Italian American Museum of Cleveland IamCle

Italian American Museum of Cleveland IamCle Through world-class exhibits, immersive programs and 21st-century collaboration, the Italian American

Photos from this morning's wonderful workshop on writing your family stories with Annette Januzzi Wick. Participants dis...
10/21/2023

Photos from this morning's wonderful workshop on writing your family stories with Annette Januzzi Wick. Participants discussed Italian heritage and shared personal stories. Thought-provoking prompts helped participants write about their family history.

Congratulations Franco!!
10/12/2023

Congratulations Franco!!

Congratulations to 2023 Italian American Heritage Month Honoree for Culture

FRANCO MADDAMMA

Franco Maddamma was born on January 1, 1944, in Avezzano, Italy, near his ancestral home of Barrea, Abruzzo. At age 16, he arrived in Cleveland with his father taking the transatlantic trip aboard the USS Constitution. As a skilled bricklayer by day and employee of United Airlines in the evening, he supported his wife, Vincenza, and three children, Dino (1966), Lina (1968), and Angela (1977).

In 1973, encouraged by his Father-in-Law Luigi DeBenedictis (former president of the Home Family Club), Franco became a member of the club in Cleveland’s Fulton-Clark neighborhood. He enjoyed all of the activities the club had to offer, but most importantly keeping the Italian traditions and brotherhood alive within the community. He was quickly installed as Treasurer to help manage the clubhouse, hall, two apartments, commercial storefront, and a separate garage. The rental income essentially paid the expenses. In 1997, a developer for the Rite Aid drugstores offered the club $255,000 for the two parcels. Along with 39 members, they pledged to finance and build a new location into a much larger capacity. The search took three years, resulting in the purchase of 6450 Pearl Rd., Parma Hts., in front of St John Bosco Parish. The parcel had a brick building housing two commercial storefronts, two apartments, and almost a full acre of buildable land.
Through the efforts of many skilled construction members, a beautiful event center with adjoining indoor Bocce courts was constructed and equipped at a cost of only $645,000. Franco Maddamma, as general contractor, saved the club a small fortune in cost. In the early years of 2001-2008, through the leadership of Joe Giuliano as President and Franco Maddamma as Vice-President membership grew to over 200. In 2008 through 2016, the debt was retired to only $145,000 by President Franco Maddamma. Today the Home Family Club exists on a campus of two parcels and three buildings, worth $1,600,000. Today Franco is retired, traveling yearly on his United Airlines pass to Barrea, and serves on the Board of Trustees.

Happy Columbus Day! Columbus Day began in 1892 when President Benjamin Harrison declared it a national holiday to encour...
10/09/2023

Happy Columbus Day! Columbus Day began in 1892 when President Benjamin Harrison declared it a national holiday to encourage more tolerance of Italian immigrants. Italian Americans had been the subject of much discrimination throughout the late 19th and early 20th century. Columbus Day is now celebrated on the second Monday of October. It is a day to commemorate the achievements of Columbus, a native Italian, and his four separate voyages to the Americas. Also, it is a day to remember the sacrifices of our ancestors in their effort to become members of American society. Below is a photo of Cleveland’s own Columbus statue in Little Italy. You can learn lots about Columbus at our museum!

October is Italian American Heritage Month! This month in particular, we celebrate the culture and incredible achievemen...
10/05/2023

October is Italian American Heritage Month! This month in particular, we celebrate the culture and incredible achievements of Italian Americans throughout our nation’s history. Many great examples of these accomplishments can be seen right here in Cleveland, where our museum strives to preserve the rich Italian American history of the area. 🇮🇹

Congratulazione to Frank Pocci, Cuyahoga County Commissioner of Veterans Affairs!🇮🇹
10/04/2023

Congratulazione to Frank Pocci, Cuyahoga County Commissioner of Veterans Affairs!🇮🇹

Congratulations to 2023 Italian American Heritage Month Honoree
Frank Pocci - Cuyahoga County Commissioner

Frank immigrated to Cleveland from Tuscany, Italy at age 14 in 1958. In 1963, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving as a finance specialist and Italian translator. In 1966, he received a commendation and promotion for translating and preparing the presentation materials for the Chief of Staff of the Italian Army’s (Guido Vedovato) visit to the 4th U.S. Army in Texas.

Following military service, Frank attended college and studied accounting.
Ultimately, he returned to Cleveland and worked for 35 years at Republic/LTV Steel, holding various executive management positions in accounting and finance departments.

In 2003, Frank was appointed as one of five Commissioners of the Cuyahoga County Veterans Service Commission. He is currently serving in his fifth consecutive appointed term and has held every Commission office, including president. For over 20 years, Frank has worked tirelessly to engage veterans through outreach programs and to ensure that veterans and their families receive their benefits.

