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Friday, January 30, 2015

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In The Loop 305 – Promoting the Creative Economy
Annette Recommends – Recommendations from @ThePumaGirl on some of her favorites.
Betty’s Events – After-action reports from some of the best events.
Anthony’s Photos – Photographs from around South Florida.
Very Social with Daniella – Out on the town with Dani.
ChatChow by Gio – Great restaurant interviews.
Fashion by Margarita – #ThankYouMiami for Fashion
Beer Drinker Rob – All that’s good to drink in South Florida.
Mr.Q305 – Photographs of what is cool in the 305.

Acoustica21: Music bound to be free 2/7/15

Acoustica21: Music bound to be free!
Saturday, 02/07/2015 – 02/07/2015 08:00 pm – 09:00 pm
Unbound-Photo-ColorBrisky Gallery
130 NW 24th Street,
Miami, Florida 33127
Webpage Link
Cost: $10; free with student ID

The thrilling University of Miami-based Unbound Improv Ensemble emerged from an initiative of the multi-instrumentalist Matthew Taylor, percussionist Tyson Voigt and vocalist Jennifer Voigt in October, 2013. Since then, the group has performed around the city, including the Acoustica21 concert last April. While the Unbound players are superbly trained to perform the “classical” music, they also possess incredible curiosity to explore musical soundscapes beyond those prescribed in the scores. “As musicians we are always striving to expand our sensibilities and remain open to new paths,” explains Taylor.
The performance is only a part of it. It is through the focused listening to each other that new spontaneous musical experience transpire. Their virtuosity and artistry enables them to devour an hour with the most engaging and surprising musical acrobatics, often moving in the space and using imaginative performance techniques. You may need to travel far beyond the state border to hear a high caliber improvised acoustic music such as that performed by the Unbound Improv Ensemble. “It is important that more voices are heard in music community of Miami,” says Taylor about offering the city this new musical experience. May these acoustic alchemists conjure an event that will long resonate in the ears of the Miami music lovers!

Writing about Work with Roxanna Elden 2/24/2015

Writing about Work with Roxanna Elden
Tuesday, 02/24/2015 – 03/31/2015 06:30 pm – 08:30 pm
center-facebook-header-851x3151MDC Wolfson Campus
300 NE 2nd Ave,
Miami, Florida 33132
Webpage Link
Cost: 125.00

Writing about Work with Roxanna Elden
Tuesdays: February 24 – March 31, 2015
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. | Registration $125
MDC Wolfson Campus, Downtown Miami Dade College

“People love to read about work. God knows why, but they do.” – Stephen King, On Writing. Jobs are often fertile ground for writing material, and those who write about work frequently find loyal audiences. We will examine a variety of work writing done well, including career confessionals such as Waiting, worksite-based novels such as The Firm, popular work-related blogs, and even work humor, such as Dilbert. The course will include in-class writing exercises as well as instructor and peer coaching for ongoing projects.

More Information:
The Center @ Miami Dade College Announces 2015 Creative Writing Courses
Miami, January 2015 –The Center for Writing and Literature Miami Dade College (The Center @ MDC), announced their spring 2015 creative writing course offerings. The Center’s non-Credit creative writing courses are offered throughout the year, giving aspiring writers the opportunity to receive critique and encouragement from published authors with extensive teaching experience.

The intensive workshops on fiction, nonfiction and poetry, as well as lunchtime readings and manuscript consultations. All workshops will be offered at MDC’s Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. Second Ave and the MDC Museum of Art + Design, Freedom Tower both in downtown Miami.

Also, stay tune for the news on The Writer’s Institute. From May 6 through the 9, 2015, The Center for Writing and Literature will offer four days of intensive workshops on fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and publishing at Wolfson Campus of Miami Dade College.

Space is limited. Register as soon as possible to secure your space. Payment must be received at time of registration and must have cleared at least five business days prior to the first day of class. Please note registration deadlines for each course.

