Arts & Culture

Next Generation: From Alienage to Belonging via Museum Programs

The Cuban Museum will gather a team of arts & education experts from Miami-Dade County to formulate a programs strategy that, when applied by any arts organization in the county, can help to close the gap between "foreignness" and "ownership" of community and city, starting with middle-school age children in Dade Public Schools.


Miami-Dade’s population is often perceived as a transient population. The statistic revealed in Our Miami Report 2014 confirms that perception: 51.8 is foreign-born. The Cuban Museum envisions the population not as transient, but as in “cultural integration in progress”.


Museums create and provide environments in which individuals –especially youth- can come to understand where they are, and how they fit in. Miami being an amalgam of nationalities allows for every immigrant story to be part of the larger puzzle. In that “puzzle”, the Cuban émigré experience constitutes a significant piece, and can help others to connect the dots on their own story as part of the Miami-Dade story.


The team of experts * –a think tank- will convene bi-monthly during a six-month period to:

1. Analyze city/county data (as outlined in Our Miami Report, and as available from M-D Cultural Affairs);

2. Design viable education and community-based programs that can bridge the cultural gap between that 51.8% of the population and the County’s arts institutions;

3. Make recommendations for scaled implementation of those programs through Cuban Museum art education initiatives.


* The following experts will be considered to join the team: Mercedes Toural, former Deputy Director of M-D Public School (who will coordinate team in her capacity as Board Member of the Cuban Museum); Maxeme Tuchman, executive director of Teach for America, Miami; Laura Luna, Mentor Teaching Artist at Arts for Learning; Lilia Garcia, former Director of Arts Programs for M-D Public Schools; Angela Valella, [retired] faculty at Design & Architecture Senior High School (DASH), a magnet school; Dr. Alexis Martinez, Superintendent Region IV Miami-Dade Public Schools; among others.

Who are you?

We are the Cuban Museum, in existence since 1996, and about to inaugurate a permanent venue in Miami, for mid 2015. The Museum aims to become a major cultural organization in Miami-Dade County and nationally, as the museum of the Cuban Diaspora.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

To be foreign, as opposed to be mainstream. To be transient as opposed to being rooted. To belong, to develop civic duty and ownership. The fact that more than half of the County's population is foreign-born, and that growth in arts attendance rose only 0.4% in 2013, reveals a divide that in part could be explained in terms of cultural "outside-ness". This project will generate a blueprint for addressing issues faced by all cultural NGOs in M-D through, a model that can be applied by other NGOs.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

The 51.8% foreign born population.
The 0.4% growth in attendance in 2013.

Please give examples of your project's success.

Dozens of cultural programs for minorities, particularly Latinos/Cuban Americans;
The Cuban Museum has 18 years experience addressing issues of audience development and outreach to minority communities in South Florida.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Cuban Museum



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Idea No. 119