Even in Miami, a city defined in part by its Cuban diaspora, we don't have much of an idea of the contemporary culture of our sister island. That's why shows such as "On the Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art" can be necessary as a reminder of the cultural production constantly happening 90 miles south of us. Accumulated gradually since 2012, the works on display were largely culled from the personal collection of Jorge M. Pérez, who recently gave more than 160 works of art to the museum. If you like to dance alongside your art, arrive early Thursday night for a performance by Cuban-American singer CuCu Diamantes. Otherwise, the exhibit will be open this Friday through April 18, 2018. 7 p.m. Thursday at Pérez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-375-3000; pamm.org. Admission costs $16.
Every other year, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Monroe, and Martin Counties award thousands of dollars in grants to working artists. They use that money to enrich local culture and put South Florida on the map as a major global art market. To celebrate these artists' achievements, MOCA North Miami is exhibiting their work in the South Florida Cultural Consortium. Twenty-five artists making a range of work, from the traditional to the conceptual, will be on display beginning this week, with an artists' reception scheduled for Thursday. 11 a.m. Thursday at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 770 NE 125th St., North Miami; 305-893-6211; mocanomi.org. Admission costs $5; North Miami residents get in free.
Nothing says summer like light bites, good tunes, and outdoor festivals (as long as the outdoors part is at night). So the Grooves & Food Festival meets all the criteria to kick off the steamy season. There'll be live art, comedy, music, food from Smart Bites, and goods from local vendors. The folks at the Dirty5ive artist collective are throwing this event to foster community and support for local creatives, so show some love to these Miami makers while grooving into summer. 5 p.m. Thursday at Smart Bites to Go, 791 NW 20th St., Miami; 305-894-6325; dirty5ive.com/groovesandfood. Tickets cost $12.
When you're looking for the best of the best, getting an expert opinion is always wise. So check out Ultimate Miami, which organizes three nights of competitions to find the ultimate comedian, ultimate drag queen, and ultimate bartender in the Magic City. With showbiz big shots like Carlos Mencia, Sharon Needles and Jinkx Monsoon, and Rob Base and TKA headlining the comedy, drag, and mixology nights, respectively, the event is sure to entertain and educate all at once. 8 p.m. Thursday and 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Magic City Casino, 450 NW 37th Ave., Miami; 844-234-7469; theultimatemiami.com. Tickets cost $25 to $400.
These days, every Instagram account is like a constantly updated museum gallery of vacation photos and latte art. But in 1954, Bernice Abbott couldn't see the nearly 2,400 photos she took while driving the length of Route 1 until after she arrived home. "North and South" is a selection of Abbott's images that documented the diversity of American life in a candid and pensive light. Alongside her photos, the Wolfsonian is exhibiting "The Long Road to Now," 15 digital photos taken in response to Abbott's work by photographers from all over the world. 10 a.m. Friday at the Wolfsonian-FIU, 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-531-1001; wolfsonian.org. Admission costs $10.
There's really no denying Kevin Hart's comedy. You find yourself laughing every time he's onscreen even if you don't want to (Get Hard, anyone?). If you've always wanted to meet this rock star in person, he'll take pictures with fans and hand out signed copies of his memoir, I Can't Make This Up. To participate, head to any Books & Books location, purchase a voucher, and take it to the event for your chance to pose with the king of comedy himself. 7 p.m. Friday at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; 305-442-4408; booksandbooks.com. Vouchers cost $28.88 each.
The Ballet Nacional de Cuba has found and trained dancers of international prestige while creating unique interpretations of ballet classics. Preserving the tradition of Cuban ballet, the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami is a resource for dancers who leave the island's company. As part of the second program of this season, artistic director Pedro Pablo Peña will premiere Habaneras, a show inspired by paintings of Cuban women and set to the music of Cuban composer Ignacio Cervantes. 8 p.m. Friday at the Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; 305-674-1040; colonymb.org. Tickets cost $20 to $35.
