The new year is expected to bring new life to the Arcada Theatre in downtown St. Charles, which has been closed since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When it reopens, the building will not look the same. The historic theater and its sister operation, Club Arcada, are undergoing a major renovation project that includes new eateries, hotel su...

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans is proud to announce the unanimous election of Ron Onesti as its new President. The JCCIA is the umbrella organization of almost fifty organizations in the Chicago area and has produced Chicago’s Columbus Day Parade since its inception in 1952. Ron will lead the Italian American community in fostering...

On Dec. 12, Frank Sinatra will have turned 105. In those 100-plus years, few people in modern history have been as iconic, with as much influence on popular music as he had. His songs are timeless and his persona was legendary. I recently came across some vintage pix of "Ol' Blue Eyes," and it reminded me just how much he was a part of my "inner cu...

For many of us, looking ahead to the year 2021 represents a possible return to “normal”… but in the heart of one of Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhoods, a more than 40 old Italian American institution is gearing up to reclaim its rightful spot on the Italian American map! This week, host John Viola is sitting down with longtime friend, and newly-a...

I am the son of a proud World War II veteran, Squad Leader Sgt. Albert J. Onesti, #36682557, Unites States Army, 179th Infantry, 45th Division "Thunderbirds" -- with battles in Rome, Southern France, Anzio. My hero. For the first 10 years of my life, I lived in the building my grandparents settled in upon their emigration from Italy in 1911. It was...

October 12 2020 Roma, Italy / The United States

Columbus Day in Chicago will look different this year as the fight for the return of the Columbus statues weighs heavy on the Italian American community. One of the Columbus statues removed this summer sat at Arrigo Park. It was relocated because of violent protests, but not destroyed. Italian Americans say enough is enough and to put the statues b...

Four metal posts jut out of the empty stone pedestal where a 9-foot-tall statue of Christopher Columbus once looked over Arrigo Park in Chicago's Little Italy neighborhood. A chain-link fence encircles the spot where city officials yanked the statue off that pedestal in the middle of the night after protests and vandalism in July. It's still an ope...

It is no secret I am an Italian American, and a proud one at that. I was born on Taylor Street in Chicago's "Little Italy" neighborhood. Being a child of the early '60s, I was fortunate enough to have experienced much of the music from the Sixties and Seventies now referred to as "heritage rock" and "classic rock." How I was really lucky was the fa...

On Friday, the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans hand delivered a letter to Chicago’s mayor, asking her to return the statues to their “rightful locations.” The letter cites Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s statement regarding the fate of the statues over the summer, calling the removal of the statues “temporary.” “We understood the mayor’s stance w...