational.com. Admission is free before 10 p.m.