Filmmakers on Nas Documentary Time is Illmatic: "It's Something That All Generations Can Relate To"

What makes a timeless classic? It's got to be honest, it's got to be made with passion, and it has to bring something to the table that's never been done.

It's a daunting task, and sometimes, it's better done when you're not really trying. Nas was able to do it at 19. He was an 8th-grade drop-out, barely signed to a label, rapping about the life he knew. It was an unlikely mix for success, but he was real, he was gifted, and even though it didn't spawn a hit single, his debut album Illmatic remains one of the greatest in hip hop history.

As it's been 20 years since Nas gifted Illmatic to the world, it's the perfect time to look back and release another classic. This time, a documentary ten years in the making that's not just about the album but the spirit of the age which made that artist. Time is Illmatic hits theaters in a special screening this weekend, and it's subject is as relevant now as it was then. The story Illmatic tells is everyone's.

See also: One (Huge) Love for the Nas Documentary Time Is Illmatic

More »

"Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow" To Highlight Untold Civil Rights History

Categories: Art, Culture

Photo courtesy of the Coral Gables Museum
Professor Ernst Borinski teaching in the Social Science Lab, Tougaloo College, Mississippi, ca. 1960. Prof. Borinski, a refugee from Germany, was part of the Tougaloo community for 36 years. ​
The Civil Rights Movement in America is taught in most every history class. We grow up with knowledge about segregation, sit-ins, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Yet, there are still important aspects of the time period that don't get as much focus. That void is about to be filled by the upcoming art exhibit "Beyond Swastika to Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges," where some of those untold stories will finally come to light.

The exhibit is based on the book From Swastika to Jim Crow by Gabrielle Simon Edgcomb, which tells the stories of German scholars who were exiled from Nazi Germany, and who found careers at historically black colleges during America's dark and violent Jim Crow period. The book eventually became the basis for an ITVS documentary, and later, an exhibit created and circulated by the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City.

See also: Beatriz Milhazes' "Jardim Botânico": PAMM Features One of the World's Most Successful Female Artists

More »

Miami Working to Plant One Million Trees by 2020; Increase Shade Canopy to 30 Percent

Courtesy of Million Trees Miami
Volunteers plant trees at Northside Station.
For a city that's so hot our seawater practically boils, we have an auspicious lack of tree canopy. Our shade percentage stands at a mere 14 percent, when a healthy urban forest should be 30 percent. Less than half is less than impressive.

But the fact has not been lost on the Parks and Recreation Department. In 2011, they launched Million Trees Miami, with a goal of hitting their number by 2020. As of end of 2013, they were at 162,000.

See also: Coral Morphologic Races to Save Corals From Deep Dredge

More »

Knight Cities Challenge Seeks Ideas On How To Make Miami More Successful

Categories: Culture

Marc Averette/Wikimedia Commons
Here at Cultist, we're well familiar with the Knight Arts Challenge, a yearly initiative whose overall goal is to bring South Florida together through the arts. But what about the less artistically gifted among us who want to make a difference? Knight officials have announced a bigger playing field with the Knight Cities Challenge, calling on innovators in Miami of all types to submit ideas on how to make our city more successful.

A hybrid of the arts and news challenges, the new program from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will award winners a share of $5 million to fund their projects. Applications will be accepted through November 14 at

See also: Knight Arts Challenge Winner Teo Castellanos Will Bring Third Trinity to the Stage

More »

Rocks in My Pockets Director on Capturing Depression: "I Suffered and I Came Back"

There's a good chance that filmmaker Signe Baumane isn't on your radar yet, but with her first feature film, Rocks in My Pockets, being declared Latvia's submission for the Academy Awards this year, she should be. It's not just because of her Oscar submission that folks should be looking out for her though. It's because she and her style of animated filmmaking have something important to say, and it all comes from a very honest and personal place.

"Life and reality is so much more interesting than fiction," Baumane says, discussing how important the experience of living is to her art. "My life is more interesting than anything I could invent. And when you learn certain things through events, it's kind of good to share that knowledge."

See also: Review and showtimes for Rocks in My Pocket

More »

Microtheater Brings Spanish Theater Tradition to Miami (Video)

Categories: Culture, Theater

Hidden in a small lot between two tall buildings is a gateway to the arts like you would never imagine.

Underneath a string of bulb lights are seven steel shipping containers covered with the faces of well-known artists. Humphrey Bogart, Charlie Chaplin, and Salvador Dali all sit looking picturesque and inviting.

