November 2014, Volume 18, Number 4


Alexis Rodríguez, Emilio Estefan, Gloria Estefan and Tico Torres
At the gallery opening were, from left, Alexis Rodríguez, MDC alumnus Emilio Estefan, Gloria Estefan and Tico Torres.

A Permanent Place for History

This fall, the MDC Museum of Art + Design expanded its scope with the addition of a historic component by opening The Cuban Exile Experience & Cultural Legacy Gallery. The new permanent space at the College’s National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower launched with a highly anticipated inaugural exhibition The ExileExperience: Journey to Freedom, a pictorial account of the struggles that the Cuban exile community has endured since Fidel Castro’s rise to power, and the successes that they have achieved in the U.S. Among the hundreds of attendees at the opening were international dignitaries, national and local officials, award-winning alumni, artists, historians and leaders of all walks of life.

Having covered the Cuban exile community and its struggle for freedom extensively throughout the years, Miami Dade College and Miami Herald Media Company proudly presented this journalistic chronology, which showcases the spirit and accomplishments of the Cuban-American community.

Most notably in its history, 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.”

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