DWNTWN Art Days Kickoff Features Exhibits, Short Films, and Food Trucks

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Courtesy of McCormick Place
The arts are alive and well in downtown Miami. What's that, you say? Hasn't Wynwood already assured that fact? Hasn't Art Basel proven that Miami's already become a center of the art universe? Yes, and yes, but in this case we're talking specifically about that other "downtown," the one that encompasses Brickell and the commercial hub of those concrete canyons.

Credit McCormick Place, a onetime warehouse repurposed as a haven for artists, events and exhibitions, and the Downtown Development Authority with the upcoming launch of the Miami Downtown Arts District -- conveniently known as MDAD -- an extensive initiative that will combine support for museums, galleries, artists, art studios and various cultural institutions with participating businesses, live venues, hotels, and restaurants, all in an effort to promote art, culture and historical preservation throughout downtown and Brickell. The proposed boundaries for the district will be YoungArts on Biscayne Boulevard and 21st Street to the north, I-95 to the west, 26th Road to the South, and Biscayne Bay to the East.

See also: DWNTWN Art Days: Fringe Projects' Public Installations and Frost's New Maker Space

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Miami PARK(ing) Day to Turn Parking Spots Into Pop-Up Parks

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Courtesy of Marta Viciedo
As Miami's population booms, the debate about parking only gets more contentious (just ask business owners in Wynwood). But what if we were a city who needed fewer parking spots, thus freeing up more public space? What would we do with it? How would our sense of community change?

These questions are the domain of PARK(ing) Day, a global event on Friday, September 19, when metered parking spots are turned into mini-parks. This year, ten parking spots (mainly in downtown Miami) will be transformed into engaging pop-up parks, all to challenge the status quo of how we're using public street space.

See also: PARK(ing) Day Will Turn Metered Spots Into Mini-Parks in Downtown Miami

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International Peace Day: Help Make a Massive Human Peace Sign on Miami Beach

Categories: Around Town

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Flickr cc | Beth
Kinda like this, but with people.
Everybody says they're down with world peace, but what is anyone actually doing about it? Flashing a two-fingered peace sign in photos doesn't count.

Luckily, now's your chance to do more for the cause than just sing along to John Lennon's Imagine when it plays on Pandora.

On September 21, in honor of the United Nation's International Day of Peace, Miamians will gather on our sandy shores to create a massive human peace sign. Talk about Instagrammable.

See also: Peace Love World Collaborates With NBA For Exclusive Collection

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Free Events This Week in Miami: Photog Lessons, Foraged Cocktails, and Wynwood on Two Wheels

Categories: Around Town

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Paul Rysz | Flickr CC
With Joan Rivers and Robin Williams gone, the world seems like a more serious place. Add Monday morning to the mix, and it's easy to wonder if you'll ever smile again.

Luckily, here at the New Times, we're all about bringing a little sunshine into your life (except not literally, because we've got more than enough of that right now in Miami). Here's the weekly lineup of free stuff to do, so you can have fun without the wallet fall out. And if that's not happy news, what is?

See also: Joan Rivers' Best Burns on E!'s Fashion Police

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Avra Jain Preserves Miami's History at Vagabond Hotel (Video)

The long line of Biscayne Boulevard is home to a string of historic hotels in various states of decay and charm. Looking to recapture the seaside glamor of these spots is the Vagabond Hotel on Northeast 73rd Street, the iconic inn whose soft opening last month gave us a glimpse of the carefully reconstructed details and upscale adjustments to come.

See also: Inside the Vagabond Hotel, Biscayne Boulevard's Restored MiMo Gem (Photos)

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Help Street Artists Hang Painted Swings and Party at TSL Lounge: "It Brings That Nostalgia"

Categories: Around Town, Art

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Via instagram.com/aholsniffsglue
Imagine something like this, but on a swing around town.
Being an adult can suck. You've got all these responsibilities; bills to pay, bosses yelling at you, facing the scourge that is daily traffic. Don't you miss being that 8-year-old on summer vacation, running through the streets and swimming with your goofy-ass friends?

We don't condone reinvigorating your childhood spirit by ignoring FP&L, but we do think you should get your still-goofy friends together and hit the great outdoors, and so does community project upstart Outlit Avenue.

They're organizing local artists to set their brushes to wooden planks, then hanging said planks from various trees around the downtown area so you, your friends, and actual not-grown children can enjoy a little bit of swing action whenever the mood strikes.

See also: PHOTOSTREAM: Share Your Miami Instagrams in Dwntwn Arts Days Project

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PHOTOSTREAM: Share Your Miami Instagrams in Dwntwn Arts Days Project

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#DDAFF2014 participants.
Blowfly has seemingly saved his home with IndieGoGo and some numb-nutz named Zack Brown conned 50 grand for "potato salad." Crowd-sourcing can be a powerful tool. From filmmakers to musicians, the possibilities are endless -- even more so when a pair of local artists utilize the basic concept of it for an installation this month during DWNTWN Art Days, which celebrates the way our town has changed and continues to evolve.

Artists and frequent collaborators (read: artistic instigators) Barron Sherer and Kevin Arrow have taken the concept and translated it into a locally-sourced photo project using Instagram and hashtags as the unifying front for the creation of the installation that will stream at the Miami Center for Architecture & Design from the September 19 through September 28.

The end result should be a compilation video on YouTube that won't make you cringe and/or wince in pain. The best part of the project is that its relative success hinges on the community's participation. Here's where you, the smart phone-wielding public, comes into play.

See also: DWNTWN Art Days: Fringe Projects' Public Installations and Frost's New Maker Space

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DWNTWN Art Days: Fringe Projects' Public Installations and Frost's New Maker Space

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Courtesy of Fringe Projects
Conceptual work by Domingo Castillo.
Downtown Miami will become a living canvas during the third annual DWNTWN Art Days. The event, developed by the Miami Downtown Development Authority (Miami DDA), brings together Miami's cultural venues with artists from Miami and around the world to celebrate the city's vibrant love affair with visual art.

Sonja Bogensperger, team leader of business development, real estate, and marketing for Miami Downtown Development Authority, and Claire Breukel, the creative director of DWNTWN Art Days, say that the weekend-long event was developed from a desire to showcase the area's growing art community.

See also: André Mehmari: Mixing Classical Music and Improvisation at DWNTWN Art Days

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Floatopia 2014: A Bizarre and Chill Day on the Waves

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Photo by Neil Vazquez
If, like the rest of us commoners, you couldn't afford a weekend getaway to East Hampton or Palm Springs, Floatopia was the bargain basement Labor Day extravaganza for you. I know what you're thinking. A bunch of sweaty, inebriated Miamians in neon swimsuits, strapped to child-sized inflatables purchased last minute at Toys-R-Us. What could go wrong?

Surprisingly not much. Despite what this town's critics have to say, this year's Floatopia went off without a hitch on Saturday, and bereft of any shivving.

See also: Photos from Floatopia Miami 2014 Labor Day Weekend Edition

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Free Events This Week in Miami: PAMM, Brickell Mixer, and 3D Selfies

Categories: Around Town

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Gastev Flickr/cc
This could be you.
Well hello, September. You elusive minx. We missed you and your (potentially) better weather. Summer flew by in a sweat-soaked blur. BUT IT'S ALMOST OVER.

In the meantime, here's some stuff to do this week, including Monday holiday perks.

See also: Flyboards and Hoverboards Hit Miami, Make Everyone's Superhero Dreams Come True

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