The 21 Best Things to Do in Miami This Week

Thursday: Rooftop Unplugged
Thursday: Rooftop Unplugged
Photo by Masson Liang
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Those who can't do, critique (or write articles). So we at New Times make our contribution to culture with cold, hard cash for the artists and musicians who inspire its readers. Artopia is the culmination of our MasterMind Awards, in which three winners will be given grants to continue the groundbreaking work they do in our city. If that doesn't titillate you, we do know how to throw an awesome party (if we do say so ourselves): This year's Carnival theme will invigorate our lineup of live art and music, drinks, food, and revelry. 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday at Coral Gables Museum, 285 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; 305-571-7579; newtimesartopia.com. Admission costs $25 for general admission, $45 for VIP.

Pop art has become the stuff of hotel lobbies and '60s TV shows, but in its heyday, it was a transgressive movement that deconstructed popular imagery. Far from being just a U.S. affair, pop art had iterations all over the globe. Claudio Tozzi was a pioneer of Brazilian "nouvelle figuration" in the late '60s, and though his work has transformed over time, he's still using shape, color, and line to dismantle the symbols and pictures we encounter constantly and without much thought. "Territorios" is an exhibit of his latest work with form and conceptual construction. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday at Gary Nader Art Center, 62 NE 27th St., Miami; 305-576-0256; garynader.com. Admission is free.

Rooftop parties are trendy, romantic, and well-lit — all the makings of a great selfie. But the Rooftop Unplugged Sessions are more than just the opportunity to beef up your Instagram. Atop a midtown Miami building of spacious lofts, the craft cocktails, ice-cream sandwiches, and skyline views are the cherry on top of an intimate night of acoustic jams. The first show of this season features Soulixer, a three-piece funk-soul band from the west coast of Florida. RSVP is required, so snag your spot for this evening of open starlight. 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Filling Station Lofts, 1657 N. Miami Ave., Miami; aedistrictmiami.com/calendar. Admission is free with RSVP.


Driving toward the mainland on the Rickenbacker Causeway affords a view of the bay on the left and the edge of Brickell on the right — surroundings that make this roadway a favorite among runners and bikers. But Miami hasn't gotten on the green-living bandwagon. Plan Z Miami is looking to change that fact by reimagining Rickenbacker as a public park that complements the beauty of the landscape and provides safety and security to those sans vehicles. The opening of the project's exhibit will include a talk with global urban mobility expert Mikael Colville-Andersen and Plan Z founder Bernard Zyscovich. 6 p.m. Friday at Coral Gables Museum, 285 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; 305-603-8067; coralgablesmuseum.org. Admission is free opening night; regular museum admission costs $10.

Forget the art museums and galleries for the next ten days: The Miami Film Festival is steering the city toward the big screen. Aside from a star-studded schedule including an opening night with Richard Gere and premieres with Emilio and Gloria Estefan and Rashida Jones, the festival is bringing back last year's Marquee Evenings with directors Radu Mihaileanu and Lone Scherfig, plus actress/muse Rossy de Palma. Of course, a bevy of flicks in the oasis of a cool, dark theater with bags of buttery popcorn is worth the price of admission. Friday though March 12 at various locations; 844-565-6433; miamifilmfestival.com. Admission varies by event.

Less than half of U.S. states have clear anti-discrimination laws in place to protect transgender people — and you've probably already guessed that Florida is not one of those states. That's why TransCon is in its seventh year of community organizing to create, inform, and embolden a community of trans activists and allies. The two-day event kicks off with a job fair that will be attended by representatives from IKEA, Wyndham, and other companies. Saturday workshops range from art-making to sex and relationships to laws and rights, and will include a keynote address by Dr. Kelley Winters. Noon to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Barry University, 11300 NE Second Ave., Miami; transconmiami.tumblr.com. Free transportation provided from Yes Institute, Pridelines, and Sunserve. Admission is free.

Saturday: Las Olas Art Festival
Saturday: Las Olas Art Festival
Courtesy of Howard Alan Events


If you missed the Las Olas Art Festival's first installment this year, you're getting a second chance. The nearly 30-year-old fest will roll out another lineup of national artists on the already-art-laden boulevard this weekend. Two hundred artists from 30 states will mingle among their creations for your personal enjoyment and possible patronage. And with prices ranging from $25 to $40,000, you might just find something to fit your taste and your budget. If your pups are fellow connoisseurs, they're welcome to come along. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on Las Olas, 600 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 561-746-6615; artfestival.com. Admission is free.

