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Articles by: I. I.

  • Facts & Stories

    The Voyage of Discovery

    The goal of the Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Voyage of Discovery program is to strengthen Italian American students’ understanding of their heritage and the contributions Italy has made to the world. This all-expenses paid trip for Italian American students covers round-trip airfare between Italy and America and two weeks of programs.

    “The Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Voyage of Discovery, a cornerstone program at the National Italian American Foundation, helps strengthen the Italian American identity by bonding young Italian Americans to the country, culture and heritage of Italy,” said NIAF Director of Programs Gabriella Mileti

    Today in its 16th year, the Voyage of Discovery is responsible for sending thousands of young, passionate Italian American students to Italy and for the fourth consecutive year, the students will also give back to their motherland through a community service project.”
     

    The trip also offers students the opportunity to perform community service in areas of need during their stay in Italy.

    The 14-day trip will include opportunities for students to perform community service, attend educational lectures, meet with government officials and business leaders, and visit government offices, international businesses, museums and other cultural attractions.

    Participants must be between the ages of 18 and 23 at the time of travel (June 2016); students must be enrolled in a college or university for the semester preceding the trip (Spring 2016); and students must be of Italian heritage and have never travelled to Italy.

    The application deadline is January 31, 2016 (11:59 p.m. EST). Apply online at >>>.  Only online applications will be accepted. Applicants are also required to mail a transcript and two written recommendations from a teacher, school official or political or community leader.  Applicants will be notified via email on Monday, February 29, 2016. 

    The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to preserving the heritage of Americans of Italian descent. Visit >>>.

  • Events: Reports

    New York Celebrates Italian Cinema

    Thursday, December 3rd – 8:00pm
    Screening of: I Knew Her Well (Io la Conoscevo Bene) by Antonio Pietrangeli
    Location: The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters – MoMA (11 West 53 Street  New York, NY 10019)

    The minimally ambitious Adriana Astarelli (Stefania Sandrelli) is a hairdresser who arrives in Rome as the protégé of a dubious promoter (Nino Manfredi) and finds herself drifting from man to man as she circles the periphery of modeling and show business.

    Indifferent to her own xploitation, she experiences a measure of material success without understanding what, if anything, she wants from life. In Italian; English subtitles. 99 min.
     

    In 2008 the film was selected to enter the list of the 100 Italian films to be saved. A project established by the Venice Days ("Giornate degli Autori") at the 65th Venice International Film Festival, in collaboration with Cinecittà Holding and with the support of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage Antonio Pietrangeli Retrospective will run from Dec. 3rd through Dec. 18th

    Friday, December 4th – 7:00pm

    Screening of: USA premiere of Tale of Tales (Il Racconto dei Racconti) by Matteo Garrone

    Location: The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters – MoMA(11 West 53 Street  New York, NY 10019)
     

    2015. Italy. With Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones. “Once upon a time there were three neighboring kingdoms each with a magnificent castle, from which ruled kings and queens, princes and princesses. One king was a fornicating libertine, another captivated by a strange animal, while one of the queens was obsessed by her wish for a child. Sorcerers and fairies, fearsome monsters, ogres and old washerwomen, acrobats and courtesans are the protagonists of this loose interpretation of the celebrated tales of Giambattista Basile” (Cannes Film Festival notes). In Italian; English subtitles. 125 min.
     

    Director Matteo Garrone will introduce the film.

    Tale of Tales opens the series Italian Film, 21st-Century style to feature nine contemporary Italian Films that will be gifted to MoMA’s film Collection.

    Saturday, December 5th- 11:30am

    Location: Italian Cultural Institute (686 PARK AVENUE, NEW YORK 10065 at 68th street).

    PRESENTATION OF THE BOOK "10 ITALIAN STORIES"
     

    "10 Italian Stories" is a table book created in collaboration with Rai Eri (RAI's publishing company), which includes the best images taken from the backstage of the 10 movies that were donated to MoMA. A brunch will follow the book presentation.
     

    Antonio Monda (Italian writer, film director, essayist, and professor) will interview director Matteo Garrone using the same format of his famous "Le Conversazioni," a global literary festival that takes place in Capri, New York and Rome.


    Saturday, December 5th – 3:30pm

    Screening of: DON'T BE BAD (Non Essere Cattivo) by Claudio Caligari. Italy's official Oscar® submission for Best Foreign-Language

    Location: Florence Gould Hall (55 E 59th St, Ny 10022)

    A Kimerafilm Production with Rai Cinema and Taodue Film, in collaboration with Leone Film Group. Dist. Rai Com., 101 min, Crime, Drama, Dir: Claudio Caligari

    The final film from writer-director Claudio Caligari follows friends Cesare (Luca Marinelli) and Vittorio (Alessandro Borghi) around the outskirts of Rome in Ostia, where the fast-moving nightlife of the 1990s threatens to pull them apart. This Pasolini-esque crime drama won eight awards at the Venice International Film Festival. In Italian with English subtitles. 100 min.


    Tuesday, December 8th – 7:00pm

    Location: Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimo' (24 West 12th Street - New York University)

    Screening of: Exiles- The Wars (Esuli-Le Guerre) by Barbara Cupisti.

    This documentary is about to the war refugees and was shot in Turkey and Jordan among Syrians and Palestine's refugees, and in Kenya among Somali exiles. 79'min.

