For young Taylor Taglianetti, founder of the National Organization of Italian Americans in Film and Television (NOIAFT), her many encounters with the generosity of the Italian American community have made her life’s work about paying it forward. This week, we sit down with Taylor to discover how this philosophy drove her to found a new, booming organization for professional Italian Americans in the film and television industry.
Taylor tells us about how NOIAFT works to provide its members with the opportunity to network both in-person and virtually, and how her participation in the National Italian American Foundation’s Voyage of Discovery, and the scholarships and grants she has received from the Columbus Citizens Foundation and the NIAF-ISDA Russo Brothers Film Forum have led her to create this organization as a way to give back to the Italian American community at large. She also talks about how social media has helped her to develop a virtual web of Italian Americans who all share the same passion to preserve their heritage and why preserving these stories is vital to the survival of our cultural traditions.
We talk about how the next generation of Italian American leaders are emerging in places and ways prior generations could never have dreamed of, how storytelling helps forge cross-generational bonds and how the transmission of these stories to different generations has evolved through the technological revolution from oral histories to the cinematic and digital works that so many of us look to as reference points of the Italian American experience, and why now, more than ever, is the time for us to take ownership of how and where our story is told!
Finally, we’ll talk about how the Internet can help us connect with long-lost family members in ways that defy imagination and how our Italian American famiglia is often just a few short clicks away.
Join in on this insightful conversation, and then join NOIAFT as part of your National Italian American Heritage Month activities!