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Arts & Culture

Italy has a long and deeply rooted artistic tradition. Even in the Neolithic Age, the inhabitants of Italy produced beautiful artefacts. Many influences from different European regions have enriched the country over the centuries and left Italy with what is possibly the largest collection of artistic treasures in the world. While many regions of Italy have developed independently after the fall of the Roman Empire, the Italian Renaissance represents the pinnacle of the art scene. Artists such as Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and later Bernini and Caravaggio have left an unparalleled artistic legacy to humanity.

In modern times, Italian art has expanded its influence and includes interior and fashion designers, music artists and performers whose art has achieved new levels of beauty and sophistication and is admired around the world.

The Italian Cultural Center promotes and supports Italian arts and culture in the Twin Cities. Our partnership with the Walker Art Center, the Minnesota Opera and the Minneapolis Institute of Art is a testament to our continued commitment.

We are proud to bring a variety of interesting cultural events certain to entertain and delight our members and friends. We invite you to sign-up for these events and keep the Italian artistic tradition alive in Minnesota.

Upcoming events

    • 22 Feb 2018
    • 6:00 PM (CST)
    • 25 Feb 2018
    • 11:00 PM (CST)
    • St. Anthony Main Theatre, 115 SE Main St, Minneapolis, MN 55414


    Individual film sponsorships are available for $150. If you sponsor an individual film, your name / organization will be listed on the website and in the festival program alongside the film. You will also receive two tickets to the film. For more information on this year’s films, please contact Michelle Baroody ( or Peggy Hansen (

    Italian Film Festival

    2018 Sponsorship Package

    Dear Members & Friends of the Italian Cultural Center,

    We are thrilled to announce the 10th anniversary of the Italian Film Festival of Minneapolis-St. Paul  (IFF). Organized by the Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis-St. Paul in partnership with the Film Society of MSP, this year’s festival opens at St. Anthony Main Theater in Minneapolis on February 22, 2018. Over four days, the IFF will screen the best current Italian cinema from fast-paced Italian comedies to socially-relevant documentaries. Alongside contemporary Italian premieres, the festival showcases Italy’s cinematic history by screening a classic Italian film each year, like Sergio Leone’s breathtaking Western, Once Upon a Time in the West, and Vittorio De Sica’s timeless neorealist masterwork, The Bicycle Thieves.

    This year we commemorate a decade of contemporary Italian cinema in the Twin Cities, and for the first time ever, the IFF will offer two award opportunities for the best short films made by emerging filmmakers working and living in Italy and Minnesota. Filmmakers will submit their films to the IFF and an esteemed panel of jurors will select two—one from Italy and the other made right here in Minnesota. The winners of the “Building Bridges: Emerging Filmmaker Awards,” will visit the festival and have the opportunity to screen their films and discuss their craft. This year’s theme asks filmmakers to consider the relationship between place, memory, history and change. By drawing on personal and collective memory, focusing on significant events in the past or present, considering important or forgotten histories, and/or highlighting the ways that places have changed over time, the IFF’s “Building Bridges” awards encourage filmmakers to find connections between the diverse communities and landscapes that they call home.

    We are committed to our local community and the festival offers an opportunity to give back by creating dialogue between Minnesota and Italy through visual arts. In order to continue doing this important work, we rely on the support of our community partners and sponsors and hope that you will consider playing a sponsorship role. By sponsoring the IFF, your organization will reach our well-established and growing audience as well as our local, national, and international partners. Additionally, your support makes the festival possible, as sponsorships help us cover the event’s many costs including screening fees, filmmaker travel, and community outreach. On the pages that follow, we’ve detailed some of the ways that you can become a sponsor for this year’s IFF, but we also look forward to working with you on your organizations particular interests and goals. Please be in touch with any questions.

    Thank you for your time. We look forward to discussing more soon!

