Miss Universe Selfie Taken in Wynwood Causes International Uproar

Categories: Culture

via Instagram
Miss Israel Doron Matalon (left) took a photo with Miss Lebanon Saly Griege (center left), as shown on her Instagram account.
And you thought leaked nude selfies caused a stir.

As the Miss Universe pageant gets underway in Miami, we're all primed for a little excitement and a lot of drama. An early controversy stems from a smiling selfie, of all things. Miss Israel, Doron Matalon, snapped a photo with fellow contestants Miss Lebanon, Miss Slovenia, and Miss Japan as they walked around Wynwood last weekend. After the photo started circulating around the web, however, Miss Lebanon, Saly Griege, claimed Matalon "photobombed" the group and that she had been trying to avoid being photographed with Matalon throughout their Miami stay.

Griege's response comes in the face of backlash from Lebanon, where Beirut-based newspaper The Daily Star reports that the beauty queen is being admonished for posing with Miss Israel.

See also: FIU Angers Faculty, Spends More than Half a Million Dollars on Miss Universe Pageant

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"Poetry That Breaks Silence" Honors Martin Luther King's Dream

Categories: Culture

Photo by John Lucas
Dr. Jericho Brown
This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, take in some poetry and relive Dr. King's message of defeating barriers during "Poetry that Breaks Silence: An MLK Day of Service Event." The program, a collaboration between Florida International University's (FIU) Arts and Sciences MFA Department, the City of Sunrise, Broward College, and the Orange Island Arts Foundation (OIAF), features the groundbreaking poetry of Dr. Jericho Brown, one of America's most prominent poets. It features the experiences of gay people of color.

An event like this could only be made through partnerships between both Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Laura McDermott Matheric, founder and president of the OIAF, said that this is the foundation's 35th community event, the foundation launched in September of last year. "Due to living here all my life, I know first hand that there is a strong need in our community for literary events," she wrote in an email interview. "Typically our residents have to cross the county lines on the North and South in order to find some kind fashion of a literary happening. My goal is the change that; therefore, I conceived this MLK Day event with all these factors in mind."

Christine Pfeffer, communications director for the City of Sunrise, reiterated the importance of working across county lines to make the event a reality. "We recognized that a poetry-focused event would align perfectly with many of our youth programs -- including the city's annual Word Up! Poetry Slam, our Lyrical Lounge Teen Open Mic Nights, and our poetry-writing workshops," she said. "We relied on Laura's expertise when it came to selecting a keynote speaker, and we knew that Ashley M. Jones of FIU -- who we've worked with on many education-related initiatives -- would do a fantastic job with the student workshop component."

See also: Poet Richard Blanco Speaks About Renewing Relationships With Cuba

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Was Gina Rodriguez's Golden Globes Victory Really a Win for Latinas?

Categories: Culture, Opinion

Paul Buck/EPA

In what has been hailed as possibly the most memorable -- and moving speech -- of the night at the 72nd annual Golden Globe Awards Sunday, Gina Rodriguez took home the honor of Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy for her role as Jane in the CW's Jane the Virgin.

The Latina approached the stage mouthing the word "wow" over and over again. When she began to speak, her voice cracked with emotion when she said: "This award is so much bigger than myself. It represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes."

There's that word again - "represents" - it's a familiar word that get tossed around whenever we talk about Latina identity in all of its intricacies. Some have argued that Rodriguez's win was a win for Latinas across America, but I was left wondering if it really was.

See also: Sofia Vergara's Emmys Skit Proves We Need More Positive Representation of Latinas on TV

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Dave Holmes Films Show in Miami, Talks MTV, Cuban Food, and the Local Art Scene

Photos by Shelly Davidov
Dave Holmes filming at El Pub Restaurant in Little Havana.
After all the cheap headlines and media celebrity stalking courtesy of Art Basel, Miami's party town persona is the one most on everyone's minds. Thankfully, Ovation was in town to capture some of the city's meatier attributes with a new show, American Canvas, that sniffs out the most culturally unique and relevant aspects of U.S. cities.

Former MTV VJ, writer, actor, and soon-to-be-published author Dave Holmes is the host of the new show, which filmed in three cities for the arts network, Ovation. Prior to their Miami stop, Ovation toured San Francisco and Austin, Texas. For the first tours, producers want to make sure to hit areas where audiences were Ovation watchers, or were receptive to the concept, plus choosing cities that aren't always recognized for their arts scenes. Austin has a big film background, while San Francisco has a big fine art base. Canvas hopes to share with viewers that there's more to Miami than its party scene. If the show continues after its February premiere, they'll explore all the other cities they want to showcase.

"We always try to do art, as in what you think of when you hear the word 'art,' but we always try to branch out and do something that still fell under the umbrella of art defined more broadly," Holmes says. "You learn so much about the history of the city, the culture of the city, through art and artists."