This, ladies and gents, is Microtheater Miami.

See also: I'm Not Gonna Move To L.A. Helps Miami Filmmaking Community Flourish

More »

Five Ways to Reinvent the Miami-Dade Public Library System

Categories: Books, Opinion

Photo by Alex Markow
It's going to take more than these to fix up the Miami-Dade Public Library system.
We here at Cultist looooooove libraries, but we'd be lying if we said we stepped foot in one more than once in the past year. Because we are learned, we can identify that as a problem.

We're not really alone. Of the 2,496,435 people in Miami-Dade, only 1,084,841 are registered. Not too long ago, there was talk of cutting the Miami-Dade County Public Library system budget, but overwhelming support from voters like you for something so drastic as tax hikes to keep the system running smoothly have changed the discussion from cutting back to total rehaul.

The Knights and Miami Foundations held a special panel discussion and conference luncheon on Monday to see how other cities have successfully revamped their libraries into the digital age, and it got us thinking. How could the Miami-Dade Public Library System improve? Here are some of our ideas.

See also: Library Advocates Say Gimenez Budget Would Slash Services For Miamians

More »

Make Way for Broadway: Nostalgia, Laughs, and Glamour Pack the Arsht's New Season

Hyra George
Euriamis Losada (Ricky Ricardo) and the company of the national tour of I Love Lucy Live on State
This year, our fall Arts & Eats Guide lists all that's timeless and fresh in Miami, from visual art to delicious food. Theater, dance, music, and drinks all make a much-needed appearance throughout the season as well. Pick up one of our printed guides Thursday, October 2, where you'll find profiles, interviews, and detailed event calendars to guide you through the upcoming cultural season.

More than six decades after it premiered, I Love Lucy remains the most popular program in television history.

Lucy, the scatter-brained redhead with stage ambitions; her Cuban bandleader husband, Ricky Ricardo; and squabbling landlords Fred and Ethel Mertz kept America in stitches during the Eisenhower era and are still watched in syndication in more than a dozen languages across the globe.

See also: New Bass Museum Curator of Exhibitions Reflects on Miami's Artistic Boom

More »

Photography Trip Inspires Two Miami Friends To Give Back: "We Witnessed History"

Categories: Art, Travel

Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
Traveling to exotic lands has always grasped the imaginations of those with an adventurous spirit. Looking to break from the routine of their daily grind in South Florida, friends and photographers Jacob Bacallao and Nicolas Stipcianos decided to cast their luck into the wind and travel to Southeast Asia this past spring, seeking to create new, artistic work that would be different from their jobs in advertising and professional photography, respectively.

The two friends found themselves wondering to how they'd be able to maximize the opportunity afforded by the trip and what level of quality work they'd be able to produce. As is becoming more and more common these days, they bolstered their budget by starting a Kickstarter campaign in order to raise some cash for logistical purposes (translators, emergency transportation, and acts of God, essentially) that they had not factored in.

What ended up happening was as eye-opening a spiritual cleanse as one could hope for and in an act of artistic contrition, they embarked on their trip with a different purpose in mind.

See also: Fashion and Film Join Forces for the First Ever Miami Fashion Film Festival

More »

Art Basel Miami Beach's 13th Edition Prepares to Break Records

Courtesy of MDC Museum of Art and Design
Shen Wei will present his first U.S. museum show at MOAD.
This year, our fall Arts & Eats Guide lists all that's timeless and fresh in Miami, from visual art to delicious food. Theater, dance, music, and drinks all make a much-needed appearance throughout the season as well. Pick up one of our printed guides Thursday, October 2, where you'll find profiles, interviews, and detailed event calendars to guide you through the upcoming cultural season.

When Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB) blitzes into town December 4 though 7, the event will likely break attendance records.

For its 13th edition, ABMB will boast 267 of the planet's top international galleries, selected from 31 countries, that will exhibit 20th- and 21st-century works by more than 2,000 artists at the Miami Beach Convention Center and various venues throughout the city.

The zenith of Miami's cultural calendar, Basel transforms our peninsula into a rambling art installation, with upward of 20 satellite fairs and scores of related events, including outdoor murals, installations, and pop-up shops mushrooming from South Beach to Wynwood, Little Havana, and Pinecrest.

See also: New Bass Museum Curator of Exhibitions Reflects on Miami's Artistic Boom

More »

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault