Meet the New Italians of New York
Are you young and looking to spend a night getting to meet other Italians in your line of work? If you are a resident in the Tri-state area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut), now you can, thanks to a project supported by the General Consulate of New York.
The goal of “Meet the New Italians” is to embrace the new generation of Italian immigrants, help them in their professional and academic careers and introduce them to an Italian network of employers.
There will be monthly meetings in which major representatives from the Italian community who have established themselves in a variety of elds will engage the younger generation in conversation.
Exploring Career Opportunities
Each event is dedicated to a speci c sector (art, architecture, fashion, medicine, nance, restoration, sports) and offers up an occasion to discuss possible career paths, future opportunities and current trends in that particular meeting’s eld. Participants will have the opportunity to meet people who, under similar circumstances, came to the U.S. and succeeded in establishing themselves.
The Consulate hopes that young Italians residing in its district will come to see it as a point of reference for them as they integrate into society. The initiative was designed by Isabella Periotto and Chiara Saulle, two young women who recently joined the Italian diplomatic mission in New York.
A Mentoring Approach
In presenting the kick-off event of the series, last December Consul General Natalia Quintavalle underscored that the method is one of typical mentorship.
That in itself is a small revolution, “for the Consulate to no longer be perceived as an of ce for resolving bureaucratic issues but as a place where all Italian citizens living in New York can convene.”
One of the rst “mentors” at the meeting, Alberto Cribiore, Vice Chairman of Citi’s Institutional Clients Group, was taken aback by the idea of a consulate that seeks to “do more than print passports and instead really support the community, creating points of contact and synergy.”
Learning to Speak Up
Another excellent witness to this series of events is the noted designer Gaetano Pesce, famous exponent of Italy’s current “radical design” movement, who has lived and worked in Italy and New York for decades and whose works are on display at such places as MoMa, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York.
“We’re going through a dif cult time,” he says. “There are many countries that don’t have our qualities but in the eyes of the world they’re more advanced because they know how to communicate them. They get by ne with what little they have. Whereas we have a lot more to say, yet all too often we don’t know how to say it. This cycle of events allows us to speak up and say what we are.”
Last but not least, the director of the Cultural Institute of New York, Giorgio Van Straten, underscored the importance of appreciating young Italians who come to New York, oftentimes with highly quali ed backgrounds. “They are our great asset, and our fundamental goal should be to establish a relationship with them and place a value on what they do. They are the future of Italy.”
To see the i-Italy episode of "Meet the New Italians": >>>