For many Italian Americans, the start of summer means the start of “Feast Season,” but the summer of social distancing looks like it’s also destined to be the “summer of no feasts”… or is it?
In this week’s episode, our team discusses how the current COVID-19 crisis has affected the most tangible representation of the Italian American community at large—our feasts. Yet, while most feasts have already been either cancelled or postponed this year, we are proudly unveiling a new project designed to celebrate these special events while they are on hiatus, and sharing them with our paesani around the world this year and for many years to come.
Our “Italian American Virtual Feasts” project is a partnership with the Italian Sons and Daughters of America, in which our ultimate goal is to create a virtual museum where these feasts’ unique histories are cataloged and celebrated for all to experience across crowdsourcing of photos, videos, and other archival materials. Via an interactive map, we’re also hoping to show just how strongly Italian American culture has permeated our great nation.
As you’ll hear in this week’s episode, Italian American feasts are a combination of social event, religious observance, and cultural celebration. While this year’s feasts may look a little different, it is our hope that this new and exciting adventure helps fill the void created by COVID-19 and brings these events to a wider audience this year and for generations to come.
Do you know of a feast that we should include, or have some contributions that would make our project great? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we could include your contributions in this unique digital experience!