DWNTWN Art Days in Miami is an art party for locals

A band performs in front of Freedom Tower during DWNTWN Art Days

DWNTWN Art Days, the arts blowout hosted by Miami’s Downtown Development Authority, is always the first sign that the arts season is about to pick up steam in Miami. “This is to kick off the arts season for locals, so we can enjoy our local institutions before Art Basel comes to town,” says DDA Executive Director Alyce Robertson.

The three day event features the participation of 20 different arts organizations located in Miami’s downtown area and an itinerary of more than 70 events, from author readings, performance art and a poetry slam to exhibits and hands on projects.

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Big institutions like the Perez Art Museum Miami, the Arsht Center and the Miami Children’s Museum are all hosting events throughout the weekend, and up-and-coming arts groups and like Fringe Projects and MDC Live Arts also are contributing to this year’s robust programming. “There are activities for all kinds of interests, from families to the avant garde,” says Robertson. “There’s so much that it can be hard to know what to do.”

Dance class at the Arsht Center’s ARTSLAUNCH in 2015.

Of course, there is a digital solution to help navigate this artistic behemoth. The Downtown Art Days app (search ArtDays 2016 on your mobile device’s app store) lists the entire calendar of events and venues and allows users to create a personalized itinerary. 

For those that require human interaction, the hub for the event is once again at the Miami Center for Architecture and Design (MCAD), located at 100 NE First Ave., where experts will help plan itineraries and answer questions, but this year MCAD also has its own programming of readings and exhibits. 

 The abundance of activities is what makes DWNTWN Art Days, already in its fifth year, so engaging. Says Robertson, “Each of the institutions comes up with their own events. It makes it diverse and provides different offerings for different crowds.”