    Michelle Baroody
    Festival Director

    Sponsorship Level



    Produttore Esecutivo





    Assistente di Produzione




    Aiuto Regista


    VIP party at festival

    Commercial included before each screening

    Sponsor both Building Bridges: Emerging Filmmaker Awards

    Sponsor one Building Bridges: Emerging Filmmaker Awards

    Company logo on poster and mention in festival advertisement and press

    Opportunity to introduce opening night film

    Still ad included in festival pre-reel before each screening

    Recognition in film introductions

    Promotional materials available at the festival

    Reserved seating

    Recognition on social media

    Logo in festival trailer

    Logo appears on IFF website

    Logo appears in printed program

    Winter party tickets*







    Number of festival passes







    *The Italian Film Festival Winter Fundraiser will be held at the Tek Box (528 Hennepin Avenue • Suite 215 • Minneapolis • 55403) on Thursday, February 8, 2018. Therefore, only sponsors who commit to sponsorship before February 1, 2018 will receive tickets to the party. 


    In addition to traditional sponsorships, we also offer a variety of options for organizations and businesses to advertise at the IFF. Advertising space is available in the printed festival program, available before and throughout the festival. There are also opportunities to advertise your business onscreen in the pre-reel that plays before every screening. The cost for each ad is $300 and it should be delivered as a .jpeg or .tiff file.

    Details and specifications bellow.

    Ad Size



    full page


    4.8 in x 7.5 in

    2/3 page


    4.8 in x 4.8 in

    1/3 page


    4.8 in x 2.4 in


                All ads should be delivered ready for print as .pdf or .tiff files.


    There are also opportunities to advertise your business onscreen in the pre-reel that plays before every screening. The cost for each ad is $300 and it should be delivered as a .jpeg or .tiff file.

    *If you’d like to place an ad in the program and pre-reel, please be in touch to discuss details. 



    Produttore di Elite

    Assitente di produzione

    Andrea & Vittorio Raimondi


    Nancy Azzam

    Astrid Garino & Massimo Costalonga
    Brian Balleria & Joan Bechtold

    Aiuto Regista

    Catherine Allan

    James and Denise D'Aurora

    Elizabeth Fletcher

    Jeff Lotz

    Joseph Pingatore

    Nassim and Federico Rossi

    Dominic Sposeto & Kitty Schneider

    Anthony Tedesco

    Individual Film Sponsorship

    Christopher Beaudet

    Joe and Genie Dixon

    Cynthia & Ronald Curran

    Brian and Jesse Fanciulli

    Michael Harlow

    Christine Imbra

    Joan and Rick Naymark

    Luisa O'Gara

    Marco Pavoloni, Honorary Consul to Italy

    Nancy Schaefer, Honorary ICC Board Member

    Systems4Living Architecture

    Contributors and Supporters

    WCCO-TV news anchor Frank Vascellaro

    Epicurean Garden Catering for the Winter Party by Giada Nucera, ICC Board Member

    Punch Pizza

    Arezzo Ristorante
    Common Good Books

    Nonna Rosa's Ristorante Italiano

    For the Live Auction


    passionate cook

    Emily Mellon, traveling massage therapist 

    • 19 Apr 2018
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Minneapolis Institute of Art, Pillsbury Auditorium, 2400 Third Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55404
    • 75

    We proudly announce "Italian Excellence in Arts & Sciences",
    a new series of cultural events and lectures program for 2018-2019 
    curated by Dr. Francesca Bortoletti
    and organized 
    by the Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis / St. Paul.

    In collaboration with key players in arts & culture of the Twin Cities,
    this new series will bring internationally renowned researchers
    and Italian artists to Minnesota


    Inaugural lecture

    "The Aesthetics of Water: How Venice Conquered the World"

    Dr. Patricia Fortini Brown

    Leading specialist in the art of Renaissance Venice
    (Princeton University)

    When we think of Venice, we think of a city in the sea, surrounded by water, as depicted in Jacopo de Barbari’s woodcut map of 1500, one of the treasures in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Art. And yet, before the modern era, the city had no source of fresh water other than the rain from heaven or barges from the mainland. This lecture addresses how Venetians rose to the challenge by creating a unique genre of public art: the Venetian wellhead. It addresses as well a different challenge that came with  the expansion of the Venetian empire: the gift of running water and the need to harness it. Again, the Venetians seized the initiative and created fountains that transformed urban spaces from the Terraferma to the Stato da Mar into places of encounter and aesthetic delight.

