Art Basel Miami Beach, the granddaddy art fair that packs the Miami Beach Convention Center every December, is not free.
But the good news is free events are in abundance during Art Basel week, if you know where to look. Here are a handful of free concerts, gallery openings and art fairs to keep you entertained on a budget.
Basel House Mural Festival
Noon-3 a.m. Dec. 8-9 and noon-9 p.m. Dec. 10 between Northwest 23rd and 24th streets between Northwest Fifth and Sixth avenues, in Miami; free, but RSVP via Eventbrite.com for a free drin; SwarmInc.com
Spanning three days, Basel House features more than 50 live-mural projects, a virtural-reality playground, an inflatable Kanye West bounce house and Unframed Presents Rolling Stone Live, a pop-up music series hosted by rapper 50 Cent and featuring performances from the Brothers Macklovitch (Dave A of Chromeo and A-Trak) and OVO Sound’s Majid Jordan.
7-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at Gallery 88, 237 20th St., Miami; free RSVP via Eventbrite.com
The art of African hair braiding is the focus of Shani Crowe’s “Entwine,” a collection of artworks composed of hair from people of color, mainly women. Each is hand-assembled by the Chicago-based Crowe, these braided hair works consist of headdresses, crowns and halos. One of Crowe’s best-known braids is the glittering hairpiece halo worn by Solange Knowles during her “Saturday Night Live” performance last November. The creation took 50 hours of labor and 2,000 Swarovski crystal beads in three sizes and shapes. Crowe will offer a braiding demo during the event.
Basel at the Yard
The outdoor music space Wynwood Yard will be throwing nightly dance parties Dec. 7-10, featuring music by New Orleans-based funk-soul group the Nth Power at 8 p.m. Dec. 7; Miami duo Afrobeta and Coral Springs electronica act Millionyoung at 7 p.m. Dec. 8; Grammy-nominated Latin outfit Locos Por Juana and Miami indie-funk act Magic City Hippies at 5 p.m. Dec. 9; and a reggae-themed edition at 2 p.m. Dec. 10.
Free art fairs
Art Beat Miami will take over Little Haiti with a showcase of the vivid diversity of Caribbean art, along with live music, art demos, art talks and celebrity brunches (which are ticketed). All proceeds benefit hurricane relief effort through the Little Haiti Optimist Foundation.
Ink Miami will feature 15 galleries displaying art inside the posh Miami Beach hotel and courtyard, along with live music and art demos.
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