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This edition: ITALICS: NIAF's 38th Anniversary Gala, NIAF's John Viola, fmr. U.S. Congressman Frank J. Guarini, ILICA CE

Episode Details

Original tape date: October 25, 2013.

First aired: November 27, 2013.

On this episode of ITALICS, Television for the Italian American Experience, hosted by Dr. Anthony Julian Tamburri, we’ll talk with John Viola, Chief Operating Officer of NIAF, the National Italian American Foundation; we’ll take you to Washington D.C., for NIAF’s 38th Anniversary Gala; catch up with NIAF Chair Emeritus and Former U.S. Congressman, Frank J. Guarini; take you to ILICA’s Annual Conference and Gala in New York City; make some important announcements for New York City students; and bring you music from sisters Lisa and Lori Brigantino.

Joining us at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, John Viola, COO of the National Italian American Foundation talks with us about the future of NIAF and Italian American Culture in the U.S.

We’ll take you to Washington D.C., for NIAF’s 38th Anniversary Gala, where, under Mr. Viola’s initiative, some new and exciting events have been added, such as a Las Vegas-style Casino Night. Italics correspondent Lucia Grillo reports from the ballroom of the Washington Hilton – joining honorees, the notable MCs, and celebrated guests – at the VIP reception.

The weekend included some insightful panels, amongst which, the Italian American Studies Association’s “Elections: When (and Where) Italian Americans Make a Difference,” and “NIAF: Ieri, oggi, domani,” a lively discussion about the state of the Italian American community. Both these panels are available in their entirety, on our ITALICS
YouTube channel, ITALICSTV.

Between the panels and festivities of the NIAF weekend, we caught up with NIAF Chair Emeritus and Former U.S. Congressman Frank J. Guarini and talked with him about NIAF’s legacy, the state of politics, and the growing number of Italian Americans in prominent political positions. We also talked about Mr. Guarini’s own philanthropy and his dedication to education.

ILICA’s Annual Conference and Gala were held on November 7th and 8th. Lucia Grillo speaks with Vincenzo Marra, President and Founder of ILICA, and this year’s honorees.

As we close this month’s episode of ITALICS, enjoy the music of sisters Lisa and Lori Brigantino, from their recent gig in New York City’s East Village.

Guest List

Ken Aspromonte Former Baseball Player/Manager

Monica Barni President, Università per Stranieri di Siena

Maria Bartiromo Journalist

Diana Bracco President and CEO , Bracco S.p.A.

Lisa Brigantino Singer-songwriter/Composer/Multi-instrumentalist

Lori Brigantino Writer, Editor, Performer

John Calvelli Board Leader, NIAF

Todd Cambio Musican/ Guitar maker, Fraulini Guitars

Christopher Castellani Author

Joseph Del Raso Chairman, NIAF

Louis Donatelli Founder and Chairman, Donatelli Development Inc.

Mon. Hilary C. Franco St. Augustine’s Church

Fred Gardaphé Distinguished Professor of English and Italian American Studies, John D. Calandra Italian American Institute/Queens College/CUNY

Lucia Grillo Correspondent, Italics

Hon. Frank J. Guarini Frmr. US Represntative/NIAF Chairman Emeritus, NIAF Lifetime Achievement Award in Leadership 2011

Patricia de Stacy Harrison Vice Chair, NIAF

Cav. Vincenzo Marra President & Founder, Italian Language Inter-Cultural Alliance/ILICA

Leon Panetta Former Director/Secretary of Defense, CIA

Hon. Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the US House of Representatives

Mike Piazza Former MLB Player

Robert M. Pignatello Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Joe Piscopo Actor/Comedian

George Randazzo Founder and Chairman, National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in Chicago

Dr. Joseph Sciorra, Ph.D. Associate Director of Academic and Cultural Programs/Folklorist, Calandra Institute, Queens College, CUNY

Paul Sorvino Actor/Singer

Cav. Anthony Julian Tamburri, PhD. Dean & Executive Director, The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute

John Viola Chief Operating Officer, National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)