Few things define the late '90s like Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life." When those first few chords ring out, a montage of lily-white actors in flannel shirts and Chuck Taylors plays in your mind like a low-resolution dream. That was 20 years ago, and the band is commemorating its debut album by playing it in its entirety during the Summer Gods Tour. If you're a fan of their newer work, they're sure to end the night with those tunes. The similarly upbeat indie rockers Silversun Pickups will also perform, making this show is a nice start to mellow, nostalgia-tinged summer vibes. 7 p.m. Friday at Bayfront Park Amphitheater, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-358-7550; bayfrontpark.amphitheatermiami.com. Tickets cost $14.50 to $1,495.75.
Dean Napolitano got his comedy start in Florida nightclubs and has reached Hollywood and beyond. His standup is a blend of what you'd expect from a Long Island comic — material about his Italian upbringing and the days before helicopter parenting — and contemporary pop culture. For example, what happens when you introduce your aging father to the poop emoji? For the kind of jokes millennials are too ironic to appreciate, head to this Have-Nots Comedy show. 8 p.m. Saturday at Open Stage Club, 2325 Galiano St., Coral Gables; 305-441-7902; havenotscomedy.com. Tickets cost $15 to $40.
One thing Florida has over any other U.S. state is an abundance of tropical fruit. While folks in Indiana pay out the wazoo for star fruit, papayas, avocados, jackfruit, mamey, and mangoes, most South Floridians can pluck some out of their backyard or snag a few from an overwhelmed neighbor. To celebrate this decadent cornucopia, head to the Redland Summer Fruit Festival, where you'll find more than 200 varieties of mangoes plus all sorts of other fruits, vegetables, craft vendors, and freshly prepared food. Kids under 12 get in free and can take pony rides. 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Fruit & Spice Park, 24801 SW 187th Ave., Homestead; 305-247-5727; redlandfruitandspice.com. Admission costs $8.
The first seven notes of the Harry Potter theme song are guaranteed to get any fan excited. And because the films have nearly eclipsed the books in popularity, it's no surprise that a symphony orchestra performing the score live alongside the films has become a popular national tour. Aside from seeing just how young Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson look (those little chubby cheeks!), watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone amid the grandeur of the Arsht Center is sure to give you a new appreciation for movie scores in general. 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org. Tickets cost $39 to $105.
Click next for more things to do in Miami this week...
As the film scene in South Florida rumbled to a boil, longtime New Times contributor Hans Morgenstern took to the web to document Miami's movie talents and film in general on his blog Indie Ethos. A sweet Knight grant later, he's hosting a new series, Indie Ethos Insider Tour of the Movies, around town. This week, he'll take you behind the scenes at UM's Bill Cosford Cinema with last year's winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival, I, Daniel Blake. The tour will take you through all the workings of the University of Miami's indie-film stronghold and include a talk with professor Trae Delellis and an off-site discussion of the flick. Drinks and popcorn are included with the admission price. 4:45 p.m. Sunday at Cosford Cinema, 5030 Brunson Dr., Coral Gables; 305-284-4861; indieethos.com. Admission costs $15.
For the occasional bike rider, Miami has the perfect flat terrain. But some like it bumpy. That's why mountain bikers head out to Virginia Key to show off their skills. This week, the Dirt Devils Mountain Bike Festival, produced by Velosport Events, will take cycling to the next level. Spectators are welcome to watch the wheels go 'round and 'round on a 6.5-mile loop or even get on the trail themselves. There are categories for kids, everyone in the race gets free entrance, and cash prizes will go to the top three winners in expert and sport categories. 8 a.m. Sunday at Virginia Key Mountain Bike Park, Arthur Lamb Junior Road, Key Biscayne; velosportevents.com. Admission costs $25 to $50.
