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,

Eloísa Echazábal Pi

Eloísa's Story

My story is unique, as is each one of the over 14,000 Pedro Pan stories. Some are happier; some are sadder. I believe the decision to send my sister and me alone to the United States was made by my pa...

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I'll be with Manny Izquierdo from Tallahassee. Remember him? You met at our Central Florida reunion. Also, Lynn and Felix will be at our table....see you there!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Nov 21st 2013

Elo, are you going on Saturday? Hope to catch you there although it's usually so crowded that it's hard to catch up with everyone. It promises to be a great gala!

Message by Susy Rodriguez | Nov 21st 2013

Hi My twin sister and I attended El Vervo Encarnado, I left after 6th grade for another school but Tete stayed and remembers the militia entering the school. We live in Ampliacion de Almendares and tour first name sounds familiar to me. i as always addressed by my knick name "Magaly". Enjoyed reading your story.

Message by Margaret Ferraioli | Nov 17th 2013

Gracias Eloisa por tan interesante historia. Que risa me causo cuando Bobby te invito a un baile y tu immediatamente le dijiste que tenias que llamar a tu madre en Cuba para pedirle permiso! How Cuban was that? Quiero que sepas que me causo mucho trabajo montar las 4 fotos en mi pagina; Josie me tuvo que ayudar ya que soy bastante torpe en las cosas tecnicas. Ojala que pronto pueda montar fotos de las actividades de Pedro Pan incluyendo las de la presentacion de mi ultimo libro.Un abrazo, Fernan

Message by Fernando P Hernandez Lorenzo | Oct 13th 2013

I'm happy you like my Ga Pedro Pan group, Eloisa. Thanks for your support. Blessings.

Message by Emma A. Botet Zuloaga | Oct 2nd 2013

Thank you Eloisa!

Message by Elisa Vilano Chovel | Aug 31st 2013

Muchas gracias Eloisa. Gracias por tu ayuda con este website. Bendiciones desde Ga.

Message by Emma A. Botet Zuloaga | Aug 29th 2013

Hola Eloisa, The original photo that I saw of you and your sister was when she was younger and I thought it looked like my friend Teresita. After looking at some other photos when she was a bit older I don't think it was the same person and I realized that she is two years younger than I am. We may have played together at the school and I do wish that she was the same Teresita but I was so touched by your story regardless. Some memories of El Verbo Encarnado are, recitng poems on Friday in the patio of El Verbo Encarnado when we had the salute to the flag. I also loved to participate in programs at El Verbo Encarnado and remember the "cottage" by the patio. I actually had my kindergarten class there and loved the teacher and sometimes I think that my desire to teach (at first to be a kindergarten teacher) started very early because of that wonderful influence (although I now teach at a college). Seeing your photos with the "uniforme de gala" and the medals (which I still have some of them) brought back many memories. I remember sometimes arriving early and the sisters would offer me breakfast and they would serve "white" butter with bread. I thought that was great and wished that I could have that more often. They used to let me practice the piano at the school until my parents purchased one for me. I have so many other wonderful memories of "El Verbo Encarnado" which I would love to share with you and your sister even though I don't think she was the Teresita that I used to play with. Thank you again for your story and memories I do hope that we can keep in touch. I hope to post pictures in the near future. I'll check my email. Recuerdos,Rosalinda

Message by Rosalinda Gayoso | Aug 1st 2013

Hola Eloisa, I just registered yesterday with this site and enjoyed reading your story. I did not realize that my brother and I had been part of Operation Pedro Pan until I happened to see it and found our names with the information as to when we left Cuba etc. I didn't realize this since when we came from Cuba in January 1962 we immediately went to New York to live with an uncle and aunt. I read your story and wanted you to know that I also went to El Verbo Encarnado and had a good friend named Teresita. I don't remember her last name but she looked somewhat like the picture of your sister. My maiden name is Rosalinda Gayoso and my brother is Miguel Gayoso but he only attended el Verbo Encarnado for a few years. I was 10 years old when I left Cuba and he was 13. I have not had a chance to write my profile or load any photos but would love to hear back from you and see if Teresita my friend was your sister. Did you live in an apartment house? I somehow recall going to play at Teresita's house and I thought it was beautiful because it was an apartment. Isn't it funny how kids are? Do you know others that attended El Verbo Encarnado? I would love to hear from you. Muchas gracias, Rosalinda

Message by Rosalinda Gayoso | Jul 31st 2013

Eloísa has uploaded new photos.

Status update | Jul 29th 2013

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