Over 200 representatives from education, business, government, Italian-American organizations, and clergy enjoyed an elegant evening  Italian culture featuring actor Tony Lo Bianco portraying New York City’s iconic Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia at the Italian Embassy.  The event was sponsored by the National Council for the Promotion of Italian Language in the United States, and hosted by  Ambassador of Italy,Claudio Bisogniero.

Dr. Daniel Stabile, President of National COPILAS*, called the successful event, ” a significant turning point in the promotion of Italian Language and Culture in the United States. Virtually every school district in the Washington metropolitan area was in attendance and pledged support to the growth and sustainability of the College Board Advanced Placement Program in American high schools”.

The Apolostic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, presented the invocation and spoke about the importance of preserving Italian culture, customs, and traditions in the United States.  Archbishop Vigano speaks five languages. The Apolostic Nuncio, by protocol, is the top ranking ambassador in the United States.

Anita McBride, Executive in Residence, Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, American University and former assistant to three American presidents, and Mrs. Laura Bush’s chief of Staff, served as mistress of ceremonies, and shared the impact of her Italian heritage on her successful career.  She also currently serves as Senior Advisor to the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas.

 

Minister Plenipotentiary Cristiano Maggipinto spoke about the significance of the “2013 Year of Italian Culture in the United States”, in terms of achievements in science and technology.

Tony Lo Bianco’s  performance portraying “The Little Flower” Fiorello H. La Guardia was lauded by the audience as an outstanding performance, especially since many of the issues Mayor La Guardia championed such as immigration, woman’s suffrage and rights, social programs, and political corruption are contemporary issues today.

Maria Marigliano’s and the Holy Rosary Catholic Church Choir stellar performance of Verdi’s “Val Pensiero”-Nabucco Opera and Puccini’s “Nessum Dorma”- Turandot Opera was  extrordinary.

Dr. Stabile presented three major awards:  The National COPILAS Life time  Achievement Award to Actor Tony Lo Bianco; and The National COPILAS  Special Achievement Awards to Anita McBride and Maria Marigliano

A reception followed with traditional Italian food and beverages.

*COPILAS is the national Council for the Promotion of  Italian  Language in American Schoools

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