IL CENTRO TOPS OUT! New York, October 18, 2012 – More than two hundred community and business leaders joined Brooklyn’s Public Elected Officials and the Federation of Italian American Organizations to celebrate the “Topping Out” of Il Centro. To commemorate the progress, FIAO raised the American and Italian flag to the top of the building as a tribute to the Italian-American community. Located at 8711 18th Avenue (Cristoforo Colombo Blvd and Benson Ave), the 6-story Italian-American cultural community center will provide a new focal point for FIAO, which has provided programs and social services since 1977.
Praising this extraordinary initiative were Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Congressman Michael Grimm, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, State Senator Martin J. Golden, State Assemblymam William Colton, and New York City Councilman David G. Greenfield. The “Topping Out” represents a milestone for Italian-Americans in New York City and for all in Southern Brooklyn because this state of the art 50,000 square foot six story facility will offer the community the opportunity to “live” the Italian language, literature, culinary riches, history and arts while also “networking” in the gymnasium, swimming pool, fitness center and rooftop garden.
Senator Marty Golden stated, “I am proud to have been part of the ceremony and to have given $2 million dollars to the Federation of Italian American Organizations to build the first Italian-American Cultural Community Center in New York City. Once completed, “Il Centro” will be an awesome place. We have taken another step forward to completing this building that will be the newest Brooklyn hub for exemplary services for all.”
Il Centro is FIAO’s first and largest construction project ever undertaken by its leadership. For the past decade FIAO’s board of directors has worked determinedly to plan and fund the first Italian-American Cultural Community Center in New York City. It will be the flagship Italian-American cultural community center in the United States, New York City’s hub for model preservation of one’s own rich cultural heritage, and for exemplary services.”
Il Centro is the first Italian American Cultural Community Center constructed in the City of New York. It is at 8703-8711 Cristoforo Colombo Blvd (18th Avenue), Brooklyn. Once completed, Il Centro will expand services and will serve as a cultural resources to Italian Americans as well as become a model to all ethnic groups in how to preserve, celebrate, and care one’s own heritage in a multi-cultural society.
During the past thirty-four years, the Federation of Italian American Organizations has provided a gamut of services directed at improving the quality of life of individuals and families with particular focus on the needy of our society – the immigrants, seniors, and youth. These services include social assistance, education, and recreational programs, which are aided by FIAO’s Beacon Community Center, as well as some other After School programs, scholarships to high school graduates pursuing higher education, and cultural initiatives such as the Brooklyn Columbus Day Parade and the exchange program.
Now, FIAO is ready to bring its mission to a whole new level, with the construction of a state-of-the-art cultural community center, a.k.a. Il Centro, which will be located at 8711 Cristoforo Colombo Blvd (18th Ave) in Brooklyn. The center will serve the entire community and will offer many activities and services, in addition to those mentioned above, including a Senior Citizens Center, an indoor swimming pool and gymnasium, and a Performing Arts auditorium.
Funding for this very ambitious project shall be provided from various “public” City and State reps and organizations, as well as with the generous support of private entities amd individuals.