    The screening will be introduced by Barbara Cupisti and Paolo Del Brocco (CEO of Rai Cinema), a Q&A will follow the screening.

  • Arte e Cultura

    'Taking New York' con l'iPhone 6 Plus

    Costantemente alla ricerca di attimi da fermare in una fotografia, attimi ed emozioni che teme possano sfuggire  e perdersi nella memoria così breve. Il tutto usando un iPhone 6 Plus.

    Magari lo avete visto girare per New York, o forse non potevate riuscirci perchè si nascondeva nel cercare di cogliere i suoi attimi da fermare. Claudio infatti si ferma e scatta nei momenti più inaspettati per chi è intorno a lui.  E  sono diversi i soggetti che attirano la sua attenzione, cerca di fissarli, “rubandoli”, li porta poicon se.

    E grazie al suo dito sull’ iPhone  propone con Taking New York una mostra che raccoglie  alcuni suoi  istanti sfuggenti: scatti sovraesposti, altri sottoesposti che, poi, vengono sovrapposti e lavorati, nel tentativo di restituire la sua visione emotiva della tanta vita che gli scorre intorno, a New York.

    La post produzione di queste immagini - per la maggior parte fatta direttamente in metropolitana, subito dopo aver scattato la fotografia -  gli consente di fissare ancora di più quel momento appena vissuto.

    Certo, lavorare dopo,  in uno studio fotografico, quelle stesse immagini avrebbe creato un racconto diverso, più distante dal momento. Se guardate queste foto, che sembrano quasi sfuggenti nel voler creare-suscitare emozioni, capite il perchè di questa scelta.

    Taking New York rappresenta un frammento del gioco fotografico, molto personale, che Claudio intraprende quotidianamente attraversando una città così visualmente ricca come New York City.
     

    Con questo progetto fotografico Claudio si è concentrato in modo particolare sul continuo scendere e salire rispetto al livello stradale, dentro e fuori dalla pancia di New York, la subway, dalla quale parte lo slancio verticale che sale infiniti piani fino a sfiorare con lo sguardo le punte di quei tanti edifici che grattano il cielo.

    Potete vedere i suoi scatti fino al 15 dicembre nel ristorante Bread Nolita, al 20 di Spring Street.

    Qui Claudio ha raccolto una selezione delle immagini fotografiche realizzate duque in giro per New York, stampate su carta comune con stampanti a inchiostro e trasferite su tele nere.

    Claudio ha deciso di trattare queste stampe non fotografiche una ad una, manualmente, per integrarle con le tele assecondando l’imperfezione e l’immediatezza che già erano all’origine degli scatti.

    Forme quadrate e rettangolari, spesso assemblate in moduli espressamente pensati per presentare il suo lavoro nelle sale del Bread, uno spazio piacevole e ricco di sapori, un luogo che con semplicità si dimostra sempre vitale, grazie a Lia Comandatore Milanin e a Luigi Comandatore, per incontri creativi e amichevole convivialità.

     ---

    Claudio Napoli nasce nel 1960 a Napoli e, crescendo, assorbe l’interesse del papà Vittorio per l’arte e la fotografia. Video e fotografia diventano presto due delle sue passioni principali. Inizia a lavorare nel campo della grafica per l’audiovisivo fin da ragazzo, iniziando in tv locali e nazionali. A metà degli anni novanta si avvicina al cinema e diventa socio del più importante studio di effetti visivi digitali per il cinema italiano, Proxima. Per una decina di anni lavora a moltissimi successi del cinema italiano, collaborando con registi quali Tornatore, Angelopoulus, Parenti, D’Alatri, Verdone, Zeffirelli e Monicelli. Nominato con Proxima ai Premi David di Donatello per sei edizioni consecutive, vince nel 2006 per il film Romanzo Criminale diretto da Michele Placido. Dal 2010 Claudio si concentra su progetti video e fotografici più personali, continuando a produrre corporate video e spot pubblicitari in grafica animata.

    Nel 2014, dopo essere stato selezionato nell’ambito del “Diversity Visa Program” (Green Card Lottery), si trasferisce stabilmente a New York. Claudio vive a Harlem e Taking New York è la sua prima mostra fotografica in America.

    Bread nel quartiere Nolita è un’attività di famiglia. Luigi Comandatore, il cognato Dario Milanin e la sorella Lia Comandatore Milanin hanno aperto il ristorante nel 2001. Bread è diventato un’istituzione a Downtown. Sin dal primo anno di attività Bread ha supportato sia artisti emergenti che già affermati, accogliendo nei suoi spazi i loro lavori. Da 15 anni Luigi Comandatore, regista, e Lia Comandatore,  production designer, insieme al loro partner Dario Milanin, hanno sostenuto le carriere di giovani artisti di tutte le parti del mondo.

    Bread Nolita
    20 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

  • Fatti e Storie

    'Live at home' con Giovanni Caccamo alla NYU


    Il "Live at home" di Giovanni Caccamo il 20 novembre sarà presentato per la prima volta a New York. L'artista si esibirà nel Village presso la  la Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo' della New YorkUniversity.


    A portarlo al pubbico americano il discografico Roberto Mancinelli, che svolge l'importante lavoro di promozione e diffusione della musica italiana negli Stati Uniti,  con il compito non facile di presentare soprattutto  giovani autori/compositori italiani.


