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,

Florencio A Nadal Alonso

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Florencio A's Story

BRANDON - Two decades before Florencio Nadal opened his pediatrics practice in Brandon in 1978, he was a 10-year-old Cuban citizen. What transpired in the coming years helped define him, he said.

"I am what I am today because I lost a country," Nadal said. "I came to this country ready to go, ready to work. Too many Americans don't understand history or see the rest of the world clearly. They don't understand what we have here."

Nadal was raised in the town of Bejucal, south of Havana, where his father was a general practitioner.

"My great-grandfather was born in Asturias, in northern Spain," he said. "My grandfather was also a doctor."

After the Cuban revolution ended in 1959, Nadal's family faced increasing pressure because he treated people oppressed by the government of General Fulgencio Batista, who was ousted by Fidel Castro's guerilla movement.

"My father was involved in the anti-Batista underground," Nadal said. "He treated those beaten by Batista. But Castro took everything from my uncle and he was jailed, then my dad was put in jail for trying to help my uncle."

After the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, when Cuban exiles backed by the United States tried to overthrow Castro's government, Nadal's family made plans to leave.

In March 1962, Nadal was sent to safety.

"I came via Operation Peter Pan," he said, referring to the mass exodus of thousands of Cuban children after Castro took power. Nadal ended up in Des Moines and did not see his mother or sisters for three years.

"We moved to West Tampa in 1966, when my dad found work at the Centro Asturiano Hospital as an OR tech," he said.

Nadal was part of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Academy's last high school class in 1967, then attended the University of South Florida as a premed student before working at the Port of Tampa and a department store.

Once his direction was clear, Nadal studied at Hillsborough Community College and then the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara in Mexico. He earned his medical degree in 1974 and stayed in Mexico to teach medicine for a year.

Nadal's training included an internship in northern Canada and a pediatric residency in Jacksonville arranged through the University of Florida.

Once his qualifications were complete, Nadal returned to Tampa. In 1978, he opened his practice in Brandon.

"There wasn't much here," Nadal said. "It took a long time to get going. My father was already a general practitioner in the area, so I often worked afternoons in his office."

Today, Nadal Pediatrics has two locations.

"I love taking care of kids," Nadal said. "I have a job I thoroughly enjoy."

He worries, though, about a disturbing trend.

"Children are too sedentary," he said. "We all are. Obesity is a nationwide epidemic, and type-two diabetes is widespread in children. The average child has disappeared in America. Kids in sports are all skinny; the others are fat. There's no in between."

Another of his concerns is America's obsession with the quick fix.

"People run to an after-hours clinic," Nadal said. "It's like going to a 7-Eleven instead of the grocery store. In pediatrics, it's important to have the same doctor all the way through. The relationship is important. But it's 'See me when I want to be seen, and see me fast.'"

Nadal also bristled about treatment.

"People like tests, procedures, fancy diagnosis," he said. "It sounds important. But ... the human body works. Vitamin C works. Hugging and kissing and chicken soup - they're all great treatments."

He also thinks parents are too anxious about vaccinations.

"People forget iron lungs for polio, sanitariums, the effects of smallpox," he said. "Many infectious diseases are no longer a danger. But we're seeing a tremendous fear of vaccinations. Parents all think autism is caused by vaccines, and they forget the benefits."

For relaxation, Nadal enjoys fishing, diving, reading, politics, coffee, the Florida Gators and history.

Would he like to return to Cuba someday?

"I'd like to see it again," he said. "But this is home. I'm an American!"


OCCUPATION: Pediatrician, Nadal Pediatrics

LOCATIONS: 376 E. Bloomingdale Ave., 621 Victoria St., Brandon

BORN: Cuba, 1948

EDUCATION: OLPH Academy, Tampa; University of South Florida; Hillsborough Community College; Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, Mexico; University of Florida



MARRIED: Marcia Rains-Nadal, 2007

CHILDREN: Frank, 27; twins, Bob and Eric, 23

CALL: (813) 681-7101

Derek Maul can be reached at

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Status update | Oct 17th 2012

Florencio, hace muchos anos que no te veo, bienvenido al grupo Pedro Pan, yo vivo en Tallahassee.

Message by Manuel J. Izquierdo Rodriguez | Oct 15th 2012

Florencio A has uploaded new photos.

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Florencio A has updated their profile.

Status update | Oct 15th 2012

Florencio, espero verte pronto. Saludos Vicente

Message by Vicente N Medel Valle | May 29th 2009

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