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CISC President Interviewed by #WeTheItalians

 

CISC Inc. President Francesco Isgro, was recently interviewed by Umberto Mucci of WeTheItalians. 

 

"There are almost twenty museums of Italian emigration to America, and another one has recently been inaugurated. It is part of a wonderful complex in the US Capital, Washington DC....."  WeTheItalians 

A Warm Welcome to Fr. Pietro Paolo Polo
and Fr. Andrei Zanon 

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center, Inc. and our Italian and ItalianAmerican community we'd like to give a warm welcome to Fr. Pietro Paolo Polo and Fr. Andrei Zanon, our new pastors at Holy Rosary Church.  READ MORE

 

CISC Inc. President Honored by Italian Government

CISC Inc. President & CEO Francesco Isgro was honored with the title of Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia (Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy) by the Italian government at a covid-restricted official ceremony held on February 17 at the Embassy of Italy. Minister Plenipotentiary Catherine Flumiani, bestowed upon him the title, along with First Counselor Domenico Bellantone.  READ MORE

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Our Farewell Message to Fr. Ezio Marchetto

On behalf of the Board of the Casa Italiana  Sociocultural Center and our Founders, congratulations Fr. Ezio on your new assignment and thank you for all that you have done for our community.
 

When you arrived nearly 8 years ago, Holy Rosary Church was at the beginning of a huge construction project that transformed the foot print of the church and Casa Italiana. Through it all, you led by example. We have seen you work hard and diligently. You delegated and placed your trust in us, and you guided us -- and together we achieved many accomplishments.
 

At the same time, you demonstrated a spiritual leadership that has drawn our community closer together. It was thanks to your vision and support that we established our nonprofit organization with the clear mission of conducting and promoting cultural activities at Casa Italiana and in the Washington area.  It was thanks to your dream of a museum to show and preserve our Italian-American legacy, and exhibit and promote our arts and culture -- that we now have the Italian American Museum of Washington DC, right next door.
 

Thanks to you and the confidence you placed in our Board of Directors, in just two years we were able to make those dreams a reality. The Italian American Museum of Washington DC will forever be a testament to your vision and the support of many community members.
 

On a more personal level, it was an honor to work with you also on our community paper, Voce Italiana for so many years, and I thank you for your commitment to producing a quality newspaper to inform the community and beyond.
 

Fr. Ezio -- We wish you a smooth transition and much success in your new position. We will miss you and we look forward to your future visits – including a special gathering when we can celebrate your accomplishments with our entire community.

--Francesco Isgro, President & CEO

Pictured above, Fr. Ezio Marchetto, with CISC Inc. Founder Joe Bruno, and Francesco Isgro

 

Fr. Ezio Marchetto, Pastor of Holy Rosary Church and Chairman of Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center Inc. Assigned to New Position in New York City

 

 

Message to the community from Fr. Marchetto:

"Anno nuovo, vita nuova.”

We are all familiar with this Italian expression proclaimed at the beginning of a new year. This year, it takes on a deeper meaning as a major change will take place at Holy Rosary. The good news is that starting in the month of February, two priests will be staffing Holy Rosary parish; the other part of this news is that I will not be one of them. By the end of January, I will leave the parish to assume new responsibilities with my religious congregation. I have been appointed as Provincial Bursar, and to properly serve in this capacity, I will be residing at the Provincial House in New York City, in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan, next door to Our Lady of Pompeii Church. READ MORE

Buon Natale and Happy New Year

 

Dear Supporters and Friends,

As we close out this challenging year, I am pleased to announce that it was also a very productive year at the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center Inc.  We completed and inaugurated the Robert A. Facchina Italian American Museum of Washington DC (IAMDC), and on December 15, we held a small symbolic inauguration ceremony with our donor, Robert A. Facchina.  We hope that you will be able to join us for the grand opening sometime in 2021.

Below is the December 2020 issue of Voce Italiana, which covers the IAMDC’s inauguration, the visit of H.E. Wilton Cardinal Gregory, the elevation of H.E Silvano Cardinal Tomasi, and more.

On behalf of the Chairman and Board of Directors, I want to thank you again for supporting our mission. We wish you and your families a Merry Christmas season and a safe, healthy, and happy New Year.

