President's Message

Dear Foundation Members and Friends: 

We hope that this letter finds you and your loved ones in good health and good spirits!   In challenging times like this, we’re reminded of how important it is to stay connected to the people and places (like Casa Belvedere) that matter to us most!  Rest assured that from day one of this pause, foundation staff members and I are doing everything we possibly can to adapt, remain strong, and weather the storm! 

Working remotely has allowed us the opportunity to develop creative ways to inspire and uplift our members, program patrons, students, and followers: weekly “Coffee Chat” articles; live “Coffee Chats” with Beatrice; virtual cooking and language classes ; virtual museum tours; fun recipes; promotional offers; tips on things to do with the family while home, and more.

We have had great success with our online presence! 

“My son John loved your class! He had a good time, was learning, and had a lot of fun! He so enjoyed it that he is truly excited about his next experience. Grazie mille!” Dr. Gina 

“My daughter started the Italian classes via zoom today, Miss B was great, my daughter loved it…Grazie!” Tony

“What a great idea, Chef Patrizia is great! So excited for this. Thank you.” Adriane

 “I love this feature (Coffee Chat), keep them coming. Happy to see all of these things from Casa Belvedere, it’s helping me get through!” Claire

Thank you Gina via Beatrice for giving us a wonderful venue to share our passion for Italian Language, History, Culture, Music, Food & Philosophy….We are all appreciative Humanities Teachers!Louis Barrella, Louis Leonini, Anita Sanseverino, Snjezana Smodlaka, Francesco Bonavita, Maria Bonavita

These and many other similar Casa Belvedere accolades have been posted on various social platforms.  The most flattering of all came from NYC’s Department of Cultural Affairs.  They cited Casa Belvedere as an example to other arts and cultural organizations throughout NYC, while also promoting our virtual classes and programs to those groups.

Friends, it’s been a tremendous financial strain to stay relevant at a time when the foundation’s biggest revenue streams (fundraisers, programs, live classes, rent & venue fees) have been cut off.   Though we’ve applied for loans and grants, none of those funds have come through the pipeline yet.

But in times of crises, family comes together and supports the places that anchor our lives and lift us into the future together. Now more than ever, we need your help to continue our good work and to maintain a historically significant, landmark building. 

Please make a minimum donation of $100-$200 today! The funds raised will help us manage fixed costs such as upkeep and maintenance of the building and its grounds, utility bills, insurance, and salaries. 

DONATE NOW

Without generous donors like you, filling the gap of lost revenue would not be possible. Your dedication to Casa Belvedere inspires the staff, and myself, to keep doing what we do best, serve the community!  

Stay safe and well, 

Gina

Saying Good-bye to Another Successful Year and Ringing in 2020!

Dear Friends:

The Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere experienced many exciting happenings this past year.

In early 2019 we welcomed a phenomenal team of restaurateurs to operate The Belvedere Club. Massimo Felici, Ted Nugent and Michael Esposito. “The boys”, as I lovingly refer to them, have brought the club to a whole other level of food, service and ambiance. Visit their new website at www.TheBelvedereClub.net  for more information.

I’m sure many of you have noticed the many, wonderful capital improvements to our Casa, made throughout this past year. With the restoration of our original 112 –year-old roof behind us and the new addition of a 1,800 square foot patio finished, we are now shifting our attention to the upper floors.  Please visit “Casa Restoration Progress” for details on past, present and future brick and mortar improvements and announcements.

How exciting was the filming of Amazon Prime’s Marvelous Mrs. Maisel at the marvelous Casa Belvedere?!  Tune into Season 3, Episode 2 for some unmistakably Casa Belvedere scenes.  And who can forget “Vote Casa!”? I am so appreciative that so many of you not only took the time to vote, but recruited family, friends and colleagues to bring us to victory.  It was very touching to see our members and community, come together to support our continued efforts. It’s thanks to you that we won! The newsletter’s Historic Preservation link has for more information on this significant win!

June marked our first “Taste of Italy Bocce Fest”, and September our signature Motori & Festa D’Italia (Italian Luxury Car Show and Festival). Both were fun-filled, memorable and successful events.  I would like to thank the committee chairs and committee members of each event.  Without their dedication and hard work these signature fundraising events would not be possible.  Please consider joining our 2020 special event committees to lend your support. If you are interested in helping out, email sue@casa-belvedere.org.  

A special thanks to members Roy and Linda Raineri, and Sal Basso for their tremendous efforts to build the bocce courts, solicit sponsors and garner participation to make Taste of Italy Bocce Fest such a success. I would also like to extend a special thanks to Matt Ligotti, Mike Pucciarelli, and Paul Dapolito,III for their hard work and dedication towards Motori & Festa D’Italia’s success.

Throughout 2019, we serviced our members and community by bringing you exceptional cultural programs.  Check out our “2019 Year in Review”, highlighting movie nights under the stars, festivals, arts, cultural and educational programs and other special events throughout the year.   Also see our “Italian Traditions” section for some traditions that are sure to bring back some fond memories.

2020 will bring further expansion of our programs, so if you have a proposal for a new program, please email our Program Director, Beatrice Alecci at Beatrice@casa-belvedere.org.

I’m very grateful to our Board members, benefactors, patrons and founding charter members. Each of you plays an integral role in the continued success and growth of Casa Belvedere.  But I’d also like to take this opportunity to appeal to you for your help to complete the building’s restoration. 

If you are in the building industry, or a contractor in any of the trades, in-kind donations of goods and services are welcomed. Please contact Director of Operations, James Paone at James@casa-belvedere.org to discuss further. 

With your help, I am hopeful that we can bring the building’s decade of restoration to completion. It’s time to get to the next level of fulfilling our mission: “Preserving the Past, Enriching the Future”. 

Wishing you and your loved ones many continued blessings in 2020!

With a grateful heart, 

Gina

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Executive Officers/Members

Gina Biancardi, President (2009)
Founder & President, Casa Belvedere, The Italian Cultural Foundation

John Profaci, Sr., Chairman (2009)
Founder/Chairman Emeritus, Colavita USA

Michael Pucciarelli, Vice-Chairman (2010) Retired Coffee Executive

Salvatore F. Calcagno, Esq., Vice President (2014)
Associate Attorney, Menicucci, Villa, Cilmi PLLC

Tanya Dalmazio, Treasurer (2009)
CFO, DAL Realty & DAL Management

Luciano Rammairone, Secretary (2009) Chairman and President, The CollegeBound Network

Colleen Kelleher-Sorrentino (2014)
Managing Director, Wall Street Access

Members

Robert Cutrona, Sr. (2017)
Owner, Project One Management

Nicholas J. D'Amato (2017)
Owner, JBL Construction & D'Amato Brothers

Mark D’Andrea (2014)
Developer & Owner, Iron Horse Mgmt & RoadHouse Restaurant

Frank Naso (2013)
President, The Naso Organization

Linda Romeo (2017)

Rosemarie Stazzone (2017)
Director of Nursing & Operations, Richmond University Medical Center