As you know, we send out dozens of announcements every year, in all of them we give: we give you the possibility to see contemporary and classic Italian films; we give you the chance to listen to and interact with some of the greatest singers, directors, actors, musicians and writers; we give you access to cutting-edge conferences and talks that nourish your mind and soul. This is the only message in which we ask: we ask you to show your appreciation for what we do and to generously include Casa Italiana in your end-of-the-year giving; we ask you to become a member of Casa Italiana by donating $50 or more to our fundraising campaign.
Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò just turned twenty-five, a fundamental milestone: a quarter of a century in service to Italian culture and art in New York. As many of you know, this important anniversary was bittersweet, since it also coincided with the memorial tribute we dedicated to our founder, Baroness Zerilli-Marimò, the extraordinary lady who made this beautiful gift to New York University and to the entire community of Italians, Italian Americans, and Italophiles, who - day in and day out - have thoroughly enjoyed the richness, breadth and scope of our programs. Her passing increases our responsibility to fulfill her vision for generations to come and to assure the future of the institution that bears her name. I hope we can count on your support in sharing this mission.
As we are asking for your help, we pledge to continue striving to make Casa even better, as we have also done during the year that is coming to a close. New collaborations have started with Pesaro's Rossini Opera Festival and the Salzburg Festival; artists of mythical stature such as Renata Scotto have graced our auditorium with their presence; we hosted the American premiere of the new PBS documentary The Italian Americans in a packed 600-seat hall in the presence of New York's Mayor. Just over the past few weeks, we hosted several concurrent events and - on numerous occasions - our cozy library accommodated the overflow of people who could not find a seat in the auditorium, allowing them to follow on a large screen. We have continued to video-record our events and upload them to our Multimedia page, where they can be enjoyed for free by anyone interested; a service seldom offered to the public by institutions such as our own.
In 2016, we will implement and expand our live-streaming system, free of charge for users, more reliable and without commercial interruptions. We think that allowing people all over the world to follow an event and even participate in real-time is a fascinating development in our mission and we would love to hear your thoughts about this. We will complete the fine-tuning of the RSVP process and continue to guarantee reserved seating to our members and supporters for selected events.
I hope we will be able to count on your generous support and I thank you in advance for what you will be able to do for Casa Italiana. I take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a peaceful and joyful Holiday season.
Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo a tutti!
Stefano Albertini, Ph.D.
Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò
New York University