“An Italian Sense of Place: Land and Identity,” an Italian Festival of the Arts and Humanities, is taking place at Montclair State University from January through May 2008. Bringing together artists, photographers, historians, literary scholars, architects, musicians, film critics and chefs from the United States and Italy, the Festival explores the many illustrations of land and identity within the broad framework of an Italian Sense of Place.
Montclair State was chosen for this international undertaking in part because of the large population of people of Italian descent living in New Jersey. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the total population of New Jersey in 2003 was 8.4 million people. Out of that total, 1.6 million people were of Italian Heritage, the largest single group.
With a comprehensive array of artistic events and educational programming with internationally renowned experts, the Italian Festival offers something for everyone. The event is organized by the Global Education Center, George Segal Art Gallery, Department of Art and Design, John J. Cali School of Music, Spanish/Italian Department, History Department, Health and Nutrition Sciences Department and The Joseph and Elda Coccia Institute.
Funding and support have been provided by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and in part from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner of the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding was provided by The Joseph & Elda Coccia Institute for the Italian Experience in America and Whole Foods Market, Montclair. Artwork is provided by the artists and Cineteca Bologna, Fotografia Italiana and Biblioteca Panizzi.