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,

Susana (Susy) Garrandés Gonzalez

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Truly blessed for having been raised in the USA!

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Yes, I'll be there, Dios mediante. I'm a guest of Jorge Viera, so I'll be at his table.

Message by Eloísa Echazábal | Nov 21st 2013

Thank you, Susana. And a Happy Thanksgiving Day to you too! Jose Antonio Amaro Reyes.

Message by Jose A. Amaro Reyes | Nov 21st 2013

El mensaje anterior se envió sin querer. Gracias a Dios logré reunirme con ellos y mi hermano pudo salir de la carcel donde fué uno de los presos plantados. Mis padres llegaron a celebrar sus 70 años de matrimonio, los habrán iguales pero no mejores. Gracias por tus palabras y en algún momento tendré el placer de estrechar su mano

Message by Ramón Luis de Guzmán Chaple | Nov 7th 2013

Dear Susy, I am so sorry that I am finding this website so late and just learned about Jorge. I went to school with Antonio in Evansville Indiana. We were very close and I think of him all the time--in fact, he is one of the reasons that I decided to adopt a little boy from an orphanage in Russia. I have such wonderfully fond memories of Antonio. We lived through the woods from the Hillenbrands. I would love to email him if he has email. He spoke so lovingly of his mother, you and Jorge. I hope you receive this message. My condolences to you and yours regarding Jorge. I felt as if I knew him!

Message by Stephanie Kempf | Aug 21st 2013

The following is another testament to the character and benevolence of the angel God sent to protect us the Pedro Pan children. Stories about Msgr. Bryan O. Walsh # 16 Father Walsh by Juan Pujol- June 16, 2013 Today is Father's Day and I have decided to sit down and write a few lines about someone who I consider that although he was not a father himself became a true Father to many of us. The first time I saw Father Walsh, as we used to call him back then, he was visiting Matecumbe to meet with some of us and listen to our grievances about the way meals were being served. Very respectfully, we explained what we thought was going on, he listened and we saw a change. Shortly after that, I was sent to St. Raphael's Hall and our contact was more often, especially when I had to see him because I did not meet curfew. On certain weeknights I would work for a few hours in a window factory near St. Raphael’s. I needed the money to buy medicines for my dad in Cuba and to go out with my girlfriend and friends. One night Father Walsh was waiting for me. Very patiently he heard all the good reasons that I had for working, he understood, but had to enforce the rules already known to all of us. I understood and I switched to daytime Saturday jobs. I was part of a musical group called "The Eagles". One night at the DuPont Plaza Hotel we had our premier performance as the backup band, the dance lasted longer that we had anticipated and when we returned to St. Raphael’s happy, full of enthusiasm and making plans for the future, Father Walsh was waiting for us. He was very clear and to the point, we were under his care and had to accept the established rules. We had mutual respect and in all these occasions of reprove he never faltered my dignity or talked to me in a bad way. That was the last time “the Eagles flew.” In February of 1965 I turned 19 and could no longer be part of the program but still had until May to graduate from La Salle High School, Father Walsh told me my tuition would be taken care of, I worked part time to sustain myself and to continue sending medicines to Cuba. The day of our wedding he took time from his busy schedule to concelebrate along with Fr. Pala. Years later we started to see him more often, every 26th of December we visited him at a Camp on Biscayne Blvd and 114 St where he lived with the last group that participated in the program. He would tell our children that he was their “abuelo”. Whenever I saw him he would introduce me as one of his “muchachos” and always gave me the impression that he said it very proudly. An Indian proverb states that we will be known forever by the tracks we leave behind. Father Walsh has left so profound tracks in me that I feel that the least I can do is to try to keep alive the torch he ignited with his “Fiat” when he was asked to be in charge of an “operation” that nobody had a clue how complex and important was going to be for the lives of so many.

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Jul 17th 2013

¡Gracias, Susy!

Message by Eloísa Echazábal | Jul 4th 2013

¡Bien dicho, Susana!¡Qué viva los Estados Unidos de América a quienes nosotros los pedro panes le debemos nuestra libertad, bienestar y éxito! ¡Qué viva! ¡Abajo el totalitarismo! ¡Abajo Cuba comunista y los tontos útiles que le hacen el juego para sacar provecho, los fracasados envidiosos guiados por el rencor y odio!

Message by Jose Antonio Amaro Reyes | Jul 4th 2013

Susana (Susy) has uploaded new photos.

Status update | Jul 4th 2013

Gracias Susana por tu amable mensaje. Es una suerte tener disponible esta tecnologia que nos facilita que los Pedro Pan permanezcamos siempre en contacto.

Message by Jorge L. Viera | Jun 18th 2013

Susana (Susy) says: Another Pedro Pan and Cuban success story.

Status update | Jun 6th 2013

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