"Most organizations are as strong as its membership. As it was said years ago, "United we stand, divided we fall." We are real proud to be Americans, but behind this honor, there still exists the ancestry and ethnicity that we pass on to our children."
Raymond Gallo, President, 1979
About Our Programs:
The society supports and presents programs of a social, cultural, and historical nature not only for the membership but also for the community. Our quarterly Newsletter contains articles on Italian history, geography, art, music, and literature.
Our musical programs have showcased local artists who have performed programs ranging from the arias of Puccini and Verdi to the beautiful old Neapolitan favorites. La Festa d'Italia included songs and Italian folk dances from the different regions of Italy.
Our artist programs have included lectures and trips to museums to view the Carvaggio Art Exhibit in Hartford, Connecticut, and to Boston's Museum of Science to see an exhibit on Pompeii. Other trips were to Ellis Island and "Little Italy" areas located in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York. The Society also supports local Italian-American authors with readings and discussions about their works.
Genealogy workshops provide members with the opportunity to research their Italian ancestry and share their research and experiences.
The Society hosted a History of Italian Cinema, with Professor Joseph Luzzi, who gave an in-depth look at early Italian movies. Italian-America documentary film-makers and their works have also been featured in additional programs by the Society.
Other programs have featured Italians in Baseball, a photo collection of Italian Brides, Wine tastings, Festa della Donna, St. Joseph's day, Sunday Dinner and Sicilian Marionettes.
The society also works with other Italian-Americans and community groups to promote their activities. For example several of our members contributed artifacts and family stories for the Abbondanza Italian Heritage in Rhode Island Exhibit at the University of Rhode Island Feinstein Providence Campus.
Christmas programs include a children's program to celebrate the coming of the Befana, the Christmas witch, and a traditional Vigilia dinner serving seven fishes.
The Italian American Historical Society of Rhode Island strives to preserve the rich heritage of Italian ancestry and proudly published Voices of Rhode Island's Italian Americans which contains over 300 excerpts and photos from over 50 oral histories. The book records the unique recollections of early Italian-Americans who lived in Rhode Island. It demonstrates their courage, determination and devotion to family.