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AIHA Contact History Museum
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The American Italian Heritage Museum &
The American Italian Heritage Association

1227 Central Ave. Albany, NY 12205
518.435.1979 |

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Last summer my wife and I visited Barre, VT which proclaims itself as the “Granite Center of the World”. In 1914, almost one-quarter of the town’s population was Italian. Skilled stone-cutters and quarrymen from northern Italy settled in Barre in the 1890’s where their mark was left, still to be found in the stone creations, architecture and former institutions. The municipal population count is presently around 9,000 people. As it stands today there is no longer an active Italian American community other than what is listed here and gleaned from the information I could gather. How sad! The legacy in stone is beautiful but I had hoped I would find our Italian culture present and vibrant. I am now even more convinced that organizations like ours are needed in order to keep alive our Italian heritage and culture.

Regarding maintenance to our property, we were made aware that the chimney on the museum needs to be repaired at an estimated cost of approximately $3,000. It will take the equivalent of 120 membership dues payments just to pay that one bill. A friend of mine pronounced that I am very happy that things are going so well since I had not mentioned the subject of money in a long time. I know people don’t like to hear about financial concerns so I have recently tried hard not to mention such things. However, it is still an issue because our low membership dues amount cannot keep up with ever-increasing expenses. Thankfully, we are still in the black, only made possible by numerous fundraisers which are carried out by a handful of members. Needless to say, this is very exhausting, even to dedicated and hardworking individuals.

This being my 39th year as your President I have begun to reflect that my time is limited. I am trying my best to insure that our museum has a bright future, but it goes without saying that I need your help. Please become a volunteer, support our fundraisers and recruit new members. As always, my sincere thanks go out to all of you who are already doing whatever possible to maintain our status.

On a happy note I received a letter from a local Italian American organization’s President in which he stated that our museum is a treasure. More importantly, his organization plans on working with us in carrying out our mission. I have received a number of messages from across the United States thanking us for all the great work we are doing to preserve our Italian heritage. So many people have told me that they don’t have anything comparable to our Association & Museum where they reside and wish they lived in the area in order to take advantage of our many offerings. More importantly, it sounds as if they would also be willing to volunteer! I often tell them any manner of support they can give is most appreciated. It sure is uplifting to receive letters from around the country stating how much they enjoy our newsletter. Please take notice of the page in each issue of our newsletter that lists all the people who have become new members in the months before publication.

An obvious but no less important fact is that our future greatly depends on the next generation. We need your help to inform them of the value of their Italian heritage and culture. Do you have any ideas how we might do that? Are you willing to help? You are needed now more than ever!

We serve our community and connect you to your Italian heritage, to people, places, things and culture that enrich your life. We work very hard to unite you to the Italian American experience. Our organization is a pillar that helps ensure the continuity of our Italian heritage and culture in the United States. Its connectivity, indeed its survival, depends on each of us and we strongly encourage you to become involved. Your membership in the AIHA&M means that you are investing in the future. Keep in mind that with your support we are the liaisons to the heritage and culture of our ancestors. Invite family and friends to join so that they, too, may have the opportunity to support the many events on our calendar.

Again, to all of you who encourage us in so many ways to carry out our vital mission: thank you!

Prof./Cav. Philip J. DiNovo



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