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Thursday, March 30, 2017

RAIL, A Steampunk Journey

This is not a Coconut Grove event, but I think it's worth mentioning because RAIL is co-directed by Sheri Friedman, who owned the Blu Moon Gallery in Coconut Grove for so many years and because I went to the first Steampunk event put on by Sheri last year at Cauley Square and it was great. Also, a few Grove entities are involved in the RAIL event.

RAIL, A Steampunk Journey, a 12-hour-long steampunk festival produced by Rivet Nation, will take place at South Dade’s Historic Gold Coast Railroad Museum on April 8. It will be
the frst of what both the organizers and the facility hope will be many annual steampunk collaborations.

RAIL will feature a bevy of attractions for attendees young and old. The event will include two new art exhibitions: “Time Travel” and, in collaboration with KROMA, a show exploring the role of racial and ethnic minorities in steampunk entitled “Steam Colors.” RAIL will also mark the unveiling of a new mural-sized work of art by Stefen Vela which will be applied to the side of an old cargo box.

Sheri Friedman and Atena De Jong
at last spring's Rivet Nation /Steampunk event
at Cauley Square
Theater lovers will enjoy a Shakespeare-inspired play with a steampunk twist performed by A.C.T! (Actor’s Cultural Theater). Video blogger Indie-Annie Jones and her assistant Buzzy Darden will teach attendees how they can build their own “steampunk gun.” Bénédicte Blanc-Fontenille and Oscar Fuentes (local literary standout “The Biscayne Poet”) will ofer a
bilingual literary recital in both French and English entitled “From Moi to You.”

Film enthusiasts will delight in numerous short flm screenings by the Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival as well as the world premiere of Agatino Zurría’s “Aurea,” a short retro-futuristic flm partially shot at the museum.

RAIL will also feature musical performances by Kitty Jul and Mark Rossmore from Escape the Clouds among others.

Other attractions include a Victorian-Era inspired tea party, a steampunk hat contest led by the creators of the Mad Hatter Festival in Coconut Grove, live painting, buskers and even train rides (not included in the price of admission.) Food and crafts vendors will also be on hand to ofer their products at RAIL’s “Alley of Curiosities.”

“For Rivet Nation it is an amazing opportunity to put together an event of this type in a setting like the Gold Coast Railroad Museum,” said Nadia Desjardins, co-creator of Rivet Nation. “The environment here is simply a perfect ft for the steampunk aesthetic.”


“The frst time we visited the museum we just knew it was the ideal place for this event,” said Sheri Friedman, the other co-creator of Rivet Nation. “The steam, the engines, the steel, the rivets...it just has it all!”

The collaboration between the Gold Coast Railroad Museum and Rivet Nation began soon after last year’s inaugural Rivet Nation event, which took place in South Dade’s Cauley Square. “Two of our Board Members just happened to have visited the first Rivet Nation event almost a year ago,” said Marsha Dorris, Public Relations Director for the Gold Coast Railroad Museum. “They looked around and said ‘this is exactly the kind of event we need at the GCRM,’ and the rest is history!”

“We are so excited to be working on this project with Rivet Nation,” added Dorris. “It’s an opportunity for South Florida’s steampunk community to have an event they can call their own in a setting that truly heightens the experience. For us it is a potential means of introducing ourselves to a new audience that may not have previously been exposed to the museum.”

RAIL, a Steampunk Journey will begin at 11 am and run through 11 pm. The Gold Coast Railroad Museum is located at 12450 SW 152nd Street, right next door to Zoo Miami. Entrance to the event is $10 dollars and tickets can be purchased either at the door the day of the event or in advance at the museum’s website: http://www.gcrm.org/rail-a-steampunk-journeyParking for the event is free.

Gold Coast Railroad Museum (GCRM) is a non-proft organization dedicated to the promotion of railroad history and culture through preservation, restoration, and education. Founded in 1957, GCRM is home to over 40 historic railcars, including the “Ferdinand Magellan” Presidential Railcar, better known as U.S. Car No. 1. There is also a model railroad room and a number of interactive displays. The museum is located next to Zoo Miami.

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