Things To Do

In Miami, we mark the return of the arts season at ArtsLaunch. Here’s everything you need to know.

The scene at last year's ArtsLaunch. Photo by Justin Namon.
The scene at last year's ArtsLaunch. Photo by Justin Namon.

Every year after the three-day Labor Day weekend, Miami’s art season kicks into high gear. You can mark the beginning of the season at ArtsLaunch on Sept. 9 at Miami’s premier cultural venue, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

ArtsLaunch is the city’s largest free event celebrating the performing arts, said Andrew Goldberg, the vice president of marketing at the Arsht Center.

“It’s an opportunity for the Arsht Center to fulfill its role as a convener by inviting the entire community to kick off South Florida’s new arts season in a big way and, at the same time, including 100 plus of our city’s vibrant local cultural organizations,” Goldberg said.

There’s a lot going on starting at 10 a.m. and culminating in the finale concert at 7 p.m., so here’s a breakdown to make navigating the event easier:

1. Miami DDA Community Arts Village

Get to know about new cultural organizations at the Arts Village, which this year has doubled in size. Stop by and chat with theater, visual arts, dance and music groups that make our cultural landscape that much richer. Be sure to take advantage of discounted tickets to more than 60 shows in the Arsht’s upcoming season.

2. Performances

Imagine getting a sneak peek at the Arsht’s upcoming Broadway season with several mini performances, including from the 2017-18 cast of “The Color Purple.” New World Symphony and South Florida Symphony Orchestra also will perform mini concerts. Actors from MicroTheater Miami will present their 15-minute plays, poets and writers from Spoken Soul Festival will bare their souls and members of Illuminarts will perform vocal chamber music. Although performers from the highly anticipated “On Your Feet” won’t be there, you can take part in a Conga Line (they’re going for the Guiness World Record for longest one) and watch contestants compete in the “Sing Like Gloria Contest.”

3. Fun for kids

Children having fun at ArtsLaunch – Photo courtesy of Arsht Center
Kids having fun at last year's ArtsLaunch. (Handout)

The Thomson Plaza will be abuzz with activities for kids. Along with the ever-popular face painting and balloon artists, they can enjoy a silent disco party and a Finding Neverlandthemed Imagination Station. You guessed it, “Finding Neverland” is another featured production of the Broadway Season at the Arsht. Also, if the kids need a fresh cut, Buzz Boxx stylists will be on hand offering complimentary haircuts. They also double as mentors and will lend words of encouragement as they snip away.

4. Food and Drinks

What kind of party would it be without food?Fourteenth Street will be closed off to vehicular traffic to make way for Food Boulevard and Sweet Street. Expect to find pop ups from some of Miami’s most popular eateries serving both savory and sweet offerings. Then channel your inner bartender during an hour-long mixology demonstration led by the mixologists from BRAVA by Brad Kilgore, the Arsht Center’s premier restaurant. Limited capacity, RSVP is necessary.

5. Finale Concert

Locos por Juana
Locos por Juana (Handout) Alexia Fodere Para El Nuevo Herald

The conga line won’t be enough dancing so stick around for the concert finale. Miami darling Suenalo and Locos por Juana are performing along with Jody Hill & The Deep Fried Funk Band who lately are making the rounds in Miami’s live music scene. Suenalo’s blend of hip hop, reggae, rock and jazz is pure Miami while the reggae and Latin-influenced sounds of Locos Por Juana form what the members call the “island swing” sound.