NEWS FROM : Art & Heritage  

By Guy D'Astolfo   When it comes to the Greater Youngstown Italian Fest, the motto might be "Don't mess with success." The annual street festival already is the biggest by far in the city, and it keeps growing. But instead of striving for newer and glitzier every year, it aims to keep things exactly the same. That's how you create...

One night in the television studios where a popular television series is produced, the cleaning crew, all immigrants, discover that the armoured door of the room where the camera is kept is open.   One of them, Dilip, decides to "borrow" the camera and film his friend's wedding. Soon the fun escalates and one by one, each of the crew takes t...

By Betty O'Neill-Roderick Eight lovely young ladies of Italian descent made their debuts at the 68th annual Columbus Day Cotillion on Saturday evening. Madeline Bozzelli chaired the celebration, held at Todaro's Party Center. The Gene Fiocca Band played music for the presentation and dancing later in the evening. Guests enjoyed cocktails and...

by Ron Onesti   Dec. 12, 1915, Hoboken, New Jersey ... "Chairman of the Board" to be Francis Albert Sinatra, was born to Italian immigrants. The wiry, blue-eyed kid with a huge smile loved to sing, and at the tender age of 8 sang publically for the first time.   His father, Antonio, a lightweight boxer and Hoboken Fire Department Capt...

Gina Madrigrano Friebus recalled the hard work of parents and the life lessons that helped her become a successful businesswoman during Sunday's Columbus Day banquet.   Friebus, a Kenosha native and second-generation Italian American, is one of only two women to be honored by the Italian American Society in the 43-year history of the award....

La comunità lucchese ed italiana di Chicago è in lutto per l'improvvisa scomparsa di Louis Da Prato, personaggio molto noto nella grande città dell'Illinois, fondatore della locale Associazione Lucchesi nel Mondo e del conosciutissimo Mazzini Verdi Club. Dei due circoli, ricorda la Lucchesi nel Mondo, "Da Prato è stato Presidente per molti anni; s...

Fans of literary fiction know Chicagoland's Mary Doria Russell as the author of the critically-acclaimed and much-loved (by book clubs and fiction fans) novel "The Sparrow."   Her latest novel, "A Thread of Grace," is based on the true experiences of many Jews in Italy during World War II. During that time, many Jews fled other European coun...

For 92-year-old August Frasco, staying active is the key to longevity. He still rides his lawn mower in his yard to cut his grass every week, and attends events with the Italian-American Society of Peoria. "A lot of my friends are gone. I like coming to festivals like these, because I get to meet new people all the time," Frasco said. He was r...

"Valentino Cesidio De Vito, 86, patriarch of the De Vito family in America, died on Nov. 16, 2015, at the home he and our mother made for us." Valentino sacrificed beyond measure to ensure a better life for his family, and to provide his children with all the opportunities in life that he was denied.    Born on Valentine's Day in t...

by Joan Giangrasse Kates   Santina "Sonny" Litturi was one of just two women in her dental school's graduating class in the late 1940s and became the first female appointed to the Illinois State Board of Dental Examiners in 1979. "Sonny was a trailblazer in dentistry, doing what very few women of her generation did back then," said Fran...

One of the most thrilling and glamorous events in the Chicago-area Italian-American community is the contest to determine who will reign as La Bella Regina of the Columbus Day Parade. "Few events in the community can match the pageantry of the annual Columbus Day Queen Contest," says JCCIA Executive Director Jo Ann Serpico. "The queen will be...

by Calogero Lombardo   The history of the Sicilian neighborhood on the Near North Side of Chicago begins around the time of the Chicago Fire. Scandinavians and Germans had by then established colonies there, and were infiltrated by the Irish soon after. Italians had begun filtering in by the 1850s, but their inhabitation would not coalesce i...