Thursday, April 25, 2024

New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission Leads the Way: 2024 Annual Meeting Excels in Enhancing Awareness of Italian Heritage Through Film

 The New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission hosted its annual conference on April 20th, 2024, at Rutgers University. The event, titled "Increasing Awareness of Italian Heritage through Film," was a resounding success, drawing notable educators and other guests from across the state of New Jersey and fostering engaging conversations among attendees.

Commissioner Vice Chair Vito Maione, Commissioner Vice Chair Barbara T. Lazzarro, Chairwoman Emerita Cav. Gilda Rorro Baldassari, Ed.D,  Professor Andrea Baldi, PhD., Commissioner Eileen Poiani, Ph.D., Commissioner Dame Josephine Marchetta, Chairman Bob DiBiase

The highlight of the conference was the panel discussion on the integration of 'An Italian’s Dream,' which explored the origin of Hispanic peoples and beyond. This insightful discussion sparked thought-provoking conversations among attendees, contributing to a deeper understanding of Italian heritage and its intersections with other cultures.

 The conference featured a series of presentations that delved into various aspects of Italian heritage, including the significance of statues, the Roman legacy in the creation of America, and a captivating documentary presentation of Gianni Berengo Gardin's 'Tale of Two Cities' about Venice. Additionally, the conference shed light on the immigration experiences of Italian Americans, with a special focus on St. Frances Xavier Cabrini.

 Attendees were treated to a day filled with enriching discussions, accompanied by delicious refreshments and a musical interlude by Dame Dr. Mary Rorro. The event provided a platform for individuals passionate about Italian heritage to come together, exchange ideas, and celebrate their shared cultural identity.

"We are thrilled with the success of this year's conference," said Robert DiBiase, Chairman of the New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission. "It was inspiring to see attendees actively engage in meaningful conversations and explore the rich tapestry of Italian heritage through film. We are grateful to all who contributed to making this event a memorable one."

Chairman Bob DiBiase & Executive Director Margaret Fontana

The New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission extends its gratitude to all attendees, Commissioners and sponsors for their support in making the conference a success. For those interested in volunteering or interning with the Commission, opportunities are available to support future events. Please contact Executive Director Margaret Fontana at for more information. 

About the New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission:

The New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission is dedicated to building and strengthening the cultural identity of Italians and Italian Americans through public educational programs. By promoting an accurate, bias-free, and non-stereotyped understanding of Italian heritage, the Commission seeks to preserve and celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of people of Italian descent.


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