“Sicily: Land of Love & Strife” is Coming to NYC. Its mission: to change public perception of the mysterious Italian island.

NYC PosterA new feature-length documentary created to change public perception of Sicily will be shown in New York City for the first time when the Bernie Wohl Center at 647 Columbus Avenue presents “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife” on Wednesday, September 12, at 7:30 p.m.

“But for crime, Sicily has gone unexplored,” said the film’s writer/producer/director Mark Spano. “The island’s association with the Mafia, so deeply entrenched in popular consciousness, has obscured more rounded and accurate depictions of its history and culture.”

Until now. Through “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife,” Spano is introducing audiences across the U.S. and in Canada to the many facets of the island nation that are relatively unknown to the public: the natural beauty, epic human struggle, depth and diversity of culture, historic sites, and philosophic influence.

Spano is the son of Sicilian immigrants (and holds dual citizenship). He grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, in a vibrant Italian-American community. He held the U.S. premiere of the film in Kansas City in April, where it sold out the host theatre.

Since the 1980s, Spano has lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Yet for five years, he spent a huge chunk of his time in Sicily as he worked on the documentary. (Click here to view the trailer.) 

“The most invaded place on earth, Sicily rivals Greece and Egypt as a primary source for Western ideas,” he noted. “And fewer places on the planet compare to Sicily as a place of wonder and intrigue. Yet little has been produced about the cultural or historic relevance of Sicily.” He pauses and smiles. “I should’ve made this film decades ago.”

Angelo Coniglio of Buffalo, NY, where a special screening of the film sold out in advance, is a genealogist specializing in Sicilian heritage and the author of columns and books set in Sicily. “I’ve been interested in and I’ve supported this project since I first discovered Spano’s plans several years ago,” he said. “The customs, colors, and sounds of both ‘old’ and modern Sicily are vividly brought to life by this film. If you’ve never been to Sicily, the film will invite you to visit. If you have already been there, then ‘Land of Love & Strife’ will haunt you.”

Mark Spano will lead a panel discussion with Sicily aficionado Karen La Rosa and Sicilian-American author/scholar Gaetano Cipolla after the September 12th show.

Tickets are $20 and can be ordered in advance at www.goddard.org or purchased at the center that evening.

For more information on “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife” and filmmaker Mark Spano, visit markspano.wordpress.com. Those interested can also follow the film on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

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Custom Home online: “Hillcrest House Addition: An Innovative Approach to Old + New”

Tonic Design Modern Addition to Traditional House
By keeping the addition’s mass within the planes of the original house and dividing the public and private spaces between two floors, a backyard is retained on a narrow inner-city lot. (Photo by Keith Isaacs)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The project involved designing a modern, 1500-square-foot addition for a two-story, red brick, Georgian Revival-style house built in 1916 in a historic inner-city neighborhood with narrow lots and minimal set-backs between houses.

The addition would become the primary hub of activity for a growing family and an ideal space for entertaining. Programmatically, it would include an open kitchen, dining, living area and a spacious master bedroom suite.

To uphold the general scale of this neighborhood and the manner in which the existing house has addressed the street for over 100 years, the addition’s mass is held within the outer planes of the old house, tucked against its rear elevation.

And unlike other proposals the owners had seen, the plan divided the public and private spaces between two stories rather than letting the new construction consume the majority of the property. As a result, the architects retained a generous backyard for outdoor play space.  READ MORE

Kentucky bourbon and brisket: pod architecture + design hosts Thirst4Architecture August 16

pod architecture + design
The pod a+d team: L-R Wendy Broome, Youn Choi, Barbara Ngaboyamahina, Dougald Fountain, and Doug Pierson Not pictured: interns from Doug’s third-year design studio at the NCSU College of Design, Dept. of Architecture — Casey Calhoun and Nailah Watts-Harper.

For the first time since moving back to North Carolina from the West Coast, Youn Choi and Doug Pierson, founders and principals of pod architecture + design (pod a+d) in Carrboro, will host Thirst4Architecture (T4A) to celebrate modern architecture and the people in the Triangle who love it on Thursday, August 16, from 6-8 p.m.

Free and open to the public, the event is one of the monthly happy hour networking social occasions established by North Carolina Modernist Houses and will be held in the firm’s studio in the historic train depot in the heart of downtown Carrboro.

