Day of the Dead Workshops Come to Miami: "We Want To Help Families Say Goodbye"

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Photo by Sid Graves
Don't panic, but you're going to die.

"It's inevitable. You're gonna die, I'm gonna die, every person reading this article is gonna die," says Jim Hammond, founder and executive producer of Florida's Day of the Dead celebrations.

Phew. Now that we've got that awkward part of the conversation out of the way, we can skip to the good news: Florida's Day of the Dead Festival, symbolically reflective of the ancient Aztec celebration, has made its way to Miami-Dade County for the first time. And, unlike Halloween's "zombie culture," its mission statement is to remember the dead in ways that instill peace of mind, not fear.

"It's to feast together on their favorite foods, on their favorite drinks, to listen to their favorite music, and to metaphorically have an opportunity to dance with them," Hammond says.

See also: "Savage", An Exhibit of Art Made by Animals at Bakehouse

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III Points 2014 Fashion: Goth Kids Are the New Cool Kids

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Photo by Alex Markow
Fashion isn't an official thematic prong of the III Points music, art, and technology festival, but it is something to be taken seriously when on festival grounds.

Every hipster, scenester, freak, geek, and beauty queen is out to impress, or maybe just to get as weird as possible. We saw a lot of strange fashions at III Points, but we knew we'd see one fashionable staple above all else -- the color black.

This is our visual love letter to that most basic and not-basic of colors (or not-color).

See also: The People of III Points 2014

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III Points Festival 2014: Diggy Lloyd Makes Millennials Cry in Her 20-Something Series

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Photo by Diggy Lloyd
Mackenzie, part of Diggy Lloyd's "20-Something" series.
Reducing a person to a sobbing heap is a rare trick for any artist. But for photographer Diggy Lloyd, it often happens before she's even pressed her shutter release.

"It hits them without warning," she says of the millennials she has been shooting and interviewing for her 20-Something series, on traveling display throughout Wynwood during III Points. "A lot of the time, it becomes a therapy session.

"This is a generation that when we get ready to go out, we know it's going to be documented on the internet somehow. They're used to being photographed, but all anyone asks us is 'How's it going?' "

See also: Miami Natives of Design Build Collective Create the III Points Festival Entrance

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Miami Natives of Design Build Collective Create the III Points Festival Entrance

Categories: Art, Festivals

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Photo by Travis Cohen
From left to right: Design Build Collective's Stephen Shaw, Robby Ramos, and Howard Benites
It's 9 o'clock and I'm in a rutty lot full of raw materials and odd edifices on the south border of Wynwood. It's begun to rain, but I'm sitting comfortably on a dry church pew inside a gutted school bus, waiting to talk to the guys who have made this lot their home away from home while they build a half-crazed entrance/installation that will be displayed at Soho Studios for the III Points Festival.

There's a 747 cockpit somewhere around here. I've been told that my life will be forfeited if I divulge anything more than its existence, but it seems worth noting it's here if nothing else. Robby Ramos, Stephen Shaw, and Howard Benites -- who compose the local Design Build Collective -- have been taking a lot of inspiration and a lot of materials from the weird, random assortment of goods to be found around Miami's scrap yards, and it gives something of a Mad Max feel to the space, especially in the dark rain.

See also: III Points 2014's Activation Schedule

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Viva Chile! 13th Annual Chileno Festival in Miami Kicks Off Saturday

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Photo by Cristian Pimimo Baradit
We all know Miami is an ethnic melting pot, full of culture and cuisine from regions around the world. Fortunately for us, this city is always game for a festival to celebrate these rich traditions. This month, it's Chile's turn in the spotlight when the Chileno Festival gets started September 20.

The 13th Annual Chileno Festival is a family festival in which the Chilean community celebrates the 2004 Independence of Chile. Started by the owners of Chilean restaurant Sabores Chilenos, Ingrid and Pierre Encina, the festival includes various Chilean bands, artists, folklorists, and more. The couple wanted to bring a piece of their home back to Miami.

We spoke with the organizers about what to expect at this year's celebration.

