By Tom Cesarini | Little Italy Heritage
Among the many contributions Italians have made in the areas of art, science, fashion, food, and a host of other categories, is also the vital emphasis placed on the sharing of bounty with the broader community.
In San Diego’s Italian community, we are witness to this through the many Italian community groups and the collective opportunities they provide. Yet the local Italians have lacked a significant home in which to break bread — a space to serve as common ground — and a place through which to celebrate all things Italian, promote the richness of the culture, and preserve the Italian historical narrative of San Diego.
Working in conjunction with the Little Italy Association, Convivio, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing Italian cultural identity, will establish a cultural center in Little Italy — Amici House — in Amici Park near Date and Union streets.
With an opening scheduled for mid-November, the historical home that will be transformed into Amici House is situated near Washington Elementary School, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, and the upcoming Piazza della Famiglia. Amici House will add an important cultural and social element to this hub of activity in the neighborhood.
Once opened, here you can learn about our multifaceted programming, enjoy complimentary coffee, browse through books, explore the history of Little Italy through historical photos, see a film, listen to some music, take an Italian course, join in an event, make new friends and simply, indulge in la dolce vita.
As an important stepping stone in the overall Convivio vision, Amici House will be a place to learn about our goal of establishing a large-scale cultural center in San Diego by 2019 — the Convivio Center — which will include performance space, an archives and museum, gallery space, a café, and a media library.
The Convivio Center will also represent a unifying element for the local Italian community; serving as a catalyst for the collaboration of all the numerous Italian groups working independently for a similar cause, the center will help these organizations to share vital resources and increase their collective impact.
Amici House will also serve as an intimate space for your next event — ideal for film screenings, mixers, music events, lectures and workshops, and other social and educational events. Join in one of our events or host your own.
We hope to see you for our grand opening.
— Tom Cesarini is the executive director of Convivio. Reach him at email@example.com.