The Italian Cultural Center of Maryland Speaker Series


Every First* Sunday of the Month at 3:00 PM

October 16th, 2019




Pier Massimo Forni was a Board Member of ICCM for many years while teaching Italian Literature at Hopkins. 

In 1997, Dr. Forni established the Johns Hopkins Civility Project — now the Civility Initiative has the news media’s first choice for comment when public displays of crude behavior beg for the thoughtful perspective of a lecturer in manners.

In his honor ICCM will lead every year, starting this October, a Civility Dinner in a Baltimore City* Lot where people from every walk of life will gather, share a meal and choose civility in his name.

November 3rd, 2019




Luciana Bianchi is an Astrophysicist and currently Research Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy of The Johns Hopkins University. She previously held positions at the Space Telescope Science Institute, The European Space Agency, and Italian Institutes. 

She studies the starts of the Milky Way and other galaxies. She has led many projects, and she has been involved in the design, building, and operation of important space telescopes. 

She has served as expert reviewer for the European Research Council of the European Commission and in various panels for NASA and other space agencies.

December 1st, 2019




Ron Riley began his career as a radio disc-jockey at small stations in Wisconsin and Illinois. His first major market job was in Milwaukee, and he eventually went on to land his dream job as an on-air personality at WLS 890 Radio in his hometown of Chicago. 

The station was a coast-to-coast AM giant in the era of great Rock and Roll music (see Ron Riley YouTube), and Riley had the opportunity to MC many concerts for bands like the Beatles. Riley switched his media career to TV when he was offered a job hosting “Bowling for Dollars” on Baltimore’s Channel 11 in the 1970s.  

Along the way, opportunities to fill in as a weather at WBAL TV helped launch his career in broadcast meteorology.

January 5th, 2020




Gina has been at Creative Alliance for 7 years, first as Managing Director and Deputy Director and now as its Executive Director.  

She moved to Baltimore from Honolulu, Hawaii, where she was Director and Film Curator at Honolulu Museum of Art’s Doris Duke Theatre. 

Prior to Hawaii, she was a resident of Baltimore for 16 years. She was Manager of Public Programs at the Walters Art Museum and also worked as an editor, photography editor, and writer for The Washington Post Magazine. 

As a freelance writer, she has written articles about art, photography, and film, and she has reviewed books for Baltimore Magazine, Baltimore City Paper, and the Baltimore Sun. 

February 2nd, 2020




Jerry is fascinated by food and wine, and the way they work in harmony on the palate. His understanding of the two goes all the way to the molecular level, drawing on his advanced education in molecular biology at Johns Hopkins.  

His cuisine is simple and surprising, pairing unexpected ingredients together to work with his restaurant’s extensive wine offerings. 

Jerry has been teaching cooking and wine tasting classes in Baltimore for over fifteen years and entertaining the city for almost that long as the co-host of ‘Radio Kitchen’ on WYPR, 88.1FM with his uncanny knack for communicating even the most esoteric concepts to the general public through his ever-present, engaging sense of humor. 

March 1st, 2020




Michael is a social impact investor, philanthropic advancement consultant and a recovering merchant banker. 

A systems thinker and applied complexity science practitioner, he also supports engaging productively and humanistically in issues of countering racism and supporting human rights to increase societal and individual equity (Quantum Social Science). 

As a community centered intelligence operative he uses story and cultural approaches to coach clients and community towards the ends of (Re)establishing and reinforcing a three centuries old legacy in supporting freedom everywhere that started in the center of the underground railroad in central Maryland.

April 5th, 2020




The son of Italian immigrants, Dr. Anthony Marchione did not learn to speak English until Kindergarten. As a student in Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS), Dr. Marchione developed a strong interest in teaching, and he went on to graduate from the Maryland State Teacher’s College at Towson in 1955 with a bachelor’s degree in education.  

Dr. Marchione’s career in BCPS spanned more than forty years as teacher, assistant principal, principal, central office administrator, and ultimately BCPS Superintendent from 1995 until 2000.  

After a brief retirement, Dr. Marchione served four years as the county administrative officer, the highest ranking non-elected official in county government.

May 3rd, 2020




Rosemary FrisinoToohey has had more than 260 productions of her plays around the world from New York to New Zealand. She’s won the British Theatre Challenge in London, the Italian American Theatre of Chicago’s First Playwright Competition, the Next Generation Playwriting Contest in New York as well as The Baltimore Playwrights Festival (three times.)  

Eleven of her comedies are published and three of her dramas have been honored with Artist grants from the Maryland State Arts Council.  

FrisinoToohey is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America and SAG/AFTRA.