June Celebrations at Museum of Contemporary Art

Electric Tree.  Photo by Daniel Bock Photography
Electric Tree by Mark Handforth. Photo by Daniel Bock Photography

The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami will offer a robust series of education and public programming to celebrate Pride Month and Caribbean Heritage Month throughout June. The museum will also host a series of public activations, “Under the Electric Tree,” at Griffing Park. Programming will include site-specific performances, live music, hands-on art activities, and more, all in conjunction with the recently restored public artwork Electric Tree by internationally renowned artist Mark Handforth.

MOCA’s June programming includes:

Under the Electric Tree: The Mento Philharmonic Orchestra at Griffing Park in Celebration of Caribbean Heritage Month, June 11, 7 p.m.

In celebration of Caribbean Heritage Month, MOCA North Miami will feature The Mento Philharmonic Orchestra. Mento is a style of Jamaican folk music that predates and has greatly influenced Ska and Reggae music. Mento typically features acoustic instruments, such as acoustic guitar, banjo, hand drums, and the rhumba box (which is a large mbira in the shape of a box that can be sat on while played). The rhumba box carries the bass part of the music.

Tallawah Mento Band is a Florida-based Jamaican Mento Band founded by four of the original members of the Jamaica Folk Revue. Tallawah adds its particular flavor to the music of several genres, including the music of Haiti, Cuba, Trinidad, and many loved hits from the 1950s and ’60s. With the addition of acclaimed jazz guitarist Keith Stoddart, the band has extended its repertoire to include old jazz, classical, popular, and soca/calypso.

The performance is free to attend. Click here for more information.

My Name is Maryan tour
“My Name is Maryan” tour. Photo courtesy Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami.

“My Name is Maryan” Public Exhibition Tour with Curator of Education Amanda Covach, June 16, from 11 am to 12 pm

Amanda Covach is an interdisciplinary Mexican-American artist. Trained as a studio artist at Florida International University, Covach brings a deep knowledge of the contemporary art field and a professional history in museum management to the educational program.

All tours are free with admission. Click here for more information.

“My Name is Maryan” Docent-Led Exhibition Tour, June 19, at 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, and 2:30 pm

Dr. Helen Sachs Chaset will lead guests on tours of the museum’s “My Name is Maryan” exhibition. Chaset is an educator with more than 45 years of experience in administration, professional development, and program development. She is also a board member of Miami-Dade Holocaust Survivors, the Jewish Community Services of South Florida, and the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education. Dr. Chaset is the daughter of two Holocaust Survivors and was born in a displaced persons camp in Hannover, Germany.

All tours are free with admission. For more information, click here.

Magela Herrera.  Photo courtesy of the artist
Magela Herrera. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Jazz at MOCA featuring Magela Herrera, June 24, at 8 pm

Magela Herrera will take the Jazz at MOCA stage in honor of Caribbean Heritage Month. She is an Afro-Cuban flutist, vocalist, and composer who holds a master’s degree in jazz and improvised music performance and a bachelor’s degree from the Norwegian Academy of Music. Herrera has toured worldwide where she developed a unique timbre, phrasing technique, and rhythm and melodic skills on the flute. She has also evolved as a pianist, vocalist, arranger and composer leading her own projects. Today, Herrera is considered one of Cuba’s leading flute players in jazz and popular music scenes. Often praised for her unique background in Latin jazz, European jazz, and Afro-Cuban music traditions, she was a member of the renowned band Mezcla, one of the most famous Cuban leading jazz and fusion ensembles.

Jazz at MOCA is free and open to the public. Click here for more information.

Under the Electric Tree: Pioneer Winter at Griffing Park, June 29, at 7:30 pm

Choreographer Pioneer Winter and sound artist Juraj Kojš will collaborate with performers and community members on a Pride Month activation at the Electric Tree. Collected oral histories and elder stories of “first prides” will become an interactive soundscape for dancers to embody themes of memory, resilience, and community, reflecting the creation of Electric Tree by artist Mark Handforth as a meeting place for corporeal and social exchange.

Winter is a Miami-based choreographer and artistic director of Pioneer Winter Collective, an intergenerational and physically integrated dance-theater company, rooted in social practice and community, queer visibility, and beauty beyond the mainstream. Recognized in Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch,” Winter’s work democratizes performance in public spaces, museums and galleries, stage, and film. Kojš’ (he/him) commissions include pieces for Meet the Composer, Harvestworks New York, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Deering Estate, Miami Light Project, and Miami Theater Center. His works have received multiple awards in Europe and he currently directs Foundation for Emerging Technologies and Arts and teaches at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music.

This program is free and open to the public. Click here for more information.