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,

Ileana (MINICO) Ortega Menendez

General Information
Current Name
Ileana Arriola (Minico)
Current Location
United States of America
Name on Arrival
Ileana (MINICO) Ortega Menendez
Age on Arrival
Date of Arrival
Sunday, June 3, 1962
Relocated To
CWB Fla. City
Stayed With
Rev Cornelius Stefani, St John's Academy, Colfax, Wa

Ileana (MINICO)'s Story


I came when I was 12 yrs old. I remember that Mima before us leaving Guir...

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Minico, Gracias por el pesame y perdona que no sabia nada de tu operacion. Espero que estes mejorando cada dia mas y mas. Yo pensaba que estabas en unas vacaciones o algun viaje y estabas fuera de contacto. Cuidate mucho para que se te sane todo perfectamente. Muchos carinos, Mary

Message by Maria Petronila Hernandez Mills | Jul 16th 2009

07/15/09 Querida hermana: Gracias por escribirme...Mañana te doy una llamadita....te embullas para el desayuno del Sàbado? Espero que SI. Un abrazo, Otmara Capote

Message by Otmara Capote Gonzalez | Jul 15th 2009

Ileana, muchas gracias por compartir tu historia conmigo y poderte conocer en persona tan pronto como puedas ir a un Desayuno Pedro Pan, todo estamos unidos por la misma experiencia y es muy hermoso y saludable el contar con nuevos amigos que tuvieron historias similares. Me encanta la idea de que exista otro grupo Pedro Pan que da fiestas! Encantada de participar. Tu companera Pedro Pan, agradecida de conocerte, y de la valiosa informacion de que existe otro grupo de reuniones. Emy Botet -

Message by Emma A. Botet Zuloaga | Jul 15th 2009

Hi Minico, just wanted to say.."HAPPY BIRTHDAY" and many MORE.............. Hope you have a wonderful day with your family and friends. Love, Esther

Message by Esther M Gutierrez Martinez | Jul 7th 2009

06/29/09-Hola Ileana: Lei tu "story" muy buena.....a Teresita Baldor la vi hace como 5 años cara igualita....un poquito mas gordita, pero esto es tipico after 50. Te sugeriria que chequearas public records. Un abrazo , Otmara Capote

Message by Otmara Capote | Jun 29th 2009

hi Ileana, it's me georgie. i'm fine so is my husband. poor albert fine too. i'm gald you got your own house, but welcome to the home owner's sister is still around with her usual turmoils. glad to kownyou are a peter pan girl. keep in touch. nini

Message by Georgie D\'Angelo Chirino | Jun 23rd 2009

Hola Ileana. chica como tu ya conoces a todos los Pedro Panes de Tuinucu porque no le dices que pongan fotos, la historia y que contesten los mensajes, la verdad que la gente de Tuinucu me esta haciendo quedar mal. :-)

Message by Juanita Garcia | Jun 22nd 2009

Hola Ileana , Luis A Diaz es mi hermano, no se si lo sabias.

Message by Juanita Garcia | Jun 18th 2009

Chica que pena que no pudieron llegar. Yo me pase el dia en la casa el Martes! El Martes y el Jueves son mis dias de lavar y limpiar pero eso no tiene que ver cuando se trata de una visita especialmente de una amiga nueva; la limpieza y la ropa tienen que cojer segundo lugar en ese caso! Pero bueno, la proxima. Si, lo de mi tio se trata de esperar. El perdio su esposa y el hijo del medio que le afecto terriblemente, y ya no puede mas con su cuerpo, esta muy viejito aunque no lo parece porque no tiene cara de 99 años. Isabelita me dejo un message que se entero que no tengo email y piensa llamarme. Bueno hoy voy a cojer el dia off de cosas de la casa y con el favor de Dios si se me calma este dolor de espalda con que amaneci, (yo tengo problemas con mi espalda desde joven) voy a almorzar con mi hija en Lake Worth y relax; hace rato que no hacemos esto y ya es hora de "girls' lunch day". Cariños, Mary

Message by Maria Petronila Hernandez Mills | Jun 18th 2009

Tenemos ques estar listos para qual quier cosa. Menos mal que no fue nada. Nos veremos en la reunion si dios quiere.

Message by Luis A Diaz Gonzalez | Jun 17th 2009

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