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

America Oggi "Past, Present and Future": Magazine Oggi 7 - April 20, 2003

The Italian American Museum celebrates their Gala announcing the official affiliation with The City University of New York. Honorees, Charles Gargano, Joseph Maselli and Mariuccia Zerilli Marimo'

By Giuseppe Greco

Friday, April 11, at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, the Italian American Museum held its second annual Gala, with over 400 people from the Italian American community in attendance. Their contributions will help the expansion of this new institution created two years ago. The mistress of ceremony was Laura Savini of WLIW. "Not all of our dreams have become reality but I can attest that the Italian American Museum is alive and doing well", is what Dr. Joseph Scelsa, president of the IAM said to the crowd. The Museum is still in residence at the Calandra Italian American Institute but in the next few months there will hopefully an announcement that the Museum has purchased a building in Manhattan able to accommodate an institution that has great ambitions. Scelsa also announced the new website that the Musesum had redesigned by WEBB Communications to better assist visitors in their navigation of the IAM (the address is www.italianamericanmuseum.org). Scelsa reminded the crowed of the exhibits and conferences that the museum has already held, he announced the new editorial initiative of the IAM called "America & Italia Weekly", a weekly periodical in the English language edited by Stefano Vaccara, which will be distributed with America Oggi starting in September (a preview was out last Sunday with America Oggi, you can also view it on the internet at www.aiweekly.com).

During the evening the Museum honored its honorees, Charles Gargano, Chairman of the Columbus Citizens Foundation and Chairman of Empire State Development Corporation of the State of New York, the Grande Ufficiale Joseph Maselli, founder of the American Italian Renaissance Foundation and of the Maselli Museum and Research Library of New Orleans and Baronessa Mariuccia Zerilli Marimo', founder of the prestigious cultural institution Casa Italiana of New York University, with a sculpture entitled "La Bellissima America" by artist Patrick Morelli.

All three honorees were honored for their work in developing, building and disseminating Italian culture in America. During the evening there was also a video presentation in which Chancellor Matthew Goldstein of The City University of New York announced on March 20, 2003 at the Coalition of Italo-American Associations monthly dinner meetings that the Italian American Museum will be affiliated with CUNY by its association with the Calandra Italian American Institute. Dr. Scelsa said in thanking Dr. Goldstein, " This decision will reinforce enormously the Museum's Academic resources. "

The museum's current exhibit (28 West 44th St., 17th Floor, NY, NY 10036) is "Behind the Barbed Wires: Angelo Spinelli's Photo Documentation of Life and Culture in a POW Stalag Camp". This exhibit is of the incredible pictures that an Italian American POW Angelo Spinelli took, risking his life, while a prisoner in a Nazi camp during WWII. The next exhibit that the Museum plans on holding is "Italian Americans in Sports" and another exhibit that will be held in the fall is dedicated to the sculptor Onorario Ruotolo. For more information please call (212) 642-2020.

Ambassador Charles A. Gargano between Joseph Scelsa,President of the Italian American Museum (at left)

Grande Ufficiale Joseph Maselli (at right) with William Denis Fugazy, President of the Coalition of Italo American Associations, Inc.

Baronessa Mariuccia Zerilli-Marimó with Hon. Frank Guarini, President of the National Italian American Foundation

(l to r) Represenatives of the National Council of Columbia Associations, Philip Repeci,Jr, Vincent Tummino, Joseph Guagliardo, Joseph Chierchio, presenting Joseph V. Scelsa President of The Italian American Museum with a Firefighter's hat use in WTC cleanup as a donation to the Italian American Museum.

Mama Margaret Pataki with son, George E. Pataki, grandfather Matteo Lagana and Louis Pataki

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