NIAF Launches Fundraising Campaign to Establish Academy of Neapolitan Nativity Art

Dec 08, 2023 955

BY: Gabriella Mileti

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) has launched an international fundraising campaign for the creation of the Artisan Academy of Nativity Art in San Gregorio Armeno in Naples, Italy. This new academy will teach the centuries-old artistic tradition of handcrafting Neapolitan nativity scenes, preserving an iconic part of Italian cultural heritage.

NIAF, the City of Naples, the CON IL SUD Foundation, L'Altra Napoli Association, the Botteghe di San Gregorio Armeno Association, and the Manallart Cooperative are joining forces to fundraise for the establishment of the Academy of Neapolitan Nativity Art. Young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds will learn woodworking, sculpture, painting and other creative skills from master artisans in the historic San Gregorio Armeno district, known for its ornate nativity scenes.

"Preserving the best of Italian traditions aligns fully with NIAF's mission," said NIAF President Robert Allegrini. "The quality of this proposal, and reputation of the organizations involved, convinced us to spearhead U.S. fundraising efforts. We are honored to rally support from Americans nationwide to make the Nativity Academy a reality."

The vocational program also aims to boost cultural tourism to Naples by promoting the city's singular holiday craft to the world. Students will lead workshops for nativity enthusiasts and produce pieces for display and purchase. The Church of Naples views this arts education model as an impactful anti-delinquency effort that provides direction and purpose for disadvantaged Neapolitan youth.

Donations for the Nativity Academy can be made via NIAF's website. NIAF thanks its members and supporters for empowering this cultural preservation cause.

On June 28, 2023, NIAF Chairman Bob Carlucci signed an agreement aimed at conserving and promoting Italian and Neapolitan culture within the Italian American community. The signing took place at Naples City Hall with Mayor Gaetano Manfredi, in the honorable presence of Tracy Roberts-Pounds, the U.S. Consul General to Naples, and a special delegation of the NIAF Board of Directors.


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