Learn. Experience. Share the culture.
That’s the adage shared by many Italian-Americans living in the Houston area, and it’s the motto of Houston’s Italian Cultural and Community Center.
Did you know there are more than 20 Italian Clubs in the Houston area, many of which formed to advance, celebrate and preserve the Italian culture? The Federation of Italian-American Organizations of Greater Houston Inc. is an umbrella organization that coordinates the activities for 23 of these clubs.
Active Italian Clubs in Houston
Each individual club has its own active membership and maintains a unique identity with an independent mission. The Federation consists of members-at-large, instead of than just clubs and their members, though individuals may join as well. The clubs retain their affiliation to support the ICC and continue to have booths at annual public events such as Festa Italiana.
The Federation works to unify the local community of Italian-Americans and hosts a variety of educational and traditional events to promote the Italian heritage. In addition to sponsoring social events and cultural activities in Houston, members of the Federation also come together to perform works of charity and provide scholarships for graduating high school students.
Established in 1976, the Federation became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 1982. Six years later, the Federation used proceeds from various fund-raising efforts to purchase the historic Milford House in the Houston’s Museum District, which later became known as the Italian Cultural and Community Center (ICCC).
The Gift of Italian Culture
According to the ICCC’s website, “For members of Houston’s Italian-American Community, many of whom become active Federation members, the acquisition of the Milford House was the realization of a dream. For Houstonians of all backgrounds, the Italian Cultural and Community Center is the Federation’s gift of Italian culture to the city of Houston.” The ICCC receives part of its funding from the Houston Arts Alliance.
The ICCC actively serves Americans of Italian descent, native Italians who are relocating to Houston, and anyone who is interested in Italy and the Italian culture. Proceeds from events like Festa Italiana the support the ICCC, and the profits also help fund the Federation’s Italian language school.
Italian Language Classes
The Federation offers a variety of classes throughout the year to learn Italian. Language classes are offered for elementary school-age children as young as kindergarten. For adults, in the “Italian Conversation Class,” you can come practice your Italian conversational skills with a small group and learn to master the lyrical language of Italian in a small classroom setting. Classes are offered for beginners, as well as intermediate/advanced.
Also, if you’re planning a trip to Italy, the “Italian for Travelers Class” is the best course for tourists. You can get the most out of your trip by learning Italian from a fluent Italian-speaking teacher.
So if your love for Italy goes beyond pizza and pasta, check out the Federation, the ICCC and all the great ways to experience the Italian culture in Houston.