The Italian American Museum of Los Angeles is scheduled to open this Sunday, August 14. The only institution of its kind in the region, the IAMLA will showcase the little-known history and important contributions of Italian Americans in Southern California.
“The IAMLA is not simply a museum for or about Italians,” says executive director and historian Marianna Gatto. “Through interactive exhibitions and public programming, the IAMLA explores the contributions of Italian Americans in the creation of the multiethnic Southern California Metropolis and sheds light on the history of a region that has shaped the world.”
Located in the historic Italian Hall, the oldest remaining building from Los Angeles’ Little Italy, the 5,000-square-foot museum will feature a permanent exhibit consisting of seven individual exhibitions arranged chronologically and thematically: “Italy’s Imprint on North America and the American West,” “Pioneers,” “Settlement,” “Italian Hall,” “Dago!”, “Italians in Hollywood,” “Culture.” Video projections showcasing hundreds of rare and never-before-seen images and historical documents provide an overview of each exhibit. “The video installation adds an emotional and dynamic aspect to the storytelling,” says Gatto.
For those who cannot visit in person, the IAMLA’s permanent exhibition content is also available online via Google Cultural Institute.
“The Museum’s opening is a dream come true for the Italian community in Los Angeles and Southern California”, says Paul Pagnone, board president of the IAMLA. “The IAMLA offers a new way to interpret and understand our city and the unparalleled diversity that can be traced to its beginnings.”
The IAMLA will also organize film screenings, lectures, performances and temporary exhibits.
Every year in October, the IAMLA organizes Taste Of Italy, a benefit for the museum taking place in downtown Los Angeles, on the square in front of the historic Pico House, which, for the occasion, transforms into an Italian piazza, complete with Italian food and wine from some of the best Italian restaurants and wineries in Southern California. This year Taste of Italy takes place on October 1 (for tickets, click here).
Reservations for the IAMLA's public opening on Sunday, August 14 can be made here.