The Rev. Kennedy McGowan of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood has actually seen firsthand what kind of hole there is to be found in Haiti. Let’s just say he disagrees with the high-profile epithets being hurled toward the Caribbean nation.
“It shows a disrespect for a country that has a proud heritage and has come through some extraordinarily adverse circumstances, and the Haitian people themselves, who I find to be absolutely remarkable and courageous folks, working in a very challenging environment. And one that’s been made challenging because of a lot of outside, negative things that have nothing to do with the country itself, but challenges the country has experienced from the beginning of its founding in the 18th century,” he says.
“People often hear how disastrous it is and how problematic, and all of those things are true, unfortunately. But within the context of all of those bigger challenges, there are a lot of remarkable people doing remarkable things.”
Remarkable things also are being done locally, including at Hollywood Healing Haiti, an annual outdoor concert and art festival taking place Sunday in the downtown ArtsPark, a benefit for the Project Papillon Orphanage and Community Youth Center in Port-au-Prince.
The festival is sponsored by the nonprofit Hollywood C.A.R.E.S. for Haiti, a decade-old joint project between McGowan’s church and Temple Beth El of Hollywood, led by Rabbi Allan Tuffs. The program raises money for housing, education, medical and dental care for Haitian kids, many of whom live with HIV.
Running from 1 to 5 p.m., the event features music by the great Charlie Pickett, the Clay5, the Done, Hare O’ the Dawg and Anna Baaro, along with the Squatter Pop-Up Artisan and Crafts Fair, with works inspired by Haiti, curated by Hollywood artist Alissa Alfonso. There also will be children’s activities, food from Nana's SapiBon, Hot Dog Hound and Snowie’s, raffles and more. Admission to the festival is free.
“We’re not unaware of the challenges. You can’t go to Haiti and not be aware of the challenges,” McGowan says. “But we also see the beauty of the country, the remarkable character and beauty and intelligence and creativity of the people. And we see these young lives growing up and developing and all the gifts that are being developed in them. That’s why we do it, to make a difference in those lives. We can’t necessarily solve all the problems in Haiti, but we can have real significant impact in the lives of these kids.”
For more information, visit Facebook.com/HCForHaiti.
You look like you could use a feminist sci-fi comedy. Screening 10 p.m. Friday at Savor Cinema in Fort Lauderdale, the 1995 cult hit “Tank Girl” has everything you need: a cast including Lori Petty, Naomi Watts, Ice-T and Malcolm McDowell; a soundtrack curated by Courtney Love; and visual appeal courtesy of ace production designer Catherine Hardwicke (“Thirteen,” “Lords of Dogtown,” “Twilight”). The screening also will include a live Skype Q and A by its director, Rachel Talalay (sister of former Sun Sentinel writer Sarah Talalay). Savor Cinema is the theater formerly known as Cinema Paradiso (503 SE Sixth St.). Tate’s Comics will have giveaways and Tank Girl cosplayers are welcome (but no weapon props allowed). Tickets cost $12, $9 students/military. Visit FLIFF.com.
IT’S GOOD TO BE BAD
Swede Fest Palm Beach, the sixth annual showcase of “bad films made by good people,” is on its way back, with the Palm Beach Film Society’s red-carpet night of screenings set for March 24 at the Kelsey Theater in Lake Park. As you may recall, this is a festival of short films made by people such as yourself — satirical, no-budget remakes of Hollywood classics (and not so classic), all limited to three minutes in length and no stronger than PG-13 in tone. If you want to enter (and they want you to enter), email the title of the film you want to claim to firstname.lastname@example.org (when a title is claimed it is off the list for others). Films must be completed and submitted by March 1. Tickets for the Kelsey Theater screening party, usually a sell-out, cost $12 advance, $15 at the door. For more information, visit Facebook.com/SwedeFestPalmBeach.com.
ON WITH THE SHOE
The sixth annual Vince Canning Stiletto Race brings well-heeled women – and men – to downtown Delray Beach for a fundraising fun “run” and not a little comic entertainment on Friday evening. Stiletto-wearing entrants can win in a variety of categories, with proceeds going to the nonprofit Achievement Centers for Children & Families. Entry fee is $25, or $35 at the site. Registration begins at 5:30p.m. at the Old School Square Pavilion, with the race at 6:30 p.m. and the awards ceremony at 7:15 p.m. Visit Facebook.com/OldSchoolSquare.
Thursday (Jan. 25) is a special night with the Nu Deco Ensemble at the bucolic North Beach Bandshell, as they are joined by four-time Latin Grammy nominee Danay Suarez, reggae star Stephen Marley and Latin Grammy-nominated Cuban rapper El B-Los Aldeanos. Sponsored by the Rhythm Foundation, the show will begin with the works of Henry Mancini, Kraftwerk and Radiohead, with help from locals Electric Kif and Aaron Lebos Reality. Tickets cost $38 in advance, $45 at the gate. Visit RhythmFoundation.com.
