The American Italian Cultural Center offers a monthly lecture series exploring a variety of Italian cultural and historical topics. The lectures are free for AICC members and students with a valid university or high school ID. There is a suggested $10 donation for non-members.

Low Life/High Brow: Bernini and the Art of Baroque Rome
Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 6:30pm

Join us for a lecture on Gianlorenzo Bernini given by  Father Gregory Waldrop, S.J., the chair of Loyola’s Art Department. Gianlorenzo was a coddled prodigy and the darling of the Papal Court who created the Baroque style of sculpture. His works furthered the ambitions of some of the 17th century’s most powerful patrons from popes to kings. Crimes, controversies, and failures threatened Bernini’s superstar status during his lifetime, but upon his death, praised his genius and reputed his piety in almost equal measure.  Explore the intrigue, violence, and splendor of Bernini’s Baroque Rome.


How Genealogy Research Helped Solve a 70 Year WW2 Mystery
Thursday, October 19, 2017, 6:30pm

Sal Serio, curator of the American Italian Research Library, will tell the story of Lt. Wesley Richard of Metairie, Louisiana. In 1943, Lieutenant Richard ‘s plane was shot down in Sabaudia, Italy and he perished. German forces occupied the region, but the small farm community of Sabaudia took Lt. Richard into their hearts and minds. This lecture will reveal how genealogy research helped uncover what happened to Lieutenant Richard.


Things to do in Rome and Florence
Thursday, September 21, 2017, 7:00pm

Have you gone with your family to Italy and want to enjoy it again? Do you hope to go there with them one day? Do you want your kids to learn something of the history and culture there? Come to this lecture and bring the whole family. Tom Cortazzo will be presenting things to see and do in Rome and Florence in a discussion for young people to enjoy. All children and teenagers are welcome. We will engage them in talk about such famous sites as the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peters Basilica, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, the Duomo in Florence and fantastic works by famous artists such as Michelangelo, Bernini and Raphael.


Guns in the Hands of Artists
Thursday, September 7, 2017, 6:30pm

Guns In The Hands of Artists is a community-based social-activist artistic project that has been traveling the country the past three years. It has been presented at the Aspen Institute, Washington University in St. Louis, Art Basel Miami Beach, Minneapolis and at the Rotunda of the US Senate Building in Washington D.C.

Decommissioned guns taken off the streets of New Orleans were distributed to over thirty internationally known artists to use as the raw materials in creating works of art addressing the issue of guns and gun violence in America. Jonathan Ferrara will give a talk about the project with a presentation of images from the show. He will discuss the project, what it means, its impact, and the his book on the project which includes essays by Walter Isaacson, Gabby Giffords, Harry Shearer and Richard Ford.


“Italians in New Orleans Cemeteries: Artisans, Societies, and Notable Burials”
Thursday, July 20, 2017, 6:30pm

Emily Ford of Oak and Laurel Cemetery Preservation, LLC, will present on Italians in New Orleans cemeteries drawing from the historic landscapes of all the city’s cemeteries and from ongoing research into the preservation of Italian heritage. The impact of Italians in New Orleans cemeteries is most powerfully visible in Metairie Cemetery row of Italian society tombs, but Italian influence is present in all New Orleans cemeteries.

From the influence of Americo Marozzi had on Bywater cemeteries like St. Vincent de Paul and St. Roch in the 1850s to hidden Florentine masterpieces in Cypress Grove, Italian artisans have subtly made their mark upon the development of our iconic cemeteries.

Lesser-known Italian burial places and society tombs, including those in Odd Fellows Rest and Valence Street Cemeteries, and some curious tales of Italian-Americans buried in historic New Orleans cemeteries will also be highlighted.


“Under Old Stars: Wanderings in Italian Hill Towns”
Thursday, June 8, 2017, 6:00pm

Photojournalist Mauro Marinelli will deliver a lecture on his photo technique and his travels, describing what it is like trying to document a subculture. Mr. Marinelli will present on his artistic images and the corresponding prose of his work Under Old Stars: Wanderings in Italian Hill Towns, elaborating on the collaboration between the photographer and the writer and divulging the advantages and barriers to this type of creative project.


“Jazz Italian Style”
Thursday, May 4th, 2017, 7:00pm

Anna Celenza of Georgetown University will present on her latest book Jazz Italian Style, which reveals a forgotten chapter in jazz history – the development of jazz in Mussolini’s Italy – and demonstrates how this new musical style eventually influenced quintessentially “American” performers like Frank Sinatra.


“Walk Me Through Venice”
Thursday, April 27, 2017, 6:00pm

Join us for the final installment of the AICC’s series of walking tours through Italy’s greatest cities as we stroll through Venice. Learn a little history of the city and enjoy the beauty that is Venice, the captivating pearl floating on the Adriatic Sea. Venice, the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals. The central square, Piazza San Marco, contains St. Mark’s Basilica and the Campanile bell tower offering views of the city’s red roofs.