When most people think about elections, they think of political parties, not parties with drinks and DJs. But when high stakes elections take place, it can be fun to gather like-minded folks to watch democracy in action. Election night watch parties at the Little Haiti Cutural Center and Hotel Gaythering will be great places to celebrate (or commiserate) depending on which way the night goes. Once you learn where the country is headed for the next couple of years, stop by the Miami Book Fair, beginning this weekend, to listen to some of the luminaries and figureheads who will continue to shape the nation for the foreseeable future.
Here are the best free events happening in Miami this week.
Get hyped for this weekend's House of Creatives Music Festival with a screening of Matangi Maya M.I.A., a documentary chronicling HOC fest headliner M.I.A.'s unlikely rise from Sri Lankan refugee to world renowned pop star and provocateur. After a one-night-only screening at O Cinema last month, House of Creatives presents a free screening of the film at Las Rosas this Monday. 7 p.m. Monday, November 5 at Las Rosas, 2898 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; lasrosasbar.com. Admission is free.
Tuesday's midterm election has been framed as a referendum on the sitting president. But there's so much more at stake at the state level. Here in Florida, voters have a historic chance to restore the voting rights of 1.4 million Floridians who've been prohibited from voting for life due to a prior felony conviction. Odds are looking good for passage of Amendment 4, so the ACLU of Florida is throwing an election night watch party at the Little Haiti Cultural Center. Jumbo screens will project results as they roll in, Yes on Second Chances supporters Ben & Jerry's will hand out free ice cream, Gramps will provide $4 drinks (as in Amendment 4, get it?) and a DJ will be on deck all evening. 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 6 at Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212 NE 59th Terr., Miami; aclufl.org. Admission is free.
Don't throw away that "I Voted" sticker after you leave the polls. Instead, wear it with pride to the Gaythering Hotel, where passionate voters from the Miami Beach Democratic Club will host an Election Night Watch Party. Maybe the "blue wave" everyone is talking about will drench the conservative right. Or maybe Americans will have chosen again to restrict women's and LGBTQ+ rights, pollute the planet, and cage immigrant children. Depending on the results, celebrate or mourn with friends and drinks in a safe space. 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 6 at Hotel Gaythering, 1409 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; gaythering.com. Admission is free.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
In what might be the best name of a Florida-themed photography exhibition ever, "A Peculiar Paradise" opens at HistoryMiami this Thursday. The exhibit includes more than 100 pics from guest photographer Nathan Benn, who was on assignment for National Geographic in Florida in 1981. It was an interesting time in the state, with narcotics crime taking place and an influx of Caribbean immigrants entering the state. 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, November 8 through April 14, 2019, at HistoryMiami, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami; historymiami.org. Admission is free for museum members and $10 for nonmembers.
The Wynwood Yard is turning three years old. Happy birthday! In conjunction with the milestone, Miami Folk & Indie Fest will present all kinds of talent from the Sunshine State. In addition to enjoying live poetry and pop-up shops, sway to tunes from Foxlove, Alejandro Elizondo, Kids, the Woodwork, and others. 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, November 9 at the Wynwood Yard, 56 NW 29th St., Miami. Admission is free; RSVP via eventbrite.com.
An abundance of breweries in Miami means each spot needs to step up its party game. And Concrete Beach in Wynwood has one of the most swinging fiesta schedules in town. This weekend, it'll celebrate its third-annual weekend-long party, Deck the Walls. It's named in honor of the brewery's spiced imperial porter, whose bottle features label art by local street artists. Concrete Beach will reveal the packaging by Courtney Einhorn, who won the contest last year to snag this honor. Expect live music and mural-painting, as well as other curated performances and a meet-and-greet with the artist. A buck from each Deck the Walls brew supports Life Is Art, which promotes prosperity through creativity and advocacy, education, and collaboration in Miami. 3 p.m. Saturday, November 10 at Concrete Beach Brewery, 325 NW 24th St., Miami; concretebeachbrewery.com. Admission is free.
The Miami Book Fair is incredibly diverse — in its activities, in its literary genres, and in the cultures it brings to the forefront. Attendees can peruse the street fair November 16 through 18, including a Children's Alley; check out an antiquarians exhibit; hear famous authors speak at the series Evenings With...; and hang out at the Porch — an after-hours platform for multidisciplinary artists and performers. This year's biggest names include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Justine Bateman from Family Ties, and authors Celeste Ng and Tomi Adeyemi. There's definitely something for every taste, age, and background at the Miami Book Fair, and it's waiting for you to explore. Sunday, November 11 through Sunday, November 18 at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; miamibookfair.com. Admission ranges from free to $25.