Your gateway to everything Italian/Italian-American in California

Museums & Cultural Centers


The majority of Italian-American citizens take great pride in their American identity and view all fellow citizens of the USA as part of our national family, irrespective of skin color, ethnicity, race, or origin. Indeed, we are Americans. So, why do we establish our own museums? Why not seek inclusion in already existing museums? Why choose to be distinct? Could this be considered voluntary segregation? Are we segregating ourselves from the broader American society by our ethnicity?

The answer is multifaceted, and opinions will vary, but one plausible explanation is practicality. Given the constraints of budget or space, the rich history and culture of the myriad ethnic and cultural groups that have immigrated to and shaped this country cannot be fully represented in a single museum. Many significant yet subtle details of that history and culture would be missed to accommodate others. While we appreciate that the history and culture of Italian immigrants and their descendants are represented in museums that narrate the broader history of a place or the nation, these institutions cannot possibly encompass every exhibit, issue, event, and historical narrative of any one group, such as Italians. In our own museums, you will discover insights and see exhibits not found in the general history museums of any city or state.

Far from promoting separation or endorsing voluntary segregation, we, like other ethnic groups in America, are proud of our American heritage and establish our own museums to share our complete story with the utmost detail and the largest number of exhibits possible, all from our unique ethnic perspective.

Therefore, I encourage you to visit and support the Italian American museums and cultural centers, just as I hope you support those representing other groups, to gain a fuller understanding of the American tapestry.

Grazie! Auguri!
-Christopher Forte

San Diego

presented by the Convivio Society

Los Angeles

San Jose

 San Francisco


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