To register and for complete details on the 2015 Spring Writing Courses, please visit http://www.flcenterlitarts.com/site/programs/writing/creative-writing.html

The Art of the Memoir: Autobiography into Literature with Bernard Cooper 2/13/15

The Art of the Memoir: Autobiography into Literature with Bernard Cooper
Friday, 02/13/2015 – 06:00 pm – 09:00 pm
center-facebook-header-851x315Freedom Tower – MDC
600 Biscayne Blvd,
Miami, Florida 33132
Webpage Link
Cost: $50.00

The Memoir is one of the most popular and exciting genres in contemporary literature. But how does one begin to translate personal experience and shape it into a work of art that is accessible to readers whose experiences and concerns may be vastly different from our own? How can we begin to harness our autobiographical impulses and create stories that rival the best fiction and theater? How does one begin to shape the often amorphous sprawl of memory and contain it in the unified and emotionally stirring form we call a memoir? Given the fallibility of memory, why endeavor to write a memoir rather than a work of fiction? What are the emotional consequences and responsibilities of writing about people we know or have known? Is it permissible for the non-fiction writer to exaggerate, or even lie? This class will be a forum in which to discuss these and other pertinent questions.

More Information:
The Center @ Miami Dade College Announces 2015 Creative Writing Courses
Miami, January 2015 –The Center for Writing and Literature Miami Dade College (The Center @ MDC), announced their spring 2015 creative writing course offerings. The Center’s non-Credit creative writing courses are offered throughout the year, giving aspiring writers the opportunity to receive critique and encouragement from published authors with extensive teaching experience.

The intensive workshops on fiction, nonfiction and poetry, as well as lunchtime readings and manuscript consultations. All workshops will be offered at MDC’s Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. Second Ave and the MDC Museum of Art + Design, Freedom Tower both in downtown Miami.
Also, stay tune for the news on The Writer’s Institute. From May 6 through the 9, 2015, The Center for Writing and Literature will offer four days of intensive workshops on fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and publishing at Wolfson Campus of Miami Dade College.

Space is limited. Register as soon as possible to secure your space. Payment must be received at time of registration and must have cleared at least five business days prior to the first day of class. Please note registration deadlines for each course.

To register and for complete details on the 2015 Spring Writing Courses, please visit http://www.flcenterlitarts.com/site/programs/writing/creative-writing.html

Civic Engagement Thursday: Florida’s Access to Justice Crisis

On January 8th, Emerge Miami provided us all with some thankful updates on Florida’s access or lack of access to justice within the our court systems. Take a look and share your thoughts.

Florida’s Access to Justice Crisis

gideon

By Leah Weston

In a landmark ruling in Gideon v. Wainwright, the United States Supreme Court enshrined the individual right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment. Gideon clarified that the Sixth Amendment, which provides for “the assistance of counsel” for all “criminal prosecutions,” requires courts to appoint lawyers for criminal defendants who cannot afford one. Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Hugo Black concluded that:

Reason and reflection require us to recognize that in our adversary system of criminal justice, any person haled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him. This seems to us to be an obvious truth. Governments, both state and federal, quite properly spend vast sums of money to establish machinery to try defendants accused of crime… That government hires lawyers to prosecute and defendants who have the money hire lawyers to defend are the strongest indications of the widespread belief that lawyers in criminal courts are necessities, not luxuries.

What Gideon did not do, however, was extend that Sixth Amendment right to civil legal cases. Non-criminal legal cases comprise the bulk of all cases in our legal system and touch many areas of our lives. You can lose your home, your job, your family, and your livelihood in many types of legal proceedings because you cannot afford legal assistance. Unable to afford a lawyer, thousands of Americans who are not trained in the practice of law are forced to navigate an extremely complex legal system and represent themselves pro se, often against opposing parties who do have legal representation, like creditors, landlords, and, the government. Having access to a lawyer helps prevent the most vulnerable individuals and families, those who live at the edge of their means, from becoming destitute or homeless.

What happens when you cannot afford a lawyer?

For those who work a minimum wage job ($7.83/hour in Florida), especially in an expensive city (like Miami), it is already a major challenge to make ends meet each week, much less afford additional unanticipated expenses. At the same time, low wages can actually create numerous legal problems. Low-income families are at greater risk of losing their homes to foreclosure or eviction. These families are broken apart when a parent, sibling, or cousin faces deportation due to the complexities of U.S. immigration law. They experience personal tragedy like death and divorce. They lose their jobs or become too sick to work and must seek public assistance. The list goes on and on, and all of these events require interaction with the legal system.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, lawyers earn an average of approximately $63/hour. Put another way, a lawyer’s average hourly rate is eight times higher than the minimum wage in Florida. Unable to afford the typical cost of a lawyer, thousands of people turn to legal aid attorneys, legal services organizations, and private lawyers willing to offer their services pro bono.

