Kim Gordon gets talkative with Exile Books: See Friday.
Kim Gordon gets talkative with Exile Books: See Friday.
Photo by Jason Rodgers

The 12 Best Things to Do in Miami This Week

Thursday, November 19

Forget the South Beach Wine & Food Festival and its NYC sibling. For a new generation of conscious, sustainability-minded foodies, Seed Food & Wine Festival reigns supreme.

The chic five-day fest — a Miami original — includes all kinds of events, such as a yoga brunch, a movie screening, the first-ever national veggie burger battle (with Burger Beast as a judge, seriously), a massive festival day and tasting village, chef-hosted dinners, a kids' soiree, and lots more. It's everything you'd find at any glamorous, celeb-studded culinary event, except this one is 100 percent plant-strong.

You can eat your way across the city without the usual aftereffects you'll suffer from other foodie events. At Seed, you'll be helping the animals, the planet, and your precious bod. What could be better?

Seed Food & Wine Festival happens throughout Miami Beach and Wynwood this Thursday through Sunday, November 22. Event tickets range in price from $20 to $130. Visit seedfoodandwine.com

While art appreciation is subject to each viewer, few can say they haven't been moved by the work of Nari Ward. Born in Jamaica in 1963, Ward rose to prominence in the 1990s with his massive and tactile approach to art-making, which has expanded contemporary definitions of installation, assemblage, and site specificity. Ward's practice is defined by its embrace of varied media and in particular the recurrent use of found objects, which steep his works in a tactile relationship to history and the real world.

The ambitious scale of his works and his continued experimentation with new materials and media will be brought to the forefront in Pérez Art Museum Miami's latest exhibition, "Nari Ward: Sun Splashed," which features mixed-media collages, photography, assemblage, sculpture, interactive works, video, and architectural installations. "Sun Splashed" is the largest survey of the artist's work to date, examining Ward's career through interrelated frameworks that reveal the ongoing investigations into the politics of immigration and the search for cultural identity that have guided his practice for more than 20 years.

Thursday at 6 p.m. at PAMM (1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami), guests are invited to celebrate the exhibition's opening, which will feature a live performance by Stone Love, Jamaica's most popular sound system, plus happy-hour food and drink specials and art-making on the terrace. Admission costs $16 for adults. Call 305-375-3000 or visit pamm.org

Miamians like their rum, with the taste for the spirit stemming from many residents' Cuban roots. While plenty of bars in the 305 serve classics like the rum old-fashioned, dozens of drinks from the Cuban cocktail repertoire are lost on the vodka-soda-soaked masses of Miami.

Taking the historical drinks and stories from the island to the modern era, authors Ravi DeRossi, Jane Danger, and Alla Lapushchik present Cuban Cocktails: 100 Classic and Modern Drinks, which features timeless classics such as the Cuba Libre, El Floridita daiquiri, and mojito; a bevy of punch recipes to share with friends and family; new takes on familiar favorites like the Isla Tea, Por Avión, and rum old-fashioned; and modern craft concoctions including the Havana Harbor Special, Imperial Fizz, and One Hundred Fires. In addition to the recipes, Cuban Cocktails features beautiful images of the drinks and the places where they came to life.

Locals will get a treat with a tasting event, where author and mixologist Jane Danger will demo three of the cocktails featured in the book that will also be paired with an appetizer. The drinks and pairings include the rum old-fashioned with a mango-and-Brie empanada; the Honey Badger with ham croquetas; and the El Floridita No. 3 "Hemingway daiquiri" with coconut shrimp and spicy pineapple sauce.

The tasting begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at Bookstore in the Grove (3390 Mary St., #166, Coconut Grove) and costs $25 to attend. Call 305-443-2855 or visit bookstoreinthegrove.com.

Get "Sun Splashed" at PAMM with Nari Ward: See Thursday.
Get "Sun Splashed" at PAMM with Nari Ward: See Thursday.
Artwork by Nari Ward

Friday, November 20

Anyone over the age of 30, prepare to feel ancient. This Friday, the concert series Legends of the Old School will reunite everything we loved and hated about 90's hip-hop and R&B. Vanilla Ice, Salt-N-Pepa, Coolio, 2 Live Crew, Color Me Badd, Rob Base, DJ Laz, and Gucci Crew II will step out of our fuzzy, VHS memories and onto the stage of the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami in Coral Gables. Then again, many of these artists never truly left our collective consciousness. Vanilla Ice, under his legal name, Robert Van Winkle, has stayed busy as a real-estate entrepreneur, reality-TV star, citizen of the year award-winner, and exonerated thief. Meanwhile, we've seen Salt-N-Pepa help strangers, to the tune of "Push It," in Geico commercials. Even Color Me Badd has remained somewhat relevant as the basis and inspiration for the Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake duets on Samberg's Lonely Island comedy albums. It'll be a throwback to the days of brightly colored clothes, cassette tapes, high-top fades, and — wait a minute: We have all of that stuff again. Thanks, hipsters. At least when fans sing and dance along to "Ice Ice Baby" during the show, it'll (mostly) be for legitimately unironic reasons.

Party with Legends of the Old School this Friday at the BankUnited Center (1245 Dauer Dr., Coral Gables). Showtime is 7:30 p.m., and tickets cost $33 to $98. Call 305-284-8686 or visit bankunitedcenter.com or ticketmaster.com

Few things are better than live music under the stars. Taking Friday evenings to new levels of entertainment, the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center presents another Black Creek Nights, a monthly event full of cool vibes and creative people showcasing the best local and touring musicians, DJs, and performance artists. For its latest gathering — Black Creek Nights: Latin Funk Edition — SMDCAC presents four acts: Puerto Rican band SOI, Venezuelan hip-hop group El Arka, and Miami-based La Revol, which blends ska, Latin rock, hip-hop, reggae, and traditional Latin music. Guests will also be treated to a set of global beats by DJ Chato.

Black Creek Nights begins at 8 p.m. this Friday at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center (10950 SW 211th St., Cutler Bay). Admission costs $10; college students with ID get in free. Call 786-573-5300 or visit smdcac.org

Film festivals are a dime a dozen, with some cities pretty much boasting a fest for every subgenre and topic imaginable. But some aspire to a higher purpose — namely education — and the Mountainfilm Festival is one of them.

Mountainfilm is a 37-year-old documentary film festival in Telluride, Colorado, that has recently developed a tour program because of its fame. The festival is dedicated to educating audiences about "issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving, adventures worth pursuing, and conversations worth sustaining," as its mission states. The festival will screen films at the Kampong (4013 Douglas Rd., Coconut Grove) at sites overlooking Biscayne Bay and within the National Tropical Botanical Garden. There really isn't any other place more appropriate for a film festival focused on the environment and contemporary issues. This Friday and Saturday, the festival will showcase two feature-length documentaries and a multitude of short films.

All screenings begin at 7:30 p.m., and tickets for each night cost $25, with a $5 discount for students. Visit mountainfilmmiami.org

To music fans, Kim Gordon is best known as the bassist, guitarist, and singer of Sonic Youth. However, the 62-year-old feminist, activist, songwriter, artist, and author refuses to be pigeonholed. Earlier this year, Gordon released her memoir, Girl in a Band, which details her time in the foundational '90s alt-rock band while also examining her life in the arts. And this weekend, Gordon will visit Miami to chat and perform, while Exile Books founder Amanda Keeley will lead a conversation about Gordon's book and career. Exile Books was launched in 2014 as a pop-up artists' bookstore; now the store is set up in various locations throughout Miami, and its organizers present compelling site-specific programming for the public.

For this event, Exile Books offers an opening reception that takes place Friday from 6 to 7 p.m. before the conversation between Gordon and Keeley, which begins promptly at 7. The following night, Saturday, Gordon's musical project Body/Head will perform at the ICA Miami Benefit Gala. Kim Gordon in Conversation With Amanda Keeley takes place at the De la Cruz Contemporary Arts Space (23 NE 41st St., Miami). Tickets are free, but RSVP is required. Call 305-576-6112 or visit delacruzcollection.org

Naama Tsabar Babies performance at Auto Body Miami Photo: See Wednesday.
Naama Tsabar Babies performance at Auto Body Miami Photo: See Wednesday.
Courtesy of Spinello Projects, By Monica McGivern

Saturday, November 21

An annual artistic tradition, the Mad Hatter Arts Festival is in its 11th year. Hatted Grovites spend two days browsing aisles of art, enjoying an outdoor movie screening, and celebrating the creative spirit of Coconut Grove. From fedoras to sombreros to trucker caps — any headwear goes. "Each year, the hats and the costumes are better," says Teresa Sorrento, the festival's director. "Overall, the festival is often described as being reminiscent of 'the old Coconut Grove days.' It's lighthearted and a great way to spend a memorable afternoon with your family and friends."

New to the festival this year is a vintage and artisan marketplace. "In the marketplace, besides the always wonderful paintings, we have a fabulous vintage vendor who recently closed her shop in Brooklyn and moved back to Miami with all her goodies," Sorrentino says.

There will also be a participatory drum circle, a hat contest, and food for sale from the Barnacle Society's concession stand and other vendors. Saturday night will include a film screening on the Barnacle's lawn. Attendees can watch Walt Disney's original Alice in Wonderland while lounging on a blanket or beach chair with a bottle of wine. Picnics are welcome, as are well-behaved, leashed pets.

