At its recent annual luncheon in New York, the National Organization of Italian American Women recognized three dynamic leading ladies of the entertainment industry.
Among the honorees were Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning actress Patti LuPone, Broadway Stages, Ltd President and CEO Gina Argento, and Cherry Lane Theater Executive Director and co-founder of the mentoring Cherry Lane, Angelina Fiordellisi.
The trio have been recognized for their professional accomplishments and their contributions to the Italian-American community as role models for the next generation. As Donna Chirico, luncheon chair and secretary of NOIAW, confessed:
“NOIAW honorees Patti LuPone, Angelina Fiordellisi and Gina Argento publicly exemplify the accomplishments of Italian-American women, but we know that the accomplishments among NOIAW members are remarkable across the board and, in many cases, against any expectation.”
While accepting her award, Patti LuPone mentioned how her heritage led her to her profession:
“When I think about it, my Italian ancestry has shaped not only my ability to navigate the sometimes-treacherous waters of show business at times, but every character I’ve played,” Ms. LuPone said.
“I’ve always thought that being Italian like having access to my emotional life is why my profession chose me, rather than the other way around.”
Since its founding in 1980, NOIAW has thrived in fulfilling its mission to inspire, empower and connect women through shared Italian heritage and culture. While its mission has remained unwavering, its membership, programs and accomplishments have expanded and touched many, especially with the introduction of virtual programming during COVID.
This year’s program theme lifted the curtain on NOIAW’s “act two” as the organization emerged from pandemic lockdown and resumed in-person events.
The excitement of returning to live programs was palpable in the crowd of 200 guests. As this year’s Friend of NOIAW, the gracious Angelina Fiordellisi said in her remarks, one could feel the “collective heart, spirit and spirit” in the room. It is because it is the members and supporters of NOIAW who allow us to fulfill our mission as defenders of women of Italian descent.”
Completing the “Trinity” of leading ladies, Gina Argento explained how her family business, which began around the same time as the founding of NOIAW, feels responsible for carrying out the values and traditions of their Italian heritage. in the business. world:
“I’m privileged not only to be Italian-American, but also to be part of New York’s thriving film and television industry,” Ms. Argento said.
“As a family business founded almost 40 years ago, we understand the role we play in representing our heritage. From the beginning, our business philosophy has been based on principle, tradition and community orientation; characteristics common to our Italian heritage.”
NOIAW also presented seven scholarships to deserving young Italian-American women to pursue higher education at seven different prestigious colleges, law schools, and universities.
Recent past winners have included: Adriana Trigiani, best-selling author and filmmaker; Brenda Vaccaro, award-winning actress; NYC Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo, CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota and restaurateur, chef and cookbook author Lidia Bastianich.
To join NOIAW and learn more about this thriving nonprofit, visit www.NOIAW.org or call the office at 212-642-2003.