Saturday, October 29, NIAF will celebrate its 47th Anniversary Gala at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Purchase tickets
There’s Something for Everyone at The National Italian American Foundation’s 44th Anniversary Gala Celebrating the NIAF 2019 Region of Honor—Molise


Natalie Wulderk

(Washington, D.C. – September 4, 2019) The Omni Shoreham Hotel will host the most unforgettable weekend of the season when the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) celebrates its 44th Anniversary Gala Weekend, November 1-3. Although the centerpiece of the weekend is Saturday evening, the NIAF Gala Weekend offers events that will pique the interest of all ages and backgrounds.

The NIAF 44th Anniversary Gala Awards Dinner on Saturday, November 2, takes center stage during the NIAF Gala Weekend. This elegant black-tie affair begins with a reception that includes cocktails and an extensive and deluxe silent auction. The reception leads to the Dinner which will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Every year, NIAF is privileged to honor several outstanding members of the Italian American community for their exceptional work in their respective fields. This year, we are pleased to honor Chairman & CEO of The AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies, Paul A. Tufano; CEO of Becton, Dickinson and Company, Vincent A. Forlenza; President of AFL-CIO Richard L. Trumka; Real Estate and Chairman of U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission Daniel A. DiLella and Maria Bartiromo, NIAF Board Member, two-time Emmy Award winner, and anchor of Mornings with Maria and Maria Bartiromo’s Wall Street on Fox Business Network, and Sunday Morning Futures on Fox News Channel. NIAF is pleased to honor these individuals who have achieved special distinction and reflected pride of their Italian heritage. More honorees will be announced leading up to the Gala. We will also be joined by Members of the bipartisan Italian American Congressional Delegation, Members of Congress, Italian dignitaries and Italian and Italian Americans from around the country.

Entertainment for the evening will include: Alessandro Coli, an Italian singer-songwriter who collaborated with NIAF to offer its members a chance to win a free trip to Italy for two; and Christina Carlucci, actress, dancer, singer and long-time NIAF supporter, to perform the national anthems of both the United States and Italy. Operatic powerhouse, The Sicilian Tenors will take the stage; and all the way from the Region of Molise, award-winning singer and songwriter Chiara Izzi will sing Friday night and Saturday night. For tickets and sponsorships, visit

On Friday, November 1, the NIAF Gala Weekend kicks off with our NIAF Aperitivo! event for young Italian American and Italophile professionals, from 6 – 9 p.m. Italian style cocktails and complimentary aperitivo bites will be served while up-and-coming leaders meet and mingle with other members of the Italian American community. This is the quintessential opportunity to expand your network. Open to the public. For tickets, visit

Also, on Friday, November 1, at 7:30 p.m., enjoy the evening with Celebrity Chef Mary Ann Esposito as she takes you through an elegant, three-course dinner inspired by the cuisine of Molise, the NIAF 2019 Region of Honor. The talented singer and songwriter Chiara Izzi will perform during the magical evening. Each ticket purchase also includes Esposito’s latest cookbook, Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy. Seating for this unforgettable dinner is limited, so purchase your tickets now at

On Saturday, November 2, during the day leading up to the evening’s Gala Awards Dinner, Expo Italiana will showcase entertaining, educational and commercial offerings of Italian and Italian American exhibitors. From the best Italian wines, to iconic Italian Vespas, curated tours of Italy, Tuscan cigars, free samples of Italian culinary artistry, and espresso, this is the largest annual Italian Festival in the Nation’s Capital. Throughout the day, learn about Italian dual citizenship, genealogy, language and travel programs; watch a presentation about Luigi Del Bianco, chief carver of Mount Rushmore; brush up your Italian language with the Italian Cultural Society of Washington; view the top 3 finalists’ films for The Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum; sit in on Gelato 101 for a lesson and tasting with the owner of Dolci Gelati; and listen to the band i-Talians who will be Expo Italiana’s featured and lively entertainment. Don’t forget to stop by the NIAF photo booth! Free and open to the public, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more information, contact Julia Streisfeld at

As the Expo Italiana concludes, the evening festivities will begin with the NIAF Gala Receptions, where guests dressed in elegant ball gowns and black tuxedos, which will lead into NIAF 44th Anniversary Gala Awards Dinner at 7:30 p.m. After the Gala Awards Dinner, the annual and much anticipated After Hours Party is the opportunity for guests to untie bowtie and through off high heels to join in the most famous Italian party in America. The band i-Talians will DJ, playing a fantastic mix of today’s top hits along with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin classics to sing your heart out and dance to with your fellow Italian Americans. This is an after party NOT to forget!

The Gala Weekend will close with a Sunday Mass, conducted in Italian, the morning of November 3, at the Holy Rosary Church, in Washington, D.C.

For further updates on the NIAF Gala Weekend schedule, which are subject to change, please visit

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and protecting the Italian American heritage and culture. To learn more about the Foundation and become a member, please visit