T4A is an opportunity for anyone interested in and associated with modern architecture to mix, mingle, and build relationships with other modern design enthusiasts in a relaxed, casual environment. Pierson and Choi will provide the location, food, and beverages while participants get an up-close look at pod a+d’s work through models and drawings.

A Special Treat for T4A Guests

Award-winning architect Doug Pierson, AIA, recently attended the grand opening of one of his firm’s most ambitious projects to date: Rabbit Hole Distillery, a state-of-the-art, 55,000-square-foot, $15 million bourbon distillery and campus in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.

For their T4A event, Pierson and Choi are having Rabbit Hole’s award-winning bourbon shipped to Carrboro. The bar staff provided by Drew Moore, owner of CrossTies Barbeque (201-East Main Street) and several other local establishments, will serve special bourbon-based cocktails as well as “straight” and “on the rocks” options, and soft drinks for pod a+d’s August 16 event.

Moore is also providing CrossTie’s popular “Brisket Slides” for the evening’s savory selection.

 “As local as possible”

Pierson and Choi, partners in life as well as work, are relative newcomers to the Triangle architecture and design community, having recently returned from living and working on the West Coast. Their new modern house in Carrboro, which they designed together for their family of four, is under construction and will plant their roots here even deeper.

“We’re so happy to be back,” Pierson said, “that we’re doing everything we can to be as ‘local’ as possible. That’s why we chose space in the old depot for our offices. We’re active in the community, we shop at the Farmers Market and Weaver Street, and we’re working with one of the best high-performance, or ‘green,’ homebuilders for our new house: Kevin Murphy of Newphire Building in Chapel Hill. We’re also hiring all-local subcontractors and vendors, including the lumber supplier.” He smiled. “And we’re always free to talk when people walk in and tell us that our space doesn’t look like a barbeque joint.” He explained that people often mistake the firm’s front door for the entrance to Cross Ties.

pod architecture + design is located at 201-A East Main Street, Carrboro, NC (919.246.6466) For more information, visit www.podand.com. pod a + d is also available on Facebook.

New Film Proves Successful Fundraiser While Changing Public Perception of Mysterious Sicily

 

Sicily: Land of Love and Strife
This and images to follow were lifted from “Sicily: Land of Love and Strife”

When The Italian Cultural Center of Buffalo, New York (ICCB), the Federation of Italian-American Societies of Western New York (FASWNY), and the Per Niente Club of Buffalo sponsored a special screening of the new feature-length documentary “Sicily: Land of Love and Strife” as a fundraiser, they didn’t know what to expect in return.

Would a film devoted solely to Sicily be compelling to Buffalo’s Italian-American community?

Would the general public accept the contention that there’s more to the mysterious three-sided island than its much-publicized relationship to organized crime?

Second_harbor

When advance tickets sold out and the tally hit $11,000, the Buffalo sponsors knew they’d made the right decision.

So did Sicilia Canta, the Cinema Insieme film club, the Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF), and  Festitalia, all in Hamilton, Ontario, whose special screening also sold out and brought in $10,000.

In Kansas City, Missouri, where writer/producer/director Mark Spano held the U.S. premiere, the small theatre there also sold out.  A native of Kansas City whose parents were first-generation Sicilian immigrants, Spano was thrilled.

Third_Dining

“Holding the premiere in my hometown not only allowed me to see friends and family I hadn’t seen in years, but it also gave me the opportunity to present my film to a very diverse Middle-American audience,” he said. “Their responses were both informative and heartwarming. I could not have asked for more. The theater was sold out, and the crowd loved the film. I was truly humbled by their responses.”

Spano’s film celebrates the island nation’s natural beauty, its passionate people and epic human struggles, the depth and diversity of its culture, the philosophic insights that originated in Sicily, and its wealth of historic sites – all facets of Sicily that have been obscured by the mysterious country’s association with organized crime. He hopes the documentary he worked on for three years will change public perception of his family’s homeland.

Frank Cherrito, former president of UNICO’s Kansas City chapter (2009-2011), remembers when the enthusiastic filmmaker first told him about the documentary he wanted to make.

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“Mark came to us with an idea,” Cherrito recalled. “Although it wasn’t really clear to us, the vision he had for this wonderful film was crystal clear to him. And it proved to be an incredible fundraiser for our organization. Many people came out to support the film primarily, I think, because it highlights the Italian-American culture in a positive way.”