Frank devotes substantial time to veterans’ organizations and Italian groups. He is the Commander of Italian-American War Veterans (ITAM) Post 34 and the ITAM Adjutant for the State of Ohio. He is also the Finance Officer of AMVETS Post 80, is active in the Catholic War Veterans of Northeast Ohio, American Legion Post 91, Vietnam Veterans of America, and Disabled American Veterans. Frank has been active with the Home Family Club, the North Italian Club, the Southwest Italian Club, and Il Cenacolo, among other Italian groups.

Frank’s life has embodied the concept of serving others. At LTV, Frank voluntarily translated pension documents for Italian retirees. He has helped Cleveland-area Italian Americans with obtaining dual citizenship and served as a volunteer translator for Italians coming to Cleveland. He has assisted Italian doctors coming to work at University Hospitals find housing. Frank contributes to various charities and is an active member of St. Bartholomew parish.

Frank has returned to Italy more than 30 times. Currently, he is helping teach Italian to his two grandsons, Dante and Domenic.

Congratulations to Angelo Petitti and Petitti Garden Centers!
09/30/2023

Congratulations to Angelo Petitti and Petitti Garden Centers!

The 2023 Cleveland Italian American Heritage Month Honoree for Business is Petitti Garden Centers, founded by Angelo Petitti, Sr.

Angelo Petitti immigrated to the United States in 1963 at age 16 from Faeto, a small mountain village with a population of 600 in southeast Italy. For 3 years, he worked at Pick-n-Pay Supermarket and as a busboy to support himself while attending Kent State University night classes to study political science. Angelo also leveraged his innate sense of the land to do part-time landscaping and, eventually, his interest in horticulture became his full-time passion.

In 1966, Angelo started Petitti Landscape Company. His brother, Domenico, joined him and they bought an oversized garage in 1969 in Oakwood Village to store their trucks, landscape equipment, and plant material. Soon, passersby began to visit, inquiring about the plants, and the brothers found themselves a complementary business.

On the site of the old garage, Angelo Petitti opened the first Petitti Garden Center building on Thursday, April 15, 1971 in Oakwood Village, and a Northeast Ohio tradition was born.
In 1975, Angelo married Maria, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1966 from the same small town. She became active in administration of the business and put her photography talents to work, using the plant photographs she snapped to create helpful plant signage for customers. Soon, A.J., Andria, and Lisa were born, and the business became a family affair.

In the 1980s, the business began expanding to include more locations. This is also when the Gardening with Angelo radio show hit the local airwaves with a goal of sharing knowledge to support gardeners’ success. Decades later, Angelo’s 1-hour radio show continues to broadcast on Saturday mornings from March-October on WTAM 1100. Listeners tune in for timely lawn & garden advice and to have their questions answered on-air.

Today, the business Angelo Petitti seeded in a small garage in Oakwood Village has blossomed into a beloved Northeast Ohio brand with 9 year-round locations serving the Greater Cleveland, Akron-Canton, and Youngstown communities. The brand aims to deliver the highest quality, best selection, most exceptional service, and the most beautiful garden shopping experience in Northeast Ohio. But to sum it up, as Angelo once said, “When I see people enjoying their day at the garden center, that is the thing that I enjoy. To me, that is the goal.”

Museum is closed to the public today, but we are busy with 2 film crews. One is helping IAMCLE to create a film in partn...
09/26/2023

Museum is closed to the public today, but we are busy with 2 film crews. One is helping IAMCLE to create a film in partnership with the Cleveland Guardians on the history of the Guardians of Traffic statues. The other is an oral history project on Italians in Cleveland.

We served over 1000 meatballs and welcomed over 200 visitors to the museum during yesterday's Little Italy Meatball Craw...
09/25/2023

We served over 1000 meatballs and welcomed over 200 visitors to the museum during yesterday's Little Italy Meatball Crawl fundraiser for Cleveland Montessori! We are grateful to Chef Jim Frank and crew for providing delicious meatballs and great customer service and, most of all, happy to help out a neighboring institution!

The museum is open during The Little Italy CLE Meatball Crawl today, Noon-4p! Thanks to Chef Jim Frank, we will be servi...
09/24/2023

The museum is open during The Little Italy CLE Meatball Crawl today, Noon-4p! Thanks to Chef Jim Frank, we will be serving delicious meatballs. And if you want to take a Meatball Buddy home we have plenty for sale in the museum.

According to this report, 6.04% of the population of Ohio is Italian American. About 709,661 people.
09/11/2023

According to this report, 6.04% of the population of Ohio is Italian American. About 709,661 people.

Italian Americans are most densely concentrated in the northeastern region of the United States. Connecticut has the highest percentage of Italian Americans with 16.1%, followed by Rhode Island with 15.5% and New Jersey with 14.6%. These states also have some of the highest total numbers of Italian....

