Photo: Dave Newman/Dreamstime

In a year of uncertainty, and even with the shutdown due to the pandemic, ‘Westside Italian Culture’ group kept moving forward. The group was started in January of 2016, and grew in numbers while serving the Italian community by celebrating, promoting, and preserving the Italian culture. Westside also formed a team that supports the homeless, by serving Italian dinners to those in need quarterly.

With an eventual goal of becoming an official nonprofit, Westside decided to take a broader name, something that umbrellas the greater Portland area. Founder, Tonya Russo Hamilton had been sharing events, and news with the Italian community via a website and social media platforms called Italian Portland. It was determined that Italian Portland was the perfect name to establish the nonprofit. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Christina Cavallaro Edick, and support from the newly established Board of Directors, Italian Portland officially became a nonprofit charitable organization in November, 2020.

Italian Portland’s mission is to ‘Raise awareness of Italian culture and its influence in the world, through cultural events, education, and service.’ The website, Facebook page, and Instagram accounts have taken on new looks with a brand new logo. One of the features on the Italian Portland website is a ‘Calendar of Events’ page listing events in Portland’s Italian community. Italian organizations are encouraged to add their events to the calendar by filling out an event form found at the top of the ‘Calendar of Events’ page on the website at: https://

Italian Portland’s events are gaining in popularity and fulfilling their mission, with most events occurring on the first Tuesday of each month. All are welcome! For more information visit: or contact Italian Portland at: [email protected].

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