This year the Pulaski Day Parade highlighted "The Year of Kosciuszko", an International Celebration Marking the Life and Accomplishments of a Hero of Both Poland and America. The parade also celebrated the history, culture and pride cherished by the Polish American community. During the 2017 Pulaski Day Parade, we also marked the 409th Anniversary of the First Polish Settlers in America.
Congratulations to Teresa (Terri) Wojcik, Ph.D, on being selected as the Grand Marshall for the 84th Philadelphia Pulaski Day Parade!
Terri has worked very hard as an advocate for Polish causes throughout her young life. She has served in leadership positions in many Polish-American organizations including the Philadelphia Chapter of the Kosciuszko Foundation, Teaching English in Poland summer camp program, the Associated Polish Home, the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America, and the Polish-American Festival at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa.
On Sep 23, 2017 professor Garry B. Nash presented a lecture entitled Kościuszko, Jefferson & History's Forgotten Man from Stockbridge at the Museum of American Revolution in Philadelphia. He provided a brilliant interpretation of a controversial story of Kościuszko's last will and Jefferson's betrayal. This remarkable historical account interweaves lives of three men linked by issues of liberty and race that fueled revolutions across two continents. The museum lecture hall was full as so many celebrated the bicentennial anniversary of the death of Polish-American hero.
The reception featured a delicious menu with Polish cuisine overtones and the famous Kosciuszko Bridge Cocktail provided by the Polish Cultural Institute NY. As a part of this celebration, three African-American students who participated in the Kościuszko essay competition were awarded Garry Nash's books and monetary awards. This event was organized by the Philadelphia Chapter of the Kościuszko Fundation in collaboration with the Museum of American Revolution and the National Park Service.
Our 7th Polish Cultural Salon "Summer Afternoon with Music" took place in Newton, PA. Our hosts Ela and Zbyszek Chrzanowski created atmosphere of superb hospitality accompanied by delicious food.
The program included Paul Krzywicki's presentation of fascinating stories of lives and contributions of Polish musicians to the Philadelphia Philharmonic and the Curtis School of Music. Paul who is currently on the faculty of the Curtis Institute was a member of Philadelphia Orchestra for thirty three years. He is the author of the chronicle of Polish virtuosos "From Paderewski to Penderecki -The Polish Musician in Philadelphia."
Paul's presentation was followed by a jazz concert by talented singer Gosia Julia Maj with an accompaniment by percussionist Arturo Stable. Another captivating Salon evening!!!
Ambassador of Poland Prof. Piotr Wilczek visited Philadelphia on August 5, 2017. Accompanied by members of the KF Philadelphia Chapter and the Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia Prof. Wilczek visited Tadeusz Kosciuszko House and Independence Hall.
Kosciuszko National Memorial, at 301 Pine Street in Philadelphia preserves the home of Tadeusz Kościuszko. The life and work of the Polish patriot and hero of the American Revolution are commemorated here.
The Committee of Cooperation with the African American Community met with students at Mastery Charter School at Pickett Campus in Philadelphia on June 6, 2017.
Bozena Korczak, Romuald Roman, and Pawel Latos met with a group of seven students interested in participating in our essay competition about Tadeusz Kosciuszko. Prior to the meeting Ron Nichols, Internship Coordinator, informed us that students and teachers selected the topic: Why is Tadeusz Kosciuszko an inspirational leader to me?
The meeting started with a 20 minute presentation of Mr. Storożyński's movie Kosciuszko: A Man before his time.
This was followed by Bozena Korczak's presentation on the Kosciuszko Foundation's history and its cultural and educational mission. Bozena emphasised the issue of supporting educational endeavors of talented scientists and student exchange between the United States and Poland. Romuald Roman concentrated on Kosciuszko's idealism, his significant role at the battle of Saratoga, his abolitionist views, and his fight for freedom in the United States and Poland.
Pawel Latos concentrated on the essay competition and its criteria. The essay is to have 500 to 1000 words and will be evaluated based on the independent, personal thoughts of the author and its literary value. The essays will be screened by teachers first and then presented to us. We will select the best essays in cooperation with the school. The best authors will be recognized and receive cash prizes following the lecture by Prof. Nash at the Museum of American Revolution on September 22, 2017.
At the end of the meeting, we answered several students' questions. We focused on encouraging
students to be independent, critical and innovative in their essays. Also, we recommended two books about Kosciuszko: The Peasant Prince by Alex Storozynski and Friends of Liberty by Gary Nash.
"Kościuszko: A Man Ahead of His Time"
The Fifth Polish Cultural Salon organized by the KF Philadelphia Chapter took place on March 19, 2017.
In celebration of the Bicentennial Anniversary of his death and the "Kościuszko Year" proclaimed by UNESCO the guests enjoyed screening of the documentary: "Kościuszko: A Man Ahead of His Time" directedby Alex Storozynski and produced by Eve Krzyzanowski.
Over 40 Chapter members attended the screening, followed by a reception to socialize and discuss the film.
Mr. Marek Skulimowski, the new president of Kościuszko Foundation, visited Philadelphia on January 6, 2017. Philadelphia Chapter Board Members met with him and discussed our various initiatives. In particular, we discussed in some detail this year's main project focused on the celebration of the bicentennial of Tadeusz Kosciuszko's death. We also discussed the challenges of expanding and improving the presence of Polonia in Center City.
We wish Mr. Skulimowski great success in his tenure as President and an Executive Director of the Kosciuszko Foundation. We are here in Philadelphia to help him to succeed.
The Polish Cultural Salons are proving to be extraordinarily popular.
The fourth cultural salon was held on October 23 at the Society Hill Center City home of Wanda and Brian Mohr with 35 people in attendance. The program centered on a presentation about the Cichociemni, elite Polish special operatives trained in England and dropped behind enemy lines into German occupied Poland during World War II. Wanda's father was a Cichociemny and she presented his experiences within the larger context of the history of these Polish heroes.
One hundred and eighty-six guests attended the first KF Philadelphia Chapter, Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia and Jagiellonian Law Society joint Christmas Gala which was held on December 3, 2016 at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club, Lafayette Hill, PA. The evening began with a cocktail hour, followed by a dinner, dancing and silent auction. Ela Sozanski led the guests in singing carols in both Polish and English. Brian Matuszewski, who was dressed as Tadeusz
Kościuszko, provided an interesting historical touch to the festivities.
The Philadelphia Chapter supported the Pennsylvania Ballet performance based on Czesław Miłosz poem, "O Zlozony," a lyrical hybrid of classical and modern dance. This extraordinary ballet was first performed in Paris in 2004 to rave reviews. For the New York Times review click here:
The ballet took place June 9-12,2016 at the Merriam Theatre on Broad Street in Philadelphia. For more information about this performance click here.
The Christmas Dinner theater held at the Associated Polish Home on 5 December featuring the "Mysteries of Ordonka" featuring Agata Pilitowska & Maria Nowotarska.
In addition to the great company was Christmas Carols, good food and wonderful company.