AND YOU DON’T STOP …
One of the best scenes to be found in South Florida, memorable for its organic and uncomplicated vibe, is Tacos & Hip-Hop, returning Friday night to the alley next to Subculture Coffee in downtown West Palm Beach. As always, Selecta Steve will be spinning the hits and Zipitio’s will provide the eats in this eat-and-greet gathering, which begins at 8 p.m. (food can be had beginning at 7 p.m.). Admission is free for those 21 and older, $5 for 18-21. Visit Facebook.com/SubCultureCoffee.
NO SLEEP TILL …
Led by relentless Miami scene-shaper DJ Oski, a gathering of underground South Florida bands will pay tribute to hip-hop icons the Beastie Boys and Cypress Hill 9 p.m. Friday at Cash Only in Fort Lauderdale. Performing will be the Oski Foundation (joined by MC Goldenchild Bahamas and White Russian Lenny Kagan), the Affiliated Soul Team, the StanLee Kewlbrick Band, Stoned White Elephant, DJ Tito Luv, DJ Klassik and $ir Mike. Admission to the 21-and-older show is free. Visit Facebook.com/CashOnlyFTL.
Topical humor may be the perfect balm for what ails us. Friday night’s 8 p.m. show at the Hard Rock in Hollywood by Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show” was so popular they added a second performance at 10:30 p.m. Tickets start at $40. Visit MyHRL.com. At the Palm Beach Improv in West Palm Beach, actor and standup star Hannibal Buress continues his run through Saturday. Tickets cost $30. Visit PalmBeachImprov.com.
As you may have heard, Justin Timberlake is on his way to South Florida for performances at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on May 18 and the BB&T Center in Sunrise on May 19, with tickets for both concerts ($49.50 to $250) on sale 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 29, at Ticketmaster.com. Also on sale Monday are tickets to catch Hall & Oates at the BB&T Center on June 24, part of their co-headlining tour with Train. Visit LiveNation.com.
Of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony — the poignant, existential masterpiece that its composer never heard performed before his death — Viennese composer Alban Berg wrote: “[It] is the most heavenly thing Mahler has written... an expression of an exceptional fondness for this Earth, the longing to live in peace on it, to enjoy nature to its depths, before death comes.” The Cleveland Orchestra revisits this extraordinary work 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday at Miami’s Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets start at $43. Visit ArshtCenter.org.
MAC AND DAN
Classic Album Sundays, hosted by Sweat Records, will be in the Miami showroom of Deja Vu Audio South this weekend with two monumental albums of the 1970s: Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” and Steely Dan’s “Aja.” As always, there is free PBR and pizza (while supplies last) with your ticket. Tickets cost $6 in advance, $10 at the door. Visit SweatRecordsMiami.com. You can hear Steely Dan’s hits performed live when Donald Fagen brings the music to Coral Sky Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach on May 17, on a co-headlining Steely Dan-Doobie Brothers tour. The tour is the first by Fagen under the Steely Dan name since the September death of co-founder Walter Becker, whose estate has protested Fagen’s use of the name. For tickets, visit Ticketmaster.com.
The 12th annual Dania Beach Vintage Motorcycle Show brings more than 400 vintage bikes to Frost Park 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, with food and drink, vendors, motorcycle field games, a kids area and Allman Brothers hits from Whipping Post. Proceeds benefit Southeastern Guide Dogs and Stray Aid & Rescue. Admission is free. Visit DaniaBeachVintageBikeShow.com.
That smell is the annual Riverwalk Chili Cook-Off, noon-4 p.m. Saturday in downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Esplanade Park. Admission is free (leashed dogs OK), but for $5 you can sample multiple dishes created by amateurs and experts, then vote for the eventual champion. There’s also a more pampered way to go in the VIP ($40). Beer, live music and vendors are part of the afternoon. Visit GoRiverwalk.com.
TOUR OF FORT LOVERDALE
Not that we like to encourage this kind of thing, but those gorging on ABC’s “The Bachelor” at 8 p.m. Monday will see the newest Bachelor, racecar driver Arie Luyendyk Jr. (son of the two-time Indy 500 winner), in some familiar places. The two-hour episode of the reality-dating show is set in greater Fort Lauderdale. Visit ABC.go.com/shows/the-bachelor.
OTHER VOICES, OTHER ROOMS
Dillard High exes Black Violin play Fort Lauderdale’s Broward Center on Thursday (Jan. 25) at 8 p.m. (Facebook.com/BlackViolinMusic) … The Sarah Jacob Trio is at Luna Star Café in North Miami Thursday (Jan. 25) at 8 p.m. (SarahJacobTrio.com) … Troy Roberts’ Nu-Jive 5 does the free Jazz at MoCA series 1 p.m. Friday at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami (TroyRoberts.com) … Vocalist Leslie Cartaya of Latin-funk band Palo! will do her thing with the Leslie Cartaya Quintet at the Wynwood Yard.com 7 p.m. Saturday (Facebook.com/LeslieCartaya) … Public Sounds Collective plays Hullabaloo in West Palm Beach 9 p.m. Saturday (Facebook.com/PublicSounds) … Rockin’ Jake lights up Voltaire in downtown West Palm Beach 8 p.m. Sunday (RockinJake.com) …