eNotizie - April 2011

FEATURED SPONSOR - Rao's Specialty Foods, Inc.
Starting today, all NIAF Members in good standing receive 10% off of all 3 Jar orders and Full Cases of Rao’s Homemade line of premium quality pasta sauces. NIAF Supporters are welcome to try the same discount for three days, ending Wednesday night, April 6th, at midnight. Use the secret code NIAF10 in checkout! Visit

Register Now For the West Coast Gala!
California dreamin’? No time like the present! The National Italian American Foundation holds its West Coast Gala next month in sunny Santa Monica and now’s the time to make plans and buy tickets. (Santa Monica weather report: 70s and sunshine today! So what are you waiting for?)

And when you’ve strolled back from relaxing on Santa Monica’s famous 3.2-mile-long beach, you’ll be tanned and ready for our star-studded evening of fine dining and good friends. It all takes place May 19, 2011, at the luxurious Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows. Film and TV star Joe Mantegna serves as this year’s master of ceremonies. Actor and singer Franc D’Ambrosio, of “Phantom of the Opera” fame, sings the U.S. and Italian national anthems and entertains the night away.

This year’s honorees include Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and Dodgers great Tommy Lasorda; California Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame attorney Thomas V. Girardi; actor, screenwriter and director John Favreau; Oscar nominee and Golder Globe Award winner Gary Sinise; songwriter and music producer Kara DioGuardi; and Oscar nominated film producer whose credits include "The Social Network" Dana Brunetti. The gala will also will pay tribute to legendary public affairs consultant and former NIAF vice chairman Joseph R. Cerrell.

Special guests will include Academy Award-winning actor Ernest Borgnine; Major League Baseball All-Star Mike Piazza; stage, TV and film star Brenda Vaccaro; actor Robert Davi; TV and film star Lou Ferrigno; E! News Anchor and Managing Editor Giuliana DePandi Rancic; actor and model Antonio Sabato, Jr.; actor, screenwriter and producer Marco Bonini; and actor Francesco Quinn, son of Anthony Quinn.

Reception starts at 6:30 p.m., dinner at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $250, $500 and $1,000. For sponsorship and ticket information for this exciting and memorable evening, and to register online, visit Or contact Jerry Jones at 202-939-3102 or But don’t delay!

NIAF “Graduates 2 Leaders” Communications Workshop at West Coast Gala
During the West Coast Gala, NIAF is offering a “Graduates 2 Leaders” communications workshop focusing on networking and entrepreneurial skills. Guest speakers giving advice and motivating university students and young professionals from a career perspective in communications include Thompson on Hollywood—IndieWIRE feature reporter Anthony D’Alessandro, FOX 11–Good Day LA Entertainment Producer Bill Cipolla and CNN Political Columnist Bill Schneider.

Registration for the workshop is $125, which includes a one-year youth membership to NIAF. Workshop attendees are invited to attend the NIAF afternoon celebrity meet-and-greet hosted by Robert Davi, Giuliana DePandi Rancic, Doug DeLuca, among others, at no charge.

University students, recent college graduates, and young professionals up to age 30 are invited to participate. Space is limited to a first-come, first-served basis. The workshop and reception location is at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, 101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, Calif. May 19, 2011, 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The workshop will be followed by a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m. and dinner at 7:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required. For more information, contact Riccardo Skeem at 202-939-3107 or email Or Click here to register.

Miami Celebrates Italy’s 150th Anniversary
Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification in Miami at Miami Dade College, April 7. Join Dr. Eduardo J. Padron, president of Miami Dade College; Marco Rocca, Italy’s consul general in Miami; Arthur J. Furia, Esq., NIAF’s general counsel; Tomás Regalado, mayor of Miami; and other community leaders at this special reception.

The Hon. Patricia de Stacy Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and a NIAF vice chairwoman, is the keynote speaker. She will discuss Italian and American ties that join us culturally and educationally.

During the celebratory reception, Mayor Regalado will present Mr. Furia with a proclamation from the City of Miami honoring Italy and commemorating this historic milestone. Mr. Furia will present Sister Lucia Ceccotti, executive director of The Marian Center, with a NIAF check to help the center continue to achieve its goals of helping children with developmental problems.