    This event, co-presented with the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), will be held at the Pillsbury Auditorium on April 19, 6:30-8:00 PM.
    Dr. Patricia F. Browns' lecture will incorporate important Venetian works from Mia's collection, including Jacopo de’ Barbari’s iconic View of Venice, acquired by the Mia in 2010. 

    Dr. Patricia Fortini Brown is Professor Emerita at Princeton University, where she taught in the Department  of Art & Archaeology (1983-2010) and served as chair (1999 -2005).  Brown was Slade Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Cambridge and served as president of the Renaissance Society of America.  A recipient of the British Academy Serena Medal in Italian Studies, she  has held a number of prestigious fellowships including a Guggenheim Fellowship  and the Rome Prize and presently serves on the Board of Trustees of Save Venice. Brown has published and lectured extensively on the art and history of late medieval and early modern Venice and is presently focusing on its colonial empire. Her award-winning books include 
    Venetian Narrative Painting in the Age of Carpaccio (1988); Venice & Antiquity: The Venetian Sense of the Past (1996); Art and Life in Renaissance Venice (1997); and Private Lives in Renaissance Venice: Art, Architecture, and the Family (2004).  She is now working on a book entitled The Venetian Bride, a true story of vendetta and intrigue, exile and redemption.

    WHEN: Thursday, April 19, 6:30-8:00 PM
    WHERE: Minneapolis Institute of Art (Pillsbury Auditorium), 2400 Third Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55404

    • ICC Members: FREE (Lifetime/Contributing/Corporate levels only)
    • ICC Members: 5 USD
    • Non-Members: 10 USD

    Contact Tiziana, at, with your questions.

    This event is co-presented with:          


    And made possible by the support of:


    • 01 Nov 2018
    • 6:00 AM (CDT)
    • 30 Nov 2018
    • 11:00 PM (CST)
    • Will be announced soon!

    Help us bring Italian Theater 

    to the Twin Cities 


    Master-puppeteer Mimmo Cuticchio

    November 2018

    In 2008 UNESCO proclaimed the Opera dei Pupi a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The theatre has ancient roots in literary masterpieces of the Renaissance – epic medieval European novels that created a unique style of theatre in Sicily at the end of the 19th century. The stories were narrated and sung in the streets of Palermo by storytellers (cuntisti) and subsequently transferred to the theater where the movement of the puppets (Pupi) was added.

    Mimmo Cuticchio renews this century-old theatrical tradition and ensures its legacy. His art nurtures and reinvents the Opera dei Pupi and takes it to new creative directions by infusing the art form with new stories, different theatrical languages, genders and forms of the contemporary theater. Cuticchio takes this Sicilian tradition beyond the geographical borders of Sicily, with appearances in Europe, Indonesia, Japan, Australia and the USA. 

    ICC is eager to bring this artist and art form into the American Midwest for the first time, to share oral literary tradition. The magic of the world he creates delivers profound artistic and human values that belong to Italian history, language, and culture. 

    We have planned a series of performances and meetings for a broad audience and all ages to enjoy in November 2018. We will familiarize the viewers with this form of art through different initiatives occurring before the performances. The audience will thus be prepared to share the experience of an ancient yet alive, new, experimental form of art.

    Some of the main actors of the Twin Cities puppet scene will be actively involved to create a dialogue between the different arts communities and with the ICC’s intention to foster a new and different tradition of puppet theater.

    The stellar artistic reputation of Mimmo Cuticchio and his company, coupled with the uniqueness of his artistic practice, provides ICC an opportunity to expose Twin Cities audiences to this Sicilian art form. The board of ICC has decided that expanding our arts offerings is a good way to expand our activities and highlight important Italian contributions to world culture. While the Twin Cities offers a wide variety of puppetry, Cuticchio’s form is unique and will add to the local dialogue.

