Celebrating Another Successful Cultural Exchange Program

Celebrating Another Successful Cultural Exchange Program

Cultural Exchange students with Francesca Runge (third from left)

Cultural Exchange students with Francesca Runge (third from left)

On Monday, June 15 we said goodbye to a fantastic group of talented cultural exchange students!

Our visitors this year were graduate and undergraduate students of art and architecture hailing from Italian cities as diverse as Rome, Palermo, Venice, Florence, and Torino.

The students with Agata Musco, owner of Agata & Valentina, inside the store

The students with Agata Musco, owner of Agata & Valentina, inside the store

The students appreciated the Italian and Italian American professionals who opened their office doors to them for tours, conversations, and question and answer sessions:
Frank Sciame and Marcella Gerbino of Sciame Construction;
Agata Musco of Agata & Valentina;
Terry Magro of Valentin Magro Design Jewelers;
and Sara Matiz of Matiz Architecture and Design.

Cultural exchange students past and present together with  Francesca Runge, Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero, Consul General Natalia Quintavalle, and Board members Maria Tamburri and Dr. Aileen Riotto Sirey

Cultural exchange students past and present together with Francesca Runge, Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero, Consul General Natalia Quintavalle, and Board members Maria Tamburri and Dr. Aileen Riotto Sirey

One of the trip’s highlights was the opportunity to meet with Italian Ambassador, Claudio Bisogniero and Consul General of Italy in New York, Natalia Quintavalle. The Consul General presided over a roundtable discussion with the Italian American students who have participated in NOIAW’s past cultural exchange trips to Rome.

Cultural Exchange students with Claudia Berns (second from left) and Board members Mary Ann Mattone, Maria T. Vullo, Esq., Dr. Aileen Riotto Sirey, Maria Tamburri, and Dr. MaryRose Barranco Morris (top row, L to R)

Cultural Exchange students with Claudia Berns (second from left) and Board members Mary Ann Mattone, Maria T. Vullo, Esq., Dr. Aileen Riotto Sirey, Maria Tamburri, and Dr. MaryRose Barranco Morris (top row, L to R)

NOIAW’s Founder and Chair Emerita, Dr. Aileen Riotto Sirey, welcomed the girls into her home for an opening reception, where we also celebrated two of the students’ birthdays! Board member Betty Santangelo, Esq. also generously hosted the girls at her home for a fabulous beach weekend in the Hamptons.

The students with Betty Santangelo (top left) and Francesca Runge (top right)

The students with Betty Santangelo (top left) and Francesca Runge (top right)

The students loved being able to connect with NOIAW members at our networking event at the Center for Italian Modern Art. Following a private tour of the gallery’s Medardo Rosso exhibit, we enjoyed prosecco and conversation.

At the Guggenheim Museum

At the Guggenheim Museum

From their home base at the Fordham University dorms in Columbus Circle, the group set off each day to explore some of New York City’s finest cultural destinations, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Morgan Library and Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum, the High Line, and the brand-new Whitney Museum in the Meatpacking District.

Taking in the view of the Meatpacking District from a balcony of the new Whitney Museum

Taking in the view of the Meatpacking District from a balcony of the new Whitney Museum

The students also had the opportunity to take in a Broadway musical, explore uptown on a Gray Line bus tour, and visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on a private tour. They enjoyed diverse cuisines including Peruvian, Turkish, and of course, American!

The students with Claudia Berns (far left), Francesca Runge (center), and Board member Betty Santangelo (far right)

The students with Claudia Berns (far left), Francesca Runge (center), and Board member Betty Santangelo (far right)

We’d like to give a huge thank you to our Cultural Exchange ¬†co-chairs, Claudia Berns and Francesca Runge, who devoted countless hours to planning the ten-day itinerary and accompanying the group all around New York City; to the professionals who welcomed the students into their offices; as well as to all of the NOIAW members and Board members who gave generously of their time and resources to make this trip a success!

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