    Polistrumentista, compositore e autore, Caccamo a soli 24 anni ha già alle spalle collaborazioni importanti.  Con Caterina Caselli e la Sugar che ha prodotto il suo primo album "Qui per te ".  Con Franco Battiato duettato in "Satelliti nell'aria" ed prodotto il suo primo singolo "L'indifferenza".


    "Live at home", concerto intimo e originale,  arriva in America dopo altre cinquanta esibizioni in tutta Europa, da Parigi e Gerusalemme. Un vero e proprio 'live - tour a domicilio' che ha portato  il giovane artista a ricevere anche inviti prestigiosi. Tra questi quello di Gherardo Felloni, direttore creativo accessori Miu Miu, che ha ospitato il "Live at home" a Parigi, o di Kurt Metzler, scultore di fama mondiale residente a Zurigo.

     
    Alla Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò potrete assistere ad un concerto originale, pensato e voluto per New Yorki.  Caccamo canterà e suonerà i brani del suo album d'esordio "Qui per te", ma non mancheranno alcune cover internazionali di successo. Giovanni intervallerà la sua musica, conversando con Roberto Mancinelli, con il racconto della sua esperienza di giovane cantautore siciliano. Una storia che ha visto realizzare i suoi sogni fino alla vittoria del Festival di Sanremo nella sezione Nuove Proposte.



    Il concerto sarà disponibile on demand in esclusiva sul sito di Radio Italia (www.radioitalia.it).

    Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò

    24 West 12th Street

    New York, NY 10011

    November 20, 2015
    (07:00 pm

  • L'altra Italia

    Un paese di carta



    Con uno stile che affascina e incuriosisce fin dalla prima pagina, Laura Benedetti scrive la storia dolce e mai sdolcinata di tre generazioni di donne che dall'Abruzzo finiscono in Maryland e in Utah. Del libro colpiscono, oltre alla vicenda interessante, attuale e spunto di varie riflessioni, il modo di scrivere che con poche parole dice tante cose…


    Rinchiusi in una modesta urna cineraria, i resti mortali di Alice seguono con straniata partecipazione le vicende delle due generazioni di donne che la vecchia bibliotecaria abruzzese trapiantata negli Stati Uniti si è lasciata alle spalle. La figlia Jane, eroina di un conformismo quasi compiuto, e la nipote Sara, imbronciata adolescente in piena crisi di crescita morale e di identità sessuale, si adoperano per rispettare le stralunate ultime volontà della matriarca emigrata, e la più giovane si offre di portarne le ceneri in Italia.


    L’attende un paese diverso da quello iscritto nel suo immaginario, come diversa si rivela la figura della nonna scomparsa, in un viaggio che costringe a misurare la distanza tra passato e presente, illusione e realtà, le ragioni di chi parte e quelle di chi resta. Un viaggio che finisce all’Aquila lacerata dal terremoto, dove la narrazione, con qualche esito sorprendente, richiama i ricordi di guerra e incrocia gli aneliti di libertà dei 9 Martiri aquilani.



    Laura Benedetti è nata e cresciuta a L’Aquila. Dopo una Laurea in Lettere con il massimo dei voti all’Università “La Sapienza” di Roma, ha continuato i suoi studi in Nord America, conseguendo un Master of Arts alla University of Alberta e un Ph.D. alla Johns Hopkins University. Ha insegnato 8 anni alla Harvard University e dal 2002 alla Georgetown University, dove attualmente e’ professore ordinario, organizzando, come direttrice del dipartimento di italiano dal 2009 al 2015 numerosi convegni e seminari, spesso in collaborazione con l’Ambasciata d’Italia e l’Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Washington D.C. Ha pubblicato, tra l’altro, una monografia su Torquato Tasso (La sconfitta di Diana.


    Un percorso per la "Gerusalemme liberata"), gli atti di due convegni (Gendered Contexts: New Perspectives in Italian Cultural Studies) e l’edizione di un trattato rinascimentale (Giovambattista Giraldi Cinzio, Discorso dei romanzi). I suoi articoli spaziano dalla letteratura medievale alla produzione narrativa più recente, che ha seguito da vicino per dieci anni quale curatrice della voce “letteratura italiana” per l’Encyclopedia Britannica Year in Review. Il suo volume, The Tigress in the Snow: Motherhood and Literature in Twentieth-Century Italy, ha ricevuto nel 2008 il Premio Internazionale Flaiano per l’italianistica, mentre la sua traduzione inglese dell’ultimo lavoro di Lucrezia Marinella Esortazioni alle donne e agli altri se a loro saranno in grado (1645), corredata di un’introduzione e di un apparato critico di oltre quattrocento note, ha reso di nuovo accessibile questo rarissimo volume, ultima ed emblematica fatica di Lucrezia Marinella (1571-1653). L’ultimo suo lavoro è appunto il romanzo Un paese di carta (Pacini Editore, Pisa, 2015) che traccia il percorso di tre generazioni di donne tra l’Italia e gli Stati Uniti. Per la sua attività di studiosa e per il suo impegno nella diffusione della cultura italiana, Laura Benedetti è stata insignita nel 2014 del premio “Wise Woman” dalla National Organization of Italian American Women di Washington D.C. e della Medaglia d’oro recentemente conferitale a Boston dalla FAA.


  • Dining in & out: Articles & Reviews

    Giovanni, Antonella & Gianluca Rana. “Not only Pasta!”. Donating to those in need of NYC.

