MIAMI – Miami is playing a considerable role in the build-up for the Milan Expo 2015 World’s Fair, as it hosts an international conference March 12 on the fair’s theme -- “Feeding the Planet – Energy for Life” -- at the Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College (MDC) Wolfson Campus.
“This conference represents one of the most important international appointments leading up to the fair as a showcase for American innovation in Miami as well as in Milan, said conference chair Arthur J. Furia, a partner at the Miami office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, an organizing partner of the conference. “Some leading national figures have already committed, and you can expect a surprising announcement very soon about internationally-recognized guests of honor.”
Learn more about the conference here:
Mr. Furia has long been among the most active and passionate unofficial ambassadors between Italy and the United States. He is a board member and General Counsel to the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) and often travels to Milan and Rome to work with Italian business, governmental, and other institutional interests. He also serves as the Ufficio Legale for the Consulate of Italy in Miami (since 1995) and is the Florida Representative for AMCHAM Italy.
The upcoming conference was first announced Dec. 11 at an MDC reception hosted by the NIAF, Mr. Furia, and his fellow conference organizers José A. Vicente, President of MDC-Wolfson Campus, and Alexandra Villoch, President and Publisher of Miami Herald Media Co.
Messrs. Furia and Vicente and Ms. Villoch also introduced film clips of The Italian Americans, an upcoming four-hour documentary to air nationally and on the local PBS station WPBT-TV, February 17 and 24, at 9-11 p.m. Narrated by acclaimed actor Stanley Tucci, The Italian Americans reveals how Italian immigrants challenged the notion of the American melting pot – choosing instead to maintain their distinct culture and allegiance to family.
See photo links to the reception here.
Italy’s Undersecretary of State, the Honorable Mario Giro, extended his deepest appreciation to Furia for promoting the rich Italian heritage among the Italian American community throughout the United States through this documentary. “The official role you have given me is a unique privilege to acknowledge our mutual friendship,” he wrote. “I also appreciate the significant and engaging role the Italian community of South Florida is playing in the Sunshine State.”
Said Mr. Furia: “Italy is not only famous for its cuisine, of course, but the World’s Fair also offers potential solutions for feeding the planet in a sustainable way. Miami has significant and growing ties to Italy. Most people do not realize that it is second only to New York as an Italian immigration destination, and hosts a thriving Italian creative arts community.”
The Milan World’s Fair runs May 1 through October 31, 2015. The USA Pavilion is titled “American Food 2.0.” Before more than 100 guests, Furia introduced a video of the USA Pavilion’s “America Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet.” To learn more, visit: EXPO Milano 2015; USA Pavilion at Expo Milano.
At the reception with 100 guests, Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado presented NIAF with a City of Miami Proclamation designating December 11, 2014, as “National Italian American Community Day.” Community leaders present included Florida State Senator Maria L. Sachs; Chair of the MDC Board of Trustees Helen Aguirre Ferré; and Italy’s Consul General in Miami, Adolfo Barattolo. Dignitaries from Italy included the Undersecretary of State Mario Giro, Gambero Rosso CEO Paolo Cuccia, and fashion designer Renato Balestra. The Graspa Group of Miami served Italian delicacies and desserts that were paired with select wines by Gambero Rosso.
During the screening premier, the co-hosts were joined by keynote speakers, award-winning writer and producer of the series, John Maggio, and Maria Laurino, author of the acclaimed companion book, The Italian Americans: A History, now available in hardcover.
To learn more about the documentary, please click here.