Francesco Isgro, President & CEO

IAMDC Inaugurated

 

Calling it an “an historic day for our Italian and Italian American community,” on December 15, 2020, CISC President Francesco Isgro, together with CISC Chair Fr. Ezio Marchetto, Italian Embassy First Counselor Domenico Bellantone, & donor Commendatore Robert Facchina cut the ribbon at the inauguration of the Italian American Museum of Washington DC (IAMDC). Due to covid-19 restrictions the event was limited to 10 people.


Italian Ambassador Armando Varricchio congratulated the CISC Museum Committee at a luncheon earlier at Villa Firenze and stressed the key role of people and culture in our Italy-US relations, as well as "the contributions that Italians and Italian Americans have made in the nation’s capital.”

 
Thank you to the museum committee members, Fr. Ezio Marchetto, Francesco Isgro, Elizabeth DiGregorio, and Anna Isgro, and to all who contributed to making IAMDC a reality.


Hope you can join us for the grand opening in 2021.

 

2020 Fall Letter to Founders and Supporters


Dear Founders and Supporters, 
 

We hope you are all well, despite this challenging pandemic period. We would like to report that lots of exciting things have been taking place at Casa Italiana during the past few months, thanks to our active, all-volunteer Board members and other community volunteers. Here’s a brief update on the status of our projects at Casa Italiana.
 

Italian American Museum of Washington DC (IAMDC)
 

The dream of Fr. Ezio Marchetto to create a museum devoted to the Italian American community in the nation’s capital is becoming a reality. Installation is underway on exhibits for the Robert A. Facchina Italian American Museum of Washington DC, in  three small but beautiful spaces in the new building. Our museum team includes Board Member Liz DiGregorio, and Anna Isgro, together with CISC Chairman Fr. Ezio Marchetto and CEO Francesco Isgro. We will also have two gallery areas on the fourth floor to display and promote local Italian American artists; Liz and Anna have solicited and already received a number of art donations from local artists. READ MORE

NIAF and Lido Civic Club Donate $10,000
to Pino Cicala Archive

Our gratitude to the National Italian American Foundation and the Lido Civic Club for donating $5,000 each to help support the Pino Cicala Archive s and Virtual Collection.  “These grants by the NIAF and the Lido Civic Club, acknowledge the contributions that Pino Cicala made to our Italian American community in Washington, DC, and will help support the digitization of documentary material that Pino collected over his many years as the voice of the community,” said President Francesco Isgro.  “We are especially grateful to Patricia de Stacy Harrison, Chair of the National Italian American Foundation, and Vincenzo Fragomeni, President of the Lido Civic Club, for their support.”

 

CISC Inc. Launches #WeAreOneCommunity Coronavirus Emergency Fund Campaign

 

As the coronavirus continues to challenge our country medically and financially, Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center, Inc. (CISC) has set up an emergency fund to help members of our Italian and Italian-American community in the Washington, D.C. area who find themselves in financial distress.

These are extraordinary times and even though we are blessed to live in a fairly stable economic area, many in our immediate community lack the financial resources to support themselves and their families during the prolonged lock down. 

For this reason, CISC has established the #WeAreOneCommunity Coronavirus Emergency Fund to collect donations through this GoFundMe account. Our Coronavirus Charity Committee (CCC) is establishing specific guidelines for identifying affected individuals and disbursing all the funds directly to the recipients.  The guiding principle is to give precedence to community members in the front lines, such as medical workers and first responders. 

The CCC is chaired by CISC Board Member Dennis Santoli, Esq.  Members of the CCC  are currently: Vincenzo (Enzo) Fragomeni, Eileen Parise, Willy Meaux, and Maria Marigliano.  The Committee is working with the support of Holy Rosary Church (the national Italian parish) and representatives of our local Italian and Italian-American organizations to help identify individuals in need.  

“In this unprecedented time, we hope everyone can donate an amount they feel comfortable with, so that we can provide some relief to those in our community who truly need our support during this pandemic,” said CISC  President, Francesco Isgro’.  

Thank you in advance for whatever support you can give.

Protecting the Community

 

We are saddened by the crisis in Italy, where many hundreds of Italians have perished and an entire population has been asked to sacrifice so much.  We have seen how other nations are dealing with the pandemic and have learned some lessons. This is not a time for panic but for preparing ourselves to temporarily change the routine of our daily lives and to take sensible precautions to halt the spread of the coronavirus. 

