The New Times:
Modeled after the New York Public Library's Conversation Series and the wildly popular TED Talks, DASS' events are designed to build a downtown community by putting young, intelligent, and — as often as not — attractive people together. The best place in Miami for intelligent conversation.   

Florida Literary Review:  

Miami's literary community gathered at the opulent Olympia Theater, long a mainstay of the city's small but dedicated creative class. The event, hosted by the Downtown Arts and Science Salon (DASS), drew hundreds of patrons for a dramatic reading of works by four local authors, accompanied and interpreted by an experimental jazz quartet. 

DASS's curator, author Raul Guerrero, says this is exactly the kind of "intellectual flirting" its members enjoy every month. Drawing on the concept of the salon, which flourished during the European Enlightenment and enjoyed a heyday during the Parisian jazz age of Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein, DASS functions as a local social club that discusses themes ranging from science and innovation to literature and music. 

This Wednesday offering produced a conversation among many different art forms: literature, drama, music, and architecture, housed under the Olympia's gilded dome.​ Full Review. 


500 hundred years of opera in two hours. A fascinating journey illustrated by the world’s greatest arias, performed live in the bohemian ambiance of Miami’s premier jazz club
Le Chat Noir. Graham Fandrei, Magic City Opera’s Director, joins DASS in a Salon that could also be labeled Everything you wanted to know about the opera but had no one to ask. Besides history, the conversation focus on techniques, terminology, how to best appreciate an artistic expression encompassing five arts. As Mr. Fandrei puts it: “An operatic presentation gives audiences the high five of the creative arts: music, drama, visual arts, dance, and the literary arts.”


Before founding Magic City Opera, Graham was the Director of the Young Artist Program at FGO and the head of classical voice program at the University of Miami’s Young Musician camp. As a singer, Graham has performed both nationally and internationally, including performances with the Rotterdam Philharmonic in Holland and at the Nissay Theater in Tokyo. His singing career took him to Broadway to perform in the film director Baz Luhrmann’s production of La Boheme on Broadway. He has been a guest soloist with orchestras and chorales across the U.S. Graham has also been a life-long educator, teaching at the New World School of the Arts and at the MAST Academy in Miami. Graham studied music at both the New England Conservatory of Music and at The Juilliard School. 

March 30, 7-9 pm. 
Le Chat Noir. 2 South Miami Ave. Miami. Dinner and drinks (wine & beer) available.

To register click here.


The Downtown Arts + Science Salon, in partnership with the Olympia Theater’s In the Lobby Lounge… WORDS, brings back this fascinating multidisciplinary artistic dialogue. 

Four local writers, an experimental jazz quintet, and dramatic readings conjugated in one magical evening. It features excerpts from Patricia Engles’ novel The Veins of the Ocean, Martha Otis’s novel Apollonia at the Retirement Home for Great Apes, and Raúl Guerrero’s novel Women Loved Dr. Böll. Also the tale Chinese Insects by Timothy Schmand. Gary Thomas Quintet will perform interpretations unique for each literary piece. Actors Islara B. Souto and Terrell Fritz will perform dramatic readings.


Patricia Engel
Her most recent novel, The Veins of the Ocean, was named a New York Times Editors' Choice and a Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle, among others. Her debut, Vida, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Fiction Award, and winner of Colombia's Premio Biblioteca de Narrative Colombiana as well as a Florida Book Award. Patricia's fiction has recently appeared in Chicago Quarterly Review, Harvard Review, and is forthcoming in the Best American Short Stories 2017. She lives in Miami.
Martha Otis
Her work has appeared in Harcourt’s Best New American Voices, Indiana Review and Moment Magazine. Her fiction has received the Joyce Horton Johnson award at the Key West Literary Seminars. Apollonia at the Retirement Home for Great Apes was first published online in fwriction: review, and translated to Italian. She has poetry forthcoming in the Roanoke Review. Otis teaches writing at the University of Miami.
Timothy Schmand
His fiction has appeared in various literary magazines and anthologies. The novel The Mud Boy took second place in the Mid-List Books First Novel Competition and Ernest Hemingway First Novel Competition. His tale The Great Deadly Malpus was awarded the1999 Calvino Prize for Short Fiction. Just Johnson: The London Delivery was released in 2016. He is the Executive Director of the Bayfront Park Management Trust.
Raúl Guerrero
He has authored numerous works of fiction and non-fiction, notably the historical novel INSOLENCE and Crónica del corazón, a mini encyclopedia of the heart. He collaborates with publications and encyclopedias worldwide, and directs the Downtown Art + Science Salon. 

April 5. 6:30 – 9 pm.

The Olympia Theater. 174 E Flagler St. Miami. RSVP.

Car dependence reigns supreme despite tens of thousands of dwelling units being built in what should be a walkable urban core. Because Miami grew up in the car age, its commute times are among the longest in America. Something has to give. A conversation with architect and urban designer Juan Mullaret. 
May. TBD.
The Historic Ball and Chain Club in Calle Ocho, Little Havana. Read Article by Juan Mullaret at



Women Loved Dr. Böll is a wonderfully written satire set in Downtown Miami… It explores the zaniness and insanity Miamians love and endure.” The Huffington Post.

Raúl Guerrero recreates the exuberance and chaos of Miami in unsettling intimacy, while probing the ambivalence of love, sex, betrayal, relocation, greed, art and language.

Synopsis: Sebastian Böll, a German cardiologist turned street photographer, invests all he has in restoring a grand gallery in historic downtown.  Soon, and too late, the much heralded urban renaissance proves mere hype. He is left penniless—but his dignity intact—at the center of a war real estate speculators wedge against the pioneers of the downtown renaissance.

The Author: Raúl Guerrero authored numerous works of fiction and non-fiction, notably the historical novel INSOLENCE and Crónica del corazón, a mini encyclopedia of the heart. He collaborates with publications and encyclopedias worldwide. 

DASS Members receive a 20 percent discount at Code: Q 7RRG 747. 

​​​​ Downtown 

 Arts +


​ Salon DASS  

​Molded after Ted Talks and a local social club, DASS is about intelligent conversation. We host salons in topics ranging from archaeology and cardiology to urban planning and psychology, from the novel to the opera. And hands-on stuff like fencing, wine-tasting and tango. Miami media rated DASS: "Miami's bests place for intelligent conversation." Salons take place at Downtown iconic cultural venues. Join the Conversation. 

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