Miami Poetry Read-Outs To Fight Police Brutality: "It Can Happen to Anyone of Us"

Categories: Culture, Literary

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Photo by Sabrina Rodriguez
Protesters show their support for Michael Brown in August in downtown Miami.
Poetry has long been a vehicle for voicing unrest, from the words of Maya Angelou to Nikki Giovanni. A new series, "Poetry for the People" Read-Outs, is using the words of poet-activists like Audre Lorde, Lucille Clifton and more to add Miami's voice in the fight for justice for Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager who was killed by Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson. The gatherings, held October 21 and October 28, will feature FIU students and faculty members reading works by renowned poets as well as original works.

A read-out was recently held at FIU's Biscayne Bay Campus, which included a chance to sign the Change.org petition, to "establish state-wide task forces to provide community oversight of the Florida Police Departments," which will be sent to Rick Scott. The events at the Modesto Maidique Campus will give students and faculty an even bigger opportunity to air their concerns about current racial issues plaguing the country.

See also: The Spotlight: New Spoken Word Venue Seeks Poets and Performers

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Madi's Tea Garden Throws a Harry Potter-Inspired Tea Party for Halloween

Categories: Culture

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Courtesy of Denise Gomez
October has now become the best month ever because you get to wear your Harry Potter Halloween costume multiple times without looking like a total weirdo.

In addition to donning your house robes on the 31st, you can throw them on for Madi's Tea Garden Tea Room Harry Potter-Inspired Tea Party this weekend. Your mouth will not only be full of words as you try to say that fast three times, but also plenty of delicious English fare.

Madi's Tea Garden owner, Denise Gomez, has organized a special tea party celebrating her favorite book series complete with all the best wizardry decorations and treats her shop can handle.

See also: Inside Universal Orlando's Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Video)

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ARTcycle 2015: Submit Your Cycling-Inspired Artwork to Promote Bike Safety in Miami

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Courtesy Coral Gables Museum/ARTcycle
Progressive cities have progressive ideas. Miami certainly wants to play with the big boys, but there are so many simple gestures this town lacks that earns it the appropriate "third world" stamp many other states have assigned it. Recycling here is a joke. Green areas are few and far between, and the willing offering of the tax payers' derrieres to scheming developers has congested what was once an easily-recognizable coastline. Oh well, you can't fight all the ills at once, right?

But one that should be a no-brainer is making Miami a bike-friendly city. With the notorious amount of incredibly challenged automotive operators in this county, you'd think a concentrated effort would be made to alleviate traffic with more designated bike paths and stricter laws ensuring the safety of cyclists. Apparently, this is too much to ask for and that's why bike chefs get hassled, doctors knock over defenseless cyclists willy-nilly (which we are sure violates the Hippocratic Oath on so many levels), and Florida continuously ranks high in the nefarious fatality listings.

One organization, however, is using Miami's thriving art community as a platform to promote cyclist safety. The people behind ARTcycle have created a bond between the art and bike scenes here with a mission of creating a "road to awareness, respect, and tolerance."

See also: Florida Is One of the Most Dangerous Places in America to Ride a Bike, Study Says

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Guillermo del Toro on The Book of Life: "This Film Is Unapologetically Latin and Mexican"

Categories: Film and TV

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For all the works that U.S. studios make that are set in foreign countries, it's tough to come up with American animated films that are genuinely linked to the country that they portray. You've got things like Madagascar and Ratatouille set elsewhere, but these and others don't engage with the culture of the location they're set in quite as much as they should. With Jorge R. Gutierrez's debut feature film, The Book of Life, hitting theaters this weekend, it's an appropriate time to discuss the way films reflect the culture of their location.

See also: The Book of Life review and showtimes

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Ten Reasons to Find a New Best Friend at Miami ASPCA Mega-Match-a-Thon Friday

Categories: Animals

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Courtesy of MDAS
The holidays are quickly approaching. And in a city full of gypsies, wanderers, and escapees from colder climates, that can mean a lot of folks are about to fall into a seasonal pit of loneliness and despair.

Luckily, nothing cures the I-miss-my-family blues like the unconditional love of a pet. And shelter pets are the best pets of all. They need you, you need them...equal footing makes for the best relationships.

On that note, this weekend is the Miami ASPCA Mega-Match-a-thon at Tropical Park. Starting at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, it's 24 hours of adorable adoptables, just waiting for you to come snuggle. Here are ten reasons to find your new best friend at this weekend's cornucopia of cute.

