The Tuscan American Association Onlus, presided by its co-presidents Andrea Davis and Federico Frediani, organizes a welcome ceremony every year for American students who initiate their studies in the various universities located in Tuscany. Among the Association’s main objectives is enhancing cultural exchanges between Tuscany and the United States, and the ceremony is among the events that are organized each year with much success. This year Welcome Day will be held on October 8th at 5:00 pm in the Salone dei 500 of Palazzo Vecchio. Opening remarks will be made by the Mayor of Florence Dario Nardella, the Ambassador of the United States to Italy John Phillips, as well as by the two Co-Presidents.
A dance performance will be offered by the Florence Dance Company. This will be followed by the ceremony for the Tuscan American Award, given each year on the occasion of Welcome Day to two award recipients, one Tuscan and the other American, who have contributed significantly to further develop the ties of friendship and exchange between the United States and Tuscany. This year’s award recipients are Polimoda, International Institute of Fashion Design and Marketing, as this institute has become renown for its education of youth in the fashion industry, in collaboration with equivalent American institutes, with the award accepted by Polimoda’s President, Mr. Ferruccio Ferragamo; and Dr. Steven M Altschuler, M.D., CEO of The Philadelphia Children’s Hospital, for his work promoting the protocol of collaboration between CHOPS and the Meyer Pediatric Hospital of Florence. A special award will be given to the Florence Dance Festival of Keith Ferrone e Marga Nativo, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. A reception will follow for the students organized by Robert Shackleford, Elisabetta Santanni and Costanza Menchi, with various kinds of entertainment in the Sala d'Arme di Palazzo Vecchio, where there will be stands of young artisans sponsored by OMA (Osservatorio dei Mestieri d’Arte) and Let’s Work Artisans, who will present Tuscan crafts; Testadialkol and AACUPI’s Drinking on the Right Side, alcohol awareness groups fighting issues associated with overdrinking problems of young adults; Help the Children Florence, music and a few surprises.