See also: Flamenco Festival's Celia Fonta: "Flamenco 'Alante' is an Endangered Art"

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Celebrate Your Female Side with Wynwood's LadyFest This Weekend

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Courtesy of Charo Valero / LadyFest
A very wise person once asked the deep, philosophical question: Who run the world? That same sage soul answered the ultimate question: girls. That's right, ladies, we run the world. It's high time everyone gets the memo.

We jest, but in all seriousness, being a woman is a special thing and it's not celebrated enough. That's all about to change with the first ever LadyFest Miami.

Gently put, LadyFest is a community event put together wholly by women for women with the overall goal being to "build a sustainable community and celebrate diversity through critical dialogue, cultural performance, and artistic expression within the context of a women-centered space," explains one of its many organizers, Charo Valero.

See also: DWNTWN Art Days: Ten Awesome Free Events to Attend

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Flamenco Festival's Celia Fonta: "Flamenco 'Alante' is an Endangered Art"

Categories: Dance, Festivals

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Courtesy Celia Fonta
Siempre Flamenco, a Miami based Flamenco arts organization, is widely recognized in town for the quality of the festivals they have presented. The organization was founded by the husband and wife team of Paco and Celia Fonta -- he is a Flamenco guitarist and singer; she is a Flamenco dancer. Their individual performances as well as their classes have won the organization even more support.

We talked to Celia Fonta about their upcoming festival, which starts weekend at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

See also: Ifé-Ilé Afro-Cuban Dance Festival Returns to Miami

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Ifé-Ilé Afro-Cuban Dance Festival Returns to Miami

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Photo by Nelson Alvarez
"I've got one foot in Miami and one foot in the Caribbean," says Neri Torres, the founder and director of the Ifé-Ilé Dance Company, which will host its 16th annual Ifé-Ilé Afro-Cuban Dance Festival from Thursday, August 28, through Saturday, August 30. This is true for her culturally, as a Cuban artist living in Miami who is intent on keeping Cuban traditions alive on foreign shores. She also lives part-time in the Caribbean, as a lecturer in dance at the University of the West Indies. But she considers Miami home.

As a teacher, performer and choreographer, Torres has brought high-quality dance and performance to the Miami community year after year through the Ifé-Ilé festival. We recently spoke with her about this year's festival -- taking place for the first time in Little Havana -- and her future creative direction.

See also: Copperbridge Foundation Brings Cuban Artists to Miami Stages

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Florida Burlesque Festival To Bring International Striptease Artists to South Florida (NSFW)

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Photo by Ian Witlen
Burlesque is not quite like your typical stripping. It's more performance art done scantily clad and heavy on the sex appeal. So, like, classy strippers who keep some clothes on.

Though modern audiences often associate burlesque with hot ladies like Bettie Page, Dita Von Teese, and sadly, the movie Burlesque starring Christina Aguilera and Cher, the art form has origins in Vaudeville variety shows dating back hundreds of years. Local burlesque performer Bambi La Fleur will bring both sexy and humor back with the Florida Burlesque Festival next month.

See also: Circ X Seeks A "Kickstart" To Make Regular Burlesque Show At Fillmore A Reality

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Brazilian Film Festival 2014: Flawed Documentary Meeting Sebastião Salgado Explores Fascinating Subject

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It's documentaries about famous figures always make me realize just how limited my views on certain subjects tend to be. With Revelando Sebastião Salgado (whose English title is Meeting Sebastião Salgado), the subject is photography, and more specifically, a man who I was formerly unacquainted with: renowned Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado. 

The film by Betse de Paula is simply laid out, with a grand portion of it taking place in Salgado's own Paris home two years ago in a massive conversation about his work. Not only does the conversation span his massive career, which began in 1973, but also what led him to the lifestyle he became so accustomed to. He jokes about his work in economics -- his boss saying "we'd all love to be photographers" and scoffing at his aspirations -- and how it all began because his wife, Lélia Wanick Salgado, bought herself a camera. 

See also: Brazilian Film Festival 2014: Elena Is a Beautiful Reflection on Loss and Memory


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