Arts

Music
8:35 am
Wed March 19, 2014

FIU 'Complaints Choir' Shows The World Its Whine List

FIU's newly formed chorus is one of hundreds of 'complaint choirs' worldwide.
Credit Christine DiMattei

"We will run out of resources!
Miami drivers all stink!"

The young men and women are standing in a practice room in Florida International University’s School of Music, singing a whole string of gripes and lamentations.

A litany of complaints, as it were.

"People don't know to turn right on red!
They never use their turn signals either!"

They're all members of FIU’s newly formed "Complaints Choir," a group of singers whose sole purpose is taking common everyday annoyances and setting them to music.

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Storytelling
6:37 am
Fri March 14, 2014

This Floridian Life: Ira Glass On Our Weird Stories

Ira Glass, host of This American Life, says Florida is one of the best places there is to tell stories -- and also, very 'F'd up'.
Credit Stuart Mullenberg

There's been an ongoing debate among the staff in our newsroom about whether Florida really is weirder than the other states.  In December, we set out to produce a feature -- one segment -- about the weirdest stories of the year. Those stories spilled into three separate segments, and we could have easily kept going. But still, maybe it  just seems like we're weirder because this is where we are, this is what we know. Isn't New Orleans weird? Isn't Chicago?

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Arts Preview
4:31 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Jazz In The Gardens Fest Mostly R&B, Hip-Hop -- But For A Reason

Credit Courtesy of Jazz in the Gardens

South Florida’s Jazz in the Gardens festival kicks off this weekend at SunLife Stadium. Now in its ninth year, the festival has a line-up of mostly funk, hip-hop, and R&B artists.

So the event is hardly about jazz and not in a garden. 

But the city of Miami Gardens originally launched the festival as a purely jazz event.

According to the festival’s senior operations director, Ula Zucker-Williams, that idea lasted exactly one year:

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Museums
4:15 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

North Miami's MOCA Possibly Merging With Bass Museum

Credit Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami

Fans of the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami might soon need to cross the bay to their get art fix.

In a city council meeting Tuesday, North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau said she met with museum board members and learned of their plans to move MOCA's collections and operations to the Bass Museum in Miami Beach.  

Both museums have not formally stated a plan to merge but officials have mentioned they are both in on-going conversations.  

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MIFF
7:48 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Six Films At This Year's Miami International Film Festival You Must Not Miss

Miami International Film Festival executive director Jaie Laplante says the festival is distinct from others in the same way that Miami is distinct from other cities: “The collision of cultures, the sense of being in a place that is between two worlds, is part of the filter that our programmers apply to what gets on screen.”

In its 31st year, the ten-day event will consist of 93 features and 28 shorts from over 38 countries. Here are Laplante’s favorites:  

 

 

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Arts
6:38 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Key West Reconnects With Its Cuban Roots Via Art Exchange

Credit Christine Armario / AP

Sandra Ramos has never wanted to emigrate from Cuba, but in her more than four decades on the island, she has seen many people leave.

Their absence resonates throughout her work. The image of her as a 10-year-old is plastered behind a wall of palm trees, trapped on the island. In another piece, her school girl's body lies across a gaping space in the middle of a bridge, trying to connect two separate lands.

"It's a perspective on immigration from those who stay," Ramos said.

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Arts
6:14 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Florida Grand Opera Courts Hipsters In South Beach Bar

'Hell is other people.' Singers with the Florida Grand Opera rehearse 'No Exit,' an opera based on Jean-Paul Sartre's existential masterpiece.
Credit Florida Grand Opera

Leave your tuxedo, evening gown and lorgnette at home and come as you are.

That’s the message from Florida Grand Opera, the Sunshine State’s oldest arts organization.

“It really is an entertainment for all people, not just folks dripping in diamonds,” says Florida Grand Opera director Susan Danis. 

This is Danis’ first full season as the opera company’s CEO. And she’s working hard to disabuse people of the notion that opera is all about zaftig women with braided hair and horn helmets caterwauling onstage.

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Arts
5:18 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

In Lake Worth, Ephemeral Street Art Is The Year's Biggest Event

Lake Worth's 20th Annual Street Painting Festival
Andrea Richard

Artist Bill McCaffrey took 15 hours to complete a chalk painting of a Titanic scene on the street in Lake Worth, before the rain came and washed it away. But that's OK with him.

