Visit the Arezzo Wave Foundation's (FAWI) Web site and you'll likely be amazed at the kinds of things the Tuscan non-profit is doing in the name of Italian youth culture. In addition to organizing and promoting the extremely popular annual Arezzo Wave Love Festival -- often dubbed Italy's Woodstock -- for the past 20 years, the organization has, for the past four, also been promoting Italian music across Europe and overseas.
The Foundation aims, in its words, "to maximize, preserve and increase the potential of youth culture and to maximize, promote and export Italian music abroad."
It's the kind of support that most hard working, independent musicians can usually only fantasize about.
In addition to a radio station, the foundation runs a number of competitions, allowing artists from across Italy to gain a wider audience. Arezzo Wave Band is for emerging groups, Elettrowave Challenge is for audio/visual artists and Cabawave is for cabaret performers. But there's also now Comicswave for graphic novelists and comic artists and Photowave for photographers.
A complete list of Arezzo Wave's activities would be far too lengthy to run here.
FAWI also helps Italian bands tour outside Italy and over the past two years, some of those performers have come to the United States, including Carmen Consoli, Fiamma Fumana, Linea 77 and Piccola Orchestra Avion Travel, most of which have performed in Chicago.
Avion Travel is also coming back this spring, along with Ferruccio Spinetti and Petra Magoni.
We took that opportunity to ask Mauro Valenti, artistic director of the festival and president of the foundation, about FAWI's history and mission and the promotion of Italian music in the United States.
BT: After the festival, how was the idea for the foundation born. Was there a model or is it the first example of a project of this kind?
MV: The Arezzo Wave Love Festival was born in 1987 and we are celebrating the 20th edition this year. The foundation on the other hand was…Read more...