Our principal efforts should be, not to panic, but to be smart: to protect our community, beginning with our families, our neighbors, and our clubs and associations.  "Social distancing" may be a challenge for those of us accustomed to effusive phyical contact but now is the time to hold back, to avoid crowds, to stay safe and to reflect that just as everything else, this crisis shall also pass.

 

-----Francesco Isgro (Editorial, March 2020 issue of Voce Italiana)

 

2019 - End of the Year Letter to CISC Founders 

Dear Founders and Supporters,

 

As the year draws to a close, all of us on the Board of Directors are immensely grateful for your continued and enthusiastic support of the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center, Inc. 

 

In 2019, we laid the groundwork for establishing the Robert A. Facchina Italian American Museum in Washington, D.C.  Our plans are to begin the bidding process for the installation of the exhibits early in January 2020, and we look forward to an official opening this spring.  We also continue to develop our Marconi project, recordings of oral histories, and are proceeding on a virtual museum to make the rich and varied history of our community available to a broader audience. READ MORE

 

 

Vespa Committee Hosts Raduno Breakfast at Casa Italiana

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Vespa, the famous Italian scooter, was in its glory the weekend of Sept 21-22, as the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center, Inc., hosted a breakfast for the newly established Vespa Committee of Washington DC. The committee held its annual Raduno {gathering), with the participation of the Vespa Club of Sulmona, Italy represented by its president, Panfilo D'Angelo.

CISC Board Member, Willy Meaux, founded and organized the event, which was established in 2018 as a program committee of the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center. As interest in the Vespa club grew, the Board to establish the committee as a separate organization and the Vespa Committee of Washington DC is now officially a 501(c)(3) Foundation.

The Vespa is an icon of Italian design and culture, and, as Italian Embassy's First Counselor Domenico Bellantone said at the breakfast event, “Four wheels can move your body, a Vespa can move your soul.” President of Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center, Inc., Francesco Isgro’ said, "We look forward to supporting the Vespa Committee of Washington DC's exciting activities and know they will have great success.” Shown at Casa Italiana was Piaggio’s new model, “Vespa Elettrica,” courtesy of La Moto of Washington, DC. The breakfast was catered by Simonetta's Pappa Fresca.

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This exquisite mosaic “Madonna con Bambino” was gifted to to the CISC, Inc. Robert A. Facchina Italian American Museum of Washington, DC (IAMDC) by

Brett Rugo, president of Rugo Stone. The mosaic was created by renowned mosaicist Matteo Randi in 2018, and was made using Venetian smalti (glass) and gold.  Rugo Stone is a natural stone and mosaic contracting company located in Lorton, Va.

The Marconi project is an effort by the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center to capture the memories and experiences of Italian immigrants in the greater Washington D.C. area.  By sharing their rich history and stories we plan to preserve those memories digitally and make them available for generations to come. Read more 

Holy Rosary Church

At Casa Italiana Language School, we believe learning the Italian language and culture should be fun. With courses designed to engage our students and let them learn effortlessly, Casa Italiana promises to deliver an experience beyond the basic process of learning. Read more

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Casa Italiana Language School/Ente Promotore e` un'organizzazione senza scopo di lucro il cui obiettivo consiste nel promuovere lo studio della lingua e cultura italiana nella circoscrizione consolare di Washington D.C.    Read more

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Click on the banner above to access Amazon.com and Casa Italiana will benefit a small percentage from your purchase at no additional cost to you!

 

Plans Unveiled for the Robert Facchina
Italian American Museum of Washington D.C.

At a recent brunch for the Founders of Casa Italiana, Fr. Ezio Marchetto, as the Chairman of the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center, Inc., updated guests on the organization's future programs and projects, and unveiled the plans for the new Robert Facchina Italian American Museum of Washington DC (IAMDC).

 
The mission of the museum is to preserve the legacy left by Italians and Italian Americans in the Nation’s Capital, and to showcase the community’s rich Italian cultural heritage. The museum is made possible through a generous grant from Robert Facchina, who was present at the brunch.


The exhibits will occupy Casa Italiana and eventually four lobby spaces of the new building and will focus on Italians and Italian immigrants who have a direct connection to Washington D.C. Displays will reflect the following themes: how Italians and Italian Americans influenced the design, construction and beautification of Washington D.C.; the lives, struggles and achievements of Italian immigrants in the Washington D.C. area; the creation and historic evolution of Holy Rosary Church and Casa Italiana; an exhibition gallery showing the works of local Italian and Italian American artists. IAMDC will also include the Marconi Project, a series of oral histories of Italian Americans in the community.