    At the end of October the Rana family—founders of Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina, a pasta-making shop  and restaurant located in the Chelsea Market—held their first-ever Pasta Party, kicking off their new initiative: United Tastes of Pasta. 
     

    Talking to the press and to guests at the event, Antonella Rana—the soul of this successful Italian food venue—announced the project. She started by introducing her “two champions:”  her father-in-law Giovanni Rana and her husband Gianluca. “They are my teachers, my everything. They've had this fantastic idea and they are the only ones who should be illustrating it. An idea made of both love and flavor!”
     
    The idea Antonella was referring to originated in the Rana family’s desire to help less fortunate people. The  Ranas are investing some of their resources into donating more than 100.000 meals to people in need. And there is more.
     
    Donating to those in need.
     
    Actually, as Gianluca Rana tells us, the idea itself came at Antonella's suggestion, because she wanted “to greet all the people that love us in this country by offering something that could help strengthening family bonds.” Gianluca explains: “When asking ourselves what is really important and meaningful in life, we thought of the dinner table, a meeting place that in this country is not used as much as it is in Italy. So, why not bring to that not-so-busy table something that could make families get together again?” 
     
    From there it was a short trip to the Food Bank For New York City. The Food Bank collects and distributes free food to more than 1.5 million hungry New Yorkers each year. Meals donated from Rana will be part of this monumental effort. 
     
    “But we'll do something else as well,” adds Gianluca. “We’ll include in our menu the dishes of the best chefs from the United Tastes of Pasta, and each dish will produce a small extra  donation for these families in need. We'll donate one dollar from each signature pasta dish ordered by our customers. So there’ll be the big donation, the 100,000 meals, and also an ongoing one until the last day of 2015.”
     
    Transparency—something the Rana famiuly values highly—will mark every stage of the project. Everything happening inside the restaurant will be tracked, an opportunity to show the transparency of their day-to-day work. “We make food and the most important thing for us is to show what we put—love aside—in our products. We’ll leave our doors open to show the world what we are made of.”
     
    Not chefs… but pasta makers.
     
    Family head Giovanni Rana is clearly proud and pleased by what his company’s  achieved in the United States.  “Two or three years ago we would have never imagined to be welcomed in this great country which such enthusiasm: the magnitude of our success was unexpected,” he confesses. “We put on the table our dedication, art, skills and quality—and it didn't take the Americans long to appreciate our capacity of producing a high level product. It truly is satisfying.”
     
    What interests Giovanni Rana the most, however, is the fact that the family  achieved their success without losing their original identity. “We don’t think of ourselves as chefs, but as pasta makers. And this”— his flagship restaurant in Chelsea—“is home to all of those who through their ideas and passion, give us the chance to think differently.  They allow us to be different and unique, and this is in what has rewarded us so much this country.”
     
     
    "Let's go to 'Merica."
     
    Giovanni, the patriarch, is from the region of Veneto, and tells us that in his youth many young people nurtured their American dream. “After the war, many of my countrymen would say  "Let's go to 'Merica" to find work and opportunity. And now I've done it too! I built a business here and it is a great achievement. The credit goes to my son Gianluca, who loves the American way so much, and he has dragged me into it. I made a name for us in Italy—my son did it in America and in the rest of the world!”
     
    It’s Gianluca who wraps up our conversation. “I think mine is a vocation, a mission and a passion,” he says. “These are the three most important values my father passed down to me. Being an only son, I am lucky and unlucky at the same time. But I have been very fortunate to have found an amazing wife, Antonella. We complement each other both by being unique and by sharing a common goal at the same time: to build a good business and then give back in the best way possible.”

     

  • Facts & Stories

    Fred Cuny Award goes to Emma Bonino

    Ms. Bonino was one of seven outstanding leaders being recognized by Crisis Group at its annual awards dinner, In Pursuit of Peace, on 26 October in New York.

    This year’s dinner marked the 20th anniversary of Crisis Group’s mission to prevent and resolve deadly conflict worldwide. Ms. Bonino’s prize was presented by the philanthropist George Soros, a member of Crisis Group’s Board of Trustees.

    Ms. Bonino has been an unflagging advocate for humanitarian and political action in crises. As European commissioner for humanitarian aid during the 1990s, Ms. Bonino fought to draw international attention to crises in the African Great Lakes Region and the Balkans.

    She later founded the campaign group No Peace Without Justice and was a driving force behind the creation of a special court to try crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia. Ms. Bonino is also a pioneer in promoting women’s rights. She joined Crisis Group’s Board of Trustees in 2008. An active member of Italy’s Transnational Radical Party, she served as Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from April 2013 to February 2014. 

     
    Other award winners this year included Sir Richard Branson, Béji Caïd Essebsi, Rached Ghannouchi, Gareth Evans, Babatunde Fashola, and Sadako Ogata. 
     
    Ms. Bonino met with members of the press on 27 October at 11 a.m. at the Consulate General of Italy in New York, 690 Park Avenue.

    The International Crisis Group (ICG) is a transnational non-profit, non-governmental organization founded in 1995 that carries out field research on violent conflict and advances policies to prevent, mitigate or resolve conflict. It advocates policies directly with governments, multilateral organisations and other political actors as well as the media.

    The ICG was founded after a chance meeting in January 1993 between Morton I. Abramowitz former US diplomat and then-President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Mark Malloch Brown, then future World Bank Vice-President on a flight to Sarajevo. 