Civil legal aid organizations provide pro bono legal representation for low-income individuals and families in a wide variety of cases–landlord/tenant and other housing issues, foreclosure, divorce, child support, immigration, consumer issues, health care, public benefits (e.g. food stamps, Social Security/Disability), and much, much more. Legal aid programs provide help to those who cannot afford legal representation during some of the most difficult circumstances of their lives. Civil legal aid is a crucial social service that helps lift people out of poverty, prevents people from losing their homes, keeps families together, and so much more.

The legal aid funding crisis in Florida

Right now, legal services organizations and the clients that they serve in Florida are in the midst of a major crisis. While some legal services agencies receive federal funding from the Legal Services Corporation, many do not accept federal funds because of the numerous crippling restrictions that come with federal dollars. Moreover, federal money for legal aid is never safe, as it is constantly subject to the political whimsies in the United States Congress.

Since 1981, many legal aid organizations in Florida have secured funding through an innovative mechanism called IOTA, which stands for Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts. Lawyers and law firms who hold money for clients–for example, holding money in escrow for a real estate transaction–must place them into a separate bank account which accrues interest. Any leftover interest from those accounts is used to fund legal services organizations through the Florida Bar Foundation.

This funding mechanism worked well when the economy was thriving. But in 2008, when the American economy crashed, interest rates fell to practically zero. Seven years later, the economy is finally beginning to bounce back, but the interest rates remain at historic lows. As a result, IOTA funding has diminished by 88 percent–from $44 million a year to a meager $5 million for the entire state of Florida.

The impact of these historically low interest rates has been devastating for legal services organizations and the clients that they serve. Moreover, Governor Rick Scott has vetoed funding for legal aid organizations from the state legislature on four separate occasions, making it absolutely clear that he has no desire to help the most vulnerable Floridians. Thanks to Governor Scott, Florida maintains the honorable distinction of being one of only three states that allocates ZERO state funding to civil legal aid. (The other two are Idaho and Wisconsin).

So it’s no wonder that Florida ranks among the ten worst states in the country in every measure of access to justice. There great infographics available at the National Center for Access to Justice, which created the Justice Index, an empirical study of how states measure on various access to justice issues.

If Florida remains on this disastrous track, I predict there will be no legal aid organizations left in five years. Thousands of needy individuals and families will not obtain the legal services they need. Access to the legal system will become a luxury available only to the most affluent. Such a state of affairs is not only unfair–it is un-American.

Legal aid lawyers in Florida work arduously every day to ensure that the most vulnerable citizens have a fair shot in our legal system. Unfortunately, legal aid lawyers have not been as successful in communicating with the public about what they do and why it is important. Creating a more fair legal system is in the broader public interest and cannot be solely the responsibility of the Bar to undertake.

For the sake of my clients, and all of the Floridians who may need a legal aid lawyer in the future, I implore more non-lawyers to rally for civil legal aid. Write to your representatives in the Florida House and Florida Senate. Write to Governor Rick Scott and tell him that, as a Floridian, you think that civil legal aid is a fundamental service for all. The legal aid organizations that have helped thousands of people without thought of reward need your support now more than ever.

The City of Miami Gardens 2nd Annual Heritage Bowl 2/24/15

The City of Miami Gardens 2nd Annual Heritage Bowl
Tuesday, 02/24/2015 – 02/24/2015 10:00 am – 01:10 pm
heritagebowlFlorida Memorial University Lou Rawls Auditorium
15800 NW 42nd Avenue,,
Miami Gardens, Florida 33056
Webpage Link
Cost: Free

Miami-Dade senior high and middle school students demonstrate their
mastery of Black History facts in efforts to win monetary prizes and the coveted Carter G. Woodson Achievement Award. The structure of the Bowl is an academic quiz style tournament designed to increase and test student’s knowledge of Black History. Schools have the opportunity to form teams of 6 students who will compete in a round-robin tournament against neighboring schools.

Valentines Bliss 2/14/15

Valentines Bliss
Saturday, 02/14/2015 – 08:00 pm – 05:00 am
large_thumbclub bliss
Grand Central 697 North Miami Ave Miami, FL 33132,
miami, Florida 33132
Buy Tickets Link
Cost:

Rave the night away with all your sexy VIPBLISS.com friends! Everyone please follow theme and wear the colors of love. Coat check will be available for our female guests wearing scandalous and revealing attire. EDM compliments of the #BlissDJFam!

$250 Vodka & Champagne Bottle Package Available