NEWS FROM : Art & Heritage  

The American Italian Cultural Society is party central this weekend for Joliet resident Ted Micci as he celebrates his 100th birthday in style. Micci is an Italian immigrant, a World War II hero who flew 25 B-17 missions over Germany and the owner of Joliet's De Franco Electric from 1950 until 1988. More than 60 people attended Friday night's party...

Festa Italiana at Villa Cesare in Schererville will run from July 31-Aug. 1. “We want to give the region the opportunity to experience and celebrate the amazing Italian culture, which is deeply rooted in family, music and food,” says event Chairman Jon Biancardi. Admission is free to the outdoor event, which will feature Italian cuisine, live enter...

The Opera Festival of Chicago will present its inaugural season this summer. Created by Music Director Emanuele Andrizzi, the festival is dedicated to presenting world-class standard productions of Italian opera masterpieces in Chicago that rarely grace the stage in the United States. The festival opens with performances of Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari’s w...

The Order Sons of Italy in America, Grand Lodge of Illinois/Wisconsin will honor eight outstanding individuals from all walks of life at the 20th annual Leonardo da Vinci Awards of Excellence Gala. The event is slated for July 18 at White Eagle Banquets in Niles and will feature a buffet luncheon at noon and an awards ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Tickets...

The 128th anniversary of the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel will be a scaled-back affair focusing on the religious dimensions of the celebration. The street festival has been canceled, but the Novena, banner and rose presentations, and memorial service are still on. Masses at 7:30, 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. on July 18 will be followed by a mobile proces...

Casa Italia will be presenting a live performance of the short play “Seatonville” at the end of the IA Literati conference on July 10. The play dramatizes the journey of Caterina and Antonio from Northern Italy to the coal fields of western Illinois and how one day changed their lives forever. The work centers around the Cherry mine disaster of 190...

Roger J. Di Paolo, former editor of the Record-Courier who died Friday of Di Paolo chronicled the news of Portage County for 40 years beginning at the Record-Courier as a reporter in 1977 when he reported on the protests surrounding the construction of a building on land that intruded on the site where four students were killed on May 4, 1970. A Ro...

Like many Italian-American offspring of the Greatest Generation, Robert Allegrini had to find his way back to his roots. His mother was born in Italy, as were both of his paternal grandparents. But Allegrini’s father was a decorated veteran of World War II and a patriotic American who downplayed his ethnicity both at home and in public. He went off...

It’s no secret to Indiana natives that our area has a rich history of immigrants making their way to America and starting a new life for themselves. It’s a story familiar to many families and one such tale was discovered by Hilary Hauck, who crafted it into her debut novel “From Ashes to Song.” Hauck, a native of the United Kingdom, moved to Italy...

The lighted boat parade known as Venetian Night is returning to Chicago. The annual tradition was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But now the Italian American Human Relation Foundation is bringing it back. For years Venetian Night took place on Lake Michigan, but this year it will be held on the Chicago River. The event will take p...

Sister Francis Marie Vallone, a Franciscan nun for 75 years, taught religion and assisted applicants and new members in her early years in the order. In her later years, Sister Vallone developed ministries to the elderly, including those living in nursing homes. "She loved her ministries," said Sister Peggy Wetzel, of the Western New York regional...

Chicago aldermen agreed Wednesday to designate October as “Italian American Heritage and Culture Month,” thanks to a resolution one civic leader said is sorely needed to begin a “healing” process. Ron Onesti, president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian-Americans, made no mention of the specific wounds he believes need to be healed. But member...