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,

Rita Rodriguez Pardinas

Rita's Story

En agosto de 1961, con 8 años de edad,salí en el último ferry que partió de La Habana con visa de turista. Desde mayo 1961, mi hermano, Hector, estaba en Matacumbé esperando nuestra llegada, pero ...

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Rita has updated their profile.

Status update | Aug 13th 2012

¡Hola Rita! Que cute tu foto. Ahora me gustaría leer algo de tu historia de Pedro Pan, aunque sea cortica.

Message by Eloísa Echazábal | Jul 14th 2012

Rita has updated their profile.

Status update | May 9th 2012

Rita: Gracias por escribirme. Leyendo tu nota tan cariñosa sobre mi tia, me ha traido muchos recuerdos y sintiendo que ella no pueda apreciar ahora de los que la recuerdan. Ella es una de las maestras mas dedicadas que he conocido (bueno y a veces hasta el punto de sacarlo a uno del quicio). Ella tenia un gran amor a la enseñansa y a los niños. En adicion tenia sus melodramas. La primera vez que fui a PR yo tenia 15 años y me pase las vacaciones de verano con ella. Al regresarme a Miami, a los 2 dias tenia una carta de ella diciendome.."Susanita, cuando regrese del aeropuerto, limpie el piso con las lagrimas porque te estraño mucho". ja ja ja! Yo ahora la estraño mucho. Ella esta viviendo en una casa en Caguas donde la señora se dedica a cuidar personas con Alzheimers. Mis primos la visitan a menudo pero rara vez sabe quien son. Gracias de nuevo por recordarte de ella. Un abrazo.

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Nov 8th 2010

Rita, Why don't you post your experience of when you left Cuba on the site? Would love to read it. Was anyone else from our class a PP child? Joe

Message by Joseph L Oroza Ruilopez | May 6th 2010

Hola Rita,cuando nos vas a contar tu historia?? Nos vemos pronto....un abrazo de Carmencita

Message by Carmencita Romanach | Feb 14th 2010

I don't want this to turn into a big deal. What puzzled me is that people knew where I went to elementary school and that information is no where else but on the PP site. Where did you post my email address or who did you send it to? Is there a list of the members of our class? It is very bizarre because on the PP site the privacy clause states that only registered members have access to the bio information on the PP site. Please let me know. Thanks

Message by Joseph L Oroza Ruilopez | Feb 12th 2010

Yes I thought it was kind of odd that I was receiving the messages with the alert from the Pedro Pan site. If the email address was posted on Facebook? or on the ASC site, it shouldn't go through the PP site. All the messages that I have received have made reference to my bio on the PP site. I have nothing to hide, but would like to keep my PP story among us PP children. Where did you post my email address?

Message by Joseph L Oroza Ruilopez | Feb 12th 2010

Rita has uploaded new photos.

Status update | Feb 12th 2010

Hi Rita, I've been getting messages from other class members and it's been great. They show up through the Pedro Pan website. Can people from outside the PP network reach you through the PP webpage? Joe

Message by Joseph L Oroza Ruilopez | Feb 12th 2010

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