Italian American Museum of Los Angeles
|Location||Los Angeles, California|
The Italian American Museum of Los Angeles (Italian: "Museo Italo Americano di Los Angeles" and abbreviated IAMLA) is a museum located in downtown Los Angeles, California, California, United States and is part of the El Pueblo de Los Ángeles Historical Monument. It is dedicated to the history, experience and continuing contributions of Italian Americans and Italians in Southern California and the United States, and is the first such museum in Southern California. The museum opened in 2016 and to date, the IAMLA has presented historical exhibits on Italians in Los Angeles, including Sunshine and Struggle and a variety of educational and cultural events.
The museum is located in the Italian Hall, a historic building listed on the National Register of Historic Places constructed in 1908 to serve as the cultural center for the Italian community. Located on the south edge of Chinatown in what was formerly the core of the city's Italian enclave, the Italian Hall was the site of countless events such as weddings, meetings and concerts. Today, the Italian Hall is the oldest surviving structure from Los Angeles' little Italy.
The museum project was first conceived in 1988 soon after which a support group was formed to raise funds to develop a museum. In the project's first phase, nearly $2 million was raised to restore the Hall. The Museum is funded by the Historic Italian Hall Foundation, a non-profit organization incorporated in 1993, the City of Los Angeles and hundreds of other donors.
Italian American Museum is an interactive museum documenting the history and ongoing contributions of Italian Americans through exhibitions and a variety of programming. It features historical and art exhibitions, an oral history and research archive and a multi-media center. Past exhibits have included "Sunshine and Struggle: The Italian American Experience in Los Angeles, 1827-1927", which showcased hundreds of never-before-published photographs and historical artifacts pertaining to the Italian American presence in Los Angeles. The exhibit has since traveled to the Capital Museum in Sacramento and to San Pedro, California.
Each year, the museum sponsors the annual Taste of Italy Los Angeles, a celebration of Italian American and Italian history, cuisine and culture, which takes place in October and draws thousands of participants. Other events include the 1910s to 1940s-themed Vintage!, as well as film screenings, lectures, Mardi Gras celebrations and festivals.
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