ITALICS: Italian Heritage & Culture Month Special #2 2015: Quintavalle/van Straten



The second in ITALICS’ 9th Season of Italian Heritage and Culture Month Specials, this edition features the Honorable Natalia Quintavalle, Consul General of Italy in New York, and Giorgio van Straten, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in New York.

In her 29 years as a career diplomat, Natalia Quintavalle has worked on U.N. issues - at the Italian Permanent Mission in Geneva, and at the Permanent Mission in New York. She was Italian Consul in Toulouse, First Secretary at the Italian Embassy in Riyadh, and has been Italian Consul General in New York since September 2011, now serving her third term.

Giorgio van Straten is an Italian writer and cultural broker, editor, and translator of major literary works, and a director of the Italian literary magazine “Nuovi argomenti.” He has written for musical theater, served as Chairman of the Orchestra della Toscana, on the Board of Directors of the Biennale di Venezia, President of the Italian Association for the Performing Arts, General Director of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Director of the Palazzo Delle Esposizioni e Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome, and on the Board of Directors of RAI. In 2015 he was named Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in New York. (Taped 10/08/15)​

The National Organization of Italian American Women celebrates the Honorable Geraldine A. Ferraro on the 25th anniversary of her nomination as candidate for vice-president and on her career as congresswoman and member of the U.S. House of Representatives; Dean Anthony Tamburri interviews her before the event.  Legendary poet reads the poem "La saggazza delle streghe/The Wisdom of Witches" from his recent work Subduing Demons in America.
The once-in-a-lifetime Galileo, The Medicis, and the Age of Astronomy exhibition at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia celebrates the 400th anniversary of Galileo's "invention" of the telescope.  Italics' Bill Schempp interviews Derrick Pitts, Chief Astronomer of the Franklin Institute.  The Garibaldi-Meucci Museum's Rededication ceremonies are held in Staten Island.  The National Italian American Foundation honors actor/singer Paul Sorvino at the annual East Coast Gala Awards.
The Conference on the State of the Teaching of the Italian Language in the United States is held at the Italian Embassy in Washington, DC.  Edo Zaffarto of AddioPizzo, a community based consumer organization in Palermo, Sicily, lectures at the Wolfe Institute at Brooklyn College on pizzo, the long legacy of mafia extortion of "protection" payments from local merchants. Receptions for "Si Parliamo Italiano?" the new book which asks "Who Speaks Italian?" written and published by members of the Calandra Institute.
The New York Conference of Italian-American State Legislators hold their annual Weekend Conference at the State Capital in Albany, NY.  Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata, Italian ambassador to the United Nations, gives a special lecture to the Coccia Institute at Montclair State University of New Jersey.  Then, an interview with the North East Conference of Teachers of Foreign Languages.
Dean Anthony Tamburri interviews Senator Joseph Addabbo.  NYC Councilmen Tony Avella and Vincent Gentile join with New York Italian Consul General Franceso Maria Talo in calling for aid and assistance to the victims of the recent earthquake in the city of L'Aquila.  A remembrance of the late New York State Senator Emeritus John J. Marchi.
The New Italian American Cinema Festival presents the films of Nancy Savoca, Maria Maggenti, and Marylou Tibaldi-Bongiorno for Women's History Month.  Also, Karen Tintori reads from her new book Unto the Daughters.
Dean Anthony Tamburri interviews the Honorable Diane J. Savino, New York State Senator.  Then to Montclair State University for the establishment of the Teresa and Lawrence R. Inserra Endowed Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies.
The National Organization of Italian American Women holds their Annual Epiphany/3 Wise Women Celebration, honoring Rosa DeLauro, Angelina Fiordelisi, and Dr. Silvia Formenti, M.D.  Also, Dean Anthony Tamburri explores the ramifications of the recent decision by the College Board to suspend the Advanded Placement Test in Italian.
Robert Tinnel reads from his graphic novel Feast of the Seven Fishes.  Then, Joseph Sciorra speaks with the Demeglie family of New Jersey about the Italian Christmas tradition of the presepio, or nativity scene.  Finally, Frances Paulo Huber, president of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens in Staten Island, previews the Center's new Tuscan Gardens, modeled after the great gardens of Florence.
Dean Anthony Tamburri interviews Piero Bassetti, Italian politician, philanthropist, author, and social philosopher.  Then, Joseph Sciorra interviews Suze Rotolo about her book A Freewheelin' Time, A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties.