What to Do This Month in L.A., Miami, and NYC

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September went by quickly now, didn’t it? October having officially taken over, we are in the thick of the fall cultural calendar–with almost too much on offer. Our advice: milk what’s left of these warm-ish days and take advantage of everything available to you. This month, SIXTY writer Scott Heins has curated the perfect mix of moving art, innovative dance, and infectious sounds. Oh, and food festival. Herewith, your guide to the best of October.

CHARLES WHITE, Sound of Silence, 1978. Courtesy of the Charles White Archives.

NEW YORK CITY: October in New York can turn chilly and gray–the perfect weather for donning a sweater and contemplating art in a world-class museum. This month, the Museum of Modern Art is rolling out four new exhibitions, packed with mutating steel sculptures, illustrated story boards, flashy neon, and intricate paintings. The can’t-miss show here is MoMA’s Charles White retrospective, which spans over 30 years of the visual artist’s fervently political work. Drawings, prints, photos, LP covers, paintings, and entire books will be on display, offering a totalizing trip into White’s growth as a 20th century artist. In all his work, White strived to reaffirm African American identity as a source of pride and power amidst civil unrest. Now, more than ever, seems like a good time to revisit his art. Exhibitions open October 6, 7, 21, and 27th; See website for details // Museum of Modern Art, 11 W 53rd Street, Manhattan // Admission $14 and up

Image courtesy of Bandcamp. Header photo via FACT Magazine.

NEW YORK CITY: He was a visionary songwriter, a revolutionary, a legend, a wanted man. The work of Fela Kuti, father of Afrobeat, lives on as some of the most infectious and powerful music ever recorded, and luckily New York City is about to throw him a huge party. Felabration 2018 is taking over multiple venues across Manhattan, bringing together live bands and DJ sets that highlight timeless grooves like “Zombie” and “Water No Get Enemy.” It all comes to a head on October 13th at Nublu in Alphabet City, where Living Language Orchestra, Kaleta, and Super Yamba Band will all bring the house down in the name of Nigeria’s favorite son. You’ll want to hydrate ahead of time–once the horns start, the beat never stops. Saturday, October 13th, 9 p.m. // Nublu, 151 Avenue C, Manhattan // Tickets $15-20

Image courtesy of Studio Wayne McGregor.

LOS ANGELES: Created by visionary British dance choreographer Wayne McGregor, Autobiography is unlike any performance you’ve ever witnessed. The inspired affair is comprised of 23 different dance vignettes that are picked and reordered each night by a computer algorithm. Immersive set designs, original music, and massive light projections augment the dance performances, turning Autobiography into a kind of half-android flowing dream, with each of the 23 pieces emerging at random, making the performers’ bodies a kind of genetic memory bank. Company Wayne McGregor will perform the piece for one weekend only at the Music Center’s Ahmanson Theatre, so be sure to get tickets right away. You can get a little taste of what’s to come in this preview video clip. Friday through Sunday, October 5-7th; showtimes vary // The Music Center, 135 N Grand Avenue, Los Angeles // Tickets $20 and up

Ai Weiwei, Life Cycle, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

LOS ANGELES: He’s a world-famous household name for a reason. This fall, Ai Weiwei will debut a new exhibition at the Marciano Art Foundation. Dubbed Life Cycle, the show centers around the global refugee crisis and society’s response (or lack thereof) to new flows of people across the globe. At the center of the show is an inflatable boat built entirely of bamboo, a work that merges traditional Chinese kite-making craft with one of the clearest images of migration, asylum, and the quest for safe passage from one home to the next. The logical continuation of Weiwei’s past works like Human Flow and Good Fences, Life Cycle gives Los Angeles’s residents and visitors a chance to see the world’s pressing issues rendered in unforgettably creative ways. You might want to go twice, just to take it all in. On view all month // Marciano Art Foundation, 4357 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles // Free admission (RSVP required

Tomas Vu. Image courtesy of Fredric Snitzer Gallery.

MIAMI: Each year, Art Basel turns Miami into the center of the art world, but you don’t have to wait until December to take in world-renowned original works. This month, the Frederic Snitzer Gallery presents two new shows by brilliant visual artists Tomas Vu and John Millei. Both artists use ethereal painting techniques to draw deep emotion and wonder out of abstract lines and forms. Vu’s pieces also incorporate collage and laser engraving, while Millei often takes a distorted approach to portraiture in his sprawling works. Both shows make it essential for any art lover in Miami to visit Snitzer before the month is out. Take note: the Vu show closes on October 20th. Tomas Vu on display until October 20th; John Millei opens October 25th // Frederic Snitzer Gallery, 1540 NE Miami Ct, Miami // Admission free

Photo courtesy of South Beach Seafood Festival.

MIAMI: A weekend of eating in Miami wouldn’t be complete without stone crabs. And shrimp tacos. And lobster mac ‘n’ cheese. And oysters. And, yes, lobster waffle cones. All that and more will be on hand at the South Beach Seafood Festival, a one-day culinary feast that gives you the chance to eat some of Miami’s best dishes, enjoy a few drinks at the complimentary open bar, and listen to live music, all with your toes in the sand. There’ll be more than 70 different dishes to taste at the outdoor fest, sourced from the menus of Joe’s Stone Crab Restaurant, Naked Taco, Stiltsville Fish Bar, and more, so apply some extra sunblock and arrive with an appetite. Saturday, October 20th, 12-7 p.m. // Lummus Park, 1400 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach // Tickets $22.50 and up

Scott Heins

Scott Heins

Scott Heins is a writer and photographer living in New York City. Born in Minnesota, he currently works in Brooklyn as a journalist and portrait artist. He's fascinated by anything in the world that's strange, futuristic, or forgotten.