You don't need much to celebrate when beer is involved. So when Concrete Beach Brewery releases a new saison, why not throw a party? Miami Gras nods to the New Orleans original by offering a brass band, Cajun food, and costumes, but because Miami is home, guava king cake, a Latin food truck, and local flair will abound. Don your best getup for a chance to win a VIP party at the brewery's Social Hall, and definitely buy a six-pack or two of Miami Gras beer — a fruity concoction of juniper berries and orange-blossom honey. Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at Concrete Beach Brewery, 325 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-796-2727; concretebeachbrewery.com. Admission is free.

There's never a shortage of out-of-town acts coming into Miami, but we can't forget there's an increasing amount of local love to give to our homegrown comedians. Kyle Grooms, a 20-plus-year veteran of comedy who started his career in the 305, is an example of what Miami offers to the vigilant seekers of our city's laugh-makers. If you haven't caught his show during his recent performances around town, take the opportunity at this HaveNots Comedy event to see the talent that landed Grooms on Chappelle's Show, The Bad Boys of Comedy, and Last Comic Standing. 8 p.m. Saturday at the Open Stage Club, 2325 Galiano St., Coral Gables; 305-753-5077; havenotscomedy.com. Admission costs $15 for general admission, $40 for VIP.

Coral Gables, with its tree-lined streets, quaint Mediterranean-style architecture, and countless shops and restaurants, seems made for block parties. So you can feel good adding Carnaval on the Mile to your winter festival roster. The event boasts two stages featuring music performances by Palo!, Electric Piquete, Stokeswood, and other acts; local painters; jewelry makers; and other diversions. And the corresponding Cork & Fork adds wine pairings and tastings from Finka, Taste, Ortanique, and Chef Adrianne's. 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday on Alhambra Circle between LeJeune and Douglas Roads, Coral Gables; carnavalmiami.com. Admission is free for Carnaval and $50 for Cork & Fork.

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Saturday: Veuve Cliquot Carnival
Saturday: Veuve Cliquot Carnival
Photo by Driely Carter

When thinking of Miami, it's hard not to envision the glittering waters of Biscayne Bay. And Veuve Clicquot knows the power of sparkling liquid. So the company, along with supermodel Adriana Lima, will host Carnaval in Museum Park in support of Pérez Art Museum Miami. The spirit of Brazil will reflect in the waves through samba music, dancers, and drummers. Sip Veuve Clicquot Rich and experience the city's popular food trucks. 1 p.m. Saturday in Museum Park, 1075 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-375-3000; VCCarnaval.com. Admission costs $35. Event is 21+.

If sucking the brains out of a crawfish sounds anything but gross, Boxelder's second-anniversary celebration, Ole Bay All Day, is your jam. Chefs Jeremiah Bullfrog and Kurtis Jantz will be fixin' an old-fashioned crawfish boil alongside other New Orleans classics such as po'boys and gumbo, while Lone Wolf One Man Band and Reverend Ron provide live entertainment. If, on the other hand, the idea of pulling apart your food with your bare hands scares you, just slurp down a few beers first — they'll cost only $5. 3 p.m. Saturday at Boxelder Craft Beer Market, 2817 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-942-7769; bxldr.com. Crawfish boil costs $35; crawfish boil with beer pairings costs $50. Admission to Boxelder is free.

No one month can contain the rich and varied tales of black Americans. It's important to celebrate black history all year. So this March, Proscenium Theatre introduces Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, a theatrical adaptation of an 1861 slave narrative. Her name was Harriet Ann Jacobs, born into slavery; she went into hiding to save herself from her owners' advances. The play features some choreography and Negro spirituals and is sure to inspire with its message of the power of faith. 8 p.m. Saturday at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212 NE 59th Ter., Miami; 305-998-5825; incidentsintheatre.eventbrite.com. Admission costs $25.


