We are celebrating another successful Italian night up here on the mesa. Preparations for the event began on Thursday evening in the cafe. Under the supervision of Carrie Kruger, long time Arcosanti resident and former cafe manager, teams of volunteers spend Thursday though Saturday preparing the ingredients that would feed the nearly 200 visitors who purchased tickets for the dinner.
While the cafe was cooking, the vaults were a flurry of activity. Tomiaki Tamura oversaw their preparation with a group of current worshippers and residents who spent the afternoon hours setting up tables, seating, and serving stations.
The first guests began arriving by 4:30 and were given the opportunity to walk around the campus, enjoying an afternoon breeze that cut through the traditionally high late June temperature. Two large groups were escorted on a complimentary tour throughout the facilities led by the public relations department. When those tours finished and after a short speech by site coordinator Mary Hoadley, wheelbarrows of pasta were rolled into the vaults for the first round of many over the course of the dinner.
The sound of the evening’s performance by due Nick Ariondo and Gregorio Gonzalez in the amphitheater carried across the mesa. For nearly two hours the frenzied, authentic notes of the Ariondo’s accordion and Gonzalez’s rich baritone voice transported all who listened 6000 miles away to the Apennine Peninsula. When the show ended, to a round of rancorous applause, it was hard to believe that most of the audience would be returning to Phoenix rather than to their villas in the Italian countryside.
Thank you to the performers, volunteers, and participants who made Italian Night 2018 possible. We will be looking forward to seeing you next year.
(photos by Jade Kindt and Lauren Davis, text by Tim Bell)