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,

Maria del Carmen Valdivia Martinez

General Information
Current Name
Carmen Valdivia
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Maria del Carmen Valdivia Martinez
Age on Arrival
Date of Arrival
Wednesday, August 8, 1962
Relocated To
CWB Florida City
Stayed With
Casa Suarez
Haiti Pedro Pan
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Maria del Carmen's Story

Florida Heritage Landmark Dedication Ceremony, Historical Reference

By Carmen Valdivia,

OPPG Historic Committee Chairperson

OPPG Board of Directors

Florida City Alumni

The state of Florida ha...

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Si Dios y La Virgen quieren estare presente en el proximo desayuno.Que casualidad, veo que le pides a tu esposo que se acabe de registrar Ahora somos dos pues si vas a mi "Site" te podras fijar que yo llegue el primer dia a Kendall en Octubre 10, 1961.Despues me enviaron con mi hermano Pepe a Matecumbe. Por favor pidele a mi companero de vuelo que se acabe de registrar para poder hablar con el. Carinos a ustedes MELVIN

Message by Melvin F Noriega Plasencia | Aug 8th 2009

Dear Carmen, I just did,I left a message for your beautiful sister. I am so sorry to hear about Ileana. These are the news you least expect to hear, because it was too early in her life as well as your sister's life. Silvia Portu also responded to me with the news about Ileana. Thanks, and my best to you.

Message by Niurka A Strong | Aug 6th 2009

Carmen gracias por recordarme el apellido de las Mesas. Sabes de ellas?. Tambien me preguntas por Haydee Gabeiras ella se caso con Juanito Gil y mas nunca he sabido de ellos.Cuanta gente querida encuentro entre las fotografias de Isa.Me puse a mirarlas y regrese de nuevo a Florida City.Mi papa Pepe Arturo mi mama Lala y mi hermano Pepe viviamos en la casa detraz del laundry.Cuando veo la foto de la casa de los Suarez me recuerdo lo correcto que siempre era el y que agrasable Aimee, Pepe y yo somos amigos de su hijo Mannel ahora Dr. Manuel Suarez. Sigo revisando y veo a las Valdivia a las Pando a Carmen Medina A Haydee Gabeiras a Tete Extremera a Maria Elena Pomar a Lilita y a una que se me parece a Clarita Alonso. Que clase de grupo el de la guagua. Como se llama la rubia que esta sentada al lado de Carmen Medina?.En la ultima photo vi a Guichi yo me llevaba muy bien con ella. En la foto a color que estan ustedes dos con Ivonne la muchaca que esta a la derecha creo que es Conchita Gandara. Tremenda descarga! Que fotos tan lindas, cuantos recuerdos. Si sabes de toda esta gente Cuentame. Muchos carinos a ustedes. MELVIN

Message by Melvin F Noriega Plasencia | Aug 6th 2009

Good to hear from you. My best wishes for your family and I will look up to heaven and say hello to your sister. I am sure she will hear me....

Message by Niurka A Strong | Aug 6th 2009

Carmen: I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment. However, I may be more extreme than you, in the sense that whatever system you have, if it oppresses people, denies their humanity, seeks to control every aspect of their lives, denies their basic right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...then they are a Communist system, regardless their flag, their underlying political theory or their allegiance.. I may use a braod stroke and ignore differences such as Fascists allowing the upper class to remain, while Communists replacing the elite with an imperial Party class of their own. But, when you get right down to it, whether a Hitler, a Stalin, a Castro or a Duvalier, they're all monsters whose lives and actions conform to the Communist Manifesto, as well as to Mein Kampf. I appreciate your optimism and remain optimistic as well. Yes, Chavez is trying, but by the day, he's losing more and more followers who are opening their eyes. Likewise, Ortega, the little monkey. The people of Latin America are wiser after Cuba. The truth is out. In that regard, if there is a book on this issue that is a "must read" it is: The Isle of Dr. Castro, written by Rene Rousseau. Check it out online. Rousseau arrived in Cuba a naive Fench reporter with Pro-Castro tendencies. Four years later he was expelled because his writings had turned the French people against Castro...their eyes were opened. It is an incredible read. It is available in Spanish and English and published by Planeta publishing. Regards and let's keep the truth spreading. Tony G.

Message by Antonio Gonzalez Perez | Aug 5th 2009

Maria Del Carmen, I was reading your story again. I recognize your face. Iam so very sorry about your sister. You have a lovely family. Niurka (Monfort) Strong

Message by Niurka A Strong | Aug 5th 2009

Maria de Carmen es Caruca Cesari hija de Nino y Peluc espero que nos podamos hablar un poco mas ya que nos hemos enconctrao despues de tantos anos, cuentame de ti tengo 3 vaones y 4 nietos una familia muy linda bueno te escribo con mas calma tengo a Melvin ensenandome carinos

Message by Caridad Cesari Quevedo | Aug 5th 2009

Dear Carmen: Many thanks for your kind words and I'm impressed and overjoyed by those "Peter Panners," such as you, who carry the mantle for freedom in their hearts. Beyond words and token gestures, we know that to live freedom, we must practice it every day, How? by respectting the rights of others to have their say, whether fool, lumpen or luminary. Marti faced this exact challenge, just as victory drew near. While he was busy raising money for the cause in America, Maximo Gomez and Antonio Maceo etc. were crafting plans to establish a military junta to rule Cuba, once the Spaniards were driven out. On my book's website I quote Marti's comment concerning that tendency of ours to see the "strong man" as the solution to all our problems: "otro gobierno funesto." I lived in West Berlin during the summer of 1980. I learned first hand how communism needs isolation and insulation (via walls, mine fields, fictitious embargos etc.) in order to survive. Why? because it is a human abomination that cannot survive in the face of true freedom. If you want examples of "leftist" dictatorships that crumbled into dust, take a look at East Germany, Checkoslovakia, Estonia, Poland, Latvia, Rumania etc. The truth is out and people now manage to topple dictatorships of either left or right, because both are inhuman dribble. Let's make sure that Cuba, who's time is rapidly approaching, embraces real democracy and returns to the center from Where Batista yanked it with his Coup. Let's make sure that Marti is used for more than lip service. Too many of our brethren in exile quote him ad nauseum, while pushing for a right wing Caudillo for Post-Castro Cuba. Cuba's had enough Tyrants inflicting scars to last it a millenium. Basta Ya! Warmest regards, Tony G.

Message by Antonio Gonzalez Perez | Aug 4th 2009

Carmen han pasado muchos anos pero al ver las fotografias de Las Valdivia y de Las Pando se abrio el baul de mis recuerdos de Florida City. Supe de tu hermanita, lo siento mucho.Dios solo nos separa por breves momentos. Algun dia estaremos todos juntos. Quizas el cielo se parezca al "Campamento" y poder estar en compania de todos nuestros seres queridos y amigos. Las recuerdo con carino MELVIN

Message by Melvin F Noriega Plasencia | Aug 1st 2009

Hi Carmensita te dire que tengo varias fotos del campamento ya pronto las voy a poner, de mi prima Virginia Vargas pues vive a una cuadra de mis padres y ayer estuvo con mi mami en su casa yo se lo voy a desir pues no la veo hace un tiempo, enseguida que la contacte te lo dejo saber, te digo que tienes una familia bien linda, yo tengo una hija y dos nietos ya pronto pondre las fotos, muchos bezos, Silvia

Message by Silvia Budejen Trujillo | Jul 25th 2009

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