The ILICA Cultural Event Gala with AsianInNY

By Alice Moy

The Italian Language InterCultural Alliance (ILICA) Cultural Event Gala Dinner on Friday November 11, 2011 had impeccable food and wine, a beautiful setting, a classy atmosphere, and of course, fashionable attendees. The night included many exciting firsts for me: it was my first time at a black tie event, and also the first time for me speaking Italian, and in front of a mostly Italian audience no less!

Vincenzo Marra (president of ILICA)

After walking down the grand hall of Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers around 7:30pm, I was greeted by Vincenzo Marra (president of ILICA). He was sporting a very sleek, impressive black ILICA tie along with several ILICA members. Throughout my time in Siena, Vincenzo had reminded me that I was to attend ILICA’s magnificent affair in November, and the time had come!

Chef preparing with prosciutto wrapped on an edible breadstick

There were delicious Italian hors d’oeurves and prosecco during the cocktail hour. I enjoyed delights like prosciutto wrapped on an edible breadstick while admiring the beautiful items on display for the silent auction. I was hit with a wave of nostalgia about “Il Palio” when I saw a particular painting of a rider on a horse.

The FDNY National Honor Guard

The official event and award ceremony took place as we had dinner. The FDNY National Honor Guard marched in for the opening ceremony, and there was a very apt mention for Veteran’s Day and the people who serve our country.

Santa Barbara mosaic hand-crafted in Italy by Luciano Boscolo Cucco

A beautiful Santa Barbara mosaic hand-crafted in Italy by Luciano Boscolo Cucco was brought here and presented at ILICA Cultural Event as a gift to FDNY.

Alice Moy speaking in Italian. UNISTRASI representatives attended.

Soon enough, it was my time to shine on the stage. I gave my short 3-sentence speech without a problem, and received a “good job” from Professor Massimo Vedovelli, who had traveled here from UNISTRASI! The rest of the night went along with greater ease on my part! Guests were treated to Brunello di Montalcino wine! As a well-known and expensive Italian red wine that I became aware of while in Italy, I enjoyed sipping on it during my meal.

Tomoko Sugawara on the kugo and accompanied by musician Ozan Aksoy

AsianinNY featured a beautiful performance by Tomoko Sugawara, a Japan-born musician, on the kugo (an ancient harp), and accompanied by Ozan Aksoy, a Turkey-born musician, on the hand drum.  The performance was simply amazing and successfully introduced a piece of East to the West and facilitated the inter-cultural alliance as both ILICA and AsianInNY organizations strive to achieve this global understanding through social events, arts, performances, education, literature, and charity.

ILICA Gala Awards Ceremony celebrating four Italian individuals

There were several more speakers, and as a grand culmination for the four day Cultural Event “Terroni e Polentoni,” the gala celebrated four Italian individuals who have promoted and impacted Italian culture and society: Pino Aprile, Letizia Airos Soria, Enrico Bruschini, and John Marino.  In addition, ILICA’s Cultural Event had the presence of two Italian mayors: Mayor Casson (from Northern Italy) and Mayor Emiliano (from Southern Italy).

AsianInNY founder Chris Nicodemo presenting special performance by Tomoko Sugawara to ILICA

ILICA was also bestowed this year with two more scholarships from UNISTRASI for American students to study in Siena, Italy!  Anyone who is interested in learning Italian and the Italian culture should definitely apply as I sure guarantee you it’s a once a lifetime experience.

Amazing desert cake shaped as Italy

Breads with the shape of Italy

An expansive array of desserts were set up after the raffle drawing. There was a delectable cake shaped as Italy (and as I remember it, there was large loaf of bread shaped as Italy during the cocktail hour amidst the cheeses).

AsianInNY Member Alice Moy: ILICA Scholarship Recipient of 2010

The night ended with me eating a lot of flan, coffee, and sipping on strongly infectious grappa. I didn’t notice that it was 1am when we left. The night really flew by, the hallmark of all successful events! And I enjoyed it all!

The happy AsianInNY table

As always, I can’t profuse my many thanks to AsianInNY for selecting me to be the first scholarship recipient to study in Italy, and Vincenzo and Susy for their congeniality and hospitality.

ILICA Board Members

Beautiful and unique ILICA ties

TERRONI: book by Pino Aprile

For the press release regarding ILICA’s 7th Cultural Event:

For the details of 2010 ILICA and UNISTRASI Scholarship to AsianInNY members:

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