Miami summer is not only a season to head to the beach but also peak season for visits to local museums and theaters. Besides, A/C is a necessity, and those are the best places to have fun while staying cool. This week, Miami Theater Center hosts a screening of Wes Anderson's animated Roald Dahl adaptation, Fantastic Mr. Fox. Miami Urban Contemporary Experience and Moksha Arts Collective host dueling hippie festivals Saturday, and CIC Miami hosts a discussion about climate-change action plans with the candidates vying to represent Floridians during the 2018 election cycle.
Here are the best free events happening in Miami this week.
The Emperor of Shoes is a book by Boston-born author Spencer Wise, who teaches at Florida State University. It tells the story of a 26-year-old who goes to China to run his father's shoe company. He finds that the place exploits its workers, and he bonds with a seamstress who is also a political organizer. He's torn between his crappy father's bad business and his morals and new friend. Wise is headed to Books & Books for a reading. Could someone please ask him to send a copy to Ivanka Trump? 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, at Books & Books in Coral Gables, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; booksandbooks.com. Admission is free with book purchase.
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The issue of climate change is still an abstraction for most Americans, but in South Florida, the once-debated threat has already become a reality. While the rest of the nation heads into the midterm election season and continues to argue about their "beliefs" on the matter as if it's not science, Miami is already seeing flooding after afternoon summer storms and during king tides. The issue must be addressed at the local level. Tidal Town Halls has invited candidates vying for seats in Congress, the Florida Legislature, and the county commission to discuss their plans of action to address the encroaching threat. 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 1, at CIC Miami, 1951 NW Seventh Ave., Suite 600., Miami; tidaltownhalls.org. Admission is free.
Fantastic Mr. Fox is a quirky, stop-motion-animated 2009 film by Wes Anderson. It features the voices of some of the biggest names in showbiz, including George Clooney and Meryl Streep, narrating the story of Mr. Fox and his family on an adventure. Mr. Fox plans to bring down big, bad farmers. It's a complicated kids' movie about community that was adapted from a Roald Dahl book. Find out how much the film and book have in common at Miami Theater Center, where the film will screen alongside dramatic readings from the book. 6 p.m. Wednesday, August 1, at Miami Theater Center, 9806 NE Second Ave., Miami Shores; mtcmiami.org. Admission is free.
Nigerian photographer and independent filmmaker Andrew Dosunmu began his career directing music videos for the likes of Issac Hayes and Talib Kweli, and he's gone on to collaborate with A$AP Rocky, Erykah Badu, Common, and others before directing films Relentless City, Mother of George, and Where Is Kyra? This Thursday, he'll sit down with author and former Fader editor-in-chief Knox Robinson for an engaging discussion about identity, diaspora, and the like. The conversation is part of Miami's ongoing Black Lounge Film Series. 6 p.m. Thursday, August 2, at Pérez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; eventbrite.com. Admission is free.
First Friday is upon us yet again. First Fridays at ICA Miami are always a stellar option. Going down in the Design District, First Fridays celebrate all mediums of art, from film screenings to exhibition tours to public art institutions, so your Friday will never, ever be boring. First Fridays are free and presented in part with the folks at Mini USA. 6 p.m. Friday, August 3, at Institute of Contemporary Art, 61 NE 41st St., Miami; icamiami.org. Admission is free.
In other cities, where summer is the only good season, they have to celebrate the solstice, but in Miami, the end of summer is just another reason to party. The Summer of Love Fest, S.O.L. Fete, will do just that at Bayfront Park. It's a production of Miami Urban Contemporary Experience (MUCE), which hosts pop-ups to preserve heritage and offer a platform for diverse artistic endeavors. The free event honors the city's diversity via painting classes, minigolf, a game zone with KND Total Body, an Ethnicity Models kids' modeling event with self-esteem boot camp, as well as family yoga and Reggae Fit classes by Dub Yoga and Go Green Fashionista. There will be dancing to classic R&B thanks to ongoing party Love/Hate Classic Sundays and Caribbean beats at a reggae dance-off courtesy of DJ Mack. Also, come empty-handed so you can head home with back-to-school giveaways by Next Level and LiveLifeLoveLife. 11 a.m. Saturday, August 4, at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; muce305.org. Admission is free with RSVP.
Miami has never been known as a hippie hotbed. But the truth is, the Magic City has always had a pretty strong hippie culture simmering behind the South Beach façade. And for a long time, Moksha Arts Collective has been its cauldron. It will host SOMA this Saturday with an outrageously large array of performers and media. Soma, they say, is "the drink of immortality, an offering to the gods," and the exhibition will include a virtual gallery (with VR) and a long list of artists including Bhakti Baxter and Lebo and the debut of a new mural. Myriad musicians — such as Cuci Amador and Tony Smurphio from Afrobeta, some of the folks of Elastic Bond and Xperimento, Spam Allstars, and others — are set to perform. It'll be a blissed-out evening with good vibes to match. 7 p.m. Saturday, August 4, at Moksha Arts Collective, 599 NW 71st St., Miami; mokshafamily.com. Admission is free from 7 to 9 p.m. and is a $10 donation after 9.