Sam Cino and Joe Baiardo of Sicilia Canta and Charles Criminisi of Cinema Insieme sent the filmmaker the following statement: “The film was beautifully created with breathtaking images and a captivating soundtrack. Diverse perspectives on the history, culture and norms of Sicilian life were presented by international scholars and authorities who introduced facts that were unknown to many about this beautiful three-sided island. Feedback from many of the 300 viewers was very favorable. Funds from the screening will be used to promote future community initiatives and events of particular interest to the local Sicilian community.”

To date, two more special screenings of “Sicily: Land of Love and Strife” are scheduled:

  • The New York City premiere will be held in the Bernie Wohl Center on Columbus Avenue on Wednesday, September 12.
  • The Triangle Sons and Daughters of Italy, Lodge 2817, in Cary, North Carolina, will present the film as a fundraiser on Sunday, November 11.

Also, Westdale Theater, a soon-to-open art house in Hamilton, and North Park Theatre in Buffalo are planning theatrical runs. No dates have been announced yet.

For more information on “Sicily: Land of Love and Strife” and filmmaker Mark Spano, visit https://markspano.wordpress.com/.


Communities interested in hosting special screenings should

contact Spano at mark@markspano.com.


 

Triangle Architects, Artists Raise Funds for Homeless Cats and Kittens

5 Houses, 1 chair, 4 pieces of art

Modern cat houses and original art are auctioned off to benefit SAFE Haven for Cats

A sleek black cube, a “cannoli” rendered in walnut veneer, a maple cat house/side table… These were among the modern, indoor cat houses that Raleigh-area architects and designers created for The Cat’s Meow 2018, the second annual fundraiser for SAFE Haven for Cats.

Founded in 1994, SAFE Haven is Raleigh’s no-kill shelter and low-cost spay/neuter clinic. Since opening, SAFE Haven has orchestrated the adoptions of more than 9500 cats and kittens and spayed or neutered over 25,000 animals in its clinic.

Five modern, one-of-a-kind indoor cat houses, four original works by Raleigh artists, and an iconic Eames Shell Chair comprised this year’s live auction held in Trig Modern in Raleigh on June 7th. Professional auctioneer Ben Farrell sold every item.

Presented by Trig owner Bob Drake and Ann Marie Baum of Baum Shelter interior design, the event raised nearly $3000.

Safe-Haven-for-Cats-LOGO“All of us in the SAFE Haven family are amazed at the generosity of the designers and artists who created all of these cat-centric works of art for The Cat’s Meow,” Miller said. “We are grateful to our local business sponsors Trig Modern and Baum Shelter for creating and hosting this event. Because of them, we will be able to save the lives of many more stray and abandoned cats and kittens in June and July.”

The 2018 Cat’s Meow auction items were:

Cat Cannoli

1. Cat Cannoli by architect David Cole, founder and principal of Inclusion Studio. Low and cozy, the cannoli features a walnut veneer exterior that brings to mind paneling frequently used in mid-century-modern houses. A real, cat-sized cowhide rug slips inside the bright red interior.

Cat's Loft

2. A Cat’s Loft by Will Alphin, founder and principal of REdesign.build, and his talented team. The sleek black cube features the smooth, satin finish of a fine piece of furniture. The cube sits on a metal frame base, allowing the piece to do double duty as a cat’s modern loft and a side table. The opening lets the resident peek out from this elegant hiding place. A removable lid allows humans to locate their feline friend quickly, vacuum up the accumulated cat hair, and get rid of the occasional fur ball with ease.

CatHouse_ModSideTable

3. Cat House/Modern Side Table by Corey Baughman of Clearscapes. The piece is composed of solid maple and brass with a painted light-blue exterior and wax finish. The inverted form is reminiscent of a traditional concept of “house.” The interior is carved. The exterior is smooth. And elevated on tapered legs, it can serve as both cat house and modern side table. There’s also a cup holder on the surface.

Vertical Modern Cat Tower

4. Vertical Modern Cat Tower by artist and interior designer Clark Hipolito, founder and principal of The Art Co. Created with a cat’s love of climbing in mind, the tall Tower features lots of scratching surfaces and a very “climbable” structure.  A couple of dangling green balls for batting around complete the contemporary composition.