It's been 30 long years since Irish rock band U2 released one of the most celebrated albums of all time, The Joshua Tree. But the anniversary isn't the only reason Bono and the guys decided to set out on Joshua Tree Tour 2017; politics also came into play. With the recent U.S. and U.K. elections, the world has come back in full conservative circle from the days of Reagan and Thatcher. It was only fitting for U2 to dust off these '80s-era tunes and take them on the road again. You can cry about the current state of affairs to classics like "With or Without You" and "Where the Streets Have No Name" and pray that Bono figures out how to save the world with the ticket sales. 7 p.m. Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium, 347 Don Shula Dr., Miami Gardens; hardrockstadium.com; 305-943-8000. Admission costs $35 to $280.
You know a place will cater to your every need when it's called Employees Only. People in the biz know how to please one another with the best service, products, and prices. The South Beach eatery is the third venture of its kind, created by five industry vets with the mission of offering flawless everything. Built in 1929, the Coral House at the Washington Park Hotel is a perfectly charming location for a kickoff to the hottest season. The Industry BBQ Party, taking place on the off day of Monday, will offer $4 burgers, $2 hot dogs, $4 Zacapa punch, and $2 Peronis. 1 p.m. Monday at Employees Only, 1030 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 786-264-3945; employeesonlymiami.com. Admission is free.
One might argue that the best thing about Miami is how deeply it is infused with Caribbean magic. Kei Miller will bring some more of that steamy wonder of the islands to Books & Books with his new book, Augustown. Set in his homeland of Jamaica, the story recounts how one woman attempts to rise above the structures that bind her. Miller will speak live with New York native, poet, and educator Aja Monet, who cofounded the music studio Smoke Signals, which unites art and activism in Little Haiti. 8 p.m. Monday at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; 305-442-4408; booksandbooks.com. Admission is free.
Did you know Chance the Rapper doesn't make his music available any other way than by download? That means no CDs, no cassettes, no vinyl. It's like this guy is living in the future — but the Chicago rapper is definitely dominating the present. He is one of the most lauded MCs in the game and even won the 2016 Grammy for best rap album. He'll be taking his chances at filling up the American Airlines Arena this week, and it's likely he'll be in for another win. 8 p.m. Tuesday at the American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 786-777-1000; aaarena.com. Tickets cost $35 to $75.
Though the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) in its current format has been going strong since only 2002, the fest originally started in 1997 in Acapulco. That it will be held in Miami Beach seems fitting after Moonlight's huge Oscar win: The film showcased Miami and shone a spotlight on one of its black communities. ABFF will present film and TV works created by people of African descent, telling stories that have been marginalized by the mainstream. The five-day fest will offer screenings, panels, networking events, and some big-name stars. If you have a desire to work in the entertainment industry, be sure to snag a VIP pass today. Wednesday through June 18 at various locations in Miami Beach; abff.com. Passes cost $550 to $1,025.
If you live in Miami, your Facebook news feed has been clogged with gorgeous images of swimming sea life taken at the new Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. Here's your chance to take your timeline to another level and show your friends what the museum looks like at night. Frost Science is launching its monthly after-hours series, titled simply Late. It's aimed at showing off the museum's West Wing exhibitions and offers live performances, special guests, drinks, and other diversions. On display until October 20 is "Seeing: What Are You Looking At," which takes a scientific look at how the mind perceives images. This week's Late will also feature performances by Brika and John K., as well as an intro to "The Human Eye" by the creative director and other experts. 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Frost Science Museum, 1101 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-434-9600; frostscience.org. Admission costs $8.
The tune "Bamboléo" is one of the most popular Spanish songs of all time. The talented musicians behind it, Gipsy Kings, will bring their genre-mixing, Grammy-winning tunes to Arsht Center's Ziff Ballet Opera House this week. These guys have had their music featured in The Big Lebowski and Toy Story 3, proving you can be any age and not fluent en español to enjoy the music of these masters. 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-949-6722; arshtcenter.org. Tickets cost $35 to $105.
Laughter helps people live through the hard times. And this political climate is threatening particularly hard times for women. So now is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the femme brand of funny. Catch Girls Only: The Secret Comedy of Women at the Broward Center. The two-woman cast uses a variety of media to relay real-life stories the authors discovered when looking back at their youthful diaries. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-462-0222; browardcenter.org. Admission costs $35 to $45.
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