Italian tenor Roberto Iarussi will perform the U.S. and Italian national anthems. Guests will receive a complimentary copy of “Deeds of My Fathers” by Paul David Pope, whose parents, Generoso and Lois B. Pope, were the founders of Il Progresso—the first Italian American newspaper in the United States. Thursday, April 7, 2011, at 6 p.m., The Freedom Tower, New World Room, Miami Dade College, 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, Fla. For more information, call 305-347-7346 or email

NIAF’s Italia 150 Essay Contest
Attenzione, student essayists! You’re running out of time! Deadline is the end of this month, so stop procrastinating. With 2011 celebrating the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, NIAF is holding an essay contest open to all high school students (grades 9-12). The 750-word essay topic: What does it mean to be Italian American in 2011? Why is your Italian heritage and culture important?

Prizes include $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for third place. Winners will also receive a free one-year membership to NIAF. The first place winner will be invited to attend a 2011 or 2012 NIAF Students to Leaders program of his or her choice free of cost and the first-place essay will be published in NIAF’s Ambassador magazine.

The deadline to submit an essay is April 30, 2011. Winners will be announced on June 2, 2011, La Festa della Repubblica (Italy’s Republic Day). Click here for details on how to submit an essay.

NIAF Voyage of Discovery Program
The Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Voyage of Discovery Program is sponsored by NIAF as an all-expenses paid trip for Italian American students that covers round-trip airfare between Italy and America and 10 days of programs.

The purpose is to strengthen the Italian American identity by bonding young Italian Americans to the country, culture and heritage of Italy; to help them gain an understanding of their heritage and a pride in preserving that heritage for the next generation; and to understand the historical significance of Italy and the current contribution Italy is making to the United States and the world.

The trip itineraries include educational lectures, meetings with government officials and business leaders, and visits to government offices, international businesses, museums and other cultural attractions. Trip Dates: May 29 –June 8, 2011. For more information, visit And join us on Facebook or contact Riccardo Skeem at 202-939-3107 or email

NIAF in Kansas City
Mark One Electric Co. is hosting a NIAF Business Council reception in Kansas City, Mo., on April 7, 2011, 6-8 p.m. This is a small and intimate gathering at the home of Rosana and Anthony Biondo, co-hosted by Carl and Josephine Privitera, Joseph and Kelly Privitera, Carl and Mary Privitera and Tony and Tammy Privitera. We encourage NIAF supporters to bring prospective NIAF members. Please RSVP to Beatrice Santacroce for location and details at 202-939-3120 or email

Join Us in Boston
Here’s an invitation to all council members, NIAF members and anyone interested in joining NIAF and supporting its valuable mission, to join us for a wine and hors d'eouvres reception hosted by Dr. Dale Masi on May 9, 2011, 6-8 p.m., at the Belvedere Residences Building, 100 Belvedere St., Boston, Mass. Price: $35 per person. For more information, contact: Beatrice Santacroce at 202-939-3120 or email

Heads Up, Atlanta
You’re invited to a NIAF membership cocktail reception in Atlanta, Ga., April 28, 2011, 6-8:30 p.m., featuring special guest Riccardo Cichi, senior vice president of Pirelli Tires North America. The event is sponsored by Jim Ellis Porsche of Atlanta. RSVP for location and details with Beatrice Santacroce at 202-939-3120 or email Not a member? Join today at

NIAF Teacher of the Year Award
The National Italian American Foundation is now taking nominations from school principals for the NIAF Teacher of the Year Award. The purpose of the award is to recognize an outstanding educator in Italian language and culture. The recipient will have shown dedication and contribution in the field of teaching Italian. The winner will be announced in September 2011, and recognized at the NIAF Education Luncheon held in conjunction with the NIAF Annual Gala and Convention on October 29, 2011.

All nominees must be employed by an accredited American school during the 2010-2011 school year, have a minimum of three (3) years teaching experience, teach at public, private and/or parochial schools, and be skillful, dedicated teachers who plan to continue classroom teaching. Most importantly, a candidate should demonstrate an ability to inspire a love of learning the Italian language and culture in students of any background.