A Frank Sinatra selfie!!
08/29/2023

A Frank Sinatra selfie!!

From the Italian Enclaves. Looks like selfies aren’t something created by social media. In The Italian Enclave of Hoboken NJ future superstar FRANCIS ALBERT SINATRA took this selfie in his apartment in Hoboken in 1938. Great enclave history. Credit to Old Hollywood Fb page.

08/19/2023
Lots to do and see at IAMCLE!  Check out our latest newsletter:
08/16/2023

Lots to do and see at IAMCLE! Check out our latest newsletter:

Lots to do and see at IAMCLE! Explore Italy: Regional Cuisine, Culture, and Language Classes First Class - Aug 26, 2023 The next series of classes: Explore Italy: Regional Cuisine, Culture, and Langua

08/14/2023

Visit IAMCLE tonight while at The Feast and enjoy the beautiful sounds of the cello while viewing exhibits. Many thanks to James Corbo for playing in the museum tonight!

08/14/2023

From the Italian Enclaves. 1939. Little Italy Cleveland Ohio. The Laurienzo a family in their store. Pic sent in by the grandson and Page member Nicholas Geraci. Wonderful pic and memory.

IAMCLE was very happy that Sr. Maria DiLillo, a Filippini sister from St. Anthony's Church in Youngstown, Ohio, visited ...
08/14/2023

IAMCLE was very happy that Sr. Maria DiLillo, a Filippini sister from St. Anthony's Church in Youngstown, Ohio, visited yeseterday! She grew up on Murray Hill Road in Cleveland's Little Italy and was inspired to become a Filippini in 1956 by the sisters who taught at Holy Rosary School. Here she is next to our small exhibit on the Filippinis!

08/13/2023

View from IAMCLE of the 124th Feast of the Assumption. Buona Festa a tutti! 🇮🇹🇺🇲🇮🇹🇺🇲

IAMCLE is open during The Feast!  So after you grab your slice from the booth out front, find the path to the left of th...
08/11/2023

IAMCLE is open during The Feast! So after you grab your slice from the booth out front, find the path to the left of the booth. It will lead you to the museum where you can enjoy a little quiet and learn the history of Italian Americans in NEO.

Hours: Sat Aug 12-Mon Aug 14=Noon-8p; Tues Aug 15=10a-6p. Buona Festa!

As we eagerly anticipate the 124th annual Feast of the Assumption hosted by Holy Rosary Catholic Church taking place Aug...
08/11/2023

As we eagerly anticipate the 124th annual Feast of the Assumption hosted by Holy Rosary Catholic Church taking place Aug 12-15th, here are a few photos of past celebrations.

Photos courtesy of the special collections at Michael Schwartz Library of Cleveland State University.

Newly installed sign by Destination Cleveland helps visitors find their way around Little Italy and to IAMCLE!
08/06/2023

Newly installed sign by Destination Cleveland helps visitors find their way around Little Italy and to IAMCLE!

The museum is open this weekend during the Little Italy Art Walk. Come see the special display of art work of the Guardi...
06/02/2023

The museum is open this weekend during the Little Italy Art Walk. Come see the special display of art work of the Guardians of Traffic created by the talented 4th and 5th graders at Cleveland Montessori. IAMCLE is open Fri 5-9p, Sat 1-9p, Sun Noon-5p.

Due to scheduling issues, IAMCLE will be closed to the public on Friday May 12.  The museum will reopen Wednesday May 17...
05/10/2023

Due to scheduling issues, IAMCLE will be closed to the public on Friday May 12. The museum will reopen Wednesday May 17 at 2p. Mi dispiace for any inconvenience!

Last night, IAMCLE hosted a private meeting of the Italian cultural group Il Cenacolo Italiano di Cleveland. During thei...
04/11/2023

Last night, IAMCLE hosted a private meeting of the Italian cultural group Il Cenacolo Italiano di Cleveland. During their meeting, Il Cenacolo awarded scholarships to students in Italian studies and listened to Robin VanLear, coordinator of community art at the Cleveland Museum of Art, talk about I Maddonari, Italian street painters. If your group would like to rent the museum for a meeting, contact us at [email protected]

Sold out Explore Italy class today with Dr. Paola Basile on the Italian region of Molise. After the talk, attendees got ...
04/01/2023

Sold out Explore Italy class today with Dr. Paola Basile on the Italian region of Molise. After the talk, attendees got to sample some foods and wine from Molise, including capicola and cacciocavallo cheese and Tintillo and Ciro reds. The next class is in 2 weeks and features Tuscany.

A branch of the Cleveland Public Library was located in the Alta House in Cleveland's Little Italy in the 20th century. ...
03/27/2023

A branch of the Cleveland Public Library was located in the Alta House in Cleveland's Little Italy in the 20th century. Here is a brief history of the Alta Library Branch from the archives of the Cleveland Public Library.

