Downtown Art Days Sound-off: What are we excited for?

With Downtown Art Days right around the corner, our office has been abuzz with excitement for upcoming events and galleries. There’s so much to chose from, it seems an impossible task. But not for you, Soundbytes readers: our staff has taken the time to go through the events and pick their favorites just for you.

Here’s our round-up of what we’re most looking forward to. Art Days begins September 19, and runs through the 21st. You can view the full schedule here, and let us know if you have any other tips in the comments:

(The pictures used in this post are from last year’s Art Days — stay tuned for this year’s when they become available!)

Photo Sep 19, 11 42 50 AMJami Baker: If you don’t like “I Love Lucy” – then you can’t be trusted. Lucille Ball may be from before my time, but I have fond memories staying up late to watch “Nick at Night” and fall asleep listening to her pester Ricky Ricardo.  As part of Art Days, the Adrienne Arsht Center, is hosting an “I Love Lucy Look-A-Like Contest” and it sounds like an event that should not be missed!  Dress up as Lucille Ball, enjoy cocktails and special performances, all taking place at Miami’s premier performing arts center… see ya there at 6:30pm!

Yudi Fernandez: While there are tons of art gallery exhibitions to explore during Downtown Miami Art Days, make time to enjoy some of the complimentary events taking place. The HistoryMiami: Guided Gallery Tours is a lot of fun and a great opportunity to learn about Miami’s rich history. There’s so much to learn about the multi-cultural metropolis we all enjoy today. For a taste of downtown’s performing arts scene, check out Microtheater: De Vuelta where you will get to experience short theater performances inside cargo containers. The vibe is great, with cocktails and bar bites to enjoy in between the shows and a chance to meet the actors starring in the plays  face-to-face. Happy Art Days!

Jessica Forres: I’m not really one to spend my time at the movies but I think I’ll make an exception for The Drive in Studio, featuring award-winning films and commercials. I’ve never been to a drive in, so this will be a great retro experience. To cover all of my theatrical basis, I also plan on hitting the balcony to basement tour of the Historic Olympia Theater.

Aaron Gordon: Things change when you have kids, or in my case, a kid. Weekends that were once occupied by rest and relaxation and Sunday brunch are suddenly spent at music class, the playground, and birthday parties. Lots of birthday parties. After a while you don’t even know the birthday kid’s gender, let alone their name. I try to hover around the birthday cake so I have an instant reference point once I forget the child’s name. Anyways, one of the best parts about child-rearing is reading children’s stories, which tend DV_A Rakes Progressto be a lot more imaginative and interesting than most adult content these days. Weekends are a great time to cruise through books. My daughter’s favorite book at the moment is The Tickle Tree, which is about a fantasy dreamscape chock full of giant galumphs, wibblebirds and crabbysnaps. I can’t wait to take her to the Frost Science Museum’s “Maker Space” at the Knight Plaza in Museum Park, where children will bring their favorite stories to life by building their own sculptures. Something tells me there will be plenty of boomjangles and bubbalubs in my weekend plans.

Paola Iuspa-Abbott: We can’t wait to take my two-year-old daughter to the Miami Children’s Museum’ Art Days Extravaganza on Sunday. Luna will love the interactive galleries that reflect the world and city in which we live. But better yet, she will have tons of fun doing hands-on arts activities, dancing and watching MCM Players performances. Did I mention it is free if you present the Art Days App or Guide at the Museum entrance?

Laura Juncadella: With so many great events going on during Downtown Art Days, it’s a tough call choosing where to go. If I have to choose just one, I think I’m most looking forward to the Drawing Class by Emerson Calderon taking place on Saturday from 2-4pm at the Miami Center for Architecture & Design. First of all, I’ve always wanted to take a drawing class, but don’t have the time to commit to a semester’s worth of classes. A crash course sounds great! Second, I’ve yet to stop by the newly opened MCA+D, but I’ve heard great things – this would be the perfect excursion! With any luck, I’ll really take to the class, and maybe next year have a gallery of my own at Art Days.

NWSA_ExhibtionKelly Penton: My pick is “The Exile Experience” exhibit at the Miami Dade College Museum of Art and Design at the Freedom Tower. The exhibit will display photos and memorabilia that capture the experiences of Cuban exiles in Miami—from the moment Fidel Castro took power through today, both the trials and triumphs of the Cuban community.

The Freedom Tower has such significance in the history of the exile community here—it was the location where the federal government provided services to Cuban immigrants in the 1960’s. From doctor visits to dental check-ups to food rations—this was the place Cubans received vital services at the time.  In reality, the Freedom Tower itself is a significant part of the exhibit, as guests will be walking the same halls that so many Cuban immigrants walked when they first arrived to the US.

I will be taking my dad to this exhibit. I’ve heard stories about the cans of Spam him and my grandparents would receive at the Freedom Tower. This was where my grandparents were processed when they arrived to Miami after being separated from my dad for nearly 6 years (he was a child of Operation Peter Pan). I’m looking forward to seeing the photos and mementos from other families who went through similar circumstances in the place where they sought refuge and assistance from this amazing country!

Samantha Ryan: With over 170 collective arts and culture institutions, galleries and artists in Downtown Miami coming together for a 3 day weekend of unique experiences, a must-see and must-do event is the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science’s “Maker’s Space” at Museum Park’s Knight Plaza.

All weekend long (Friday- Sunday from 11 am – 5 pm), the Maker’s Space will give kids and adults the chance to create new objects from gathered materials such as cardboard, packing tape, colored paper, and other items commonly found in hardware stores. Working with local “makers”, artists, and Museum educators, attendees will enjoy a hands on activity that will let them alter the materials to create their own functional and visually appealing sculptural objects.

The family-friendly interactive event will have an emphasis on engineering practices, while encouraging and instilling creative thinking processes, making STEM education (aka Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fun and exciting for everyone at any age. Once the Museum’s new Downtown Miami facility is completed, it will include an Innovation Center and an expanded version of the Maker’s Space, so this is a neat little preview of what’s to come!

GT_MiaSCi_Bike TourJennifer Scorpo: The event I am looking forward to in this year’s Art Days is the community mural. Miami residents and friends are invited to participate in the painting of a mural, led by a local artists from the Artisan Lounge. Community Mural is family friendly event, each person is given their own small square of mural space to get creative and express themselves. Once finished, the 30 foot by 8 foot mural  will reflect the art of all participants as one. This project is the most significant to me because it gives the community a chance for them to get together, be creative and decorate the streets of Miami. Each person’s unique artistic style and interaction with one another makes this cultural event come together in the form of art illustrating Miami and its people. Community Murals will be going on all weekend at selected times, so make sure to check the schedule out at, and  be a part of this cool event!

Daniela Vieira: I’m looking forward to The Art Hackathon. Since my interests lie heavily in tech, this is something I’m drawn to naturally. I haven’t seen anything like this before. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what these Miami tech-artists have in store.