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.
We expect that the museum exhibition areas will be completed within the next few weeks. Our plans are to open the museum for private showings beginning around the end of December and continuing through January 2021. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we will be limiting the number of visitors at any given time, but will set up a schedule so that all our Founders have the opportunity to visit the museum first.
The Marconi Project
The Marconi Project Team has been busy recording the personal histories of members of our Italian American community -- from Holy Rosary Church parishioner Tony Volpe, whose firm helped construct the Vietnam Memorial to Ambassador Luigi Einaudi, grandson of the first president of Italy. To date 18 people have been interviewed. Leading this effort are Board members Willy Meaux, Tom Sweeney and Ciro De Falco, with the assistance of Nancy DeSanti. As you can imagine, this is a costly project and we are seeking additional funding to purchase equipment to support the ongoing recordings. Those interested in funding the purchase of an item or all of the needed equipment ($10,000), please contact Willy Meaux at firstname.lastname@example.org. The project will feature a computer station where visitors can listen to oral histories. We have already received funding from a generous donor to purchase one of the two needed computers. Anyone interested in sponsoring the purchase of the other computer ($1,800 donation), please contact me at: fisgro@CasaItalianaCenter.org. Your name or your company’s name will be acknowledged on the computer screen.
The Pino Cicala Archives and Virtual Collection
The documentary materials donated by Pino Cicala’s son Luigi, have been organized, transferred into file cabinets and indexed alphabetically. We have received a $5,000 grant from the National Italian American Foundation, and another $5,000 from the Lido Civic Club specifically for the Cicala archives. We will soon be officially announcing a generous matching donation by Robert A Facchina to support the digitalization of CISC's archived materials and creation of an online public database. We are now scanning photographs from the extensive Holy Rosary Church collection, as well as all the published issues of Voce Italiana. We would also like to thank those of you who generously donated early family photographs and memorabilia to the CISC archives and museum.
We have established an Investment Committee to draft CISC’s investment policy and to monitor our investments so that we can be good stewards of your generosity. The committee is chaired by Board Member Ciro De Falco, and includes Treasurer Jim Cocco and Board Member Dennis Santoli.
The #WeAreOneCommunity COVID Fundraiser
This past spring, we established the #WeAreOneCommunity Coronavirus Emergency Fund to collect donations, through this GoFundMe account, for individuals in our community who have been financially affected by the pandemic. Our Coronavirus Charity Committee (CCC) is establishing specific guidelines for identifying affected individuals and disbursing all the funds directly to the recipients. This effort is being led by Dennis Santoli; to date more than $6,000 has been raised. If you know of a potential recipient, please contact Dennis Santoli at email@example.com.
It’s been a very busy period at Casa Italiana, thanks to your sponsorship and the devotion of our volunteers. To follow our progress and keep abreast of our activities, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CasaItalianaDC and our website at www.casaitalianacenter.org.
We thank you for your continued support and we take great pleasure in the possibility of seeing you at Casa Italiana in the very near future. Until then stay well and stay safe.
President & CEO