Che Figata! (keh-fee-GAH-tah) is Italian slang for ‘What a cool thing!” or “How Cool!” or “How Awesome!” The expression Che Figata! is always accompanied by an exclamation point! Simply put, Che Figata! describes "What's Cool" and What's Awesome".
As an Italian-American and as passionate as I am about all things Italian-food and family, I am also passionate about people. Let me be more specific. I am passionate about older people (just don’t ask me what is considered old age). From the time I was a little girl, I savored those precious moments with family relatives. That’s where my passion for older people began. It wasn’t only the stories they shared as much as the character of their personalities. There was always so much emerging from their faces, their expressions, the forth rightness of their words that struck me then much as they do today as awesome. Che Figata!
That sense of “AWE” compelled me to dedicate more than three decades to managing and coordinating opportunities and support services for people over 50. Again, Che Figata! And then came my 50s. This was a time of great personal upheaval: loss of life dear to me beginning with my parents, a personal health scare, and my daughter’s departure for college. Facing the elements, I questioned the length and depth of my life. I needed a push and I wanted regression to serve as progress. Contradiction? Maybe, but what if it could motivate me?
It’s become increasingly clear that there is an exciting aging revolution going on. We are now a society with more people over 60 than under 18, and whether or not we are truly living longer than our ancestors, we are changing the way we view and live our later years. I am still awestruck in the presence of people older than me - though the gap is rapidly closing. It was that feeling of “AWE” that propelled me to jump on a train with only one destination: To change perceptions of aging in the most passionate way I know how, through distinctive art and cultural activities and events that passionately convey our lives in a cool way, in an awesome way, in our way. Che Figata!