Some of the most distinguished literary figures of the 19th Century founded the Dante Alighieri Society in 1889 to perpetuate the accomplishments of Dante and his sense of Italian style. The impact of his writings, in the divided and troubled Italy of the 14th century, empowered the dialect of Florence to rapidly gain the admiration of virtually all of what became the modern nation of Italy. Many scholars consider his masterpiece, "La Divina Commedia" the most eloquent summing up of moral, religious and political thought of the Middle Ages.
Soon after that original chapter of the society was formed in Rome, others began springing up in all parts of the world where Italian communities were growing, leading to 450 chapters worldwide in 1990. Their common non-political goal is to promote the understanding and appreciation of Italy's contributions to civilization from medieval times to present.
In the fall of 1985, a group of Denver-area people under the leadership of Giulio Marcantonio came up with a different slant on how to preserve their Italian heritage. Their new organization - the Dante Alighieri Society - would reach out to the surrounding community to share a variety of programs as well as focus inward on members' shared heritage. For that reason, membership in the Dante Alighieri Society is open to anyone with an interest in Italy, its culture or lifestyle even if family ties are lacking.
The Dante Bylaws incorporate the view that the surest long-term way to preserve a culture is to share it with others, especially the young. The Denver Dante established its scholarship program to carry out that goal, and presented its first awards within a year of the Denver chapter's founding.
Charter members approved Bylaws on September 22, 1985.
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Dante Celebrates 30 Years!