Many Italian immigrants who arrived in the Northwest in the late 1890s found themselves toiling for low pay in dangerous and physically demanding...
“Promoting Italian culture through our common passion for food, literature, art, design, film, theater, dance, language and music”: Il Punto!, the new Italian cultural center in Seattle has a simple, direct and strong mission.
The name chosen for this organization says it all: “Il Punto!”, Italian for “the Point”, wants to be a meeting point, il punto d’incontro, for all the people passionate about Italy and its culture.
It is exciting to have an innovative group in Seattle that wants to act as the glue for Italians and Italian-Americans who desire to explore all the activities and events related with Italy that are happening in the Northwest. With so much going on, this group strives to make Italian culture more accessible.
Interesting enough the entire board of Directors is formed by first-generation Italians who come from different cultural and professional background, united by the same enthusiasm of endorsing authentic Italian related events and businesses in Seattle area.
When we spoke with Dr. Andrea Callegari, President of Il Punto!, he wanted to emphasize something crucial: the organization doesn’t want to substitute any other Italian group present in the Emerald City, but it desires to be an umbrella for all of them.
In other words all of the other associations can post, share and promote their calendar on Il Punto!.
The Italian community in the Seattle area benefits from talented people like Andrea –a young PhD in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine- donating their time and energy to create a project like Il Punto!. Like him, all the other board of directors and committee members, volunteer their time since November 2014, when the organization started to form. Among them, Mr. Franco Tesorieri, Honorary Consul of Italy for Washington State, who is an active member, and Dr. Daniela Giordano (Vice-President & Treasurer) from the Department of Immunology, University of Washington.
An important and new aspect of our website is a “welcome section” called Benvenuti a Seattle for the Italians who just moved to Seattle. Here “new arrivals” can find some historical information about the Italians in Seattle during the immigration period and useful tips for the Pacific Northwest.
At the moment, Il Punto! is in charge of the almost one thousand Italian books that belonged to BIS, Biblioteca Italiana Seattle.
Sadly BIS was forced to put the books in boxes since the space used was not available any longer. Recognizing the importance of these materials, Il Punto! stepped in to help. The organization is actively looking for a new home for this incredible treasure of literature that we have in Seattle, and it welcomes ideas and options for a permanent library.
How can we all – Italy lovers- contribute to support Il Punto! ?
First of all we can become members with a very reasonable annual membership fee of $50 per person or $75 per family.
Members can receive several benefits such as notification of cultural events, discounts on language groups, discounts on certain events, and participation at the General Assemblies of the Italian Library (BIS).
This year they can take advantage of four weeks scholarship at Campus L’Infinito, the Italian language school for foreigners, situated in the heart of Recanati, Marche.
Il Punto! is more than just a website. It is a useful portal with an incredible amount of links to events and activities, and the organization is constantly looking for new ways to improve and to help its members share ideas. Il Punto! is about to create an on-line and in-person community that is going to succeed with the help of all of us.