An accomplished author and presenter credited with inspiring a new generation of people searching for their ancestry is the recipient of the Indiana Historical Society’s (IHS’s) 2018 Willard C. Heiss Family History/Genealogy Award.
Carol Faenzi of Indianapolis was honored at IHS’s annual Founders Day dinner on Monday, Nov. 5, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center in downtown Indianapolis. Each year, IHS presents this award to a family historian for his or her distinguished service and career in Indiana family history.
Faenzi is a third generation Italian-American who has developed a reputation for programs and workshops that inspire others to seek out and preserve their family stories. She is the author of the award-winning book, The Stonecutter’s Aria, which chronicles her ancestors’ careers in Carrara marble and her great-grandfather’s emigration from Italy to Bedford, Indiana, where he worked as a limestone carver.
“She has offered a model for how family genealogy could and perhaps ought to be recorded” said Tom Castaldi, Allen County historian.
The popularity of The Stonecutter’s Aria led Faenzi to create and lead biannual guided trips to her ancestral homeland in Italy and, locally, to Indiana limestone country, establishing a unique Italy/Indiana connection.
Philanthropist, Journalist and Author, Dr. Jane Fortune passed away on September 23. Most of her life’s work was centered on the research, restoration and exhibition of art by women in Florence, Italy. In 2009, she founded a nonprofit organization, Advancing Women Artists Foundation, dedicated to this mission. Among the important works her Foundation restored were Artemisia Gentileschi’s “ David and Bathsheba.” In 2013, the PBS documentary, Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists of Florence, based on her 2009 book by the same title, was awarded a regional Emmy as Best Documentary in the Historical/Cultural Program Category. These are just a few of many remarkable milestones Jane Fortune succeeded in reaching during he dynamic and passionate life. I was fortunate to have known her and for a few years, helped direct activities of her Foundation in the United States. She was a tireless advocate for these “invisible women artists” and I am happy to say, the work will go on. She left quite a legacy. She told me the thing that meant the most to her, was being recognized as a Citizen of Florence, the city she fell in love with during her college years. The Mayor presented this award to Jane at a ceremony in Florence and with her passing, a Mass was said for her on October 9, at the Basilica of Santa Croce.
One of our most interesting recent cultural lectures was about achieving dual citizenship by Italian Americans. IHSI member Marlene Adami presented the lecture about her personal experiences as she pursued that goal. Our founding member Jerry Roland, an attorney and the former Italian vice-consul for Indiana, was also present to answer questions by those who attended. Marlene was able to document and charmingly illustrate, step-by-step, that journey in a PowerPoint file. With Marlene’s approval, we now make it available to our members who wish to also make that journey.
Click link below to view powerpoint presentation provide by Marlene;
The four weeks before Christmas are of part of the Advent season and it was a time of reflection and fasting. Christmas Eve was a time of abstaining from meat and thus fish was served. Especially in southern Italy, the meal evolved into a grand dinner with a tradition of serving seven different types of fish dishes. Many homes got around thi by making variations of a fish soup called cioppino or brodetto, in which seven, or less, types of fish or crustaceans were served in one pot!
For our Pranzo di Natale, Christmas Dinner, we encourage our members to bring as a side dish, a fish entry that may be traditional to your region or one of your choosing. I will bring baccala Triestino, made with muck maligned famous salt cod! Rina Piga will bring Brodetto and polenta. Check on the internet for information about la Festa dei Sette Pesci, and try one of the recipes……it will be fun to try some of these traditional dishes.
See you on the 10th of December. And….email or call me if you wish to volunteer to help with the event or have any question about it.
When Italy’s Mussolini’s aspiration for an empire in Africa ended with the collapse in Tunisia of the Italian Army in World War II; some of the country’s soldiers were sent to POW Camps in the United States. Camp Atterbury, in Indiana, received 767 Italian POWs in 1943. In less than a year, lifelong friendships, memories, and respect were built between the two cultures. Built by the POWs, the Chapel in the Meadow endures as a testament to the commonality of man in faith, charity and community.