    This will be the largest live performance project ICC has undertaken. Bringing such project to a reality requires a great balance of energy, passion but also financial support from our members and community partners. The ICC, as a non-profit organization, has the duty to define strong strategies to help cover the costs.

    We are currently applying for local and Italian grants but also wanted to ask if you would be interested in supporting the project (total budget of $25.000).  

    We have planned different options for you to choose from:

    Tickets for the performance

    An exclusive dinner with Mimmo Cuticchio

    Option A - $5,000


    4 guests

    Option B - $2,500


    2 guests

    Option C - $1,000


    Option D - $500


    Option E - $250




    John Turturro and Mimmo Cuticchio:

    Mimmo Cuticchio and his son Giacomo:

    National Geographic documentary on Mimmo Cuticchio and his company (1984):

    Questions? Contact Tiziana Cervesato, ICC Events & Membership Director, at

Past events

19 Dec 2017 WAITLIST! EF17 Tombola, Panettone & Pandoro. An Italian Holiday Tradition.
07 Dec 2017 EF17 Aperitivo & Cards. Last chance to learn how to play Scopone Scientifico with Luisa & Ileana!
02 Nov 2017 SOLD OUT! EF17 Opera: Le Nozze di Figaro. Presentation and live performance
27 Oct 2017 We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!
12 Oct 2017 EF17 Torneo di Scopone Scientifico / Scopone Tournament (no previous experience needed)
12 Oct 2017 EF17 Meet Zoe Cinel, an Italian Artist from Florence
24 Sep 2017 SOLD OUT! EF17 Make & Take Class: Tagliatelle & Tagliolini
21 Sep 2017 EF17 Wine Tasting: Scrumptious Sangiovese
14 Sep 2017 EF17 Aperitivo and cards. Last session before the GRAN TORNEO! Don't miss it!
06 Sep 2017 EF17 NEW! Italian Higher Education - A Comparative Analysis
12 Jun 2017 Sardinia. The Footstep of the God
21 May 2017 Sebastian Maniscalco: Why Would You Do That? National Tour
18 May 2017 ES17 Preview: the new Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker!
13 May 2017 La Boheme - Discounted tickets for MN Opera La Boheme, Giacomo Puccini
04 May 2017 ES17 SOLD OUT! Mia tours series: Italian Renaissance & Baroque Art Guided Tour
30 Apr 2017 ES17 ONLY ONE SPOT LEFT! Make & Take Class: Ravioli di Spinaci e Ricotta
27 Apr 2017 ES17 IT'S TONIGHT, join us! Aperitivo and cards. The Italian way.
07 Apr 2017 Neorealism’s Casualisation of Labour - Lecture at the UoM with Professor Karl Schoonover
06 Apr 2017 ES17 “By Italians, for Italians”: Italo-American Movie Theatres
06 Apr 2017 The Cinematic Life of Petroleum - Workshop at the UoM with Professor Karl Schoonover
29 Mar 2017 ES17 Music and Mathematics: an Italian Perspective
26 Mar 2017 ES17 Make & Take Class: Gnocchi
20 Mar 2017 IL VOLO: Notte Magica World Tour
16 Mar 2017 Only 1 spot left! EW17 Mia tours series: Ancient Greco-Roman Art Guided Tour
12 Mar 2017 CW17 Festa italiana in pizzeria! Italian Pizza Party for Families
03 Mar 2017 Issues of Translation: published translations of books by noted contemporary Italian writer Antonio Tabucchi
26 Jan 2017 Only 1 spot left! EW17 Aperitivo and cards. The Italian way.
19 Jan 2017 SOLD OUT! EW17 Donna Leon and Venice: The Tale of Two Cities
