2018 Christmas Party
Our Sicilian carettu is only one of only a few handmade Sicilian carts in the entire U.S.A., and our Museum Bd. member Larry Calmes customized it to reflect the local history in keeping with the authentic Sicilian tradition in Sicily.
Museum Bd. member Libby LaMarca Rose spoke about what the Independence Italian Cultural Museum has to offer and about the museum's upcoming fundraiser "A Night in Little Italy Sotto le Stelle/Under the Star."
Museum Bd. members surveying and working in the loft.
Prescia Family Reunion
Because of the Independence Italian Cultural Museum volunteers and Friends of the Museum, museum volunteers unveiled improvements recently to a crowd of over 300 attendees at the "2nd Annual A Night in Little Italy Sotto le Stelle/Under the Stars" such as this beautiful cross was lit for the first time in approximately 60 years as well as the painting renovation which had not taken place also in approximately 60 years since this building once served as the former Mater Dolorosa Church.
Located at 524 Pine Street in the town of Independence, Louisiana at the corner of Highway 40 and Pine Street, the Independence Italian Cultural Museum is housed in the former Mater Dolorosa Catholic Church, which was built in 1908.
The Independence Italian Cultural Museum contains photographs, artifacts, artwork, and religious items which provide a glimpse into Sicilian-American and Italian-American heritage. Our mission is the preservation and restoration of the history of the Italian American community. We strive to preserve Sicilian and Italian culture, music, art, language especially the Sicilian language which is endangered worldwide including the Island of Sicily partially due to the long, turbulent history of Sicily.
Fun fact: CUCUZZA DAY AT THE MUSEUM is the ONE & ONLY CUCUZZA celebration in the entire U.S.A. !!! This can only happen at the uniquely beautiful and historic Independence Italian Cultural Museum.
Independence Italian Cultural Museum in the former Mater Dolorosa Church which means Sorrowful Mother in English.
Cucuzza Harvest at the Museum ! This picture was taken during a visit from documentary film makers from Detroit, Michigan were here because we are one of only two museums - New York City and Independence, Louisiana - trying to preserve the Sicilian Language.
Little Italy Festival Dancers in 1973
Museum Board member Libby LaMarca Rose contributed this picture of her dad's pig, Snow, who holds the distinction of being the only pig sporting an Italian costume as she strutted through the streets of Independence during the Little Italy Festival parade in the 1970s.
Open Monday - Saturdays 9 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.(until the gala). Please call prior to visiting to purchase gala tickets to ensure someone can help you.
Free Admission - Donations Appreciated for much needed repairs to save this historic museum, unique architectural gem, and tourist attraction attracting tourists from as far as California, Virginia, and repeat visitors from Illinois
Exciting events are happening at the Independence Italian Cultural Museum. Saturday, June 16, 2018, Nina Ignaczak filmed a documentary on the Sicilian language. She is being funded with support from the Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum Grant, in partnership with the National Italian American Foundation. On Wednesday, June 13, 2018, a Louisiana Historic Preservation representative took photos and interviewed museum board members to help us with the nomination process for the National Register of Historic Places in Louisiana.
Owner of Mike's Glass and Radiator, Inc. and former Spring View Country Club Board Member, Mike Muscarello donates his portion of the remaining funds back to his community in honor of one of the club's founders Mr. Vincent Falcone Sr. and the many members from Independence.
"After the club's closing, we board members decided to distribute the left over money to donate to different charities. I decided to donate my portion to the Independence Italian Cultural Museum because it preserves our history.," Mr. Muscarello said.
Fragula is Sicilian for Strawberry!!
Italian Strawberry Farmers' Contribution to the Parish's Strawberry Industry
Independence Italian Cultural Museum Bd. officers Sandra Towle and Loretta Joiner will represent the museum at the Tangipahoa Parish's 150 Birthday Celebration this Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Parish Arena. with the historic display the Italian Strawberry Farmers' Contribution to the Parish's Strawberry Industry.
The 2ND Annual "A NIGHT IN LITTLE ITALY" 2019 fundraising gala and the first ever 2019 Cucuzza Day at the Italian Museum were great success THANKS the many dedicated Italian Museum volunteers and Friends of the Museum whether part of the hardworking painting crew who worked for over 8 weeks painting the interior walls, those who donated, those who picked up donations, those who donated money, materials, and their time and helped in any way making our elegant gala a success!!!
Our "2nd Annual A Night in Little Italy Sotto le Stelle/Under the Stars" and first ever "Cucuzza Day at the Museum" both were big successes filled happy attendees who enjoyed the various tasty Italian food and listening to the MaMa Mias performing live Sicilian and Italian music singing in both Sicilian and Italian. Thanks to everyone who bought a ticket, donated, and/or helped in any way !!! Because of you, this gala was such a success! For those curious about how the gala got its name and since we are all about history and tradition, the Independence Italian Cultural Museum Board volunteers voted to call this event to honor the founders of the "Little Italy Festival" original name of the town's heritage festival.
If we haven't said it enough, thank you to our sponsors for two successful "A Night in Little Italy" fundraising events which enabled us to replace the museum's roof, renovate the neon cross and paint the interior walls with more future museum improvements to come.
Maranzana is the Sicilian word for eggplant..
Mater Dolorosa Church Altar in 1930
Become a "Friend of the Museum" Member for only $ 10 a year and be part of a team to preserve the museum with access to free events such as our current Wine Making Class. and social events. Your donation helps with the ongoing repairs to the museum.
Built in 1908 by our Sicilian and Italian immigrant ancestors, this architecturally unique building served as their church Mater Dolorosa Catholic Church, the center point of their lives for generations. Now, this historically significant building serves as historic museum. Within its masonry walls, this lovely museum contains information about local family history. On display are old photographs and artifacts, which capture memories of religious celebrations and special milestones which defined the lives of the faithful of Independence and surrounding areas.