November 19, 2019

Exhibition featuring island nation at Discovery Place Science for a limited time only

Organized by the American Museum of Natural History, ¡Cuba! will be on view for just 54 days.

CHARLOTTE – Cuba is a place of exceptional biodiversity and cultural richness, and soon, for a limited time, a new bilingual exhibition at Discovery Place Science will offer visitors fresh insights into this island nation just 94 miles from Florida’s shores.

With a close look at Cuba’s unique natural history, including its native species, highly diverse ecosystems and geology, ¡Cuba! also explores Cuba’s history, traditions and contemporary Cuban voices to inspire novel perspectives on this dynamic country.

Organized by the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York, ¡Cuba! will be on view for just 54 days, from November 9 to January 1, 2020.

Technically an archipelago of more than 4,000 islands and keys, Cuba is the largest island nation in the Caribbean—and one of the region’s most ecologically diverse countries.

The exhibition includes cultural artifacts, as well as live animals, specimens and lifelike models representing the island’s distinctive wildlife, from a venomous mammal to the world’s smallest bird. Biodiversity displays were developed by the AMNH in close collaboration with scientists at the Cuban National Museum of Natural History (Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Cuba, MNHN). Highlights include a re-creation of the Zapata wetlands, home to the endangered Cuban crocodile.

A long, open boulevard evoking the street life one might find in a Cuban city invites visitors to discover Cuban culture through music, games and a variety of interactive experiences. Other highlights include a pair of altars celebrating orisha religion, an Afro-Cuban spiritual tradition also known as Santeria; a gallery showcasing contemporary Cuban art; and a display on the cultivation of one of Cuba’s most famous crops, tobacco. An introductory film about Cuba’s history—including its first people, slavery, the sugar industry, and the 1959 revolution—provides visitors with historical context for contemporary realities.

¡Cuba! also looks at the environmental challenges the country faces, as well as the many effective conservation laws and measures in place to preserve its unique landscape.

As the political and economic relationship between the U.S. and Cuba continues to evolve, the exhibition aims to promote visitor understanding of Cuba’s history as well as its future.

“This exhibition really aims to surprise our visitors with details about Cuba that they’ve never thought about before,” said Catherine Wilson Horne, Discovery Place CEO and president. “Like the creators of ¡Cuba!, our hope is that this exhibition relays an understanding of who the people of Cuba are, how the island nation is biologically unique, how it is connected to the world and what it’s like to live in Cuba today.”

Throughout the run of ¡Cuba!, Discovery Place Science will also be showing the IMAX® film, CUBA.

Filmed exclusively for IMAX® and giant screen formats, CUBA immerses audiences in the electrifying culture of the island and reveals why Cuba continues to stir the imagination of the world. The film tells the powerful story of a land preserved in time yet poised on the cusp of dramatic change. The nation’s lively culture, its meticulously maintained colonial architecture, and the pristine ecosystems provide a colorful window into the island’s history and heart.

Audiences will be transported across breathtaking landscapes, beneath the ocean’s surface to iridescent reefs, and into streets throbbing with music and dance in the heart of Havana. Through the eyes of Cuban artists, historians and scientists, the film provides an intimate look this vivacious island nation.

¡Cuba! the exhibition will be on exhibition from November 9 through January 1, 2020. Tickets are on sale now and advance sales are highly recommended. Reserve your spot in advance at, via phone at 704.372.6261 or in person at Admissions. For more information, visit