See also: North Miami Beach Votes to Ban Sale of Commercially Bred Pets in Stores

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MIFFecito: The Highs and Lows of Vara: A Blessing, Raiz, and Life is Good

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Courtesy of Miami Film Festival International
Vara: A Blessing
Vara: A Blessing
Khyentse Norbu's Vara: A Blessing begins strong, introducing audiences to Lila, a young woman who practices the art of bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance that evokes the art of temple dancers. In its first act, the film proposes a bit of a flip on the typical route for women that involves choosing men over religion, presenting a girl who genuinely has no interest in being married. The film soon leaves reality and indulges in fantasy sequences of Lila falling into romantic situations with God.

Its problems, however, come early in the second act, when Lila's narrative ditches all semblance of character development. This section's depiction of the male gaze is as impressive as it gets, with the leering eyes of the community's landlord resulting in constant quick cuts and closeups of hands, faces, shoulders, and feet. Yet Vara takes pains to present as much of a female perspective in its first act as possible, which makes the mid-film shift and everything that follows so much more disorienting.

See also: MIFFecito: Love Story Paradise Captures Weight Issues without the Clich├ęs


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The Ten Best Things to Do This Weekend in Miami

Categories: Weekend Guide

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Courtesy of Grovetoberfest
Ready your steins.
You made it. Sure, you may still be working through the ear-buzzing hangover aftermath of III Points, but you made it through nonetheless. And if you were one of those poor souls trapped on the airport tram this week, with stifling heat and a baby Jesus doll, you deserve the sweet taste of freedom and booze more than anybody.

The point is, life can be unstable -- as unstable as the weak-ass Venetian Causeway that'll close down and make everybody miserable next spring. But through the trials and traffic, you can always count on Miami for one thing: weekends full of music, parties, culture, and much-needed cocktails.

See also: III Points 2014: Winners & Losers

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Ladies of Manure Calendar to Showcase the Sexy Side of Poop

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Courtesy of Fertile Earth Foundation
Unless you're one of the few people who didn't recoil in horror at 2 Girls 1 Cup, it's likely you don't find poop particularly sexy.

But the folks at Miami's Fertile Earth Foundation are working to show the public that "waste" has a purpose, and embracing its awesomeness can help save the planet.

Starring 12 supersexy, eco-conscious ladies slathered in South Florida shit, the 2015 Ladies of Manure calendar is coming soon -- assuming they can raise $10,000 by Halloween.

See also: Sex and Poop: Fertile Earth's 2013 Ladies of Manure Calendar (Photos, Video)

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Miami Collector Gary Nader to Open Latin American Art Museum in 2016

Categories: Art

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Courtesy of Gary Nader
A rendering of the proposed Latin American Art Museum.
Gary Nader, a local art collector with a gallery in Wynwood, revealed plans this week to build what's being called the Latin American Art Museum (LAAM) at an undetermined location in downtown Miami. The museum, he said, will feature about 600 paintings, drawings, and sculptures from his personal collection.

Gary Nader Art Centre will unveil the model and renderings of LAAM, designed by Mexican architect Fernando Romero, designer of the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City, during Art Basel Miami Beach.

A group exhibition of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and other media from the museum's permanent collection accompanies the debut of the LAAM model and architectural plan.

LAAM will display the largest and most comprehensive Latin American collection, with more than 150 of the most important modern and contemporary artists from this region. The museum aspires to be the most important venue in North America showcasing acclaimed Latin American art and will be dedicated to educating the public through appreciation and reinterpretation of modern and contemporary art from Latin America, the Miami Herald reports.

See also: $500 Million In Masterpieces at Gary Nader's Joe Berardo Collection Opening (Photos)

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Foundation Report: Miami Spends More on Housing, Transportation Than New York

Categories: Culture, Lifestyle

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Photo by Averette | Wikimedia Commons
Every week there's an arbitrary new ranking released by some dubious website or publication: Miami ranks last in number of Ivy Leaguers, first in number of Brazilian butt lifts. It's great fodder, but how does Miami stack up when it comes to the stuff that actually matters?

Last night at the Bakehouse Art Complex, the Miami Foundation revealed the findings of a new report outlining how Miami is doing in eight key areas: arts & culture, civic engagement, economy, education, environment & public spaces, health & safety, housing & affordability, and transportation. There was lots to talk about.

See also: The Miami Foundation Raised $130,000 to Help You Create and Beautify Miami's Public Spaces

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