Ohio - Mission & History

The Ohio Chapter of the Kościuszko Foundation was established in August 2007 to promote the Foundation's mission of promoting and strengthening understanding and friendship between the peoples of Poland and the United States through educational, scientific, and cultural exchanges and other related programs and activities.

The idea of establishing a Chapter of The Kościuszko Foundation in Ohio originated from one of its members, Dr. Mary Kay Pieski, who had volunteered since 1995 as a teacher and American staff leader with the Kościuszko Foundation Teaching English in Poland Program. Many of her colleagues and friends volunteered for this program, experiencing the culture and people of Poland firsthand. Dr. Pieski wanted this exchange to continue long after these teachers returned from their summer in Poland.

Dr. Pieski was elected to the National Advisory Council in 2006 and expressed the desire to start a chapter in Ohio. The Chapter was founded in Bath, Ohio, at the home of Dr. Wieslaw Binienda and Maria Szonert-Binienda, Esq. Mr. Joseph E. Gore, Esq. was present for the first meeting and election of officers. Originally, the Chapter embraced eight counties in Northeast Ohio, but in 2009 it expanded its boundaries to include the entire state of Ohio.

The office is located in the Cleveland Polish-American Culture Center JP II,  6501 Lansing Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44105.

 

    Five year history and chronology                                                   of Events

Ohio Chapter of The Kościuszko Foundation

Chronology

August 2007- April 2012

2007

  • Dinner and Inauguration of the Northeast Ohio Chapter of The Kościuszko Foundation at the Binienda Residence in Bath, Ohio.
  • Lecture on the life and work of the renowned Polish Laboratory Theatre Director Jerzy Grotowski was presented by James Slowiak and Jairo Cuesta at the University of Akron. Both men co-authored the book, Jerzy Grotowski.

2008

  • Development of the Ohio Chapter web page by Mary Kay Pieski.
  • Polish Poster Exhibition (1980's through mid 1990's) from the private collection of Peter Obst and Iga Majewska-Trcinski at the Polish American Cultural Center in Cleveland.
  • First Annual Awards Banquet at the Polish American Cultural Center in Cleveland.

Honoree: Professor Jerzy Maciuszko, Author and Ambassador of Polish Culture.

  • Polish Constitution Day Celebration and Parade in Slavic Village, Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Tomasz Kowalczyk Photography Exhibition: Poland's Landscapes and Nature at the Polish American Cultural Center in Cleveland.
  • Donated shipping costs for the Teaching English in Poland Program Limanowa, Poland.
  • First Anniversary Celebration and Meeting at the Binienda Residence in Bath, Ohio.

2009

  • Obtained Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation between Kent State University and The Kościuszko Foundation.
  • Herodot Poloni Amerykanskiej: Mieczyslaw Haiman Lecture and book signing by Dr. Teresa Kaczorowska at the Polish American Cultural Center in Cleveland.
  • Piano Recital by Jonathan Floril, Laureate of the 2008 Kościuszko Foundation Chopin Piano Competition at Kent State University.
  • Recipient of a $4,500 award from The Delta Kappa Gamma Educational Foundation for the purchase of instruments and supplies for the Arts Enriched English Language Camp in Zalęcze, Poland.
  • Established a business office in the Polish American Cultural Center in Cleveland.
  • Lecture title ŻEGOTA Council for Aid to the Jews-Polish Resistance and Rescue in World War II was presented by Dr. John Michalczyk of Boston College at Kent State University.
  • Second Annual Awards Banquet at the Polish American Cultural Center in Cleveland.

 Honoree: Mr. Eugene Bak, Executive Director of the Polish American Cultural Center.

  • Piano Recital by Julia Kociuban: Winner of the 2008 Polish National Chopin Piano Competition held in Warsaw, Poland, at the Shrine of Saint Stanislaus, Cleveland.
  • Polish Constitution Day Celebration and Parade in Slavic Village, Cleveland.
  • Donated shipping costs for the first Arts Enriched English Camp in Załęcze, Poland.
  • Lecture and book signing by Alex Storozynski, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of The Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kościuszko and the Age of Revolution at the Polish American Cultural Center in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Name Day Celebration in honor of Thaddeus Kościuszko at the Polish American Cultural Center, Cleveland.

2010

  • Ms. Diana Grutzmacher, first debutante, representing the Ohio Chapter presented at the 75th Annual Kościuszko Foundation Dinner and Ball at the Waldorf =Astoria, New York.
  • Third Annual Awards Banquet at the Polish American Cultural Center, Cleveland.

                          Honoree: Dr. Dorota Sobieska, Founder and Executive Director, Opera Circle

  • Recipient of a $3000 grant from the Delta Kappa Gamma Educational Foundation for the purchase of dulcimers and supplies for the Arts Enriched English Camp in Poland.
  • Organ Recital by Bogna McGarrigle at the Shrine of Saint Stanislaus in Cleveland.
  • Initiated the Ohio Chapter's first state-wide membership campaign in conjunction with the Chapter's annual Local Essay Contest.
  • Donated shipping costs for the Arts Enriched English Camp in Poland.
  • Second Arts Enriched English Camp in Załęcze, Poland.
  • Piano Recital by Sun-A Park, the 2010 winner of the Kościuszko Foundation Chopin Competition at Kent State University and Cleveland State University.

2011


  • Lecture and Book signing by Rita Cosby at Roosevelt High School, Kent State University, Cleveland State University, Youngstown State University and University of Pittsburgh.
  • Fourth Annual Awards Banquet at the Polish American Cultural Center, Cleveland.
Honoree: Mr. George Sobieraj
  • Recipient of $4000 grant from the Delta Kappa Gamma International Foundation for the purchase of clarinets and supplies for the Arts Enriched English Language Camp in Poland.
  • Third Arts Enriched English Camp in Załęcze, Poland.
  • Donated shipping costs for the Arts Enriched English Camp in Poland.
2012
  • Recipient of $3000 grant from the Delta Kappa Gamma Educational  Foundation for the purchase of recording and composition software and keyboards for the Arts Enriched English Language Camp in Załęcze, Poland.

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