Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Ricky Report

The Florida legislature came very close to legalizing casinos in South Florida during last week's legislative session. As a precautionary measure, Commissioner Malakoff and I have sponsored legislation that will prohibit gaming in Miami Beach once and for all. A casino in Miami Beach would tarnish our City's brand and quality of life by adding to traffic congestion, increasing negative social costs, and threatening high-value industries. Instead of promoting casinos, Miami Beach should continue to promote and encourage productive industries like the arts, education, and technology.
Click below to read my previous op-ed on mega-casinos in South Florida.
Miami Beach has 15 newly-minted firefighters on duty. These men and women have trained tirelessly for the past 6 months to join our Fire Department. I had the privilege to join them on the morning of their graduation ceremony for their last challenge before their swearing in ceremony. The recruits had to finish a 51 story stair climb up the Portofino Tower in full gear (60 lbs). Click to watch the video of our climb!

I look forward to working with these brave men and women in the years ahead. Congratulations to the new members of the team on joining America's best Fire Department!
Great things are in store for North Beach! I am proud to sponsor the City's efforts to bring the Wynwood Yard to North Beach. The Wynwood Yard began as a culinary incubator for young chefs to test out new food concepts. Today, the entrepreneurial hub also serves as a community nexus for Wynwood. Della Heiman, the creator of the incubator, is excited to bring this innovative concept to the North Beach neighborhood. The North Beach Yard will add cultural, food/ beverage, and health/ wellness amenities to the North Beach community.
Ocean Drive is our City's largest and most popular tourist destination. In order to keep both our residents and visitors safe, the Ocean Drive Association recently created the Ocean Drive Block Patrol to provide additional security and Goodwill Ambassador services. If you're on Ocean Drive, look for their yellow shirts and say hello! The Ocean Drive Block Patrol is working closely with our Police Department's dedicated Ocean Drive Police Squad and our Code Compliance Department to ensure a clean and safe Ocean Drive for all to enjoy!
The Miami Beach Gay Pride Week was a huge success this year! The week-long celebration of the spirit and culture of the LGBTQ community culminated in a parade that attracted over 25,000 people. This year 74 fully decorated floats entered the parade with over 3,000 participants. Thank you to SAVE for inviting the Miami Beach City Commission to ride on their spectacular float and congratulations to Celebrity Cruises for winning best float!
In March, I traveled to the Southern Hemisphere to run in the Antarctica Marathon. Besides providing me a great fitness challenge, traveling to Antarctica allowed me to see the effects of climate change firsthand. It was an alarming experience to see how melting ice sheets thousand of miles away affect us here on Miami Beach. As the Earth warms, these massive ice sheets melt into the ocean, causing sea levels to rise, which jeopardizes our coastal community!

Make A MAZ Donation, Join Arts Lovers' Circle

Dear Friends:
It's that time of the year when we reach out to our community to help us continue to spread the word about the wonderful abundance of great arts throughout South Florida.
Thanks to your continued generosity, we have grown our coverage of live arts events, from theater to visual arts to dance to opera, keeping the community up to date on all of the enriching arts activities in Miami and around South Florida.
We are approaching our 12th year of publishing To date, we have published thousands of reviews and features of the best performing and visual arts events in South Florida.
Our events calendar is one of the most robust in the region, and our photographic galleries of arts patrons at pre-show events, parties and galas have become the place to see and be seen.
Please join the Arts Lovers' Circle for a contribution of $500. (Of course, any contribution is greatly appreciated.) Your generous support will help us continue our work and our vital mission to keep the arts front and center in South Florida.
It's simple to contribute. Just visit the front page of and locate the Donate button on the upper right. Or click on the link here, then make your contribution through the Donate button.
Donate Here
Arts Lovers' Circle members will be acknowledged on a special page on our web site, Twitter and Facebook pages!
This year, we are focusing on our team who make a big success. These are some of the most talented writers, photographers, and arts contributors in South Florida.
(Please see the list of names below of our fantastic team!) Thank you for supporting our mission and we will see you soon at an arts event!
Warm Regards,
Michelle F. Solomon, M.A., Editor
Harvey J. Burstein, Publisher and Founder
Cameron Basden, Dance Writer; Marjorie O'Neill-Butler, Photographer; Claudio Croce, Webmaster and Designer; James Cubby, Writer at Large; Mary Damiano, Contributing Reviewer; Richard Fendelman, Videographer; Ed Fisher, Dining/ Restaurant Reviewer; Steve Gladstone, Music Reviewer; Tony Guzman, Music Reviewer; Charlotte Libov, Contributing Writer; Jo Manning, Book Reviewer; Roger Martin, Theater Reviewer; Mike Nastus, Music Reviewer; Henry Perez, Photographer; Tony Pierre, Photographer; Ruben Rosario, Movie Reviewer; Heber Siqueiros, Social Media and Designer; Irene Sperber, Fine and Visual Arts; Monica Torres, Fine and Visual Arts.
*Miami Beach Arts Trust is a 501(c)(3)

Miami Beach Cultural Arts Events Mary 11 - May 17, 2017

Cultural Arts Events May 11 - May 17, 2017
Click image to view trailer.

SoundScape Cinema Series presented by Citi®
Exostage @ Miami Beach SoundScape, 500 17 Street
Wednesday, May 10, 8:00 p.m.

Enjoy free movies every Wednesday night! This week: MOTHER'S DAY directed by Garry Marshall. The FREE SoundScape Cinema Series presented by Citi® encourages you to bring your blanket or beach chair and picnic! No glass!

Click image for more information.

I Teresa Carreno Int'l Master Piano Competition
@ Colony Theatre Miami Beach, 1040 Lincoln Road
Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Teresa Carreno International Master Piano Competition Finals with 3 pianists from around the world, performing a piano concerto with symphony orchestra and award ceremony. Directed by maestro Dean Whiteside. Young virtuso violinist Eric Silberger will join the orchestra as concertino.

Click image for more information.

Dance Band Night: Batuke Samba Funk
@ North Beach Band Shell, 7275 Collins Avenue
Thursday, May 11, 7:00 p.m.

7:00 - 8:00 PM Happy Hour and Dance lesson from Brazil Dances
8:00 PM Live band: Batuke Samba Funk

Batuke Samba Funk has quickly become one of South Florida's favorite party bands in the last few years. The group mixes rhythms from Brazilian samba and with classic 70s American funk. They have performed with top Brazilian artists like Vanessa da Mata, and also James Brown's legendary sax player Pee Wee Ellis. Their irresistible groove-fueled sound is influenced by top Brazilian and US funk.
Click image for more information.

Miami International Piano Festival: Discovery Series
@ Colony Theatre Miami Beach, 1040 Lincoln Road
May 11 - 14, 2017

Join us in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Miami International Piano Festival as we reach a major landmark in our inspiring journey.
The 2016-2017 Season offers an extraordinary program that continues to reflect the fundamental mission of the Festival. To discover emerging pianists whose artistry, individuality, and voice can enlighten the next generation of musicians.

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Capture your Miami:
Project 305 is an opportunity for Miamians to tell the of life in the Magic City by capturing recorded sights and sounds. The final crowdsourced piece, a video and symphonic work, will be premiered as a WALLCAST Concert by the New World Symphony in Soundscape Park in October of 2017. Don't miss out on this chance to share your Miami story. Learn more and submit your clips by May 12 at

Click image for more information.

Music in Beautiful Spaces: The Latin Americans
@ Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Dr.
Sunday, May 14, 6:00 p.m.
@ Betsy Hotel South Beach, 1434 Collins Avenue
Tuesday, May 16, 8:00 p.m.

Born in Cuba, Al Torrente came to this country at age eleven and grew up in Miami, playing in bands as a guitar and trumpet player. Three-time Grammy nominated American composer Miguel del Aguila was born 1957 in Montevideo, Uruguay. Osvaldo Golijov grew up in an Eastern European Jewish household in La Plata, Argentina.

@ O-Cinema Miami Beach, 500 71 Street
Opens Friday, May 12, 2017

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@ Miami Beach Cinematheque
1130 Washington Avenue
Multiple screenings May 13 - 17, 2017 
Click image for more 
Click logo for more information.

Films on the Beach Festival
Exostage @ Miami Beach SoundScape, 500 17 Street
May 2017

Are you a teenager (for real or in your mind) with a rebellious soul afraid of growing up? Or a father desperate to understand his melancholy girl? Or just nostalgic about your first kiss?
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy, in partnership with Miami Beach Arts in the Parks, are pleased to present the 4th edition of the French film festival Films on the Beach, dedicated this year to French Teen Spirit.

Click image for more information.

The Colors of Miami Beach: Part 2 
@ Art Deco Welcome Center, 1001 Ocean Drive
May - August, 2017

This exhibit showcases the work of three gay men whose work is inspired by the colors and colorful lifestyles in Miami Beach. Leonard Horowitz is credited with creating the color palette that led to South Beach's revival. In addition to his design work he also produced art that reflected his love of Miami Beach. The two other artists in the show are Decio Sales-Filho and Will McGaul, who are both inspired by Miami Beach in their work.

The Miami Beach Cultural Affairs Program, with guidance from the Miami Beach Cultural Arts Council, develops, coordinates and promotes the performing and visual arts groups in Miami Beach. To date, Cultural Affairs has awarded over $14 million in grants to diverse not-for-profit arts groups, which contribute so richly to the artistic landscape of the City, proving that the Council plays an integral leadership role in supporting, promoting and advocating the unique and extensive scope of cultural offerings in Miami Beach. For more events visit: