Cari Amici, Dear Friends,
Hamstrung by COVID-19, ICHF has had no activity since Fred Sidon’s presentation on March 1st at the Karpeles Library lecture hall on the subject of the Formation of Italy: Il Risorgimento, followed by refreshments and dolci. The talk was wonderful and well-received — Bravo, Fred! – and the event, altogether enjoyable.
We were in fine humor, fresh off a dinner-dance 9 nights before– complete with festive masks – at La Cumbre Country Club to celebrate the coming of Lent with Venerdi Grasso. And before that, we had assisted in connecting the Italian Consulate in Los Angeles with Direct Relief (of Santa Barbara), from which the Consulate obtained Covid surgical masks for Italy at a very dark time there. But, notwithstanding a reminder of COVID like that, on the Sunday of Fred’s talk, little did we imagine that we would have to cancel – for lack of available venues as well as for lack of certainty that we could stage events safely for you all and for us – all of the following events:
Cinema Italiano, both Classico in the Spring and Contemporaneo in the Fall; planned lectures by Linda Jordan and Gabriella Schooley entitled Made in Italy: The Creation of Italian “Style” 1970-2000 (Linda) and Venetian Women of the Renaissance and the Dawn of Feminism (Gabriella).
Our traditional Ferragosto picnic was next; and, alas, we also had to cancel our last event of the year, Il Pranzo di Natale (Xmas Buffet Brunch) for which we had reservations at La Cumbre CC for our traditional end the year event. It would have been a wonderful slate of events!
In parallel to our cancellations, of course, was the disruption of our study abroad program to Italy for both UCSB and SBCC students supported by our scholarship dollars. On the bright side, we did award prizes to qualified students at SBCC and UCSB — the latter in both the study of Italian and of the study of Italian film and media.
As always, we are grateful to you for your financial support of our scholarship efforts, that are only possible due to your generosity. Grazie!
We also wish to extend our thanks to Anna Brusutti and Kevin Osburn for their initiative and inspiration in organizing and presenting, free of charge, on several Saturday nights this year, a discussion group focused on Italian Classic movies by Zoom, after films were previously identified for viewing privately. Apart from their rich content and interesting discussions, though not the same as being in the same room with other attendees, these were a welcome opportunity to stay connected – to each other and to Italy. On that point, I pass along to you three newsletters of possible interest for those who care to stay in touch with Italy via registering for e-mail newsletters: italo-americano.org, italianamericanmuseum.org, and wetheitalians.com. And of course, there is the Italian Cultural Institute in L.A. (Westwood), which may have a newsletter as well.
Finally, I want to inform you that, out of an abundance of caution concerning COVID, the Board amended our Bylaws to permit meetings by video/audio conference, so we can conduct necessary business. Additionally, you might like to know that we have reserved the usual area of Lower Manning Park for Ferragosto in 2021, this time for the first time on a Saturday, August 14th. Please mark your calendars, and wish, like Tinkerbell, that it comes to pass.
We’ll be in touch once we can see our way to the coast being clear for events to start. Meanwhile, our best to you and your families, stay safe and please keep in touch with us.
Con i nostri migliori auguri di Buone Feste (With our best wishes of Happy Holidays),
Bill Vollero, President
Italian Cultural Heritage Foundatiotion of Santa Barbara