At the 2016-2017 annual Fellowships Ceremony, the CINTAS Foundation
announced the retirement of its president, Hortensia E. Sampedro, after more
Online PR News – 26-January-2017 – Miami, Florida – At the 2016-2017 annual Fellowships Ceremony, the CINTAS Foundation
announced the retirement of its president, Hortensia E. Sampedro, after more than three decades of
Tapped by then Chairman of the Board of the Chase Manhattan Bank David Rockefeller, Hortensia
began her service as assistant treasurer, was elected as a director, then member, and served on the
Visual Arts Committee and as treasurer of CINTAS. Hortensia was eventually elected as the CINTAS
Foundation's fourth president since its founding in 1963.
Over her span of service, the Foundation has been the sole organization granting fellowships for Cuban
arts and the humanities outside Cuba. In the early 1980s, the strategic decision was made to evolve the
Foundation as a collecting entity as well as the premiere fellowship granting entity. This was followed by
the decision to bring the fledgling collection out of storage and partner with a major institution of higher
learning to regularly exhibit the works of the Fellows. Subsequently, a strong program of bi-annual
exhibitions was developed around the CINTAS Fellows. In 1988 a program to recognize Lifetime
Achievements of living Cubans was inaugurated, honoring internationally recognized Cubans in the arts
and the humanities who are credited with changing their world and inspiring others to do the same.
Soon another program of annual exhibitions was organized around the CINTAS Finalists, initially in
partnership with the FIU Frost Museum of Art and more recently with the Miami Dade College Museum of
Art + Design. The CINTAS Fellows Collection is on long-term loan to the Museum and housed on a
rotating exhibit basis at the Freedom Tower. Today, the Fellows Collection comprises over 280 works and
37 objects from over 300 Fellows. The works are posted on the CINTAS Foundation's website with each
artist's history and background.
Hortensia credits committee chairs Margarita Cano, Manuel Gonzalez, Ileana Oroza, Roberto de Alba,
Rafael Miyar, and Nancy Reisman with leading the formative decisions of the CINTAS over the last 35+
years. “Through their dedication to supporting the work of the Fellows, our directors faithfully carried out
the wishes of Oscar B. Cintas, creating the unique legacy of the last 54 years”. She also credits Dahlia
Morgan of the then The Art Museum at FIU with the initial vision of exhibiting the Fellows’ works and
Jeremy Mikolajczak of MDC Museum of Art + Design of capturing their accomplishments in: Impact and
Legacy: 50 Years of the CINTAS Foundation. “Most recently, Dr. Eduardo Padron, president of Miami
Dade College, had the vision to house the collection at the Freedom Tower, and Alberto Ibarguen,
president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, has supported broadened support for
the annual work of the Fellows. Through their leadership, these extraordinary leaders have given voice to
the Cuban fellows”. The CINTAS Fellowship Collection has grown into a unique narrative of the Cuban
diaspora through its arts and humanities for over 50 years.
Known as the "quiet Pulitzer prize of Cuban arts and the humanities", the CINTAS Fellowships have
recognized a who's who of accomplished Cuban artists, architects, writers and composers for over half a
century. The CINTAS Competition has been lauded for its integrity and the vision of its juries.
The Board of Directors presented Hortensia with a commemorative Tiffany crystal vase at the ceremony.
Elected to succeed her is Victor Deupi, vice president of the CINTAS Foundation.
About the CINTAS Fellowship Program
The CINTAS Fellowship Program encourages creative development in architecture, literature, music
composition and the visual arts. The Foundation was established with funds from the estate of Oscar B.
Cintas (1887-1957), former Cuban ambassador to the United States, a prominent industrialist and patron
of the arts. In June 2011, the CINTAS Foundation entered into an extended loan to MDC’s Museum of Art
+ Design of the CINTAS Fellows Collection. It is comprised of nearly 300 pieces by artists of Cuban
descent living outside Cuba who have received prestigious CINTAS Fellowships, awarded since 1963.
About MDC Museum of Art and Design
MDC Museum of Art and Design is dedicated to the presentation of visual art and design exhibitions.
Housed at the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in downtown Miami, its
mission is to promote the appreciation and understanding of art through direct engagement with original
For more information about the CINTAS program at MDC Museum of Art + Design, please contact
Laurie Escobar, CINTAS Administrator, 305-237-7901, firstname.lastname@example.org.