The Robert A. Facchina Italian American Museum of Washington, DC (IAMDC)
The mission of the CISC's Robert A. Facchina Italian American Museum of Washington DC (IAMDC) is to collect, display and preserve artifacts, as well as oral histories that portray the lives, struggles and achievements of Italian immigrants to the Washington DC area, and to educate the public at large about the contributions of Italians and Italian Americans to the physical and cultural landscape of greater Washington DC. The IAMDC is owned and operated by the Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center Inc. The Director of the IAMDC is Elizabeth (Liz) DiGregorio.
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 who contributed thousands of volunteer hours, and to all who contributed to making IAMDC a reality. Hope you can join us for the grand opening in 2021.
AMDC Planning Committee
Fr. Ezio Marchetto, Chairman CISC, Inc.
Francesco Isgro, President & CEO CISC Inc.
Liz DiGregorio, Co-curator (CISC Board Member)
Anna Isgro, Co-curator
David Fridberg, DFDESIGNSTUDIO (Project Consultant)
Founders Honored at Reception; Robert Facchina Announces Donation To Fund Italian American Museum of Washington 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 given or pledged to give $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 more than 70 guests and thanked the Board members for their work since the CISC was formally established in June 2017.
Fr. Ezio Marchetto, Chairman of CISC, presented a slide show outlining the plans to expand the footprint of Casa Italiana and updating the donors on some of the projects that are underway, including the establishment of an Italian American Museum (IAMDC) focused on contributions by Italian Americans in the Nation’s Capital and the surrounding area. As part of that effort, CISC has launched the Marconi Project, directed by Willy Meaux and Tom Sweeney, which will collect oral histories of Italian Americans in the Washington area. William Sansalone, who participated in the project, noted the importance of creating such an archive. James Cocco, Executive Vice President of Finance and Treasurer, gave an update on the financial health of CISC, noting that we currently have 71 Founders and that we plan on reaching the goal of 100 by the end of the year.
Fr. Ezio announced that entrepreneur and philanthropist Robert Facchina had pledged a generous contribution to establish the IAMDC, which will bear his name. Mr. Facchina, who was present with his spouse Susan, formally presented a check that evening, and committed to contributing a similar amount in the near future.
Board Corporate Secretary, Tina Maiolo, Esq., then introduced Board Member Francesco Isgro', Esq., announcing that he was the newly-elected President of CISC. In his remarks, Isgro thanked the members of the Founders Club for their support and Robert Facchina for providing the initial financial resources for the museum, which will provide “the means to ensure that our Italian and Italian-American traditions are passed down to the next generation, because we know that without the past there is no future.”
As the first order of business, Robert Facchina and Francesco Isgro' jointly signed the Gift Agreement outlining Mr. Facchina’s total contribution to the Italian American Museum in DC.
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.