The Vermont Italian Cultural Association (VICA) celebrated its 40th Anniversary with a Gala and silent auction to benefit the Scholarships and Grants Program on April 15th at The Essex Resort & Spa in Essex Junction. Over 160 people attended including guest of honor, Arnaldo Minuti, the Consul General of Italy in Boston who was joined by Professor Ivana Marroncelli, Director of Education at the Consulate. The silent auction raised nearly $8,000 for the Vermont Italian Cultural Association’s Scholarships and Grants program. All photos EatonPhoto.com
Participating in the gala program were the 2022 VICA grant recipients. Baritone Nicholas Tocci, Associate Director of Barn Opera in Brandon, received a grant to participate in an opera intensive in Tuscany in the summer of 2022. At the gala he performed arias from Italian operas including Don Pasquale by Gaetano Donizetti and Verdi’s La Traviata. Samantha Aikman, a 2022 graduate of the Big Picture Program at South Burlington High School, was featured virtually for a presentation of her video poem, Sole Estivo which she wrote and produced following a two-week trip to Italy.
One of VICA’s co-founders, ninety-three-year-old Dr. William Tortolano was also in attendance. He spoke to the attendees and reminisced about growing up with Italian traditions and the importance of keeping Italian culture vibrant.