Well-deserved honor for Italian American children's book author and illustrator Tomie dePaola!  His books are a great wa...
03/23/2023

Well-deserved honor for Italian American children's book author and illustrator Tomie dePaola! His books are a great way to teach young children about Italian culture and heritage.

The longtime New Hampshire resident sold nearly 25 million copies of his books.

We had a wonderful program today about the history and traditions of St. Joseph's Day!🇮🇹 Thanks to everyone who braved t...
03/19/2023

We had a wonderful program today about the history and traditions of St. Joseph's Day!🇮🇹 Thanks to everyone who braved the snowy roads to join us! All who attended got to enjoy our homemade cinnamon and sugar sfingi. 😋

We remember and honor the lives of the 11 Italian immigrants who were viciously lynched in New Orleans on this date in 1...
03/14/2023

We remember and honor the lives of the 11 Italian immigrants who were viciously lynched in New Orleans on this date in 1891. They were held in suspicion of the murder of the city's chief of police. None were found guilty, but hate got the better of the mob who gathered outside the jail. Riposa in pace. #1891

Great article about Italian American food and culture in Cleveland by Vince Guerrieri
01/25/2023

Great article about Italian American food and culture in Cleveland by Vince Guerrieri

In the 50 years from 1870 to 1920, it’s estimated that more than 20,000 Italian immigrants ended up in Cleveland.

Museum will be open MLK Day! Also open Thurs/Fri this coming week.
01/15/2023

Museum will be open MLK Day! Also open Thurs/Fri this coming week.

Visit IAMCLE this weekend during the Little Italy Art Walk! Learn some history and pick up a unique gift for someone on ...
12/02/2022

Visit IAMCLE this weekend during the Little Italy Art Walk! Learn some history and pick up a unique gift for someone on your list. Just in are these super cute Spaghetti and Meatball Buddies! Great stocking stuffer!

09/19/2022
08/24/2022

Today marks the 95th anniversary of the ex*****on of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. Charged with the first-degree murder of a guard and paymaster during the robbery of a shoe company, Sacco and Vanzetti were convicted in 1921 and sentenced to death by the trial judge. The trial, which resulted in worldwide protests, is widely understood to have been incredibly biased with anti-Italian, anti-immigrant, and anti-anarchist influences rampant.

Everyone is enjoying our new digital display of historic Little Italy photos... especially the bambini! We are open unti...
08/14/2022

Everyone is enjoying our new digital display of historic Little Italy photos... especially the bambini! We are open until 8p!

The Feast of the Assumption is underway! This is the view from the museum last night. Big crowds and more expected throu...
08/13/2022

The Feast of the Assumption is underway! This is the view from the museum last night. Big crowds and more expected through Monday. IAMCLE is open from Noon-8p today. Look for our street sign and make your way behind the food stand to visit!

IAMCLE will be open during The Feast of the Assumption!  Check our website for the special hours www.iamcle.org.  When y...
08/08/2022

IAMCLE will be open during The Feast of the Assumption! Check our website for the special hours www.iamcle.org. When you visit the museum, you will be able to see the Feast Star on the balcony above the entrance. The Star is an historic decoration from Feast celebrations in the 1980s. Over 30 stars hung over Mayfield Road during that time. Here are photos from then and now!

07/20/2022

Five Italian men were lynched beside the Mississippi River in Tallulah, La., on July 20, 1899.

The victims, who owned grocery stores in town, were seized by a mob of local residents and publicly hanged. The men honored are Giuseppe Di Fatta, Francesco Di Fatta, Pasquale Di Fatta, Giovanni Cerami and Rosario Fiduccia. Three of the men were brothers and all were related.

On Friday, March 19, 2021, a Mississippi State Historical Marker was dedicated at their burial site at the Cedar Hill Cemetery in Vicksburg, Miss.

Antoinette Fatta Helton, Linda Fatta Ott, and Deborah Helton Flores — descendants of Giuseppe Di Fatta — sponsored the Historical Marker to ensure the men will never be forgotten.

(Photo credit: Charles Marsala)

https://orderisda.org/culture/news/italian-family-members-lynched-in-louisiana-honored-with-historical-marker/

Packed house for today's program on Italian Immigrant Gardens 🍅🥒🌶 by Pamela Dorazio Dean! If you'd like to receive notic...
07/10/2022

Packed house for today's program on Italian Immigrant Gardens 🍅🥒🌶 by Pamela Dorazio Dean! If you'd like to receive notices of programs and events, please sign up at www.iamcle.org

Address

12111 Mayfield Road
Cleveland, OH
44106

Opening Hours

Thursday 1pm - 5:30pm
Friday 1pm - 5:30pm
Saturday 1pm - 5:30pm
Sunday 10am - 2pm

Telephone

+12164176474

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