    The international community’s difficulty in responding to the Bosnian War provided the catalyst for an independent organisation that would serve as the world’s eyes and ears on the ground in countries in conflict while pressing for immediate action. George Soros was involved in discussions early on and provided seed money. Disaster relief specialist Fred Cuny made significant contributions to disaster relief in Bosnia, and was brought on board later that year, though participation was cut short by his death in 1995 in Chechnya.

  • Life & People

    NIAF: 40th Anniversary Gala 2015

    NIAF Board member and Emmy Award-winning Fox News Anchor and Global Markets Editor Maria Bartiromo, and NIAF PresidentJohn M. Viola, co-hosted one of the most popular black-tie galas in our nation’s capital at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel on October 17, 2015.

    Global music sensation Il Volo – Piero Barone, Ignazio Boscetto and Gianluca Ginoble –
    captured the guests’ attention on stage singing the popular Italian song “Volare.” They closed the evening with “Grande Amore,” their original song that won the Sanremo Music Festival in 2015 to a standing-only audience.
     

    “The only reason I am here tonight is because of my father, he taught me the importance of heritage,” said 12-time MLB All-Star Mike Piazza, who encouraged the guests to pass our rich heritage and culture to the next generation. Piazza was joined by actor Chazz Palminteri, who shared a similar message: “I beg you to give to NIAF; this Foundation represents leadership in the Italian American community,” he said, urging guests to not forget NIAF’s mission and help students through scholarships.
     

    This year’s 40th Gala Dinner Chair and a NIAF Board Member J.J. Cafaro, welcomed a sold out ballroom of more than 1,700 guests from across the United States and Italy. Patricia de Stacy Harrison, 40th anniversary celebration chair, NIAF vice chair, and president and CEO of the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, introduced a video highlighting what it means to be an Italian American from its leadership, past and present.
     

    NIAF Gala honorees included Italian American musical singing legend Connie Francis, who was inducted into the Italian American Hall of Fame. Accepting the award on her behalf, Viola urged guests to nominate Ms. Francis to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
     

    NIAF awarded the Foundation’s Special Achievement Award in Business and Health to Richard E. Caruso, Ph.D., founder and director of Integra LifeSciences, a world leader in medical technology. “It has been my lifelong goal to make a difference in people’s lives, and I’m grateful that I’ve had an opportunity to do so,” Caruso said. He was introduced by Peter J. Arduini, president and CEO of Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corporation, and a member of the NIAF Board of Directors.
     

    Steve Perillo, president and owner of Perillo Tours, America’s largest travel company, received the NIAF Achievement  Award in Business. The longtime apprentice to his father, the legendary Mario Perillo, “Mr. Italy,” Steve Perillo  spoke about the family-owned company that is now celebrating 71 years in the travel industry.
     

    Between award presentations, Italian classical guitarist Tom Sinatra passionately serenaded guests with popular Italian songs.  The Washington Chorus also broke into song with “Va, pensiero,” from the opera Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi.
     

    The Foundation’s former executive director and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, Alfred M. Rotondaro, Ph.D., received the Italian American Community Leadership Award. Rotondaro remembered the Foundation’s early founders: “NIAF is a place that nurtures Italian Americans.

    The Sicilian Tenors, including Aaron Caruso, Elio Scaccio and Sam Vitale,  stepped on to the stage to serenade the guests to “O Sole Mio” before NIAF Executive Vice President and Chair of the Italian American Leadership Council (IALC) John F. Calvelli introduced the IALC’s work in finding the next group of leaders.
     

    NIAF’s Co-Chair of the Education and Grants Committee and a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors Anita Bevacqua McBride welcomed guests from NIAF’s “40 under 40” list of Italian Americans, and introduced NIAF’s new Italian American Leadership Fellows from universities across the country.
     

    Three prominent Italian and Italian Americans, who have distinguished themselves in the fields of government, finance and business received NIAF 40th Anniversary Awards for Leadership and Service. They were Amato L. Berardi, founder of Berardi & Associates Inc., and former member of the Italian Parliament; Mario J. Gabelli, founder and chairman of GAMCO Investors Inc., a New York Stock Exchange listed company; and Franco Nuschese, president of Georgetown Entertainment Group LLC and owner of Cafe Milano in Washington, D.C.
     

    Upon receiving his award, Berardi spoke about the importance of the support and love he received from his family as the best medicine after a recent accident.  Gabelli dedicated his honor to his father. He explained the importance of the scholarships NIAF awards to young people and of giving back that opportunity for others to achieve.

    From the podium, Nuschese dedicated his award to his mother, and the mother of his son, Gianfranco. “They taught me the value of life, love, respect and honesty,” said Nuschese.  He also recognized the late Terrence Lanni, former CEO of MGM Resorts International, who shaped his life and career. “His memory and spiritual legacy is part of my life,” he said.
     

    When Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, N.V., came to the stage, he explained, “I am merely here to plead my case—my outfit tonight is an international dress code.” Since he spends most of his time on an airplane, he wears the classic white shirt and a black pull over sweater. “Our sense of place stays with you where you go. My father taught me integrity, civil engagement and sense of duty. My mother taught me strong will and sensitivity,” said Marchionne, who received the NIAF Special Achievement Award in International Business.