If you've ever uttered the phrase "305 till I die," you'll probably love the #HIALEAHNOW Series taking place in the Leah Arts District honoring the city's unique character. 3:05 Cafecito is a Miami tradition (one that major coffee producer Café Bustelo allegedly attempted to co-op for marketing purposes). But the real deal takes place in Miami at 3:05 p.m., when locals take their official coffee break. The tradition continues at this week's Official 305 Day Block Party, presented by Jameson and 3:05 Cafecito. This year promises a blowout, bro. 2 p.m. Sunday in the Leah Arts District, 1501 E. 15th St., Hialeah; leahartsdistrict.org. Admission is free. RSVP is required.

Plenty of jibs will be pulled on the waters of Biscayne Bay when Bacardi and EFG host the seventh-annual Miami Sailing Week. The race to win the Bacardi Cup launched 90 years ago in Havana, Cuba, and continues for six days a year in Coconut Grove at the Coral Reef Yacht Club. More than 200 sailors from 23 countries will take to the seas and control those March winds with beautiful white triangles of fabric. 8 a.m. Sunday through March 11 at Regatta Park, 2699 SW 27th Ave., Miami; 305-373-6671; miamisailingweek.com. Admission is free.


Miami Beach drag legend Shelley Novak describes herself as "Barney Rubble in a dress." For the past 24 years, the community has celebrated her legacy by gathering all the other SoBe queens for the Shelley Novak Awards, a spoof on the Academy Awards, with categories such as "Best Club Kid" and "Best Hair." 10 p.m. Monday at Kill Your Idol, 222 Española Way, Miami Beach; sub-culture.org/kill-your-idol. Admission is free.

The Betsy is a hotel with spirit and conscience. Though it is beautifully set on Ocean Drive, a place not known for its brains, the hotel continues to offer events for those interested in enhancing their intellect. The Betsy is celebrating International Women's Month with a variety of events, but the Breakfast Arts Salon With FIU Professor Heather Russell will bring both sustenance and substance. She'll host Zora Neale Hurston's Florida Dust Tracks with a focus on the late author's Florida-based novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. 9:30 a.m. Monday at the Betsy Hotel, 1440 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-531-6100; thebetsyhotel.com. Admission is free, but RSVP is required via the-betsy-south-beach.ticketleap.com.

Tuesday: Smokey Robinson
Tuesday: Smokey Robinson
Courtesy of Broward Center


The Oscar-winning Moonlight put Miami on the mind and tongue of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The awards have been handed out, but Miami-Dade continues to celebrate admirable cinema. The Aventura Arts & Cultural Center's Foreign Film Series is screening the Icelandic 2016 Academy Award submission Rams, a story about estranged sheep-herding brothers Gummi and Kiddi. Their lauded farms sit next to each other, and the two are forced to speak when a disease threatens their flocks. 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, 3385 NE 188 St., Aventura; 305-466-8002; aventuracenter.org. Admission costs $11.

Two simple things are wonderful about Smokey Robinson: First, his name is Smokey, and second, his voice is always recognizable on the oldies station. But the great crooner was once a pioneer of the Detroit sound by establishing Motown and singing with the Miracles. With smooth pipes and sparkling eyes, he's still got a hold on audiences and will second all your emotions this week when he performs at the Broward Center. 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-462-0222; browardcenter.org. Admission costs $39 to $129.


In 1993, a fictional whale bumped Shamu from the top spot of most famous aquatic mammal. And though the words "free willy" have since taken on a less kid-friendly connotation, the film Free Willy is still a wholesome flick about an air-breathing, ocean-swimming hunk of animal flesh. So take the kids to see the movie for free as part of the SoundScape Cinema Series, rain or shine, this week. 8 p.m. Wednesday at New World Center, 500 17th St., Miami Beach; 305-673-7577; nws.edu. Admission is free.

The world may want women to think of other women as catty, but the truth is, ladies spend a lot of time powwowing in one another's favor. Case in point: the recent Women's March on Washington. And these estrogen-filled gatherings can be healing. We R Artemis is perpetuating these good vibes via the International Women's Day Sacred Circle at Gaby and Nadia's in Little Havana. Expect spiritual energy, tea, sound-bowl meditation, and some efforts to uncover your inner goddess. Dress comfortably and get grounded. 6 p.m. Wednesday at Gaby and Nadia's, 537 SW 12th Ave., Miami; info@werartemis.com; facebook.com/werartemis or werartemis.com. Admission costs $20.

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