Ca.CliffHanger

5. California Cliff-Hanger…on Casters! by Jamie Smith of Xylem, Inc. cabinetmakers. Utilizing the economy of the “S” shape, this creative cat house offers three levels – internal and external – rendered in white and wood-grain laminates. Today, a real California Cliffhanger might feature a “green,” or vegetated roof. This roof is covered in carpeting, however, that inspires hours of scratching. And napping. And the casters let the owner’s human move it around to find a sunny spot, offer a view out a window, tuck into a dark corner if strangers come in the house…

Eames Chair plus Cat Illus. copy

6 Eames Molded Fiberglass Shell Chair donated by Bob Drake, owner, Trig Modern, and “Smalls on Eames Chair” original illustration by Karen Kluttz. The chair, originally designed in 1950, and Kluttz’s illustration of her own cat, “Smalls,” on two red Eames shell chairs, were auctioned off together.

SofaSnoozer_KK copy

7. “Sofa Snoozer” and “Fish Market,” original illustrations by Karen Kluttz. A Visual Arts Exchange artist, Karen Kluttz donated three cat-related pieces to The Cat’s Meow 2018.

Louis St. Lewiis 2018

8. Untitled by Louis St. Louis. To borrow some words from critic D. Eric Bookhardt, Gambit Weekly, New Orleans, the artist created this piece especially for The Cat’s Meow as one of his series of “smallish collages…a mix of pop and classical images cut up and sandwiched between sheets of glass. Touched up with paint and displayed in ornate frames…”

2018 HEADER

About The Cat’s Meow:  The Cat’s Meow is an annual party and auction of modern, professionally designed indoor houses for cats to benefit SAFE Haven for Cats in Raleigh, sponsored by Trig Modern and Baum Shelter, both of Raleigh.  For more information, visit this year’s Facebook page.

For more information on SAFE Haven for Cats in Raleigh: www.safehavenforcats.org.

Hamilton, Ontario’s Festitalia Welcomes Mark Spano’s Film “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife”

Film Header

A new documentary celebrating the island and its people.

Sicilia Canta, in cooperation with Cinema Insieme film club, the Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF), and  Festitalia, will present the Canadian premier of the new feature-length documentary by Mark Spano, “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife,” on Wednesday, June 20, beginning at 7 p.m.

The premiere will be held in the Bishop Ryan Theatre Auditorium in Hamilton, 1824 Rymal Road. East Hamilton, ON. A Q&A session with the filmmaker and a reception including Sicilian music will follow the film.

ICFF logo croppedSpano had scheduled the one-time-only Hamilton screening on another date until Charles Criminisi, Hamilton Coordinator for ICFF, suggested he hold the premiere during Festitalia, the annual festival that shares the “tastes, sounds, and passion” of Canadian-Italian culture and heritage with the Hamilton community-at-large.

“We’re excited and honored to show the premiere of this entertaining and informative documentary, ‘Sicily: Land of Love & Strife,’” Criminisi said. “It promises to be a very entertaining evening with writer, director, and producer Mark Spano.”

Spano is the son of Sicilian immigrants (he holds dual citizenship). He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. For five years, he worked diligently on his documentary of his family’s homeland because “little has been produced about the cultural or historic relevance of Sicily,” he explained.

“The most invaded place on earth, the three-sided island rivals Greece and Egypt as a primary source for Western ideas. Yet fewer places on the planet compare to Sicily as a place of wonder and intrigue.

“But for crime, Sicily has gone unexplored,” he continued. “The island’s association with the Mafia, so deeply entrenched in popular consciousness, has obscured more rounded and accurate depictions of its history and culture.”

Until now. Spano hopes his film will begin to change the public’s perception of Sicily and Sicilian people. Click here to view the documentary’s trailer.

Tickets to the premiere are $20 per person. To order advance tickets, call Joe Baiardo (289-880-1561), Sam Cino (905-388-2199), or click here to order online.

For more information on “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife” and filmmaker Mark Spano, go to markspano.wordpress.com.

DATE CHANGE: The Cat’s Meow Charitable Auction Postponed to June 7th

2018 HEADER

May 11, 2018 (Raleigh, NC) – Due to scheduling conflicts, Trig Modern, Baum Shelter, and SAFE Haven for Cats have postponed The Cat’s Meow charity auction and party to Thursday, June 7th. The event will be held from 6 – 8 p.m. at Trig Modern, 1053 East Whitaker Mill Road, Raleigh, NC.

