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What is your identity?  For many of us this is a loaded – and perhaps very sensitive – question.  Humans construct their individual senses of Self from a myriad of different places and experiences.  We all have very unique feelings about the structure and meaning of a person’s distinctive identity; definitions are hazy at best.  In the case of 21c’s current art exhibition, Cuba Now, the idea of cultural identity takes center stage.

While the exhibit explores the parameters of Cuba’s living generation of artists, delving into deep concepts of censorship, race, gender and identity, 21c Museum Hotel is also celebrating the heritage of Cuban art with those who identify with their roots.  On this coming Monday, November 7th, 21c will host the poets Marta Miranda and Jeremy Dae Paden in conjunction with Sarabande Books.  Guests will also be treated to live music by Alberto Abril and Luis Orlando Lopez.

An immigrant from Pinar del Rio, Marta Miranda arrived in the U.S. at the tender age of twelve – settling in Kentucky fifteen years ago.  Miranda proudly identifies herself as “Cubalachian” – Cuban by birth and Appalachian by the Grace of God. Apart from being an accomplished poet, as well as having numerous published essays and journal articles, Miranda is also currently serving as the President/CEO for the Center for Women and Families.  Miranda will be reading her words in both Spanish and English.

Also presenting on Monday night is the multicultural and talented, Jeremy Dae Paden.  Born in Milan, Italy and primarily raised in Central America and the Dominican Republic, Dae Paden’s life has been one of mixed heritage and experience.  Presently teaching Spanish at Transylvania University, Dae Paden will join Miranda on the stage with a tribute to famed Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas; Arenas’ work has served as the inspiration behind Hugo Moro’s La Capilla de Los Palos, currently on display at 21c Museum as part of the Cuba Now exhibition.  Dae Paden’s poetry has appeared in publications such as the Atlanta Review, Limestone Pluck!, the Tidal Basin Review, the Cortland Review and the Beloit Poetry Review; he is a member of Affrilacian Poets.

This event is free to the public, so spend your money on a cocktail at the bar and head downstairs to the gallery for a celebration of the artists and identity of Cuban culture. 

21c Museum Hotel is located at 700 W. Main Street at the corner 7th and Main (you know the drill – look out for Red Penguins)

For more information, visit 21c’s website

Photo: Courtesy of 21c Museum Hotel website www.21chotel.com     

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Erin Day's picture

About Erin Day

I currently spend most of my days sequestered in a dark and secret room projecting IMAX films for an adoring public. In my spare time I read books (a lot) and contemplate ever more devious ways to become a professional Blacksmith. I love words, paper, fashion, trees, Charlie Chaplin, useless knick-knacks and my beloved turquoise 1994 Ford Ranger - Daniel. I totally believe in the Loch Ness Monster. Books are culture; my goal is to tell you a story.

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