“An Italian Sense of Place: Land and Identity,” an Italian
Festival of the Arts and Humanities, took 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 explored 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. 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 offered something for everyone. The event was organized by the Global Education Center, the George Segal Gallery, the Department of Art and Design, the John J. Cali School of Music, the Spanish/Italian Department, the History Department, the Health and Nutrition Sciences Department and the Joseph and Elda Coccia Institute for the Italian Experience in America.