By: Francesco D’Amico
On Wednesday, October 25, 2023, in a highly anticipated ceremony, award-winning artist and producer Simona Rodano was set to be honored with a prestigious award from the esteemed Comm. Joseph Sciame, a prominent member of the St. John’s Preparatory School Board, as well as the President and Chair of the Italian Heritage Culture Month Committee in New York (IHCC-NY, Inc.), and the Coordinating Committee of the Queens IHCC-NY, Inc.
The occasion for this recognition is the 2023 Annual Borough of Queens Proclamation
Ceremony for Italian Heritage and Culture Month, an event of great significance within the
Italian American community. The theme chosen by the IHCC-NY, Inc. this year is “The Joys of Learning Italian”. The ceremony was held at the D’Angelo Center at St. John’s University, where the venue was at full capacity, accommodating over 200 attendees.
The event featured a special appearance by the Consul General of Italy, Fabrizio Di Michele,
who delivered a message from the Consulate of Italy to all in attendance. Additionally, Ebony Young, the Deputy Queens Borough President, graced the event with her presence and underscored the significant contributions that Italians and Italian-Americans have made to the United States.
The award bestowed upon Ms. Rodano acknowledges her exceptional contributions to Italian Heritage and Culture Month. Her lifelong dedication as an educator and artist, coupled with a mission to promote the Italian language and culture in schools through music and theater, is a testament to her unwavering commitment.
Ms. Rodano’s influence is profound, having introduced more than 80,000 students to the world of theater and Italian language since 2006. Simona, during her speech, emphasized, “It all began in Astoria, Queens. One day, I pondered what I, as an Italian in America, could do, and the answer was clear: I could pass on the love I held for my culture and language to the new generations.” Simona also joined St. John’s Preparatory School in 2013, where she significantly enriched the World Language Department and the Visual and Performing Arts Program, leaving an indelible mark.
The recognition of Ms. Simona Rodano stands as a celebration of her tireless efforts to promote and preserve Italian heritage and culture, ensuring it thrives for generations to come. This year, Simona is set to make a comeback on the stage with an extraordinary ensemble of performers in the bilingual EduMusical titled “Sempreverde: Evergreen.” Starting March 2024, The production will tour various off-Broadway-sized theaters across the NYC Tri-State area, including the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, The Playgroup Theatre in White Plains, Queens Theatre in the Park in Queens NY, Bayway Art Center in East Islip, and Suffolk Theatre in Riverdale. Choreographer and lead dancer: Giorgia Picano. Dancers Arianna Stendardo, Greta Rolandi, Jasmin Cicchino. Emanuele Fiore will take on the role of Spreco as the lead.
Giuseppe Agostaro will take the role of the newsie. Costumes and props by Johna Mancini ( “E la nave va” – Federico Fellini). Music by Simona Rodano and Punto Rec Studios.
Simona is also working on her one-woman show titled “Italiana,” which she will take to American universities where Italian is studied.
“The future of language learning in schools is illuminated by the joy of edutainment.”
Award-winning artist and producer Simona Rodano honored with a prestigious award by Italian Heritage and Culture Month Inc.
By: Francesco D’Amico