 
The pace of construction of the new buildings has picked up and may be completed this fall. Museum organizers are seeking potential donations of historic materials pertaining to local immigrant families (old tools, uniforms, photos, documents, military medals, etc.), as well as works of art (paintings, mosaics, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, etc.) by local artists for display in the new art gallery. 


Potential donors are asked to contact Fr. Ezio Marchetto at ezio.marchetto@gmail.com or Liz DiGregorio at louiserayburn@yahoo.com. 
(Source: Voce Italiana June 2019)

Plans Underway for the Robert Facchina

Italian American Museum of Washington DC (IAMDC)

Plans for conceptualizing and designing the new CISC Italian American Museum of Washington DC (IAMDC) are proceeding smoothly. The opening is tentatively scheduled for later this year but is dependent on the pace of construction on the new building.

 

Exhibits will eventually occupy the lobby areas in the new building and Casa Italiana. The first floor lobby will be dedicated to the legacy that Italians and Italian Americans have left in the design, construction and beautification of Washington DC. The second floor lobby will recount the lives, struggles and successes of immigrants to the area. The history of Holy Rosary Church and the community around it will be the focus of the third floor lobby,  and the fourth floor lobby will be an exhibition area, showing works of art created by local Italians and Italian Americans. 

The IAMDC planning team (Fr. Ezio Marchetto, Francesco Isgro,  Elizabeth DiGregorio,  Anna Isgro, and museum designer David Friedberg), shown below, has engaged the services of DFDesignStudio, which has worked with a number of major museums in DC, to help plan and design the IAMDC spaces and create a consistent branding strategy.

CISC Inc. 2018 End of the Year Letter

 

Dear Friends of Casa Italiana,

As 2018 draws to a close, I would like to update you on our progress in constructing a   financial foundation for the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center, as well as to thank you for your interest in supporting our mission “to promote and preserve the Italian American heritage for future generations in the greater Washington, DC area.”
 
Since our incorporation in June, 2017, we Board Members have worked on a voluntary capacity to build an endowment fund for Casa Italiana to sustain its work into the future. Last year we established the Founders Capital Fund, to which donors pledge $5,000 payable within three years. We are pleased to say that we are now very close to accomplishing our initial goal of raising $500,000 from 100 Founders. To date 85 Founders, whose names will be etched on the wall of the new building, have entrusted us to carry out our mission. READ MORE

 

Bella Italia Market Brings Best of Italy to Casa Italiana

More than 1,000 visitors enjoy the unique
cultural experience

 

It took a village to make the Bella Italia Market a huge success -- nearly 50 members of the community volunteered hundreds of hours of their time toward organizing and assisting at the event, held to benefit future heritage, educational and cultural programs sponsored by the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center, Inc. 


From an idea initiated and executed by local fashion designer Franca Bartoli to bring Italian excellence to our nation’s capital, and nurtured for nearly two years by a dedicated core group of volunteers, the market of Italian creativity became a reality this past weekend at  Casa Italiana. A ribbon-cutting ceremony opened the Bella Italia Market with Fr. Ezio Marchetto making welcoming remarks.  Domenico Bellantone, First Counselor for Consular and Social Affairs of the Italian Embassy,  delivered brief remarks and inaugurated the Market by cutting the ribbon. Also present was Francesco Isgrò, president of the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center, Inc., which sponsored the event. READ MORE

CISC Founders Honored at Reception;

Robert Facchina Announces Donation To Fund  Italian American Museum of DC (IAMDC)

 

A cocktail reception was held on Saturday September 22 honoring donors to the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center’s Capital Founders Fund. The donors have donated or pledged to donate $5,000 to support ongoing and future operations of Casa Italiana.

 

Dr. Joseph Lupo, the outgoing President of the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center (CISC) welcomed the over 70 guests to the reception and thanked the Board members for their work since the CISC was formally established in June 2017.   READ MORE

 

Francesco Isgro and Robert Facchina sign gift agreement

IAMDC
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Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center, Inc. is an IRC 501(c)(3) public charity as designated by the Internal Revenue Service.   All donations to Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center, Inc. and the Founders Capital Fund are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.  For additional information, please contact:  Jim Cocco, Treasurer, Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center, Inc. 595 Third Street, NW Washington, DC 20001.

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Bella Italia Market volunteers