Cubaocho Museum & Performing Arts Center
Backstory and Context
Located in the heart of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, Cubaocho Museum and Preforming Arts Center has an extraordinary collection of Cuban art and literary treasures. The owner of Cubaocho, Roberto Ramos, started rescuing and preserving Cuban art when he was gifted a painting by famous Cuban painter Carlos Sobrino. Despite the painter's legacy, few Cubans knew of him due to cultural suppression by Fidel Castro. In 1992, Ramos left Cuba at seventeen years old with a small collection of fourteen paintings. The young man made it close to Florida hidden in the hull of a small, wooden fishing boat, though it was unable to complete the journey. Ramos pleaded so insistently to the coast guards that came to rescue him that they agreed to tow the boat, thus saving the paintings.
Once in Miami, Ramos' collection and knowledge of Cuban continued to grow. Artists represented in his collection were major contributors to the cultural life of pre-Castro Cuba. Ramos founded Cubaocho to make his art collection and Cuban culture available to a wider audience. In addition to a constantly expanding museum, Cubaocho also features furniture once owned by Frank Sinatra and an extensive collection of pre-1959 Cuban publications. The library portion of the center features a wide variety of rare research materials about Cuban artists from 1800-1958. A well stocked rum and cigar bar frequently offers live music and is available to rent for private events.
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