Italian American Human Relations Foundation
With a mission statement of “Improving the civic, social, and educational welfare of Italian Americans as well as members of all ethnic groups,” the Italian American Human Relations Foundation of Chicago has a bold and bright vision of the future they would like to share with everyone.
A dynamic, new Cultural Center featuring everything from a theater, a visual arts gallery, a musical hall, to a political library, and even a science library is what the foundation has in mind. Such an incredible facility could only be envisioned by the Italian Foundation, where they are “Committed to abolishing negative stereotyping of all ethnic and racial groups in the community as well as in the media.” This particular foundation firmly believes that a culturally enriching center is a gateway for all individuals of diverse backgrounds to unite and embrace a new way of understanding.
The architecture and floor plan of this new building were well planned out by the governing body of the foundation. From the moment a visitor walks into the magnificent entrance, they will encounter a unique and fascinating sound and visual experience; designed to appeal to all of their senses, creating a desire to explore and discover all of the attractions this remarkable new destination has to offer. The theater will be a state-of-the-art showplace, accommodating 250 – 300 spectators, delighting all guests with an accent on acoustics, lighting, and sound. The Italian Foundation seeks to shed light on some of the greatest playwrights and entertain the community at the same time.
Educating the general public with foreign language programs is another goal the Cultural Center attempts to achieve, not just for the Italian language, but others as well; many foreign languages will be represented. Funding for this enlightening Foreign Language Academy will be provided by the government of Italy and other organizations who support such language programs; with an emphasis on “building bridges between people and their cultures.” This is intended to create a better understanding and appreciation between cultures. One of the attractions the foundation hopes will draw big crowds is the Visual Arts Classrooms and Gallery, where magnificent paintings, sculptures, and other works of art will be on display. As an extra benefit, classes will be offered to both adults and children in the fields of visual and graphic arts, utilizing computer technology when necessary.
Intended for multiple uses year-round, the Exhibit Hall: (a mosaic of culture) has the capability of different identities. Depending on the event, the Exhibit Hall will be magically transformed, highlighting everything from traveling music exhibits to premier art showings. Renting out the Exhibit Hall for fundraisers, private parties, and special events promise to be a clever and potential big source of revenue.
Highlighting Frank Sinatra’s, Harry Warren’s, and other musician’s careers will be the main purpose of the Music Hall, where very rare videos will be shown to all who venture to the Cultural Center with their friends and families. Sinatra’s historic concert at Madison Square Garden is a perfect example of entertainment awaiting visitors of all races and backgrounds, regardless of your nationality.
Not to be overlooked is the Performing Arts Library, where the biographies and music of Frank Capra, Bobby Darin, and Jimmy Durante can be enjoyed. The accomplishments of Italian American politicians is the main focus in the Political Library. As a U.S. prosecutor and Mayor of New York City, the work of Rudy Giuliani will be reviewed, along with Geraldine Ferraro, William Paca, and other political standouts. Showcasing advancements in the fields of science, medicine, and technology, the new Science Laboratory entices everyone with the discoveries of Sam J. Marzo, Michele Carbone, and Enrico Fermi.
Successful fundraisers are the key element to making the wish of a Cultural Center come true. Two upcoming concert fundraisers for the Italian Foundation are “Divas, Dames, and Darlings” on Sunday, July 15th and Dennis Tufano on September 23rd.
The July 15th show “Divas, Dames, and Darlings” will be Co-Chaired by the NBC Channel 5 anchor team of Art Norman, Allison Rosati, and Sabrina Santucci at the Triton College Auditorium in River Grove. Starting at 4:00, this event spotlights the talent of Joan Collaso, the premier Soprano Carol Lo Verde, and Gabriella Rago. As a late summer, early fall musical treat, be sure to mark September 23rd on your calendars for Dennis Tufano which will be Co-Chaired by Janet Davies of ABC – Channel 7. Dennis Tufano “The Original Voice of The Buckinghams” will be performing “Sound Track,” Life’s Musical Journey at the Copernicus Center (located at 5216 W. Lawrence Ave.)
Clearly, the endeavors of the Italian American Human Relations Foundation of Chicago are very challenging from many different viewpoints, however, Foundation President Lou Rago and his administration are rising to that challenge, as their dream of an astonishing Cultural Center is taking shape with the passing of every