See also: Miami Jewish Film Festival Announces 2015 Lineup

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Art Basel in Little Haiti: A Night of Vogue, Zebra Katz, and Endless Mugs (Photos)

Photos by Shelly Davidov
Strike a pose.
"Clap, bitches, clap! Clap, bitches, clap!"

Just another night with Miami's favorite fierce crew from the Garret. This time, the monthly Catwalk: A Night of Vogue moved to Little Haiti, all part of the big #IHAITIBASEL line-up that took over a part of town usually left out of the Art Basel flurry.

Produced by Miami creative initiative MGKAT, #IHAITIBASEL is an interactive map, linking visitors to local businesses, artist-run spaces, and commercial galleries in the neighborhood. Available online and mobile-friendly, the #IHAITIBASEL map is an open forum, where local spaces and residents submitted locations, creative events, and random happenings during Miami Art Week.

After days of experimental sound and visual programs and live performances from Richard Kennedy of Hercules and Love Affair, Mykki Blanco, and more, Saturday's MGKATWALK event culminated in a night of drinks, dance, and the one-and-only Zebra fuckin' Katz.

See also: Catwalk at the Garret Sends Legs, Wigs and Shade Flying Everywhere (Video)

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Knight Arts Challenge Winners Announced: Exile Books, Weird Miami, and More

Courtesy of KWAHS
The Custom House Museum in Key West. The Key West Art and Historical Society received the Knight Arts Challenge People's Choice Award this year.
The Knight Foundation announced its Arts Challenge winners this week, awarding 47 projects that will share in $2.29 million. To qualify, the projects must be about art, must take place in or benefit Miami, and the winners must find funds to match the Knight grant within a year.

Out of nearly 1,200 applications, the 2014 winners include Bookleggers' community mobile library, the national expansion of Weird Miami Bus Tours by Bas Fisher, Amanda Keeley's roaming artist books pop-up, Exile Books, HistoryMiami's proposed photography center, and more.

Receiving even more bucks is the Key West Art and Historical Society, who won the People's Choice Award and $20,000 cash by getting the most text votes from the public.

Read on for the full list of winners.

See also: Knight Arts Challenge People's Choice: Key West Art & Historical Society Preserves Memories of the Island

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Give Miami Day Breaks New Record With $5.2 Million Raised for Local Charities

Courtesy of the Miami Foundation
Miamians catch a lot of flack. People call us superficial, money-hungry, rude -- lots of not-so-nice things. But after last Thursday, they can't call us stingy.

The Miami Foundation's third annual Give Miami Day raised a whopping, record-breaking $5.2 million through 24 hours of charitable giving. More than 500 local philanthropic groups are the beneficiaries of the funds raised, from animal rescues, to environmental orgs, to mental health intervention groups.

Looks like "generous" can officially be added to the list of adjectives used to describe us.

See also: Sixteen Nonprofits to Consider Supporting on Give Miami Day

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Free Events This Week in Miami: Finding Happiness, Words & Wine, and Black Friday Balloon Drop

via VeganLazySmurf on Flickr
Let's not kid ourselves -- this is all we care about this week.
There's nothing like a holiday week. Three days of work, four days of leisure. Nothing but food comas, football, and family time to look forward to. Next time you hear from us, we'll have consumed potentially lethal quantities of stuffing and will undoubtedly be five (or ten) pounds heavier.

And since Black Friday is fast approaching, here's your guide to free stuff to do this week, so you can save your pennies for doorbuster madness.

See also: The Ten Best Places to Bike in Miami

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The Ten Best Things About Santa's Enchanted Forest

Categories: Culture, Lists

By force of copyright, "the most magical place on Earth" can only describe Walt Disney theme parks, but the most magically-Miami place on Earth is without a doubt Santa's Enchanted Forest.

If you're really from South Florida, you've got a story. Either you grew up taking in the lights and free rides, or you grow up and wander in with some friend who can't believe you've never been there before, only to discover that the most deliciously-ratchet children's park of all time is also incredibly fun for adults.

Don't believe us? Who are you? Some kind of fun mizer? Just check out all the awesome stuff Santa's has in store.

See also: Eight Best Places to Go Stoned in Miami

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Free Events This Week in Miami: Life-Size Chess, Stitch 'n' Bitch, and Give Miami Day Party

via Freehand Miami Facebook
Forget Ultra or Art Basel -- the best week of the year is here: Miami Book Fair International! This litany of literary wonders is taking over downtown Miami for the next two weeks, and all kinds of awesome events (many of them free) are lined up.

This is your chance to spend seven days stimulating your oft-neglected intellect. But don't worry -- even if you're not a book nerd, there's plenty to keep you busy all week while keeping your budget intact. Bibliophile or not, you'll find something in this list of the best of the best.

See also: The Ten Best Things to Do at Miami Book Fair International

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