Posts Tagged ‘NIAF’

At the offices of the Consulate General of Italy in New York, the President of the College Board Gaston Caperton announced yesterday evening that the Advanced Placement (AP) Program in Italian Language and Culture will be reinstated beginning in the 2011-12 academic year. Thanks to the hard work of the Italian Embassy and the advocacy of proud Italian Americans, the program is now fully funded,” said Caperton. “This is a great day for the Italian language, the Italian people and all of us who are enraptured by the culture of Italy and its beautiful language.”

Present at the ceremony and joining in the announcement were Vincenzo Scotti, Italy’s Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and Italian Ambassador Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata. “Promoting Italian language is a high priority for our foreign policy. The Italian government has strongly supported the reinstatement of Italian in the AP Program, and I am here tonight to show our great appreciation and gratitude to those whose contributions made it possible,” said Undersecretary Scotti.  Amb. Terzi stated that the reinstatement of the AP Italian marked a success for the Italian government and for the Italian-American community. “What we see today is nothing less than a success story of Sistema Italia at work. Teamwork proved to be key in reinstating Italian in the AP Program,” added Terzi.   

Since the suspension of AP Italian in 2009, the Italian Embassy has coordinated the effort to raise funds, with donor contributions from the Republic of Italy, Italian-American organizations, individual donors and Italian companies, including the American Association of Teachers of Italian, American Society of the Italian Legions of Merit, Coccia Foundation, Columbus Citizens Foundation, Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations, COPILAS, Margaret I. Cuomo, M.D., Matilda Raffa Cuomo, ENI, FIAT, Finmeccanica, Frank Guarini, Italian Language Foundation, Italian Welfare League, Luxottica, Mediterranean Shipping Company, National Italian American Foundation, National Organization of Italian American Women, Order Sons of Italy in America, Berardo Paradiso, David Pope, Louis Tallarini, UNICO and UniCredit.

Although the amount provided by each organization was not officially released, significant funding was provided by the National Italian American Foundation, the Columbus Citizen Foundation, and the Order Sons of Italy.


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 The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) has announced that it has received the largest philanthropic gift in its history, a $2.6 million bequest from the estate of the late Victoria J. Mastrobuono.   That’s wonderful  news not just for NIAF but the entire Italian American community.  We hope that Mastrobuono’s example will encourage other Italian American philanthropists to help support the cultural and educational activities of other Italian American groups.

Ms. Mastrobuono. a dedicated supporter and NIAF council member, was a long-time patron of education and the performing arts with a significant history of both identifying and supporting emerging artists and was extremely proud of her rich Italian heritage.

“We are honored by Ms. Mastrobuono’s generous bequest and feel that it acknowledges NIAF’s extraordinary commitment to our educational programs. As the largest single gift in our Foundation’s history, her philanthropic generosity provides financial strength to the Foundation to develop new programs and fulfill our mission,””said  NIAF Vice Chair Hon. Patricia de Stacy Harrison.

According to NIAF, the funds will be used for several new NIAF programs including The Victoria J. Mastrobuono Education Luncheon in perpetuity during the NIAF Convention Weekend; The Victoria J. Mastrobuono Fellowship in the Arts for students pursuing academics in Italy; The Victoria J. Mastrobuono Challenge Grant for Advanced Placement (AP) of Italian for the continued funding of the College Board’s AP Italian Program; The Victoria J. Mastrobuono Distinguished Speakers Series in the Arts, Literature and Music featuring leading experts in their respective fields; The Victoria J. Mastrobuono Digital Archive at NIAF, a public, online index of NIAF’s history and The Victoria J. Mastrobuono Engagement Initiative, an online education, communication and outreach program utilizing new media.

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Former Italian American Congressman Frank J. Guarini, a leader in the Italian American community and an advocate for Italian language and culture, has pledged a $250,000 Challenge Grant to the National Italian American Foundations (NIAF) Advanced Placement (AP) Campaign.

Frank J Guarini

Since March 201 (more…)

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The Columbus Citizens Foundation of New York City has pledged $500,000 to help reinstate The College Board’s Italian Language and Culture Advanced Placement program. The program, known as AP Italian, was suspended following the 2008-2009 school year because of a lack of funding.

 The commitment, announced by the Foundation’s president Frank Fusaro, matches the National Italian American Foundation’s pledge of $500,000 announced last April. The Italian Government through the leadership of Italian Ambassador to Washington, Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, has spearheaded the efforts to bring together national Italian American organizations and to ensure that the AP program would be reinstated. Earlier this year, Italy pledged $1.5 million. The Order Sons of Italy (OSIA) has pledged $75,000 over threee years. READ MORE

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 A Congressional reception welcoming Italian Ambassador Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata to the United States was held at the U.S. Capitol on March 16, 2010. The event was hosted by the National Italian American Foundation under the auspices of the Frank J. Guarini Public Policy Forum and the Italian American Congressional Delegation. Present was a large contingent of the Italian American Congressional Delegation, including Representatives Pat Tiberi and Bill Pascrell, co-chairmen of the Delegation for the 111th Congress, and Representatives Robert Aderholt, John Boccieri, Marcy Kaptur, John Mica, Steve Scalise, and former Rep. Mike Ferguson.  Read more at CiaoAmerica.net

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Carla Cugino at NIAF Gala

Carla Gugino at NIAF Gala

We liked what actress Carla Gugino had to say at the 34th Annual National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) Gala on Saturday upon receiving NIAF’s Special Achievement Award in Entertainment. Carla recounted that when she was growing up, her Italian-American father liked to say that there were two types of people in the world:  “Italians, and those who wanted to be Italian.”  Carla then told the story of how when she arrived in Hollywood as a teenager, producers suggested that she change her last name because it sounded too ethnic.  Carla says she gave it some thought but then quickly remembered her father’s words and decided against becoming Carla Smith.  

Gugino now says her choice to remain true to her Italian-Americas roots, or to the Italian-American “tribe”  as she put it, has been an asset to  her career.  She knew she had made the right decision when she walked on to a movie set one day and saw three chairs awaiting the film’s stars. The chairs were inscribed with the names: Roberto De Niro, Al Pacino, and Carla Gugino.   Ciao America!

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Italian American Heritage month culminates in Washington, DC, on October 23-24, with the 34th Annual National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) Gala. The who’s who of the Italian American community will be joining thousands of guests at the NIAF Gala this weekend at the Hilton Washington. Among the personalities who will be honored are Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, PBS cooking show host, restauranteur and philanthropist.

Secretary Napolitano, former governor of Arizona, will receive NIAF’s Public Service Award. During her tenure as governor, she became the first female chair of the National Governors Association and had previously served as the first female attorney-general in Arizona. Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, star of the popular PBS cooking series Lidia’s Italy, will receive NIAF’s Special Achievement Award in Humanitarian Service.  Bastianich is an Italian war refugee who migrated to the United States. She is active in numerous charities and humanitarian causes, including fighting violence against women and raising awareness of the plight of female refugees. Italian singer and songwriter Antonello Venditti is slated to received the Special Achievement Award in Music.

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