The festival takes place Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Barnacle (3485 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove). The event is free with regular $2 park admission; the movie screening costs $5 for ages 6 and older.

Miami musicians such as Locos por Juana and Tony Succar play gigs around town all the time. But their upcoming show at the Fillmore Miami Beach will be a bit different. Students from Citrus Grove Middle School, Georgia Jones-Ayers Middle School, and North Miami Middle School will join the established artists as part of Guitars Over Guns' second-annual Choose Your Sound Benefit Concert. Guitars Over Guns was founded in 2008 by Chad Bernstein, who sought a way to mentor kids at local underserved schools through music theory and performance. He and other members of the band Suénalo had been working with students on an ad hoc basis, but once they organized a nonprofit, they were able to reach a greater number of participants and offer additional instruction. And with assistance from Communities in Schools, one of the largest organizations aimed at keeping kids in school, Guitars Over Guns is able to use music as an educational tool.

To further localize the benefit concert, broadcast journalist Roxanne Vargas of NBC 6 South Florida will host the event. All proceeds from the concert will go toward actualizing the mission of Guitars Over Guns. Showtime is 7 p.m. Saturday at the Gleason Room at the Fillmore Miami Beach (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). Tickets cost $103. Call 305-673-7300 or visit guitarsoverguns.org. See our interview with Bernstein on page 44. 

Stripped bares it all at the Arsht Center: See Sunday.
Stripped bares it all at the Arsht Center: See Sunday.
Photo by Justin Namon / Ra-Haus

Sunday, November 22

They're known for exploring lesser-known places and cultural projects in South Florida, so their next stop might come as a surprise: shopping malls, and lots of them. The folks behind Weird Miami Bus Tours present their latest exposé, Nightmare Americana. The artist-led bus tour will survey the retail real-estate industry across Miami-Dade County, including anticipated luxury malls in downtown Miami and decaying commercial spaces in Westchester. The tour is inspired by the future American Dream Miami Mall, expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors daily and approximately 30.8 million yearly. Encompassing 5.3 million square feet, the mall will house more than 800 stores and services, including nine world-class attractions, two hotels, and more than 100 dining venues.

Miami residents Sofia Bastidas, Nicole Doran, Peter Fend, Guillermo Gomez, and Agustina Woodgate will lead tourgoers around Miami to explore how the city's retail landscape has led to the creation of the nation's largest mall and tourist destination. The bus departs Sunday at 1 p.m. from Bas Fisher Invitational (100 NE 11th St., Miami). Tickets cost $35 and must be purchased in advance at basfisherinvitational.com

As the title of Christopher Demos-Brown's latest play suggests, Stripped deals with a female lead whose line of business is clothing-optional. But Masha's career as an exotic dancer is only part of the plot. The play tells of her plight as an immigrant and a mother raising a girl alone in the United States. When her daughter is taken away from her, Masha battles the U.S. legal system in her fight for custody. As it is described: "Masha must struggle against all odds to reunite her family. Stripped is a portrait of one woman's quest for true freedom."

The play, which enjoyed an 11-day run presented by Zoetic Stage at the Arsht, will receive its closing performance this Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Carnival Studio Theater at the Adrienne Arsht Center (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Tickets cost $50. Call or visit arshtcenter.org

Wednesday, November 25

Both old and new will come together during the opening of the latest location of Spinello Projects, a 10,000-square-foot gallery space situated in Miami's Little River neighborhood. During ten years of Spinello Projects' existence, Anthony Spinello has presented some of Miami's most groundbreaking and important artists, many of whom have found global success. He has also fostered relationships with many young, underrepresented artists. It's therefore fitting that he open the space with two exhibitions.

"Full Moon," Spinello Projects' tenth-anniversary exhibition, will feature Spinello regulars Manny Prieres, Typoe, and Agustina Woodgate, as well as seven others. Meanwhile, the latest edition of Spinello's series "Littlest Sister" will open next door with ten booths featuring unrepresented artists. Like last year's spectacular "Auto Body" show that Spinello helped produce during Art Basel, "Littlest Sister" will continue to focus on women and women-identified artists.

"I wouldn't be open if I didn't have such strong local support," says Spinello, reflecting on his career as one of Miami's most successful art dealers. He includes not only artists but also gallery visitors in that sentiment. Gesturing to fresh drywall that will be the new home for Spinello Projects, he adds, "This is for Miami. It is for the community. This is their space."

The gallery grand opening takes place Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the new Spinello Projects (7221 NW Second Ave., Miami). The reception is free and open to the public. Visit spinelloprojects.com

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