The three-day Deering Estate Festival of the Arts may be short in duration, but it’s big in every other way. Linking the arts and the environment, the festival will showcase the work of 27 writers, 61 visual artists and 122 performing artists, with more than 100 works of sculpture, performances and installations throughout the estate on the edge of Biscayne Bay.
The festival begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday with a free reading of Messenger No. 4 (or How To Survive a Greek Tragedy), a free play reading by the Lost Girls Theatre in the estate’s Visitor Center Theatre. Katherine Siegel directs actors Carlos Rivera, Arturo Sierra, Stephanie White, Kent Wilson, Elizabeth Abad, Ashley Chang, Merry Jo Cortada, Vyvian Figueredo, Scott Douglas Wilson and Meredith Bartmon in the play by Will Hollis Snider.
Saturday’s schedule kicks off at 10 a.m. with a master class by violinist Charles Castleman, featuring young South Florida string players. The ecological and environmental art exhibit opens at 3:30 p.m., and a National Water Dance performance featuring more than 100 singers, dancers and musicians takes place on the main lawn and boat basin at 4 p.m. Curator Lucinda Linderman leads visitors through indoor and outdoor exhibitions from 4:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. A guided mangrove forest tour happens from 4:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m., and a fire circle highlighting poetry is scheduled from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Presenting artists will lead a guided tour of artworks from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Also on Saturday, children can enter a photography competition beginning at 3:30 p.m. (bring a camera or cellphone) and go on a self-guided ecology and environmental scavenger hunt.
At 6:30 p.m. April 13, Castleman and the founding members of the Deering Estate Chamber Ensemble will perform a concert focused on images of nature evoked by the music of Felix Mendelssohn and Erich Korngold. Admission to the concert is $25 for adults, $12 for children.
The Deering Estate at Cutler is located at 16701 SW 72nd Ave., Miami. For information, visit www.deeringestate.org.