11 Jan 2017 Cinema! The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
08 Jan 2017 EW17 Viva l'Italia! From our friends of Opera on Tap
01 Dec 2016 EF16 Celebrating the vibrant history of Venice: "Visualizing Sanudo's Diarii. The Multimedia Festival in Renaissance Venice"
13 Nov 2016 EF16 Celebrating the vibrant history of Venice: Special Concert Performance "¡Sacabuche!: Venetia 1500"
11 Nov 2016 CONSORTIUM CARISSIMI: Early Italian Baroque Meets Jazz
01 Nov 2016 Ferrante Night at Moon Palace Books
27 Oct 2016 EF16 Celebrating the vibrant history of Venice: "A Knight of the Italian Renaissance: Pietro Bembo and the Order of Malta"
20 Oct 2016 EF16 Celebrating the vibrant history of Venice: "The Fifteenth-Century Mediterranean: Trade in a Transitional Time"
15 Oct 2016 EF16 Discover the Caponi Art Park
10 Oct 2016 BORDERS (OF THE HUMAN): Naoki Sakai and Sandro Mezzadra: A Winton Chair Cornerstone Event (Oct 10-12, 2016)
19 May 2016 EU16 The Italian Experience in Minnesota - An Overview, Thursday, May 19, 2016
15 May 2016 SOLD OUT! EU16 Make & Take Class:Tagliatelle – Sunday, May 15, 2016
10 Apr 2016 ES16 SOLD OUT! Make & Take Class: Gnocchi – Sunday, April 10th
30 Mar 2016 ES16 Travelogue: A student in Perugia – Pictures and memories
24 Mar 2016 ES16 Giuseppe Garibaldi and the Formation of Italian Identity - Thursday, March 24, 2016
03 Mar 2016 EW16 Italian Heritage: Puccini’s Tosca – Thur. 3/3
11 Feb 2016 EW16 Mia tours series: Italian Modern Art Guided Tour
09 Feb 2016 EW16 Italian Heritage: Carnevale di Venezia - Tuesday, Feb 9
28 Jan 2016 EW16 Mia tours series: Italian Baroque Art Guided Tour
22 Jan 2016 EW16 Wine Tasting series: Wines of Southern Italy
14 Jan 2016 EW16 SOLD OUT! Taste the Regions: Puglia (Apulia)
10 Dec 2015 EF15 SOLD OUT! Mia tours series: Italian Renaissance Art Guided Tour - Thursday, December 10
19 Nov 2015 SOLD OUT! EF15 Mia tours series: Ancient Roman Art Guided Tour
07 Nov 2015 EF15 Make & Take Pasta Class: Ravioli di ricotta & spinaci @ American Swedish Institute
24 Oct 2015 EF15 SOLD OUT! Make & Take Pasta Class: Ravioli di zucca @ Nonna Rosa’s
15 Oct 2015 EF15 Taste the Regions/Cities: Rome, the eternal city - October 15th
05 Oct 2015 RED DESERT (1964) A film by Italian Director Michelangelo Antonioni
19 Aug 2015 ES15 Cocktail Reception at Historic Clifton House
07 Jul 2015 ES15 SOLD OUT! - Symposium - Leonardo Da Vinci: the Scientist, The Inventor, The Artist: Legacy of the Ultimate Renaissance Man.
22 May 2015 Eurochannel Short Films Tour
25 Apr 2015 University of Minnesota Event
24 Apr 2015 EN15 U of M Film, "Refugees in Cinecitta"- Friday, April 24
19 Feb 2015 ENW15 SOLD OUT! Walker Art Center - “Arte Povera” Exhibition Tour for Italian Speakers
03 Jan 2015 Brunello Cucinelli: A humanist enterprise in the world of industry
01 Nov 2014 EF14 Welcome Reception for Isabella Dalla Ragione
30 Oct 2014 EF14 Walker Art Center- Exhibition Tour for Italian Speakers -- Thursday, October 30
24 Oct 2014 FREE Screening – Men of the Cloth – Friday, October 24
The Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization
 528 Hennepin Ave | Minneapolis, MN 55403 | (612) 295-4111 

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