The Italian Cultural & Community Center of Houston (ICCC) hosted its second, annual Open House on November 20, 2022.
Houstonians interested in the Italian culture and eager to learn more about the ICCC gathered at the Milford House on Sunday afternoon to experience all things Italian. This all-ages event celebrates the Italian culture through food, arts and activities. Guests were greeted at the door by ICCC Board of Directors and encouraged to follow the itinerary.
Click here to view the ICCC Open House 2022 program.
The first scheduled program was a breakdance performance by Andrea Minotti. Andrea Minotti is a first-generation Italian American, born and raised in Houston, TX. However, he feels very close to his Italian roots. Minotti was introduced to the hip hop culture at a very early age. He was deeply inspired. This led him to discovering breaking (breakdance) and rap, later evolving into introspective poetry. He continues to dive deeper into the art forms for further self-discovery and in hopes to build a platform to inspire others in search of the same light. In addition to his main passion, breakdance, Minotti is an active member of Social Movement Contemporary Dance (SMCD). The founder, Elijah Gibson, has often taught classes at Westside High School, where Minotti’s mentors, Judo Rivera and Amberley Altamirano, helped connect to SMCD. He has done many performances with this company in Houston, Chicago, and other places in the United States. For the last Barnstorm Dance Fest, Minotti presented Chapter 1, a solo dedicated to one of his poems. “I started writing a piece about myself and how I found hip hop and dance. How dance saved me by giving me direction,” Minotti said. “Elijah incorporated the poem into the solo. In terms of style, the piece is a hybrid-fusing break and modern/contemporary dance. I want the audience to know how art is not only for myself. I also want them to know how serious I am about dance and how far I hope to take it. I hope they relate to it and are inspired.”
Guests loved Minotti’s performance and looked forward to the next segment of entertainment, which was a live music performance by Gran Sassy. Gran Sassy is a Houston-based Italian band that plays a mix of popular American and Italian music. They describe themselves as an Italian soul band with a rocking heart.
Throughout the afternoon, guests had the opportunity of sitting in on an Italian for Beginners – A1S1 demo class and a game of Tombola, a lottery-style board game which originated in Southern Italy. Guests could also roam around the Milford House and enjoy the beauty of Italian culture through a curated selection of Italian vendors, tasting of fine Italian chocolate, wine samplings, and olive oil tastings.
We would like to extend a huge thank you to our sponsor, Acqua Panna and S.Pellegrino, for sponsoring Yeti Sunshine and donating their collection of flavored sparkling water and Italian soda. We would also like to highlight our generous vendors: TuttiLili, Dionysus, Terramar Imports, Baratti & Milano, Tosca Italian Gourmet, Aroma Italiano, SweetCup, and Aroma.
This event was the perfect occasion to meet the ICCC staff, discover the magic of the Italian language, grab a drink and light refreshments, and five lucky guests went home with a special prize.