June 5, 2017
Congratulations to the Craco Society — Serving Our Community Since 2007
Reprinted from the June 2017 Craco Society Bulletin
On June 1, 2007 The Craco Society, Inc. was incorporated and a few weeks later, from August 15-17 fifty-three individuals from Canada, Italy, and the United States with roots in Craco, met in the first gathering of the “Crachesi del Nord America.” They agreed to support the non-profit organization to preserve the history, culture, and traditions of Craco and its people in North America. This was followed by the organization being recognized by the US Federal Government, the National Italian American Foundation, and the Italian Basilicata Regional Authority.
Over the past ten years, support for the organization has taken many forms. It was through the membership now totaling 489 (600 on Facebook) that the Society was able to live up to its mission.
The individual contributions from members of historic material relating to Craco began immediately. Added to that was the volunteer efforts that built the structure of the organizations, the website and Facebook, which allows the Society to reach individuals worldwide that have an interest in Craco and its people’s past.
Once established, the Society was able to organize trips to Italy, annual reunions, and San Vincenzo Feast day celebrations. These served to expand our visibility and also drew more gifts of historic items that added to the ever growing resources of material. This created a challenge to share the materials and information about them and also the responsibility to preserve them.
Through the use of many media, films and photographs were digitized and compiled to preserve them; books, pamphlets, and documents were translated and published; new material was created to preserve the language, music, and history of the town and immigration to America; and in some cases the Society took ownership of items needing care and attention to make sure they survived.
Members’ interest in family history led to an ever growing database, currently containing over 6,100 records for individuals connected to Craco that the Society maintains.
Besides member support the Society also benefited from gifts of important materials about Craco from museums and archives. This added to the wealth of material in our care.
Without an actual building, the Society has operated “virtually” using the internet to communicate. The website housed much of the material but was stretched to capacity and in need of some “renovations” to keep up with the newer mobile and tablet technology. To accommodate for these changes a plan was undertaken to update the website that will allow the Society to start its eleventh year with a “new” website.
Ten years ago there were doubts the Society would be sustainable. And although we have seen the passing of several of our original founders we know the organization can continue as long as there is a memory of Craco and its people who now widely populate North America.
Viva i Crachesi—Long live the Crachesi!