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The Best Free Events in Miami This WeekEXPAND
Photo by Karli Evans

The Best Free Events in Miami This Week

Miami has survived yet another year of Miami Music Week and Ultra Music Festival. If you survived it, too, you've got a few days to rest up before the kickoff event to Miami Pride Week on Sunday. In the meantime, there are plenty of book readings, environmental film screenings, and record fairs to occupy your time.

Legendary percussionist and Prince collaborator Sheila E. plays a free show at the Design District's ongoing Emilio Estefan-produced Palm Court Performance Series on Friday. Afrobeta plays a Miami Girls Rock Camp fundraiser at Wynwood Yard. And in the wake of Saturday's March for Our Lives, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School alum and Parkland Schools substitute teacher Joseph Weisler will read his reflections on the days leading up to and following the Parkland shooting at FilmGate Miami's "Tuesdays at 9" series.

Here's a look at the best free events happening in Miami this week.

Catch Steve Almond at Books & Books Monday, March 26.
Catch Steve Almond at Books & Books Monday, March 26.
Courtesy of Steve Almond

In 2011, former New Times writer Steve Almond wrote a novel about "a racist, sexist celebrity demagogue who runs for president." He appears to have understood America before it got sucked into the Upside Down, so you'll probably want to hear what he has to say about how we got here in his latest book, Bad Stories: What the Hell Just Happened to Our Country, when he discusses it with Books & Books owner Mitchell Kaplan at the Coral Gables bookstore location. 8 p.m. Monday, March 26, at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; booksandbooks.com. Admission is free.

This past Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people around the world marched at more than 800 demonstrations affiliated with the March for Our Lives and showed their support for sensible gun reform. This Tuesday, Parkland Schools substitute teacher and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School alum Joseph Weisler will recount his experience in the days leading up to, during, and after the school shooting. Weisler will also bring along video of a past lesson in the classroom that includes one of the victims who tragically perished in the Valentine's Day assault. The reading is part of FilmGate Miami's weekly "Tuesdays at 9" series, which provides a workshop space and platform for writers from the worlds of literature, film, and music. You've marched, now pay tribute to the fallen and continue the fight. 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, at FilmGate Miami, 168 SE First St., Miami; nakedangels.com/tuesdays-9. Admission is free.

The Queen of Percussion and Prince collaborator, Sheila E.EXPAND
The Queen of Percussion and Prince collaborator, Sheila E.
Courtesy of the artist

Want to feel old? Get this: Prince's longtime pal and '80s queen Sheila E. is now 60. But that milestone clearly isn't preventing her from living the "glamorous life," as her famed song goes. With seven studio albums spanning 1984 through 2013, Sheila E. will have more than enough hits to perform during her free show in the heart of the Design District. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 30, in Palm Court, 140 NE 39th St., Miami; miamidesigndistrict.net. Admission is free.

The average police officer's life has changed dramatically since 9/11. Do Not Resist is a documentary that zooms in on the militarization of police forces, from training to tactics, since those terror attacks. The nonpartisan flick is designed to spark dialogue within communities on how best to coexist and also reform where needed. 7 p.m. Thursday, March 29, at Bill Cosford Cinema, 5030 Brunson Dr., Coral Gables; cosfordcinema.com. Admission is free.

Starex Smith, the man behind the Hungry Black Man food and culture siteEXPAND
Starex Smith, the man behind the Hungry Black Man food and culture site
Courtesy of Starex Smith

Plant-based diets are everything right now. Forget processed meats — the world needs earthy chow. Starex Smith, AKA the Hungry Black Man, is using commentary on food, travel, and culture to show the black experience on his blog. His Soul Vegan/Vegetarian Festival will present plant-based African-American and Caribbean-inspired dishes. South Florida chefs and bakers will compete to win prizes such as $500 cash. 1 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at Shirley Branca Park, 6900 Miramar Pkwy., Miramar; thehungryblackman.com. Admission is free.

Feeling kinda hot? Maybe you have vinyl fever. Indulge your obsession at Gramps' Miami Record Fair. For a full day, the Wynwood bar's courtyard will be filled with people like you getting excited over rare records and inspecting each one with a collector's eye. The free and dog-friendly event is a collaboration between the new Miami record store Technique Records and the label Terrestrial Funk. You can listen to live music, gorge on slices from Pizza Tropical, and enjoy a Dark and Stormy Daniels cocktail, whose proceeds will support its namesake's legal fund. Noon Saturday, March 31, at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; gramps.com. Admission is free.

Miami Pride Week kicks off this Sunday with a free performance featuring the icons of drag with DJ Adora, Noel Leon, Angie Ovahness Pryce, and Serenity Dupree. It's all part of Lincoln Road's recurring "Live On Lincoln" concert series, which gets painted in the colors of the rainbow this week. How will you show your pride? 1 p.m. Sunday, April 1, at Lincoln Road Stage, 1100 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; lincolnrd.com. Admission is free.

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