Born in 1932 in Havana, Cuba, Margarita Cano began her studies at the University of Havana. She left Cuba in 1962 to settle in Miami and later became director of arts for the Miami-Dade County Public Library. The arts programs she initiated focused on the work of African-American and Cuban-American artists and eventually led to the establishment of a permanent collection at the library. An artist herself, Cano's artwork focuses on Cuban scenes painted on wood in a miniature style. In 1983 she served as project director for the exhibition The Miami Generation: Nine Cuban-American Artists (La Generacion de Miami: Nueve Artistas Cubano Americanos), curated by Latin American curator and scholar, Guilio Blanc.