Diversity and Italian-American artists
What do Italian-American artists, over 80% of whose families come from Southern Italy, bring to the table today in the South?
- A thriving diversity of thought—a strength brought about by growing up within multiculturalism,
- Over 40 years of racial civil rights discussion, internalized, and manifested in some of us being biracial ourselves,
- Families having transcended discrimination aimed at them in previous generations both before and after crossing the sea, and thus having recognition of the disenfranchisement of people.
And now we can bring an artist’s capacity to…
- The abiding love so many Italian Americans have for the “Old Country’s” family-oriented culture—a characteristic that endures despite generations of separation
- The opportunity for healing, apparent on both sides of the ocean, along traces of loss dating back unknown numbers of years, yet still manifesting in our lives.
This internal integration of influences, at times strenuous yet carried in the heart, is the very essence of “diversity”.
Thus history can proceed as an improving spiral rather than as isolated events or boxes full of closed chapters. Because artists are well-developed communicators and observers, they are important keepers of the latent potential in a culture, regardless of specific content and techniques they choose in their work. The making of art is food for the heart of whoever becomes involved, even if only as an observer. Why? Because it cleverly holds a magnifying glass to that which needs to be seen; it need not be divisive; there’s even room for humor in this recipe.