It was a beautiful summer evening celebrating many aspects of Italian Culture. Cavaliere Rosemary Lucarelli Licata has a lifetime passion for Italian Culture, so it was fitting to bring “Italian Culture to Westlake Village”.

While planning to host a summer event for the “Pleasure of Your Company” benefit for the New West Symphony, Thousand Oaks, California, Cavaliere Licata and her sister Beatrice Lucarelli Restifo acknowledged the importance of including certain people to blend the culture together.
The New West Symphony performs at the Civic Arts Plaza, Kavli Theater, Thousand Oaks.  The 2012 – 2013 season will be led by our newly appointed world renown musical director – conductor Marcelo Lehninger.  The benefit was held at the Charles and Rosemary Licata Lounge which Cavaliere Licata endowed in honor of her husband, continuing their many philanthropic endeavors benefiting the arts in both the Italian and local communities.
On the Lounge terrace overlooking the Plaza  the intimate, impressive group enjoyed numerous, delicious, beautifully displayed, Italian delicacies from Kirk Memoli’s “Command Performance”   Catering.  Wine was donated and served by Marcella and Jeff Ketelhut from their Los Robles Winery in Thousand Oaks, California.  After partaking of the delicious libations, the program commenced.
Cavaliere Licata welcomed all for attending and introduced the mistress of ceremony,  internationally known, leading beauty authority,  award winning media personality, television producer Clarissa Burt.  Ms. Burt
was most recently named Ambassador  to the U. S. for her assistance during the “ Walking Africa” campaign and helping elect two African women win the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.
Consul General Giuseppe Perrone was out of the area and graciously appointed  the Deputy Consul General Paolo Gandolfi to attend.  We thank both very kindly for participating in this program to make people in the Westlake Village – Thousand Oaks aware of the programs and business possibilities in the Italian community in Los Angeles.  The consulate covers southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico and Mr. Gandolfi gave specifics of the mission, activities and responsibilites of the Consulate in Los Angeles.
Dr.Alberto Di Mauro, Consul from Italy for Cultural Affairs and Director of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura  gave detailed information of the cultural programs available at the IIC, located on Hilgard in Westwood.  His responsibilities encompass all aspects of Italian Culture:  education in Italian language and food, Italian film, arts, exhibits and speaker series.  All are open to the general public.  We were so honored to have Dr. Mauro attend and bring with him four magnificent examples of art:  two large framed Renaissance posters,  one  reproduction of fresco and one example of modern Italian art.
Ms. Burt, a woman of style, related her past experiences while living in Italy and the opportunities she had there in the fashion world as an  international media celebrity, model and face on numerous fashion magazines.
This year she launched a school affording young women the opportunity for raising self esteem, modeling and awards, and showcasing them before agents from all over the world.  Her book “The Self Esteem Regime”  available Spring 2013 gives positive messaging to girls and women.
A musical interlude of memorable Italian music was presented by Austin Grant, mandolin and Anastasios (Taso) Comanescu, classical guitar. Both were students of world renown guitar virtuoso, Christopher Parkening, Pepperdine University, Malibu, California. Taso has recently completed a masters program in Music from U.S.C.  Both are engaged in busy concert schedules and planning a European tour for next year.
The Executive Director of the New West Symphony, Natalia Staneva informed us that on Saturday, November 3, 2012 the New West Symphony will present an “Italian Symphony” theme conducted by Marcelo Lehninger at the Kavli Theater, Civic arts Plaza, Thousand Oaks.  You may access the website www. New West Symphony for details.
Our mission of introducing Italian Culture to Westlake Village in such a beautiful setting was fulfilled.
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