Deadline is June 24, 2011. For more information and to obtain an application, visit Contact: Riccardo Skeem at 202-939-3107, or email

IACCSE 20th Anniversary Gala in Coral Gables
The Italy-America Chamber of Commerce Southeast (IACCSE) is celebrating its 20th anniversary on April 8, 2011, at the Coral Gables Country Club.

For two decades, the IACCSE has supported Italian entrepreneurs and companies in the Southeastern United States. It boasts more than 160 business members and actively promotes "Made in Italy" brands.

To honor the achievements of Italian businesses in America, the gala’s theme—“Great Italian Explorers"—will recognize Italian businesses and individuals for their achievements with awards named after great Italian “explorers” in various fields.

The gala is Friday, April 8, 2011; 7 p.m. to midnight, at the Coral Gables Country Club, 997 North Greenway Dr., Coral Gables, Fla. Tickets: $150 per ticket; $1,350 for a table of 10. For more information, call 305-577-9868 or visit the IACCSE Web site at

Fashioning a Cure
Love cutting-edge fashion and doing good? Do both at the U.S. debut of renowned Italian designer Renato Balestra, who will host a fashion show fundraiser featuring his latest breathtaking lines, from haute couture to accessories, in Los Angeles, April 14, 2011. The event will benefit City of Hope National Medical Center, a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases, in Duarte, Calif.

The show will include a cocktail reception and post-show VIP dinner. Location: The historic Millennium Biltmore, 506 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, Calif. For more information, visit or contact Brenda Joseph, City of Hope, at

Washington, D.C.’s Italian Connection
Both Spring and Italy come to the nation’s capital this year through May 30 during the La Dolce DC festival, promoting D.C.'s Italian influences with museum exhibits, special events, plus hotel and restaurant packages.

From the U.S. Capitol dome and frescos of Constantino Brumidi and the fine sculpting at the National Cathedral, Italy is embedded in the cultural fabric and grandeur of Washington, D.C. The festival coincides with the opening of the exhibition of Venetian painter Canaletto and his rival’s works at The National Gallery of Art and an exhibit of Philip Guston’s expressionist vision of Italy at The Phillips Collection. Watch for more info or visit

Italy on the Big Screen
In search of Italian cinema? The real thing with English subtitles? Each spring, the Italian Film Festival USA brings from three to nine acclaimed Italian films to 10 U.S. cities—St. Louis, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Memphis, Cleveland, Kansas City, Detroit, Boulder and Milwaukee. This year’s selection includes such films as “Basilicata Coast to Coast,” “La Prima Cosa Belia” and “Diciotto Anni Dopo.” All screenings are open to the public and free. For locations and times, visit

And, as part of its “Italy at 150 Years” series, the San Diego Italian Film Festival is showing a relevant Italian film each month through September. This month, it’s director Roberto Faenza’s "I Viceré" (The Viceroys), a rich tale of the Uzeda family, descendants of the Spanish Viceroys in Sicily, and their internal fighting for wealth and power during the years spanning the Risorgimento and the new Italian state. Tickets available at the theater box office (a $5 donation is recommended). Thursday, April 21, 2011, 7 p.m., Museum of Photographic Arts, 1649 El Prado, San Diego, Calif. For more information, visit:

Jovanotti at Bonnaroo
Okay, maybe you have never heard of Jovanotti or have no idea what Bonnaroo could possibly be. Welcome to the New World! And get your tents and sleeping bags out.

One of Italy’s most famous contemporary superstars, Italy’s No. 1 recording artist, Jovanotti is making a rare appearance at the fabled, four-day, multi-staged Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn. This marks the first time an Italian artist who sings in the Italian language is joining the line-up of a major U.S. rock festival! The date is June 9-12, 2011. For more information, see

Contemporary Italian Art
Last chance to see the fascinating exhibition of contemporary Italian art by a select group of artists from the Italian city of Torino. "Gran Torino: Italian Contemporary Art" is showing through April 18, 2011, at The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University in Miami.

