Miami Dade College’s Museum of Art + Design Presents the inaugural Exhibition at the new Cultural Legacy Gallery, Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres MOAD - Cuban Diaspora Celia L Credit: Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in collaboration with Tico Torres Miami, July 28, 2014 - The Museum of Art + Design (MOAD) at Miami Dade College (MDC) presents Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres. The inaugural exhibition will open to the public at 6 p.m. Friday, September 19, at the new Cultural Legacy Gallery, a permanent space dedicated to the impact of Cuban culture on South Florida and throughout the world, housed at the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in Downtown Miami. Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in collaboration with Tico Torres features what have become iconic photographs of Cuban figures living outside the island, among them performers, composers, designers, writers and artists. The Cuba Out of Cuba series was shot over the last twenty years in Miami, New York, London, Paris, Florence, Venice and Los Angeles. The exhibition will take a unique and historical approach in surveying the legacies of individuals such as Celia Cruz, Bebo Valdez, Gloria Estefan, Cristina Saralegui, Andy Garcia, Cundo Bermudez, Nilo Cruz, and Paquito d’Rivera, among other Cubans who have influenced the greater culture of their time. Alexis Rodríguez-Duarte was born in Havana, Cuba. In 1968 he and his parents were among Cuban exiles who left the Island aboard the humanitarian air lifts called the Freedom Flights. Once arriving to Miami, his family and many thousands of other Cuban exiles came through the doors of the Freedom Tower that served as a processing and assistance center for the exile community. For many, the tower provided nothing less than their freedom from Castro and the hardships Cuba had come to give them, rightly earning its name of the Freedom Tower. Rodriguez–Duarte’s family settled in Miami’s Little Havana community. At the age of 10, he was given his first camera by his grandfather, which led to his love affair with photography. Today, he is a New York and Miami-based internationally renowned photographer whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Town & Country, and Harper’s Bazaar, among other major publications, and has exhibited his work at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., Museum of the City of New York, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London and The Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach among others. Rodriguez-Duarte and his husband of 31 years, Tico Torres, have been documenting the Cuban diaspora since 1993. Torres, a photo stylist who is a master of the mise-en-scene, helped create with Rodriguez-Duarte the joyous image of Celia Cruz standing amid the towering palms of Fairchild Tropical Garden in a traditional ruffled Cuban gown. He was also there to set the mood in the London flat of Guillermo Cabrera Infante, one of Cuba’s most famous authors. Torres and his family were also among Cuban exiles who settled in Miami’s Hialeah community. Rodriguez-Duarte and Torres are thrilled to be returning together, full circle to the historic Freedom Tower for this inaugural exhibit, after separately setting foot there as immigrant children so many years before. The inaugural exhibition kicks off the Museum’s fall season scheduled for Friday, September 19, 2014 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. in conjunction with SIDE BY SIDE: MDCULTURE STANDS AS ONE, a one night event held at the College’s historic Freedom Tower, featuring performances, exhibitions, film screenings, the public unveiling of 2014 Book Fair Poster, and the long awaited Cuban Exile Experience at the Freedom Tower. Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres will remain on display at the museum through August 30, 2015. All exhibitions are free and open to the public. MDC’s Freedom Tower was operated by the U.S. Government as a reception center for Cuban refugees from 1962 to 1974. “The building is significant because it represents the important story of the Cuban exodus to America and resettlement during the Cold War,” reports the U.S. Department of the Interior, which has also called the Freedom Tower the “Ellis Island of the South.” Though it operated in that capacity for only 12 years, the building has become an icon representing the faith that democracy brought to troubled lives, the generosity of the American people and a hopeful beginning that assured thousands a new life in a new land. WHAT: Cuba Out of Cuba: Through the Lens of Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte in Collaboration with Tico Torres WHEN: Friday, September 19 –Opening Reception from 6 – 9 p.m. September 19, 2014 – August 30, 2015 Museum Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. WHERE: MDC Museum of Art + Design Cultural Legacy Gallery The Freedom Tower at MDC, First Floor 600 Biscayne Blvd. About MDC Museum of Art + Design MDC Museum of Art + Design (MOAD) is Miami Dade College’s flagship institution dedicated to the presentation and exhibition of visual art and design, housed at the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in Downtown Miami. The mission of the Museum is to promote the appreciation and understanding of art and its role in society through direct engagement with original works of art from within the College’s extensive permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. Furthermore, the Museum presents year-round lectures, symposiums and art related events to expose, educate and engage the greater public through related creative processes. The MDC Museum of Art + Design provides its patrons and visitors access to unique cultural, historical and educational exhibitions that enrich the greater community while building and preserving an expansive permanent art collection. Miami Dade College has been collecting art since the 1960s. Over the years, the collection has grown contain more than 1,600 works in all mediums and genres, specifically within the movements of minimalism, pop art of the ’60s and ’70s, conceptual art and contemporary Latin American art. The College and Museum actively acquire works by emerging and under-recognized artists, as well as major figures in modern, post-modern and contemporary art. About The Cuban Exile Experience & Cultural Legacy Gallery The Cuban Exile Experience & Cultural Legacy Gallery is a historical division of the MDC Museum of Art + Design. In addition to visual arts, the Museum supports exhibitions and programs that collect, preserve, research and interpret stories and artifacts that help build a better community understanding and appreciation of the Freedom Tower’s history. For more information about the exhibition, events or VIP Opening Reception at MDC Museum of Art + Design, please contact the Museum at 305-237-7722 or Event contacts: Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director Tere Estorino Florin, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366,, media specialist Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