    “I am a legal immigrant, blessed to be born in Italy and adopted by the United States,” was the message from Josephine J. (Gargiulo) Templeton, M.D., trustee of the John Templeton Foundation. NIAF awarded Templeton with the Foundation’s Special Achievement Award in Philanthropy. She thanked JusticeSamuel A. Alito Jr. for recreating and writing the speech he gave at the 150thAnniversary of the Gettysburg Address.
     

    Taking the stage, Alito welcomed the men and woman who bravely served in the military. He recognized them as the “voice for Italian Americans.” Alito also introduced a video chronicling the activities of the NIAF’s Public Policy program.
     

    Dignitaries from Italy at the Gala included Italy’s Ambassador to the United States Claudio Bisogniero, who led an Italian delegation of business executives. Special guests from the United States, included U.S. Representatives Tom Marino, Joe Heck and Mike Pompeo; Anthony Fauci M.D., director of the National Institutes of  Allergy and Infectious Diseases;Lawrence Romo, director of the Selective Service System; and actors Vinny Pastore and Tony Lo Bianco.  
     

    Guests rose to their feet when Carlo Rotunno sang “Inno di Mameli,” Italy’s national anthem, and singer and songwriter Giada Valenti sang the U.S. national anthem.  During the Gala dinner, a selection of red and white fine Italian wines were served from Italy’s Northern regions that complimented Barolo braised short ribs with polenta and chicken Scarpariello with Italian sausage.
     

    To kick off NIAF’s Gala Weekend, the Foundation partnered with the Italian American Studies Association (IASA) to host a series of conferences on Thursday, October 15, through Saturday, October 17. The sessions covered  topics such as “The End of Italian American Culture: Costs and Consequences,” with panelists Donna Chirico, Fred Gardaphé, Anthony Tamburri and Margherita Ganeri, to “Celebrating Italian American Values in Literature,” with panelists Grace Cavalieri, Rachel Guido deVries, Susan Lembo Balik, Maria Mazziotti and George Guida.
     

    On Friday morning, NIAF and the Italian American Leadership Council (IALC) hosted a NIAF on Campus conference with industry experts and 18 Italian American college students and professors selected as Italian American Fellows. They were joined by NIAF’s leadership, including Ken J. Aspromonte;Gabriel A. Battista; Robert E. Carlucci; Arthur J. Furia; Marie L. Garibaldi;Gerard S. LaRocca; Patricia de Stacy Harrison; Anita Bevacqua McBride;George Simeone; Salvatore Salibello; and John P. Rosa, who gave their perspectives on successful career practices.
     

    Friday evening, Saturday Night Live legend, NIAF Celebrity Ambassador, actor, entertainer and radio host Joe Piscopo launched the weekend’s evening celebrations with “Joe Piscopo and Friends Celebrate Sinatra’s 100thBirthday.” Piscopo was joined by Valenti and Deena Martin, daughter of the late Dean Martin, as the Radio King Orchestra stepped up the beat throughout the evening. NIAF auction chairman, Rosa was on hand to encourage guests to bid on one-of-a-kind items during the live and silent auctions and to purchase a chance to win a Fiat 500 L Lounge.
     

    On Saturday morning, NIAF and the IALC hosted a leadership forum to discuss potential strategies to address the contentious issues surrounding Columbus Day. Noted journalists, representatives from the National Christopher Columbus Association, and the Italian Sons and Daughters of America, as well as leaders of the Italian American community joined the panel.

    Popular weekend events included a documentary screening of “The Tale of the Other Italy,” produced by Rai Italia and directed by a Luigi Maria Perotti.The film tells the Italian emigration story through the various entry ports. It shows how Italian Emigration Museums around the world with their projects, pictures and documents plays a key role in preserving and understanding the past as well as understanding the new Italian emigration in the world.
     

    NIAF also hosted its signature wine tasting featuring 11 Amarone wines from Italy’s Veneto region with sommelier Brian Freedman on hand to lead guests through a spectrum of Italian wines. This remarkable grouping of wines was assembled by Patrizia Marin, president of Marco Polo Experience. Representing the 11 wineries and vineyards, and offering insight into the Amarone wine-making process, were Marie Sabrina Tedeschi of Tedeschi Wines and Antonio Cesari of Brigaldara.
     

    The weekend also featured a medical conference, “Health and Research: Beyond The Eyes,” with a panel discussion about the latest research and common eye conditions with NIAF board member Antonio Giordano, M.D., Ph.D.,  president and founder of Sbarro Health Research Organization Inc., and other notable speakers including Michele Masucci, Ph.D.; Vito M. Campese, M.D.; and Paul Tapino, M.D. Giacomina Massaro-Giordano, M.D.,and Dolores Del Raso presented the 2015 Giovan Giacomo Giordano NIAF Award for Ethnics and Creativity in Medical Research.

    Also during the weekend, Viola hosted “NIAF – Ieri, Oggi, Domani,” an engaging panel discussion focusing on the current state of the Italian American community and its challenges as we move forward. Viola was joined by the Foundation’s Chairman Joseph V. Del Raso, board leaders Calvelli, andHarrison; board members Nicholas R. Caiazzo and John P. Rosa: and Jeff Browning, president of the Italian American Staff Association.

