The 11 Best Things to Do in Miami This Week

Thursday, April 28

It's time for anyone who wants a heavy dose of queer cinema to get excited: The MiFo LGBT Film Festival hits town this month. Formerly the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (MGLFF), the fest is now split into two editions — one in Miami ("Mi") and one in Fort Lauderdale ("Fo"). The 18th-annual Magic City edition takes place this Thursday through Sunday. The fest's selection covers the spectrum of queer lifestyles with 39 features, 14 documentaries, and 31 shorts. Aside from screening films, the festival also encourages attendees to linger and converse. "The point is we're all the same in the end; we're all coming together to share our experiences, watch our stories on the big screen, and gather before and after to talk about what we saw," MiFo executive director Victor Gimenez says.

For a complete schedule and tickets, visit mifofilm.com

Enjoy a night of singing and dancing in celebration of the release of Jahzel Dotel's smooth-jazz-sounding album, Leftovers. The evening will feature special performances by Dotel herself and others Thursday at the Wynwood Yard. The singer, who is a registered yoga teacher in addition to being a professional musician, successfully created a Kickstarter campaign to bring her project to life; Floridians and beyond pledged thousands of dollars. She brings a soft, crisp voice to a seemingly upbeat, jazzy style of music that is perfect for kicking back and relaxing. Dotel has performed at various venues around Miami, including the New World Center, the Fillmore, Miami-Dade County Auditorium, the Ritz-Carlton, and the Eden Roc. Tap dancer Natasha Williams and other vocalists will also perform. Food and drinks will be available.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. at the Wynwood Yard (56 NW 29th St., Miami) and is free with an RSVP. Visit theprismmusicgroup.eventbrite.com.

The sneakers hiding in the back of your closet are about to get some much-needed love (and use) with the return of Miami's Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run. It's the largest 5K in Florida, so lace up with your co-workers to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the event, which was created by Team Foot Works to promote health and wellness in office cultures throughout the nation. Whether the event will be a bonding activity for you and your office buddies or the first step in leading a healthier lifestyle, walk, run, or dance your way through the largest office party of the year.

The Miami Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run begins at 6:45 p.m. Thursday at Bayfront Park (301 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Visit mercedesbenzcorporaterun.com.

Friday, April 29

Every week presents plenty of movie options. But not many of them are outdoors, free, and relatively new. This Friday at 7:30 p.m., the Coral Gables Museum (285 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables) will offer folks a family movie night with a stellar animated feature that won an Academy Award in 2015. That's right — it's Pixar's Inside Out — a lovable movie about a young girl named Riley whose persona is controlled by five personifications of her basic emotions: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger. It's a sweet comedy by Pete Docter, the filmmaker who brought audiences Monsters Inc. and Up.

The movie is free and screens outside in the Museum Loggia. There are $1 chair rentals and snacks for sale to support the museum, but guests are also encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and snacks. Visit coralgablesmuseum.org.

Joshua Jean-Baptiste is having a moment in Miami. The Haitian-American graduate of North Miami High School and New World School of the Arts recently received funding from Ben Affleck and Matt Damon's Project Greenlight for the web series #Josh. Now Jean-Baptiste's second original play is debuting at the Miami Theater Center (9806 NE Second Ave., Miami Shores) as the organization's SandBox Series Artist of the season. The production, Them Beaux, is based on Irish writer George Farquhar's 16th-century comedy The Beaux' Stratagem. Jean-Baptiste's version, however, trades small towns outside London for the antebellum South. Additionally, the play integrates contemporary issues of race and gender equality, which makes the story even more relevant today.

Them Beaux runs this Friday through May 13. Showtimes vary. Tickets cost $25. Call 305-751-9550 or visit mtcmiami.org.

Saturday, April 30

Everything humans need to know in life, we can learn from dogs: how to live in the moment, how to deal with abandonment, how to effectively lick your nether regions. But most of all, dogs teach us friendship, loyalty, and selflessness. Pack of Dogs, a volunteer group run by children, is operating with the right role models. The newly formed not-for-profit is designed to help kids give back to the community. The pack works with charitable organizations such as Neighbors 4 Neighbors, United Way, Chapman Partnership, Miami Waterkeeper, and Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation. For Global Youth Day, volunteers of all ages are welcome to join a beautification effort at Deering Estate at Cutler. Human participants will mulch, paint, plant, and clean. Comfortable clothes and close-toed shoes (or sturdy paws) are a must. Gloves and a hat are optional; sunscreen, bug spray, and a water bottle are perks of the job. Join the herd, make like man's best friend, and do some good in the world.

The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Deering Estate (16701 SW 72nd Ave., Palmetto Bay). Children 13 years of age and younger must sign a waiver. Visit packofdogs.org/volunteer.