Pedro Pan Administrator

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Current Name
Pedro Pan Administrator
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Pedro Pan Administrator
Age on Arrival
Information not provided
Date of Arrival
Friday, January 1, 1960
Haiti Pedro Pan
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Can not find my name in data base. Arrived alone in May 1961,on a KLM flight from Havana. I was 14 years old. Came to live with an uncle immediately. Maybe it was 19, 20, or 21 of May 1961

Message by alberto l vega | May 17th 2009

I also cannot find my name nor my brother's name. Nor was I able to track the flight or other at camp in Orlando. I arrived in Miami on March 21, 1961 with my older brother Eduardo J. Alvarez (Hidalgo), today better known as Father Eddy, Pastor of Gesu Church in Downtown Miami. We were released to an uncle residing in Miami and spent 7 days in a downtown hotel waiting relocation. After 7 days, we went to the CWB and were sent to Kendall, then to St. Pete (Bishop Barry H.S.) and then Maitland (Orlando) where we enrolled at Bishop Moore H.S., Florida. We returned to Miami on August 1961.

Message by Carlos A. Alvarez Hidalgo | May 17th 2009

Soy Terry Vallina Rivas y he escrito antes, creo que no le he dado suficiente gratitud a la familia que me acogio en este pais. Sus nombres son Jose Luis and Josefina Garcia, mil gracias por su ayuda en esos dificiles momentos. Tambien a la famila de Raul y Luisa Puga, sobretodo a Raulito

Message by TERRY VALLINA RIVAS | May 17th 2009

I arrived in Miami on September 22, 1962 and reading this story in the Herald has been very emotional, outstanding work by all involved. We are extremely grateful to all those people that made Operation Pedro Pan possible. I will forever be grateful to my Aunt Mercedes Vega and my Uncle Armando Vega who provided for me and loved me as if I was their own son, and a Special Thanks to my Aunt and Godmother Esther Gort who made it possible for me and others to arrive.

Message by Leo Llanos Fresneda | May 17th 2009

Would like to know about a friend I had in Habana, his name is Heriberto Sedeno.

Message by TERRY VALLINA RIVAS | May 17th 2009

thank you for this important historical work!!! i have been getting the courage all morning to look for my record and just finding my name was very emotional. lots of work to be done here and there is a great opportunity thru your data base. my daughter found her dad and i first thing when she woke up this morning. my date of birth is incorrect and i would like to be able to register but it does not allow it please tell me what to do. again my great appreciation for your wonderful work and to George for the Chiclets and his record keeping and to my tia anita for taking me in

Message by Patricia Pino Hernandez | May 17th 2009

HI,I just want to say thank you to everyone that made this possible.I know that it was hard to part from our parents when we were so young but it was for our own good.I'm sure that they fell the same way we did.I arrived on 10/03/62 with my brother.He was 13,and I was 10.We lived with my aunt till my parents arrived 5 years later.It was really hard for us too.I remenbered how I used to cried every night before I went to sleep, thinking of when will I see my parents again.But still in my heart I keep no hate towards their dicisions for doing what they had to do.I will always love my parents and the people that help us be where we are today,Thank you everybody!

Message by Maria E Fernandez | May 17th 2009

My name is Hiram E. Varona, I arrived on January 3, 1962. Am I the only one to admitt that sending a 10 year old to live with an aunt and her family in Miami, was cruel, insensitive, and unnecesary? I had just turned 10 in the previuos November. I did not see my father until 1966, and my mother and brother until 1968. I have two children and two grandchildren. I could never bring myself to put them through what I lived through during my separation from my parents! As a result of my parent's decision to send me on my own to Miami, I never really had a normal relationship with either my father or mother after their arrival in the U.S. I will never forgive nor forget their senseless act of shipping me off to the U.S. After 47 years of living in exile, I've slowly regained my identity, my sense of decency, and my self worth that was robbed from me the moment that I climbed the steps of a KLM DC-6 flight to Miami on January 3 of 1963. Many point out how "lucky" I was to have escaped from Cuba when I did. Those who say that, never sat in the front porch of strange house in Coconout Grove patiently waiting for my parents to show up. This I did for about 6 months, then eventually gave up hope of ever seeing them again. Sorry, this kind of "luck" I don't wish on anyone. For too many years I've maintained my silence on this subject. If I sound ungrateful, maybe it is because I have never once seen the positive side of this issue. There are those whose experience was different than mine, but then again not everyone reacts eqully. I know that their is a great deal I must come to grips with in order to overcome my bitterness, but slowly and eventually I will arrive there.

Message by Hiram E. Varona | May 17th 2009

Yeah: I also arrived here at Miami Int'l Airport direct from Rancho Boyeros August 3rd, 1962 as a refugee alien, under the auspices of The Catholic Church's Pedro Pan Operation Program. I was 12 years old then. I spent about three years in the program, the latest location 'Florida City.'I reunited with Mom in 1965 and moved to California, The City of Los Angeles. I came back to Florida late 2003 in a permanent basis. It was all very nostalgic and at times emotionally troubling-the separation from our parents-but man's destiny is always full of twists and turns. Looking forward to communicate with any other Pedro Pan.! Exchange notes and so forth. Bye, bye!!!

Message by Manuel E Gutierrez Arnao | May 17th 2009

Saludos. Yo no soy un Pedro Pan, pero estoy buscando a dos amigos míos de la infancia que sí lo fueron y a los que me encantaría saludar. Son dos hermanos. Se llaman Alfredo (que debe tener ahora unos 58 años) y Andrés (que debe tener unos 56) de la Garza y eran de Guanabacoa. Aún tengo viva la imagen de ellos en la pecera de Rancho Boyeros. Gracias

Message by Julián Pérez | May 17th 2009

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