    Expo Italiana, a showcase of the sights, sounds and products of Italy and Italian Americans, included Mike’s Deli, the original Arthur Avenue Italian Deli, with David Greco serving complimentary old-fashioned sandwiches, pasta and Italian delicacies. Peroni Nastro Azzurro served samples of Italy’s finest beer; espresso at Lavazza Café as well as coffee to guests on Friday and Saturday evening. Guests also relaxed and enjoyed many products from companies including Dolce Gelato, La Famiglia Del Grasso; Amina Rubinacci, BiVi Sicilian Vodka, Petrone Antica Distilleria, and Italian food products sales companyCibo Italia,to name a few.
     

    To conclude the Gala program, NIAF Chairman Joseph V. Del Raso thanked the Board of Directors, honorees, guests, supporters and staff. “What a party! And the best is yet to come!” Del Raso said. On stage, a three-tiered birthday cake from Carlo’s Bakery, of Cake Boss fame, was presented to celebrate the Foundation’s 40 incredible years. Del Raso led the guests in singing “Happy Birthday.”
     

    Immediately following the Gala, guests proceeded to attend the Foundation’s famed After Hours Celebration, featuring live entertainment with singer and songwriter Ciro Di Lorenzo, and others in the Marriott Lobby Lounge.
     

    Proceeds from NIAF’s 40th Anniversary Weekend will benefit the Foundation’s educational programs. Mark your calendars for October 13-16, 2016, when the Foundation celebrates its 41st Anniversary Weekend, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.

  • L'altra Italia

    L'Abruzzo ed il Molise in mostra a New York

    L’AQUILA – E’ pronto a partire per gli States Goffredo Palmerini, dove sarà ambasciatore d’Abruzzo dal 6 al 16 ottobre a New York e Boston. Sarà impegnato in diversi eventi culturali - nel mese che New York dedica alla cultura italiana con un ricco calendario di appuntamenti - e alle manifestazioni del Columbus Day più famoso d’America. L’evento più importante sarà l’exibit Abruzzo&Molise, Yesterday and Today, una mostra delle eccellenze culturali, storiche, artistiche, oltre a tradizioni ed enogastronomia delle due regioni, in programma dall’8 ottobre al 20 novembre 2015 presso il Westchester Italian Cultural Center di New York (www.wiccny.org), sede della Fondazione Generoso Pope, intitolata al grande magnate e filantropo italoamericano cui si deve la nascita, nel 1929, del Columbus Day.

    La mostra sarà inaugurata l’8 ottobre. Per questo evento, una straordinaria vetrina per  Abruzzo e Molise cui sono stati concessi gratuitamente gli spazi espositivi, la direttrice del WICCNY, Patrizia Calce, ha chiamato proprio Goffredo Palmerini, ambasciatore d’Abruzzo nel mondo, a presentare la sua regione con Mario Fratti, il drammaturgo aquilano che dal 1963 vive a New York, uno degli autori di teatro più prestigiosi e conosciuti nel mondo. Nella serata del 13 ottobre, dalle ore 18:30 in poi, Fratti e Palmerini terranno una conferenza sull’Abruzzo e sulle sue eccellenze e singolarità. Palmerini, in particolare, nell’imminenza del Giubileo della Misericordia, parlerà della Perdonanza, il primo giubileo della storia della cristianità istituito nel 1294 da papa Celestino V, introducendo la successiva proiezione, in anteprima negli Stati Uniti, del film Nolite timere di Giuseppe Tandoi, docufiction sulla vita grande monaco molisano Pietro Angelerio, poi diventato papa per 5 mesi, fino alla rinuncia.

    Numerosi gli impegni in agenda. Il 10 e 11 ottobre Palmerini sarà a Boston per partecipare all’annuale assemblea della Federazione delle Associazioni Abruzzesi in Usa (FAA), presieduta dalla presidente Rosetta Romagnoli, nel corso della quale verrà conferita la Medaglia d’Oro FAA ad una Personalità abruzzese negli Stati Uniti che con il suo lavoro e con prestigio onora l’Abruzzo. E’ un riconoscimento tributato da 23 anni ad insigni personalità. Quest’anno, nella cerimonia d’onore con cena di gala presso il Ristorante Filippo, locale cult di Boston, nella serata del 10 ottobre la Medaglia d’Oro 2015 verrà consegnata alla prof. Laura Benedetti, docente di letteratura italiana e direttrice del Dipartimento italiano alla Georgetown University di Washington D.C., saggista e scrittrice. Fresca di stampa la sua ultima fatica, il romanzo “Il paese di carta”, pubblicato da Pacini Editore. Laura Benedetti è nata all’Aquila, studi e laurea alla Sapienza di Roma, master all’Alberta University di Edmonton (Canada) e dottorato alla Johns Hopkins University di Baltimora, ha insegnato ad Harvard, prestigioso ateneo del Massachusetts, e quindi alla Georgetown University. Ospite d’onore della serata Mario Fratti, che nel 1992 fu il primo insignito di Medaglia d’Oro. Sarà presente anche una rappresentanza della Giostra Cavalleresca di Sulmona, nei tradizionali costumi dei Sestieri.

    Lunedì 12 ottobre - quest’anno proprio nel giorno della scoperta dell’America - la Parata del Columbus Day. Il direttore generale dell’ANFE, Gaetano Calà, e Goffredo Palmerini, presidente regionale in Abruzzo, rappresenteranno la più antica e prestigiosa associazione dell’emigrazione fondata nel 1947 da Maria Federici alle iniziative organizzate dalla Columbus Day Foundation, partecipando infine alla straordinaria sfilata di New York che ogni anno sulla Quinta Avenue entusiasma oltre un milione di spettatori, confermandosi la più spettacolare manifestazione dell’orgoglio italiano negli Stati Uniti d’America.

