The University of Miami's Center for Hemispheric Policy hosts a panel discussion debating if, and how, US-Mexican relations will change under the Obama administration. Panelists include Chappell Lawson, associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Sigrid Artz of the President of Mexico's National Security Council. 8 a.m. Hyatt Regency Coral Gables, 50 Alhambra Plaza, Venetian Room, Coral Gables. Free for academics and students, $30 others. Details: (305) 284-9918 or www.miami.edu/chp.
NIGHTS IN THE GARDEN
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden hosts another Thursday evening event to experience the gardens' plant and art collections while enjoying food, music and drink. The theme for this event will be "Elvis Night" with a costume contest and karaoke. 6-9 p.m. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables. $10 members, $15 others. Details: (305) 667-1651 or www.fairchildgarden.org.
GRAND WINE TASTING
The Italian Trade Commission hosts the "International Wine Exchange." Guests will have the chance to meet delegates from several of Italy's wine-producing regions including Abruzzo, Tuscany and Lombardy. There will be hundreds of Italian wines to taste and compare as well as representatives from each vineyard looking to enter the US market. 3-8 p.m. Hotel Intercontinental Miami, 100 Chopin Plaza, Bayfront Room, Miami. Details: (888) 499-6909 or www.italianmade.com/vino2009.
DECO AND DESIGN
The Wolfsonian-FIU hosts an Art Deco-and-Design Tour that begins with a walk through the historic Art Deco District and later moves inside the museum to explore the exhibit "American Streamlined Design." 6 p.m. Wolfsonian-FIU, 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. $10 members, $20 others. Details: (305) 535-2648
The 2009 Pawpurrazi Gala benefiting the Humane Society of Greater Miami/Adopt-a-Pet brings Miami's most influential pet lovers together for a night of glamour and fun. All four-legged guests will enjoy pampering, doggie makeovers and a gourmet buffet. The highlight of the event is the "Great Pets Who Walk in Front of Great People" show where select guests and their pets will be featured on the runway. 7 p.m. Jungle Island, 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Watson Island. Details: (305) 749-1815 or www.humanesocietymiami.org.
Cleveland Orchestra Musical Director Franz Welser-Möst and Dr. Ali R. Rezai, director of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Neurological Restoration, sit down together at Books & Books for a discussion titled, "Music and the Brain." The events will examine new understandings about the impact of music on the human brain and will include a question-and-answer session followed by a short chamber music performance. 8 p.m. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Details: (305) 442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.
STANZAS ON THE BAY
The Deering Estate hosts a poetry slam with writers from the South Florida Writers' Association. The event will feature book signings and live-music performances. 7 p.m. The Deering Estate at Cutler, 16701 SW 72nd Ave., Palmetto Bay. Details: (305) 235-1668 or www.deeringestate.org.
CREATING FOR THE CURE
More than 40 emerging and established artists including Yoko Ono, William Wegman and Pablo Cano have donated their work to the "Love Cures" charity auction. The auction's proceeds will benefit the Band of Parents Foundation which supports Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center's childhood-cancer research. 6:30 p.m. Miami Art Space, 244 NW 35th St., Wynwood. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Details: www.lovecures.eventbrite.com.