Leila Leder Kremer and Juana Meneses, founders of the publishing operation Portable Editions, have spent the past year-and-a-half carting a Riso EZ 220 photocopier between library demonstrations and museum residencies in Miami. The Risograph machine, long favored by boutique print shops and zine-makers for its rich colors and ink textures, is more like an ephemeral screen printer. "It's not about fetishizing an object," Leder Kremer says. "It's about the content." This Saturday, Leder Kremer and Meneses will take their machine to HistoryMiami's plaza (101 W. Flagler St., Miami) for the largest-ever Miami Zine Fair, hosted by Exile Books and O, Miami. In only its third year, the fair has grown from a modest event to something of a blowout, with multiple DJs, zine workshops, food, T-shirt printing, live demonstrations like the one Meneses and Leder Kremer will give, and exhibitors from as far away as New York, Latin America, and the Basque region of Spain. Organizers say the growth has come as a surprise. Last year, the fair included more than 76 tables and 1,200 attendees. More than 130 tables have signed up so far, and Monzon says they expect to double attendance this year.

The Miami Zine Fair takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Visit omiami.org.

Sunday, May 1

What's old is new again. Knitting is the new hipster trade. And the Gold Coast Railroad Museum (12450 SW 152nd St., Miami) — which houses an impressive collection of old trains, cars, rails, and more — is the perfect place to juxtapose old and new relics and hobbies. This Sunday, the museum will host its first Stitch 'n B*tch, which encourages participants to bring their supplies, meet, gossip, and snack next to a historic train car. Guests should bring their own yarn, needles, and accessories, and the museum will provide drinks and light appetizers to fuel the sewing and schmoozing.

Stitch 'n B*tch takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10 to $15. Call 305-253-0063 or visit gcrm.org.

In the age of social media and sky-high expectations, self-love can be hard to come by. From Photoshop to Botox to waist trainers, products and processes designed to "fix" what's "wrong" with us abound. What if we're plenty awesome as we are? That's the message behind Curly Curvy Conscious, an extra-special event hosted by Instagram all-stars Aisha Thalia, The Shelah Marie, and Yoga Racheal. The daylong femme fest is all about natural beauty, conscious living, and self-love. The lineup includes an intention meditation; a panel discussion on love, relationships, mental health, natural hair, and skin care; a healthful lunch; an organic skin-care demonstration; goddess yoga; a closing meditation; and cupcakes. Plus, all attendees will get goodie bags.

There will also be an optional cocktail hour afterward — because nothing says self-love like a stiff drink. Celebrate your inner awesomeness Sunday beginning at 10 a.m. at the Sacred Space (105 NE 24th St., Miami). Tickets cost $169.99. Call 786-621-5006 or visit curlycurvyconscious.com.

Wednesday, May 4

Ten months of the year, when Diliana Alexander isn't planning the annual FilmGate conference, the filmmaker coordinates the monthly gathering I'm Not Gonna Move to L.A. — or, as she affectionately refers to it, NOLA. Every first Wednesday of the month at O Cinema Wynwood (90 NW 29th St., Miami), anywhere from six to ten short films are shown to an audience. The filmmakers are present and participate in a rapid-fire Q&A session. Viewers then select their favorite using fuzzy balls, and the director is given a Best Audience Award that comes with bragging rights. The Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Short Film awards are selected by a panel of judges. NOLA provides a platform for new, undiscovered talent to showcase their projects and receive feedback from an audience of peers and film lovers. Each edition has a theme, and for May, the theme is a free-for-all. Films from all genres will be screened, and beer from Concrete Beach Brewery is included with a paid ticket.

Directors screening during Wednesday night's event include Jon Herrera, Brad Abrahams, Ursula Canovas, Daniel Estrada, Doug Walker, Jonathan Vargas, and Katrina Morris. Tickets cost $14, and doors open at 6:30 p.m. Visit filmgate.miami.

Thanks to its small but rich and savory selection, J. Wakefield Brewing is already a fan favorite among beer geeks across South Florida. However, it's the company's affinity for comic book and nerd culture that endears it to many. Founder and owner Jonathan Wakefield is a self-professed "comic book geek," and his Star Wars-themed bar reflects that. Murals of beloved film characters adorn the walls. Thus, it only makes sense that JWB would celebrate Star Wars Day, also known as May the Fourth Be With You. At the Wynwood bar this Wednesday, the event will be the perfect excuse to revisit the franchise's origins and discuss the new editions. Not only will the brewery screen the original trilogy, but it will also offer limited-edition T-shirts and stickers.

Guests are invited to dress in their best Star Wars cosplay. So hop into your Falcon and fly less than 12 parsecs to J. Wakefield Brewing (120 NW 24th St., Miami). The celebration begins at 2 p.m. and continues throughout the day. Call 786-254-7779 or visit jwakefieldbrewing.com.

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