The exhibition includes pieces from the renowned Arte Povera movement, including such acclaimed artists as Mario Mertz, Alighiero Boetti, Giulio Paolini and Michelangelo Pistoletto, and illustrates new trends that have emerged from Torino’s artistic community. For more information, visit or call 305-348-2890.

A Booking to Help L’Aquila
Stop by the reception at Rizzoli Bookstore in New York City, Wednesday, April 6, 2011, where cookbook author Maria Filice will be signing copies of her book “Breaking Bread in L’Aquila.” Net proceeds will be donated to the restoration of the L’Aquila region of Italy devastated by the 2009 earthquake. Can’t attend? Call 800-52-BOOKS to purchase a signed copy and help L’Aquila. The reception is 5:30-7 p.m., 31 West 57th St. (between 5th and 6th Avenues), New York, N.Y.

Join NIAF for Your 2011 Trips to Italy and Greek Islands Cruise!
Tour the Italian Lakes regions, spend leisurely days exploring Southern Italy or take a cruise of the Greek Islands...

Tour of the Italian Lakes!
This is a journey through breathtaking landscapes, enchanting rustic towns and gastronomical delights that you’ll never forget. Your seven-night vacation traveling with NIAF and Unitours will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated after resting by Italy's scenic lakesides. While visiting these picturesque lakes, you will also have the opportunity to spend a day in Milan, Italy's fashion capital and home to the majestic Duomo and Teatro della Scala Opera House. For details, visit and click “Travel,” or contact NIAF’s partner, Unitours, at 1-888-846-6423.

Take NIAF’s Southern Lights Tour
Naples, Sorrento and Pompeii on your must-see list? Now’s the time to sign up for NIAF and Perillo Italy Vacations’ 2011 Southern Lights Tour. Spend nine days and seven nights exploring undiscovered parts of Italy as well as visiting your favorite popular sights, including visits to Naples, Amalfi, San Giovanni Rotundo and Gargano. For details, visit and click “Travel” or call 1-800-Italy-25.

Greek Islands Cruise in 2011!
NIAF and Trek Tours Ltd. are pleased to present a 10 Night Greek Isles Cruise with date through the summer and early fall. This fascinating journey of the most beautiful coastlines and ports of the Mediterranean will include visits to Venice (Italy), Split (Croatia), Corfu (Greece), Athens (Greece) and Mykonos, Greece, and other picturesque and ancient locations while aboard the magnificent cruise ship Splendour of the Seas.

Book now for cabin reduced rates for the August 26 cruise! For details, visit and click “Travel,” or call Pam Salimeno at NIAF’s partner, Trek Tours, at 1-800-370-0357.

Support Our Sponsors

Alitalia invites NIAF members to save 10 percent on their next flight to Italy. Register to receive Alitalia’s newsletters and receive a promo code valid for 10 percent off of any economy class ticket purchased on The special promo-code is valid on tickets purchased by April 30, 2011, for travel through June 15, 2011. For more information and to receive the promo code, visit today!

SkyBonus is now the official corporate loyalty program for small and medium-size companies in North America for Alitalia, Delta, Air France and KLM. With SkyBonus, companies in Canada, the United States and Mexico that register in the program will be able to enjoy more rewarding trans-Atlantic travel! To register your company, visit

Rao's Specialty Foods, Inc.
Rao’s Homemade line of premium quality pasta sauces are made from the freshest possible ingredients. Only imported whole peeled plum Italian tomatoes from the San Marzano region near Naples are used in the production of Rao’s sauces. Imported Italian Olive oil, fresh onions, garlic and basil leaf are added with other, all-natural ingredients to the tomatoes and slowly simmered according to old world recipes to create perfectly blended pasta sauces. Rao’s sauces do not contain added sugar, tomato paste, starches, fillers or artificial preservatives and are excellent choices for a healthy lifestyle. Please visit for more information. NIAF’s members will receive a discount. Please contact Rebecca Bartello at 202-939-3114 for information on receiving this discount or email at

NIAF e-Newsletter compiled
and edited
by Don Oldenburg

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