Italian American Heritage Society of Chicago
The enduring "Bella Ciao"
“Bella Ciao” is the kind of song that can be in the soundtrack of a child’s life and they are never even aware of it. The old Italian folk song, which had its origins in the brutal work conditions of the mondine (pictured above) transformed into a song of resistance as Italians fought off the Fascist Party. It later spread worldwide and has become representative of struggles everywhere. READ MORE
Educator and IAHSC member David Stieber presents some of the arguments against celebrating Columbus (image from Vox)
A shero for us all
Helen Cirese's fight for the forgotten
The primacy of culture
America is in a season of rage, seemingly boundless and beyond control. Its leaders could learn from those among its citizens who are the children of an older culture, one with some experience in managing diverse ethnic communities and conflict: The Italian Americans. READ MORE
Our work continues
Although this organization began as an act of allyship supporting the phasing out of the honors for Columbus, we are a voice for broader and positive cultural presence as well. Please consider these new offerings as a reflection of the true diversity of our heritage and culture, a hidden potential revealed.
No to Balbo? Join the Commission!
We are dedicated to reinventing the image of Italians in Chicago. That means Balbo has to go. The honoring of Italo Balbo was a dark period in Chicago history. His monument must be removed from the Lakefront. READ MORE
Share your history
Italian American culture is you, far more than any parade or postage stamp. We want our community to celebrate our own lives through sharing the stories of our lives. This website includes a repository of the artifacts of our lives: images, videos, recipes, memories and more! CONTINUE
Italian and in Chicago
TELL US ABOUT YOUR EVENTS – Please email email@example.com with any events you have planned – or ideas for events. This society depends on your vision to be an authentic reflection of Italian American heritage and culture in Chicago. Be heard!
We stand with our Indigenous brothers and sisters: No more Columbus!
In the seven months since we opened our doors, we have witnessed three remarkable achievements. The first was the elimination of Christopher Columbus Day from the Chicago Public Schools calendar. The second was the removal of the three public Columbus statues in Chicago. And the third is you.
Italian Americans and friends to our culture have raised our voices together to say no to Columbus in a way that never got as much attention or been as impactful as it is today. We have asserted a new way forward for Italian Americans in public life, and it has been well received. We have enjoyed coverage across the local TV news networks and in newspapers across the country. We have even debated the stodgy, pro-Columbus Joint Civic Committee for Italian Americans on WTTW. The voice of Italian Americans that sees a world of Italian culture that is honest with itself and mindful of our universal obligations is emerging.
We welcome you to this website, which is still a work in progress, and invite you to join our Society. We welcome all friends to Italian culture. Our table is large, and you have a seat at it if you like!
Join the Society
Membership is free, and you will be on the ground floor of building a whole new view of who Italian Americans are in the city and ultimately across the country. We will provide as many cultural opportunities as our membership size allows, so please get on board and join us in dialogue about how we can live as Italian Americans in this most American city!