South Florida Catholics have plenty to celebrate these days. Avem papa! (Translation for those who failed Latin in finishing school: “We got a new pope.”) His name is Francis, he hails from Argentina, and word has it he is a humble sort who prefers a bus to a limo, does his own ironing, and even makes his bed before leaving the Vatican for a night on the town. He seems like the kind of guy who would rather stay home on Good Friday than regale in an art exhibit or join a conga line of revelers during one of Catholicism’s holiest days. Not so with the folks at Viernes Culturales, for whom art, salsa, a shot of cafecito, a stiff rum-and-Coke, and a good old-fashioned cigar also deliver blessings to devout wage slaves, especially when Good Friday coincides with their hallowed Little Havana rite. Organizers say that out of respect for the sacred observance, they won’t feature Afro-Cuban bata drummers or a sizzling salsa band on the outdoor Domino Plaza stage, but you can still catch Jacob Alonso’s jazz trio at the Futurama Building (1637 SW Eighth St., Miami), where Katey Penner’s snazzy portraits of Celia Cruz and other musical legends will also be on display. “We will have some antique cars on SW 15th Avenue, the kids’ booth for free face painting, 40 kiosks of arts and crafts, the free walking tour given by historian Dr. Paul George. Also, the galleries and venues will have music as usual,” says Pati Vargas, the director of Viernes Culturales, who isn’t expecting any Pope Francis sightings at her muffled event this weekend.
Fri., March 29, 7-11 p.m., 2013