A Message from the President

Dear members and friends:

I hope that things are going well for you and that you are enjoying the fall weather. We kicked off our fall with a program on September 18th. We gathered at Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center (CISC) for a lunch and presentation by Eric Denker, the former Senior Lecturer at the National Gallery of Art.  Dr. Denker talked about Venetian artists and their works in a way that made them accessible to those of us without a background in painting or art in general. It was a very illuminating talk. Osteria da Nino catered the lunch and, as usual, lived up to its great reputation.

Our next program will take place on November 20th at CISC. It will be our annual wine tasting event, which has always been a favorite among our members. Be sure to put it on your calendar and sign up early. Elections to positions on our Board of Directors will be held at this event. The candidates are Julie Finegan Dal Forno, John Iazzetti and Teresa Margaret Talierco. I thank them for stepping up to lend us their abilities. They will be replacing the outgoing members John Dunkle, Joseph (Sonny) Scafetta, Jr. and Chris Renneker. It is hard to overstate the accomplishments of our outgoing members, who have brought intelligence, commitment and congeniality to the Board. Their contributions have moved the Society forward in important ways, and their absence will create a challenge for the Board. I trust that their successors will make their own mark in taking our organization into the future.

Following our wine tasting event, we will hold a classical music concert on December 11th at CISC. It will be a piano concert performed by a young Italian American couple based in Rome. They are Italian-American in the sense that Katrina was born and raised in Chicago while her husband Vincent was born and raised in Abruzzo. They will play a number of Italian-themed classical pieces in the four-hands style, in which both of them will play a piece while seated at a single piano. They are extremely talented pianists who have recently finished their training and are traveling to Washington to perform for us at CISC. Please mark the date on your calendar and be prepared to be impressed and delightfully entertained.

Speaking of December, be on the lookout for our annual scholarship fundraising letter. As you probably know, every year we award a $4000 scholarship to two outstanding students who have demonstrated both academic excellence and an interest in the Italian language and culture. We believe that these scholarships are the most effective way in which we can fulfill our mission of passing on our Italian heritage to the generations that follow. Of course, we have to raise the $8000 each year to make this happen, as we do not receive any outside assistance or support. So any contribution will play an important part in keeping this key program alive and strong. In this regard, please note that our website now enables online donations, which provides an easy and convenient way to support our scolarships.

On the topic of scholarships, we are introducing a new one that also will be awarded annually starting next year. It will be known as the Angela Lastrico Raish scholarship, in honor of the donor whose estate will fund it. It will differ in two ways from our AMHS scholarship. First, it will seek out exceptional students who are studying in the music arts field.  Second, the AMHS will not fund the scholarship, which will be supported, as noted, by donations made in honor of Angela Lastrico Raish, whose estate has provided the seed money for the scholarship. Our AMHS fundraising supports only our traditional scholarship, and the Society’s role in the new scholarship is solely that of managing it. The two scholarships do share an important characteristic – they both aim to reward outstanding students who are either Italian American or who have demonstrated an interest in Italy or Italian studies. You can find additional information about the scholarship inside this edition. Its initial application period will commence this December, concurrently with our AMHS scholarships. The application form, requirements for applying, and eligibility criteria will all be under the scholarship tab of our website.

Don’t forget to check out our new online shop, which you can find on the “Our Heritage/Shop” tab of our website. Recall that I sent out a special notice on September 26th regarding the opening of this AMHS shop. There are dozens of products available, all featuring our AMHS logo. The store will allow our members and friends to select high quality items from a large selection and will also permit us to make an online payment. Please check it out for some great ideas for holiday gift giving.

Finally, I want to bring to your attention an impending change in the publication of our Notiziario. Due to the increasing costs of paper and postage, as well as the increasing labor involved in designing a print edition, we have to discontinue the paper copy. Accordingly, starting next year, all members who have an email address will receive only the electronic version. The edition in your hands now will be the last printed one. Such a change has become necessary if we are to continue to produce a high quality publication that will keep our members informed of what is happening in the AMHS. You can get additional information on this change inside this edition of the Notiziario.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the remainder of fall and the upcoming holidays.

Best regards,

Ray LaVerghetta

November/December 2022

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