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 museum@mdc.edu. Event contacts: Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, jmendiet@mdc.edu, MDC communications director Tere Estorino Florin, 305-237-3949, testorin@mdc.edu, MDC media relations director Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366, rromero3@mdc.edu, media specialist Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, sue.arrowsmith@mdc.edu, media specialist Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482, arios1@mdc.edu

Maria del Carmen Perez Cancelas (Romanach)

Maria del Carmen's Story

Today, October 19th, 2011 marks a very important milestone in my life. On a day like this, fifty years ago, I arrived at the Miami Airport with my two younger brothers, Raul and Carlos.

I would be ...

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Status update | Jul 17th 2014

Historic Designation St. Jude Melkite Catholic Church: According to an article written by Monsignor Bryan O. Walsh in 1971 titled Cuban Refugee Children, on December 25th, 1960 he was praying to find accommodations for the first Pedro Pan children that would start coming the next day. His prayers were answered when he saw the Assumption Academy, a boarding school for girls and decided to stop by and request help from Sister Elizabeth, the Director of the school. Sister Elizabeth said later that she could not deny such a request on Christmas day. This was the place where the first Pedro Pan found shelter that Christmas of 1960. The Assumption Academy Chapel (now St. Jude Melkite Catholic Church) needs our support to achieve the Historic Designation that would preserve it as part of our Pedro Pan legacy. To support the Historic Designation of St. Jude Melkite Catholic Church, please attend the Hearing: When: Thursday, July 25th Time: 2 pm Where: City Hall Coconut Grove, 3500 Pan American Dr. If you can't attend the Hearing and wish to support the Historic Designation please call the commissioners before July 25th or send them an email today with the following message: YES! I support the Historic Designation of St. Jude Melkite Catholic Church. Don't forget to sign the email with your name/address/phone. Here are the Commissioner's email and phone numbers: Francis Suarez 305 250 5420- fsuarez@miamigov.com Frank Carollo 305 250 5380- fcarollooffice@miamigov.com Marc Sarnoff 305 250 5333- msarnoff@miamigov.com Michelle Spence Jones 305 250 5390- mspence-jones@miamigov.com Willy Gort 305 250 5430- wgort@miamigov.com

Message by Carmencita Romanach | Jul 23rd 2013

Maria del Carmen has uploaded new photos.

Status update | Apr 3rd 2013

Buenos dias Carmen, yo llegue a los estados unidos en sept 1961 tenia 17 anos. me alegro que se encuentra bien

Message by Fernando B. Menendez Balseiro | Feb 23rd 2013

Your story, like many others, is very similar to mine. I also attended el colegio Nuestra Senora de Lourdes en la Vibora with my two other sisters, Mary Lourdes and Delia Maria. The nuns used to refer to us as the "ramitos". My oldest sister, Mary Lourdes, was 14 1/2 years old when she left Cuba. It was a pleasure to have read your story. Marcia "Caridad"

Message by Marcia Caridad Ramos Gonzalez | Feb 23rd 2013

The unveiling of the Florida City marker and street dedication last Friday was a very nice and significant event. Good job, OPPG!

Message by Eloísa Echazábal | Nov 22nd 2012

Maria del Carmen has uploaded new photos.

Status update | Nov 20th 2012

On this site, which was officially known as the Florida City Shelter of the Catholic Welfare Bureau’s Cuban Children’s Program, thousands of Operation Pedro Pan children found refuge from Communist Cuba between 1961 and 1966. Operation Pedro Pan was conceived and organized by Monsignor Bryan O. Walsh of the Archdiocese of Miami and James Baker, headmaster of Ruston Academy in Havana, Cuba, at the request of parents who sought to prevent Communist indoctrination of their children. It was financed largely by the United States Government with full support of the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations, and was supervised by the State of Florida. Between December 1960 and October 1962, over 14,000 Pedro Pan children arrived in South Florida. The Florida City Shelter was the largest of the Operation’s facilities in the state. It housed girls 5-19 years old and boys under 13 who lived in home units under the care of exiled Cuban couples who served as house parents. Its day-to-day operations were managed by Catholic priests and Sisters of St. Philip Neri. Many Operation Pedro Pan children went on to plant deep roots in the region and made significant contributions to Florida and the nation. A FLORIDA HERITAGE LANDMARK SPONSORED BY OPERATION PEDRO PAN GROUP, INC. AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE 2012

Message by Carmencita Romanach | Nov 18th 2012

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Status update | Nov 18th 2012

Memorial Mass for Msgr. Bryan O. Walsh Date: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 Time: 7 p.m. Place: St. Michael Catholic Church 2987 West Flaggler St. Miami, Fl Please join us as in this Memorial Mass to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of his passing.

Message by Carmencita Romanach | Dec 13th 2011

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