What's up with WTI: Editorial # 143

Sep 18, 2021 258

Ciao from Rome! Summer is ending, “L'estate sta finendo”, as a famous Italian song from the summer of 1895 used to say: do any of you remember it? I guess not.

We the Italians didn't stop all summer long: with the exception of the We the ItaliaNews videos, even in the hottest months we told you what happened in Italy and the things that happened in America that in some way concerned the Italian communities. Also the interviews, the magazine and the August newsletter were a success. Now the video and audio podcasts have started again, and right now, on Monday September 20, we are celebrating an important milestone: the 250th video. We started on March 11, the second day of lockdown in Italy: we didn't really know what to do and how to do it, but we had the impression that it was important to tell you what was happening. We weren't wrong. Today the videos are twice a week, but back then there was one every day. The collection of these 250 videos is a day-by-day tale of covid's adventure in Italy: an adventure that is not yet over, but even now I can tell you that it has been a privilege to be able to tell you about it, and a fortune to survive.

The covid adventure is not over yet, but for We the Italians it's time to travel again, for now only through Italy. On September 24, I will be honored to participate in the press conference for the presentation of an exhibit that has a lot to do with Italian emigration to the United States. In beautiful Casalmaggiore, a small town in Lombardy on the border with Emilia Romagna, there is the Museo del Bijoux. And it is there that from September 25 2021 to January 9 2022 the exhibition "Dolce color d’orïental zaffiro. Le gemme in Dante e nei bijoux americani" (Dolce color d'orïental zaffiro. Gems in Dante and in American bijoux). On the 700th anniversary of Dante's death, the gems mentioned in the Divine Comedy come to life in the most iconic and original American bijoux of the 1940s/70s made by Italian emigrants in the States: exiles, like Dante. I am very happy and honored to be able to travel again to participate in the presentation of this exhibition, for whose catalog I wrote the introduction. When Italy celebrates the merits of Italian Americans, We the Italians is always there.

The We the Italians family continues to grow, and once again, this makes us very happy. With our 4 brand new Ambassadors, we now have Ambassadors in 35 American states and 14 Italian regions, and the family will continue to grow.

Mark Spano is our Ambassador in North Carolina, the Tar Heel State. Mark’s feature documentary “Sicily: Land of Love and Strife” recently aired on Public Television and has had a limited theatrical release in the US and Canada. It was warmly received at the Toronto Italian Film Festival and has aired in Europe. Mark recently produced a short video tribute to Sicily during the COVID-19 pandemic entitled Dreaming of Sicily. He is presently developing two programs, one on the participation of African-American soldiers in the Civil War and another on the immigration of a Sicilian family to the United States. He lives in North Carolina.

Luca Papini is our Ambassador in South Dakota, the Mount Rushmore State. Luca was born in Tuscany in Grosseto, and graduated at the University of Perugia in Literature and Philosophy. He worked for RAI television before moving to the US in 2007. He opened a business for the import of Italian goods to America. He is now a New York Life Agent. He continues to fulfill his mission to be an Ambassador of the best of Italy but also to strengthen the relationships between the two countries with cultural exchanges, classes, cookouts, storytelling, and helping people to travel to Italy. He lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Angela Zagarella is our Ambassador in Oregon, the Beaver State. Angela grew up in Syracuse, Sicily. She is the coordinator of the Italian Program at Portland State University in Portland, OR, where she teaches language, literature and cinema. Her areas of interest are contemporary Italian literature, Italian Food studies, Italian cinema, Mediterranean and Migration Studies. Angela is very active in the Portland community where she organizes and promotes cultural, cinema and musical events in person and online. While Oregon is her home, Angela maintains close contacts with Italy where she returns regularly for professional and family reasons.

Moving from the US to Italy, Maria Tirabasso is our Ambassador in Molise. Maria is a civil servant of the Molise Region and is in charge of relations with Molise people in the world, with Molise associations abroad, with Comites, CGIE, Consulates and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As part of the Region's Tourism Service, she takes care of territorial cooperation projects and the granting of specific European funding for the promotion of culture and tourism in Molise.  

Let me remember you once again the save the date of the gala of the Italian American Sport Foundation, of which We the Italians is media partner for the gala and with which some really interesting ideas are being born to properly promote Italian sport in the United States. We have been talking about it together for months and the sporting successes of this summer convince us that it is something urgent, necessary and successful. Stay tuned, the November 4th gala in New York is just the beginning.

Please, check our virtual store. Now you can find more than 20 products in different colors: t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, onesies, mugs, notebooks, pillows, totes, tapestries, pins, laptop and smartphone cases, magnets, stickers, masks. Buy We the Italians!

Well my friends, once again it’s all for now. Please stay safe, please stay healthy. I won’t gonna stop saying this: the future’s so bright, we gotta wear shades! But please, protect yourselves and wear the mask, too. Ciao from Rome

You may be interested