Tag Archives: Dominic Candeloro

Scholarly group bestows award on Candeloro

While he was growing up in Chicago Heights during World War II, Dominic Candeloro wasn’t at all proud of his Italian ancestry. His father was a low-paid construction worker who only learned a few words of English. That and the fact that Italy was fighting against the Allies made him ashamed of his roots. The feeling persisted after the war, when the peninsula was in shambles and the country was frequently referred to as “war torn” in the press. It wasn’t until Candeloro saw Fellini’s film “La Dolce Vita” while he was pursuing his undergraduate degree at Northwestern University that …

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Venerable leaders convene at film screening

Casa Italia Library curator Dominic Candeloro, Maria SS. Lauretana Society President Joe Camarda and Italian Radio Theater founder Gino Nuccio had the chance to catch up recently. With nearly two centuries of combined service to the community, they had a lot to talk about. Their spirited discussion took place at the Lauretana lodge after a screening of Michael Cavalieri’s film “La porta dell’inferno,” about sulfur miners in Sicily. The filmmaker’s appearance at the screening was made possible by Professor Carla Simonini, director of the Rubino Italian American Program at Loyola University.  

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An oasis of italianità

The cover of Fra Noi reads “Embrace your inner Italian”: words that inspire us to explore every aspect of our heritage and community. In my case, the catchy phrase opened the door to the Italian Cultural Center at Casa Italia. An oasis of italianità in Stone Park, the center is home to a hardy band of volunteers who truly live this calling. I paid my first visit in 2015 and was introduced to Dominic Candeloro, a pensive curator with glasses that often slide down his nose. He, in turn, introduced me to the vast cultural riches of the center: its …

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ICC unveils updated Italians in Chicago exhibit

The Italian Cultural Center at Casa Italia in Stone Park unveiled a restored and enhanced Italians in Chicago exhibit at an open house from 6-9 p.m. on May 12. Archivists Terry Quilico and Barbara Stasell began work on the project two years ago under the direction of the exhibit’s creator, ICC Library Curator Dominic Candeloro. “The exhibit was renovated in the 1990s, but due to the deterioration of some of the displays, we decided that further renovations were needed,” Candeloro says. “As work progressed, we realized that there were significant aspects of the history of Italians in Chicago that were …

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Reframing the Columbus debate

Columbus’ voyages challenge our concept of history. On the one hand, we have the heroic notion of Columbus sailing the ocean blue to discover a new world. On the other, we have the revisionist interpretation of Columbus as a perpetrator of genocide. In between is a full range of facts, questions and interpretations that make history the fascinating discipline it is. First and foremost, Christopher Columbus was a man of his times. And like all of us, he was an imperfect mortal. He embodied the spirit of enterprise then emerging in Europe, but his pursuit of material gain had a …

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Landmark book enjoys a stellar second edition

“Reconstructing Italians in Chicago — Thirty Authors in Search of Roots and Branches” was released in 2011 as “a sampler of the best writing on the subject of Italians in Chicago,” according to Dominic Candeloro, who spearheaded the book’s publication by Casa Italia. The first edition has sold out, and a 10th anniversary edition has now been published by Amazon at a much lower price, both in print and on Kindle. The new edition includes an introduction by Candeloro and Fred Gardaphe, an associate editor at Fra Noi and professor at Queens College. References have been updated, some of which …

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Cultural Center hosts online gab fest

The usual lunch and espresso breaks enjoyed by the director and volunteers at the Italian Cultural Center at Casa Italia were lively affairs. Discussions ran the gamut from current affairs and Dante, to library acquisitions and projects, to social and home life. During the pandemic, these discussions are continuing via Zoom at 2:30 p.m. each Wednesday. Espresso Break guests have included Ron Onesti, Renato Turano, Tom Dreesen and countless others, with all conversations archived for viewing on the cultural center website. To receive e-blasts announcing future guests, contact Dominic Candeloro at dominic.candeloro@gmail.com. To view past sessions, click here.

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IA Literati heads for the internet

This year’s IA Literati seminar was held as a virtual gathering on June 13. The event was different from any of the previous 16 instalments, according to Professor Dominic Candeloro, curator of the Florence Roselli library in the Italian Cultural Center at Casa Italia. “Authors could not gather in person due to COVID-19 so we were presented with the challenge of meeting electronically over Zoom. I must say that we all missed gathering together but we were able to expand the scope of the event beyond the Chicago area to across the country and to Italy, with more than 100 …

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Loyola launches groundbreaking Italian American studies program

A sixth-generation Italian American with a profound connection to her roots, Carla Simonini, Ph.D., arrives in Chicago next month to lead Loyola University’s Italian-American Studies program. Complimenti! It took five years, a massive fund-raising campaign that netted $500,000 and a historic commitment by Loyola University of Chicago, but our metropolis finally has an Italian-American studies program to call its own. Though the program is based at Loyola, which matched the $500,000 to create a $1 million endowment, organizers say it also belongs to the local Italian-American community, which will be invited to participate through a variety of outreach efforts. These …

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My hunt for a queen

After 70 years in Italian America, I am still searching for the “Queen of Little Italy.” No, she’s not one of those lovely young ladies who reign over the Columbus Day Parade. My queen was short and stout and tough, and she packed a gun. She died in 1920. In her day, she controlled more votes than any other woman in Chicago. She was a midwife who delivered her voters into the world at their birth and to the polls on election day. She was a strong leader who in her time defied every stereotype of women, Italians and immigrants. …

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