I recently just read in the New York Times about third generation Italian American Joseph Grano Jr., who recently began raising capital with investors for a new Italian American Museum in New York. Now, as you know there's an Italian American Museum already located in Little Italy, New York. The existing museum is definitely low key with no modern day amenities but a wonderful contribution and landmark to our Italian American community in New York City.
The proposed idea for the new museum would include an amphitheater, private rooms, exhibit galleries and much more-- the location would be a 124-year-old Victorian pier in Lower Manhattan.
I love the idea and hopefully the reality of a new cultural landmark celebrating Italian Americans in New York. This is a great example of someone in the right position utilizing his social and monetary capital to memorialize and educate younger Italian American generations.
Once the museum is built and at full capacity, I would like to see the museum being integrated into Italian education programs throughout the country. Now a days, "build it and they will come" isn't enough. We have to be sure just because it looks good on paper that Italian Americans are really getting the education and a use for the museum. It can't be a billion dollar boys club where private parties and Italian American cliques are the only people involved with it, there needs to be a sense of community. The Italian American community at times can be very divided here in the tri-state area. Being or knowing particular people always seem to get you in the right doors and such-- but to be honest its such a turn off and really takes away from learning the traditions and history of Italian Americans. I witness this constantly within the online social media circles, as Italian Americans we need to be more united and deliver consistent messaging, whether via a blog post or building a million dollar museum.
For more on the New York Times Article: