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Mayor Fiorello La Guardia reading the Daily News election results in 1941.

Italian American Devotion
    to the Black Madonna

Italian American Museum & the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute

Italian American Devotion to the Black Madonna
Comes to Mt. Vernon City Hall

Contact: Leslie Alpert
(914) 665-2358

March 26, 2004 – Mt. Vernon, NY Ernest Davis, Mayor of the City of Mt. Vernon, will open an exhibition entitled “Evviva La Madonna Nera: Italian American Devotion to The Black Madonna” on April 7, 2004 at 10 am. This traveling exhibit sponsored by the Italian American Museum and the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute explores the unique devotion to the Black Madonna in Italy, among Italian Americans and throughout the Americas.

The exhibit through original pieces of art created by B. Amore, explores the origins of the centuries-old devotions, and contemporary Italian American women’s reclamation of La Madonna di Tindari, La Madonna della Libera, and other Black Madonnas.

Mayor Ernest Davis was quick to say that “I hope that this exhibit will help focus many communities in Mt. Vernon by bringing them together over a common cultural theme.” Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa, a Mt Vernon resident and President of the Italian American Museum was instrumental in bringing the exhibition along with Commissioner Ralph Tedesco, Trustee of the Museum, to the Mt. Vernon City Hall. Dr. Scelsa is quoted as having said “this exhibit is unique in that it recognizes a phenomenon that existed throughout the world in Europe and the Americas which is a celebration of cultural pluralism.”

On hand for the opening, in addition to Mayor Davis and Dr. Scelsa, will be Dr. Joseph Sciorra of the Calandra Italian American Institute who is the curator of the exhibition. He will explain how the three triptychs created by artist B. Amore examined the themes of La Madonna Nera in Italy and Europe, La Madonna Nera in the New World, and La Madonna Nera Rediscovered. Also on hand will be the artist B. Amore and Acting Executive Director of the Calandra Institute Dr. Peter Vellon. The exhibition will be on display in the Rotunda of the Mt. Vernon City Hall from April 7th through May 7th, 2004.

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