    Previste inoltre visite alle università (Columbia, NYU, Queens College), a testate giornalistiche (i-Italy, America Oggi), a Radio ICN e all’Italian American Museum. Puntate anche a teatro, nelle rassegne off Broadway. Al Theater for the New City sono in programma, dall’8 al 25 ottobre, due atti unici di Mario Fratti: Wives e Academy, entrambi per la regia di Stephan Morrow. Spettacoli da non perdere. Il 7 ottobre ancora un impegno di forte emozione: il magazine ViceVersa compie il primo anno di vita. Bella rivista, raccoglie le migliori espressioni della cultura ispanica negli Stati Uniti. E’ stato fondato ed è diretto da Mariza Bafile, già direttore della Voce d’Italia a Caracas, fino alla sua elezione nel Parlamento italiano. Mariza è figlia di Gaetano, fondatore di quel glorioso giornale in Venezuela e cittadino onorario dell’Aquila. Ultimo appuntamento, la sera del 15 ottobre, per l’incontro con gli abruzzesi di Astoria, all’Orsogna Mutual Aid Soc Inc, presieduto da Tony Ferrari. Nel distretto di Queens - uno dei 5 che formano New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island) -  risiedono diverse migliaia di orsognesi, organizzati in due associazioni. L’Orsogna Mutual Aid Soc Inc e l’Orsogna Club, del quale è presidente Rocco Pace. Chiusura in bellezza, dunque, con la bella gente d’Abruzzo a New York.

  • Events: Reports

    The Italians Are Coming! …to the Big Apple! …to Madison Square Garden!


    For the very first time, European-style basketball in its purest form will be on display in the world’s most famous arena Madison Square Garden, when the most successful team in Italian Basketball history Olimpia Milano hosts the most successful team in Israel, Maccabi Tel Aviv in the inaugural Euro Classic Tournament.  


    Olimpia Milano has been an incredible story of success since its founding in 1936, and as it inaugurates its octogenarian anniversary this season, it is launching the Euro Classic, a tournament 80 years in the making. The Euro Classic will be a great opportunity to showcase the high quality playing-style of the best European teams in the birthplace of basketball.


    It will be a great opportunity for the Italian community and the Hebrew community to attend a game played in an Old World atmosphere with all the fan-thusiasm© and excitement, all on display in the brave new world of an NBA arena.


    From the entertainment of the fans displaying their team’s colors, everything will be like watching a championship-caliber basketball game back home, but on the biggest stage in the world. What makes the event even more spectacular is that the opposing teams are two of the most successful in International basketball history as demonstrated by their having won a total of 9 European titles combined The Story of Olimpia Milano: Le Scarpette Rosse (“The Red Shoes”) 

    Olimpia Milano, which has been owned by fashion icon Giorgio Armani since 2008, is the most successful team in the history of Italian basketball.


    It has won the Italian championship 26 times, has won the European title 3 times, and has won 8 additional prestigious, international tournaments. Olimpia Milano has always reaffirmed its excellence as the most successful team in Italian basketball history by developing the best Italian players, who take pride in wearing Olimpia Milano’s signature scarpette rosse. 


    This year’s team features team captain, Alessandro Gentile, the youngest M.V.P. in the history of Italian basketball. Olimpia Milano has always been steeped in class, innovation, courage and spirit. With the announcement that successful Head Coach Jasmin Repesa will coach the team for the 2015- 2016 season, Repesa will be reunited with Gentile whom he coached in Treviso as a young prodigy. Olimpia Milano is renowned for excellence and is the most widely followed team in Italy, with an average of 9,000 fans attending its home games. Every home game is broadcast live on National TV.

    The Story of Maccabi Tel Aviv:

    Maccabi Tel Aviv has always been the symbol of Israeli sports, a team which is synonymous with the nation of Israel, having won 51 national championships in 61 seasons, starting in 1954. The club has always been an International powerhouse, mixing the best Israeli players with the best American players. Maccabi’s history is a history of excellence. In 2004 and 2005 the team was able to repeat and win back-to-back European titles. In its history, it won six European championships, while participating in 15 finals and winning 41 national cup tournaments. Maccabi was the first International team to defeat an NBA team back in 1978 in Tel Aviv, and then the first team to defeat an NBA team on its home court in 2005. It has played 22 games against NBA teams in the United States.

    Olimpia Milano and the U.S.A.

    For Olimpia Milano, inaugurating the Euro Classic is in character with its long and storied history. In 1987 Olimpia took part in the inaugural McDonald’s Open, the first official competition between an NBA and a European team, held in Milwaukee.


     No club outside the NBA has more representatives in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in Springfield: Coaches Cesare Rubini and Sandro Gamba, and players Dino Meneghin, Senator Bill Bradley and Bob McAdoo. The list of great players in America who used to play for Olimpia is impressive and also includes Mike D’Antoni (whose number 8 jersey has been retired), Danilo Gallinari, John Gianelli, Albert King, Rolando Blackman, Joe Barry Carroll, Skip Thoren, and Antoine Carr.

    *To attend the inaugural Euro Classic:  NBA 

    In New York: Sunday, Oct. 4th @ 12 noon at the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden

    Individual tickets: may be obtained via www.Ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000. 

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