Independence Italian Cultural Museum

Independence Italian Cultural Museum Board member Brent Pizzolato, (foreground) took this photo during our March 16, 2017 meeting.

The IIACA, organized in 1969 became well known during the Tangipahoa Parish Centennial for their elaborate and colorful functions that attracted large crowds to Independence. Their performances concsisted of primarily of dances that were done in the old country. Their specilaities are Waltz, Schottische, and the noted "Quadrigalia" where all members participate along with the many other Italian dancers.

After the centennial, the group remained together as a dance group. On the 22nd of August, the group consisted of thirty seven members. They formed an association, and was charted. Their sole interest was to promote the social interests and welfare of those in good standing. Today the IIACA members meet twice a month, once for business, and once for fun, at which times the members dance. The group is a branch of the national organization, the Italian Ameriacan Cultural Association, which was founded many years ago in New York, who like the people of Indepencdnce, value their Italian heritage. The IIACA members, civic minded with a devotion fgor theiar town and heritage are capitalizing on the colorful Italian background offering their hospitalities to visitors each year including a day of Italian fun consisting of good Italian food, dances, music and all kind of entertainment; this occasion is called the Little Italy Festival which has recieved national publicity in its few years of existence.

MaMa Mias, donate their free time and provide Italian and Sicilian music for the museum's special events., and in doing so help preserve the culture, music, and Sicilian language of our immigrant ancestors. (April 2018)

This museum's all volunteer staff strives to share our rich cultural heritage which encompasses the Sicilian language, Sicilian/Italian music, art, religious items, antique Preserving Italian folk music and traditions artifacts, and treasured family photos and mementos. Preserving Sicilian/Italian-American Culture



PRESERVING AND SHARING TRADITIONS: MINIATURE SAN GUISEPPE / SAINT JOSEPH ALTAR

Independence Italian Cultural Museum

Instrumental in establishing the Independence Italian Cultural Museum, Victoria Candiotto and Independence Sicilian Festival Board member Lisa Paine enjoyed attending a Sicilian Festival Royal Reception held at the museum.

Vincent Cutrer and his mom Cindy Genusa Cutrer are setting up microphones and amps for MaMa Mias  rehearsal prior to the very first "A Night in Little Italy" September 2018.

Museum members sold scrumptious, overstuffed artichokes and authentic Italian cookies for the museum's biggest fundraiser during the 2018 Independence Sicilian Heritage Festival.  From left:  Joe Clausen, Floyd Clausen, Loretta Joiner, and Libby Rose.

Did you know Uncle Sam was not always the nickname of the US? It was once the name of the Town of Independence.


Uncle Sam had its beginning in 1837. The town of Independence was once named Uncle Sam. In the Official Atlas of the Civil War showing southern Louisiana, it is clearly recorded as the railroad town of Uncle Sam. A "site south of Amite City," Independence is located about six miles south of Amite on Highway 51.

Museum Board. member Libby Lamarca Rose created and donated to the museum this beautifully detailed mini St. Joseph altar she had created almost entirely by carefully sculpting modeling clay into the miniature cakes, fruit, vegetables, and bread which she fashioned into shapes associated with Jesus' life.

Written in Sicilian translates to "Greetings, we are Sicilian Americans and would like to speak Sicilian,"

Saturday afternoons at 3:00 p.m.  at the museum.  Classes are free for Friends of the Museum.

Please email if interested to

be included on the class list.

Steven Campo teaching the Sicilian Language Class at the Independence Italian Cultural Museum.

In preparation for the Museum's first ever "2018 A Night in Little Italy Sotto le Stelle/Under the Stars," Vincent Cutrer helped set up microphones and amps for the MaMa Mias last practice before the big event.  Thanks Vincent !!

Sicilian Language classes

ABOUT US

Independence Italian Museum Board from left:  Brent Pizzolato, Rosetta Hughes, Loretta Joiner, Sandra Towle, Libby LaMarca Rose, and Donnie Jando

Italian Museum officers Loretta Fletcher Joiner and Libby Lamarca Rose spoke about the ways the Independence Italian Cultural Museum is preserving the Sicilian Language, music, and other facets of the culture. Action News Ch. 17' 's Ken Benitez shot this video also posted on YouTube is about our efforts to save the Sicilian Language.

Independence Italian Cultural Museum volunteers at a museum meeting.  (2014) 

We Museum Board volunteers are inspired by the Museum's founders and all of the past Museum Boards who have kept everything going since opening at the town's festival in 1981.  With each person doing his/her part, noticeable improvements are taking place`.  We thank members of the community are working together donating their antique items, time, and talents contributing to the upcoming "A Night in Little Italy Sotto le Stelle/Under the Stars" new roof fundraiser in September.   Also, exciting things are happening and being planned at our lovely and historic Museum which is the Most Beautiful one of only about 4 or 5 Italian/Sicilian museums in the entire U.S.A.


UNESCO, the cultural arm of the United Nations has stated that the Sicilian Language is in danger of extinction, so museum volunteers ' mission is to learn and preserve the forbidden language of our Sicilian immigrant ancestors which has been forbidden throughout the centuries in Sicily especially so in the tragic aftermath and violence of Italian Unification from 1815 - 1871 and sadly is allowed to continue today.

Since 2016, the Italian Cultural Museum has offered Sicilian Language Class, and is only one of two places nation-wide trying to preserve  the language.  Sicilian class members are pictured.

Jimmy Gregory donated a much needed new karaoke/p.a. system to the museum..

After selling Italian cookies and artichokes in the Italian Cultural Museum's booth for the museum, members of the Italian Museum's Italian/Sicilian folk music group called the MaMa Mias  played in the museum on the Saturday of the 2017 Sicilian Heritage Festival.

Nick and Mary Gagliano on their wedding day in 1899 - First Generation