Massive Celia Cruz Exhibit Opens in Miami This Fall

By Sameer Rao Aug 20, 2018

A Miami museum focused on the culture of Cubans living in exile partners with the estate of Celia Cruz for the largest-ever exhibit on the Afro-Cuban singer’s life and art. 

Billboard reports today (August 20) that the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora‘s "Forever Celia" will feature 60 years’ worth of the Queen of Salsa’s personal articles and archival material, cataloging her early career in Cuba, her emigration to the United States and her worldwide success. The exhibit will open to the public on October 18, a month after the museum’s grand opening on September 8.

"This the first time the public will be able to see all of Celia’s things in one place,” Cruz’ former manager and current estate executor Omer Pardillo-Cid told Billboard. Pardillo-Cid also noted that the exhibit, in tandem with a new musical about Cruz’s life, roughly coincides with the 15th anniversary of Cruz’s 2003 death from brain cancer.

Billboard adds that Pardillo-Cid took custody of Cruz’s posesssions after she died. These materials, which fans can expect to see in "Forever Celia," include more than 200 dresses, childhood photos, her plane ticket to perform for the Fania All-Stars’ 1974 show in Zaire and copies of her albums. The exhibit also features a recreation of Cruz’s 1990 performance at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay—her first performance in Cuba after she left in 1960.