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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

    • 27 Oct 2018
    • 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis MN 55403

    SAVE THE DATE: Oct. 27th !
    Famed Italian theater company

    We are proud to announce the 1st edition of Italian Theater in the Twin Cities, with The Great Duel Between Orlando and Rinaldo for the Beautiful Angelica’s Sake, a unique performance 
    by the famed Italian company Associazione Figli d'Arte Cuticchio on Saturday, October 27, 7:30 PM, at the Illusion Theater in Minneapolis.

    This is a rare opportunity to see a performance of the Sicilian Opera dei Pupi, led by master puppeteer Mimmo Cuticchio, outside of Italy.  An understanding of the Italian language is not required to enjoy this amazing show. 

    Opera dei Pupi (“pupi” means puppets in Italian) represents a unique example of the Italian theatrical tradition showcasing one of the most important artists of the contemporary Italian stage.

    Mimmo Cuticchio
    Opera dei Pupi has been seen around the world — across Europe, Australia, Japan, and Indonesia and to San Francisco in 2010 and 2015.

    His theater also inspired a film documentary directed by American actor John Turturro and Roman Paska. The Opera dei Pupi is included in the UNESCO Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. 

    This 1st edition of Italian Theater in the Twin Cities is part of "Italian Excellence in Arts and Sciences", a new series of cultural events and lectures curated by Francesca Bortoletti and organized by the Italian Cultural Center. 

    This first edition is made possible by the support of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Chicago, and by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

    Mark your calendars, more soon!





    • 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

21 Jun 2018 SOLD OUT ... again! Aperitivo and cards. The Italian way. ES18
07 Jun 2018 SOLD OUT! Searching for Bits and Pieces of Italy at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. ES18
29 Apr 2018 Make & Take Class: Ravioli di Spinaci e Ricotta. ES18
19 Apr 2018 NEW! Italian Excellence in Arts & Sciences. Inaugural Lecture. ES18
12 Apr 2018 SOLD OUT! It's back! Aperitivo and cards. The Italian way. ES18
12 Apr 2018 Happening in the Community: free screening of "Io Sono Li", 2011 Italian drama movie
08 Apr 2018 SOLD OUT! - Make & Take Class: Gnocchi. ES18
25 Mar 2018 SOLD OUT! Make & Take Class: Gnocchi. ES18
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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