June 13, 2024

Pino Cicala would have been 93 years old today, June 12, 2020. His passing three years ago left a void in our Italian American community. To keep his legacy alive, we announce today that Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center, Inc. (CISC), will name its archives and virtual collection in memory of Pino Cicala.

The Pino Cicala Archives and Virtual Collection will consist of a core of hundreds of Pino’s files, donated by his son Luigi and his brother Melo Cicala. The files chronicle and record the history of Italian American organizations and their major events in the Washington area for nearly 60 years. Plans are also underway to digitize a large collection of community photographs from the Holy Rosary Church collection for the new archive.

“Pino devoted most of his life in the service of our Italian American community—as a radio host, TV producer and in later years as editor of the Amico web site,” said Francesco Isgro, president of CISC. “We are fortunate that we can safeguard his historical records and share them with our community. We thank Fr. Ezio Marchetto, pastor of Holy Rosary Church and chairman of CISC, for his vision and for providing a place for them in Casa Italiana. The archives are a good complement to the Robert A Facchina Italian American Museum in Washington DC (IAMDC), and the Marconi Project of oral histories.”

Pino_Cicala_WOL“My father loved the Italian American community in Washington and all things Italian,” said Luigi Cicala. “I am delighted that his memory will be kept alive at Casa Italiana through this exciting collection.”

Melo Cicala stated, “My brother’s life revolved around the Italian American community in Washington and his love for Italy. I could not think of a better place to honor his memory and contributions than by keeping his archives at Casa Italiana.”

Cataloguing Pino’s collection and making the materials and photos available online will require financial resources. We hope to raise an initial $50,000 to start the project. To celebrate this announcement, we will hold an official reception in the company of Casa Italiana supporters, and Pino’s many friends, as soon as the pandemic has run its course.

As we begin to work on Pino’s collection, we invite other Italian Americans who may have historical files about our area’s Italian community to consider donating them to the Pino Cicala Archives and Virtual Collection. The archives will be made available to all interested in learning more about the Italian presence in our nation’s capital.  If you would like to donate materials, please contact Nancy DeSanti at nancy.desanti@casaitalianacenter.org

Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center Inc. (CISC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting programs and cultural activities of the Italian-American community in the Washington, D.C. area, and to presenting the best of Italian culture to the larger society through educational, historical and cultural Italian programs. CISC is managed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. To learn more about CISC and how to become a supporter, please visit www.casaitalianacenter.org. All contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.