For artists like M. Lamar, who explore universal political and social themes through art, the Out in the Tropics performance festival is an opportunity to bring their national pieces to Miami Beach.
When Out in the Tropics began nearly a decade ago, there wasn’t anything quite like it, recalls Ever Chavez, director of FUNDarte and presenter of the event, which runs this year from Tuesday through Saturday. FUNDarte is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing the arts to Miami.
A celebration of all the arts, Out in the Tropics is Miami’s only festival for LGBTQ artists and issues, complete with music, dance, theater, poetry, and film.
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The event is about more than just performances. It’s repertoire of diverse performers makes Out in the Tropics a cultural mecca for LGBT people and art lovers alike.
“The most important thing about this festival is bringing all these types of people together,” Chavez said. “What really matters is integrating all these groups together.”
The range of performances include a poetry reading in English and Spanish by Chely Lima and M Lamar’s Surveillance Punishment and the Black Psyche about the mortality of a black man.
The festival opens 7 p.m. Tuesday with a community panel discussion by artists and activists about exploring LGBTQ culture in a safe environment. The discussion will be at the LGBT Visitor Center, 1130 Washington Ave., South Beach.
After the talk, join the visiting artists for an informal opening reception at the Visitor Center. Both events are free. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday night, Chely Lima — a writer, dramatist, poet, journalist, editor, scriptwriter, and photographer — will read poetry in Spanish from his book, Urano púrpura, which explores transexuality from his perspective as a transgender bisexual man. The reading begins 7 p.m. at Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Dr. The event is free. RSVP to email@example.com.
Marking its 30th anniversary (and 21 years after the AIDS-related death of its director Derek Jarman), the classic film Caravaggio will be screened 9 p.m. Thursday at O Cinema Miami Beach, 500 71 St. Tickets are $11 for general admission, $9.50 for seniors and $7.50 for members. General admission tickets are available online at www.o-cinema.org/venue/o-cinema-miami-beach or at the door.
M. Lamar will perform Surveillance Punishment and the Black Psyche 8:30 p.m. Friday at Gleason Room Backstage The Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $20 for students and seniors, and are available at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000.
“I think the show is a very universal show,” Lamar said. “It’s a lot about mortality and I think that it’s also about death against black bodies. I think that because the work is focused on a black man who is about to die there’s a lot of things that apply today as well as historically.”
The festival concludes with a double bill at the Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd., with Lovebirds at 8 p.m. and JARMAN (All this Maddening Beauty) 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $30 for both shows or $20 for each. Tickets for seniors and students are discounted $5, and are available at www.colonytheatremiamibeach.com or by calling 305-434-7091.