June 19, 2008
The Italian Language Inter-Cultural Alliance (ILICA) convened today at St. John’s University to begin a two-day invitation only cultural event (CE) billed as ILICA CE “Flight to the Future,” dedicated to young influential professionals who bridge the gap between Italy and the United States and who actively promote the Italian language and culture in their everyday lives.
“I have taught all over the world and have seen more than ever in recent years the need for Advanced Placement (AP) courses to be offered in Italian in the school systems here in the United States,” said featured speaker Dr. Anthony Julian Tamburri, President of American Association of Teachers of Italian (AATI) and Dean of the John D. Clandra Italian American Institute at CUNY Queens College in New York. “With the help of organizations like the Italian Consulate and many others, communication has improved with the school systems in the past 10-15 years but there is still much work ahead to be done in educating the Italian-American students of today about their language and culture.”
Topics for the event were tied into tradition with the innovations and prospects for the future and range from the cutting edge of Italian Satellite Television to the modernization of the century’s old tradition of Parmigiano making, to Italy’s role in the world of maritime shipping. Other areas of concentration include discussions on dual perspectives of the Law from both sides of the Atlantic, including Italy’s place in the European legal system and the characteristics of the “New Generation of Immigration.” Other guest lecturers included Prof. Alfio Russo, Director of Education Office of the Italian Consulate of New York.
“We are a University of immigrants, have a strong Italian population and are very proud to have ILICA host their cultural event on our campus in New York,” said Cav. Joseph Sciame, Vice President for Community Relations at St. John’s, who served as University host and guest speaker in welcoming the honored guests to Queens. “I applaud ILICA for being at the forefront in recognizing the challenges that young Italians face in the world today. We can meet these challenges together – but it’s going to take a national campaign to revitalize efforts in order to promote change and succeed in promoting Italian culture in America.”
Special awards of recognition were given on the first day of the event to Alessandra Cuffaro, accomplished violinist who is pursuing a successful international concert career in the US, France and Spain. Ms. Cuffaro serenaded the crowd with a wonderful musical arrangement prior to her award presentation. In addition, Leonardo Kosarew, President of the Confederation of Italian Entrepreneurs in the World (CIMM, Canada) was cited for his work to promote Italian language and culture in Canada through both his professional and private life. Mr. Kosarew also served as speaker and moderator for all event activities.
As a special treat, the University’s food provider, Chartwells, opened their kitchens to professional chefs from Italy who were on hand to serve lunch at the University’s Marillac Terrace location. Event participants were treated to an array of Italian pastas, meats, cheeses, wine, desserts and beverages, topped off by a Gala Dinner at the majestic Oheka Castle in Huntington, NY, to close the first day’s activities.
Day Two on June 19th shifts to Oheka Castle where a delegation headed by Supreme Court Justice Dominic Massaro is expected to be present for evening festivities which include the presentation of the Man and Woman of the Year Awards. Among the biggest honors of the evening from a list of several prestigious ILICA award winners will be Claudio Bozzo, President of Mediterranean Shipping Company USA, who will receive ILICA’s Man of the Year award and Annalisa Liuzzo, prominent New York Immigration Attorney, who will be presented with ILICA’s Woman of the Year honors.
For more information on the Cultural Event please contact Cav. Vincenzo Marra, President of ILICA’s New York based office by calling (718) 392-2020 or visit the alliance web site at www.ilicait.org.
Interested media representatives can contact Dominic Scianna, Assistant Vice President of Media Relations at (718) 990-6185 or e-mail inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.