Featuring entertaining auctioneer Ben Farrell, The Cat’s Meow is an annual auction of cool, modern, indoor “houses” for cats created by architects, artisans, interior designers, and other professionals. All proceeds go to SAFE Haven for Cats, a non-profit, no-kill shelter and low-cost clinic in Raleigh dedicated to caring for and finding homes for thousands of homeless cats and kittens, many of which have been abandoned and need veterinary help as well as permanent homes.

Hosts for The Cat’s Meow are Bob Drake, owner of Trig Modern furniture showroom and design center, Ann Marie Baum of Baum Shelter, a new interior design firm in Raleigh, and Pam Miller, founder, president, and CEO of SAFE Haven for Cats.

Completed cat houses should now be delivered to Trig Modern by June 6th. Anyone interested in designing a cat house, donating another item for auction, or providing in-kind donations should contact Ann Marie Baum as soon as possible either by phone (919.971.5450) or email: annmariebaum7@gmail.com.

Follow The Cat’s Meow 2018 on Facebook.

Safe Have Logo_1About SAFE Haven for Cats:

SAFE Haven’s mission is to ensure the well-being of every cat through adoption, affordable spay/neuter services, community outreach and adherence to no-kill principles. The shelter receives no government funds and relies solely on private donations for 84 percent of its budget.

Visit safehavenforcats.org for more information.

 

In The Ground and On The Boards: Chapel Hill Architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, Greets Spring with Modern, Custom Houses at Every Phase of Design and Construction

Mason_GrabellMASON-GRABELL MODERNISM (All renderings by Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA)

May 1, 2018 (Chapel Hill, NC) — A family of transplants from hurricane-prone Florida can’t wait for construction to begin this summer on their spacious, modern house perched on a hillside in Orange County. Cheryl and Ken Serdar are showing off their new, modern, Net Zero, Micropolis® house in Hillsborough, NC, during the 2018 Green Home Tour. And a husband and wife in Chatham County are anxious to “break free” of the “soul-deadening” confines of a cookie-cutter residential development, so they’re counting the days until they can move into their new, modern, Net Zero house also nearing completion in Chatham County.

Chapel Hill architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, a Net Zero/Net Positive Passive House expert*, designed all three houses.

Meanwhile back in her studio, Schechter is moving along with six more projects that span the first three phases of architectural design: schematic design, design development, and construction documentation.

Mason-Grabell Modernism (pictured at top)

Construction is scheduled to begin this summer on the spacious Mason-Grabell house. The family grew tired of fighting hurricanes down in Florida so they relocated to Chapel Hill, NC, where hurricanes are extremely rare.

Rising from a hillside with large expanses of glass on all sides, the Mason-Grabel house features flat, cascading roofs that crown specific interior spaces. Designed to touch the ground lightly and protect the site’s natural hydrology, “Mason-Grabell Modernism” will be one of very few modernist houses in its neighborhood.

Net Zero on Tour

Happy Family“HAPPY FAMILY” (photo by Iman Woods) 

 Schechter always stresses that a smaller house allows homeowners to invest their money in elements other than square footage. In the Serdars’ house (above), that other element is a luxurious, spa-like bathroom with a curb-less walk-in shower for two, a custom cast-concrete trough sink, and a vanity area where top-quality tile rises up the high walls to the ceiling.

Otherwise, the Serdars’ relatively small house is deceptive. It appears to be a simple modern house with large, honey-hued wood soffits adding warmth and textural contrast to the precast custom concrete exterior walls. But this is a Net Zero passive house. And the design skills, technological and materials knowledge, and attention to details necessary to create such a high-performance house are anything but “simple.”

*Schechter welcomes the challenge, however, as she continues to add to her growing portfolio of certified Net Zero and Net PositivePassive residential designs with what she’s dubbed the “Happy Family” house.

 Privacy House

Privacy House

“They consider themselves ‘escapees’ from a rigid, traditional development to a lot in the woods,” Schechter said, referring to her clients who are moving out of a traditional development and into this secluded, Net Zero house (above) in the forest in Chatham County. (She noted that “breaking free” and “soul-deadening” are her clients’ words.)

Besides the huge emphasis on privacy, the couple told their architect that they wanted a “modern but simple, unpretentious, age-in-place design.” And they had one specific request. “A sheltered place to sit outside and watch the rain,” Schechter said as she pointed out the house’s deeply cantilevered roof.