"The longer I do street art, I become less possessive of my work," he says. "You learn to let it go."

McCaffrey was one of the featured artists at the Lake Worth Street Painting Festival, in which he has participated for 17 years.

The two-day festival drew a crowd of nearly 100,000 people to the small town over the weekend.

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Glitz And Grit
11:33 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Students Keep The Show Going At The South Beach Wine And Food Festival

Octavio Araujo is one of the FIU students keeping things under control at SOBEWFF
Credit Sammy Mack / WLRN

The South Beach Wine and Food Festival has a reputation for celebrity chef sightings and swanky food tastings.

But at its core, it’s a fundraising event.

SoBeWFF has raised more than $18 million over the last 13 years for Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. It’s also given thousands of student volunteers a chance to work behind the scenes.

We hopped on a golf cart with one of the student volunteers staffing the festival and have this audio postcard: 

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Arts Preview
10:52 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Latin Lion Julio Iglesias Roars At The American Airlines Arena

Credit Stanislav Preska / Associated Press

Julio Iglesias spends much of his time in the air these days, crisscrossing the globe in his private plane to sing in concerts from Singapore to Transylvania. But for the several months of the year he is at his home in Indian Creek, an exclusive island enclave just off Surfside, his circle is much smaller.

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Weekend Culture
6:43 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Silent, Black-And-White 'Visitors' Arrive At O Cinema

Credit Courtesy of Kareem Tabsch at O Cinema

Humanity, its attachment to technology and the widespread impact this relationship produces are all examined in Godfrey Reggio's film "Visitors" - without a single line of dialogue.

"Visitors" treads  "the line between video art and art cinema"  and is an "amazing audio and video experience," says Kareem Tabsch, co-founder and director of O Cinema, where the film is being screened.

The only music and sound in the 90-minute, black-and-white film were composed by Phillip Glass.

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Arts
5:51 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Local Dancers Train With Alvin Ailey Dance Company At The Arsht

Matthew Rushing teaches his master class at the Arsht Center
Credit Lisann Ramos

Once a year the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater comes to town to perform at the Arsht Center. Wednesday night the rehearsal director of the company taught a free master class for any dancers interested. The only requirements were that dancers had to be at intermediate level and 16 or older.

Matthew Rushing dances and choreographs around the world. While traveling with Alvin Ailey, he also takes part in outreach programs such as this one.

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Arts Preview
5:57 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Scottish Thespians Forego The Stage To Sing And Dance At Miami Bar

Drinking, singing and Scottish theater will all take hold of Miami's BAR 337, formerly the PAX space, during the production of "The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart."

The National Theatre of Scotland will interpret the play as part of Miami Dade College's "Live Arts" series. 

The play is performed in "immersive style." Unlike in traditional theater, there is no stage. The actors use the locale and whatever props are present to move the story forward.

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And Crime Writers Weigh In
1:00 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

In Key West, Graveyard Thief Flouts Police, Becomes Celebrity

An image capture from security footage of the Key West Graveyard Thief.
Credit John Martini

Over the last year, the small, two-house compound in Old Town Key West where John Martini lives has been robbed at least four times.

“We've kind of lost count, as a matter of fact,” he said. “The first time or two, maybe he hit us and we didn't even know ... because he only stole cash, and he stole it out of our wallets and put our wallets back in the same place.”

Once Martini realized they were being robbed, he installed locks on his doors, something he hadn't done since he moved in in 1978. When the compound was robbed again, they installed a security-camera system.

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Landmark Architecture
11:44 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Take A Virtual Tour Of Broward County's Main Library

This exterior view of the building was taken from the middle of southeast first Ave., a few yards south of southeast first street . The bridge visible in the lower left frame connects the library to a municipal parking lot.
Diego Saldana-Rojas WLRN

With its asymmetrical exterior shape, dark, contrasting windows and floating staircases; the Broward County Main Library in Fort Lauderdale separates itself from surrounding buildings.

The library was recently awarded landmark status by the county despite being currently under several remodeling and construction projects.

To see what's so cool about the the 29-year-old, eight-story building, click through the photos above to take a virtual tour.

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