Phasing In

Concurrently, Arielle Schechter is working through the schematic design phase for a house for two engineers in Harnett County. She’s also fine-tuning three houses in design development and shepherding two other houses through the construction documentation phase.

For more information on Arielle Condoret Schechter and to see additional examples of her built and on-the-boards work, visit www.acsarchitect.com.

acs-best-headshot
Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA

About Arielle Condoret Schechter:

Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, is a licensed, registered architect based in Chapel Hill, NC, who specializes in Modernist, energy-efficient buildings with a focus on PASSIVE, NET ZERO/NET POSITIVE houses, as well as her new tiny house plans, the Micropolis® Houses. She is a lifelong environmentalist and began practicing green design long before it became mainstream. She is also a lifelong animal advocate who lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, Arnie, and an assortment of foster animals in the modern, sustainable house she designed for all of them.

ARCHDAILY.com: “Piedmont Retreat/Tonic Design”

SM_Piedmont Retreat5
Tzu Chen Photography

Wrapped in vertical stripes of Corten® steel street-side, with vast expanses of floor-to-ceiling glass and cantilevered windows overlooking the forest behind it, a modern house sits quietly in the corner of a cul-de-sac in Durham.

Katherine Hogan, AIA, and Vinny Petrarca of Tonic Design in Raleigh are responsible for this creative two-story, 3800-square-foot, single-family structure that will, as the steel continues to weather, blend into the natural setting and never need painting. Their clients loved the concept since they wanted a low-maintenance house with a modest public presence. READ MORE…

New Film Celebrating Sicily Sells Out U.S. Premiere in Kansas City

Feature-length documentary by Mark Spano finds appreciative audience in Middle America.

 Theater marquee

Independent filmmaker Mark Spano, along with celebrated Kansas City Chef Jasper Mirabile Jr., are pleased to report that the U.S. premiere of Spano’s new documentary “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife” sold out the Screenland Armour Theater in North Kansas City, MO., last week.

The event was co-sponsored by the Kansas City chapters of the American Sons of Columbus and UNICO, the largest Italian-American non-profit service organization in the United States.

Mark with Family and Friends in Lobby
NC Filmmaker Mark Spano (center, back row) with family and friends in the theater’s lobby after sell-out screening in Kansas City, his hometown.

Although Spano lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, he chose Kansas City — the city where he was born and raised — for the U.S. premiere of the film that celebrates his family’s land of origin.

“Holding the premiere in Kansas City not only allowed me to see friends and family I had not seen in years, but it also gave me the opportunity to present my film to a very diverse Middle-America audience,” said Spano, a Sicilian by heritage who holds dual citizenship. “Their responses were both informative and heartwarming. I could not have asked for more. The theater was sold out and the crowd loved the film — I was truly humbled by their responses.”

By design, the feature-length documentary invites viewers to discover the Sicily that movies and television largely ignore. “But for crime, Sicily has gone largely unexplored,” said Spano. “Yet Sicily is more fascinating and diverse than other Italian regions and few places compare to Sicily for a story of spectacular beauty, epic human struggle, depth and diversity of culture, philosophic insights and historic sites.”

Chef Mirabile, the emcee for the sold-out event, also feels the film is a loving tribute to his land of origin. “Personally, the film evokes wonderful memories of the many trips I’ve made to my family’s homeland. I’m was honored to help showcase this remarkable region of Italy.”

Explaining his choice of emcee for the film’s U.S. premiere, Spano smiled. “I knew Jasper would be the right guy to emcee this event. Members of the Kansas City community have taken this man into their hearts. And, why shouldn’t they? He’s the best chef. He’s a tireless champion of Kansas City food, and he stands as one of the finest representatives of the success stories that Sicilian immigrants and their descendants have had all over the globe.”

From now through November, “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife” will be presented in various cities across the U.S. and Canada as part of a promotional opportunity called “Bring Sicily to Your Town.”  Two upcoming screenings include Hamilton, a suburb of Toronto, on June 20, then Buffalo, New York, on June 25th.

For more information on Mark Spano and “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife,” visit www.markspano.wordpress.com.

(Click here for more information on “Bring Sicily to Your Town.”)

Mark on Stage
Mark on stage for the Q&A session as the credits roll.