The Philadelphia Chapter of The Kosciuszko Foundation ended year 2015 with a new president, Jolanta Roman, and an expanded, enthusiastic new Board and Executive Committee to which she continues to recruit new members. One of the chapters most important goals is to build bridges among the various Polish organizations across Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware Valley so as to pool creative and intellectual talents and maximize exposure of the vibrant Philadelphia Polonia.
The Chapter kicked into high gear with their Christmas celebration in early December at the Associated Polish Home and attended by over 150 people. The highlights of the evening included a performance of Tajemnice Ordonki (Secrets of Ordonka), a play about the life and career of famous Hanna Ordonówna, a Polish singer, dancer, actress and patriot. The two person play starred Polish actresses, Maria Nowotarska and Agata Pilitowska and the organizing committee provided English subtitles for non-Polish speaking attendees. Following the play and dinner guests shared opłatek and sang carols.
The coming year marks another productive and exciting time for the chapter. In February the Chapter helped to promote a lecture at the Associated Polish Home on the American career of Thaddeus Kosciusko presented by James S. Pula, a well known historian and respected scholar from Purdue University. Our future plans include partnering with Philadelphia's Franklin Institute on an initiative entitled BRIDGING URBAN AMERICA, a documentary film doing honor to Ralph Modjeski to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the Ben Franklin Bridge in July. Modjeski is considered "America's greatest bridge builder" and was the chief engineer for Philadelphia's Ben Franklin Bridge, among many others across the U.S.
Plans are also underway to organize a Polish Jazz Concert at the University of Pennsylvania or Woodmere Art Museum featuring musicians, Adam Makowicz and Kristof Medina. The chapter is also exploring the possibility of an exhibition on Jerzy Giedroyc and the literary journal, Kultura and marking the 70th anniversary of the foundation of The Literary Institute (Instytut Literacki) in Paris. Under Giedroyc's leadership Kultura played a major role in Poland's reconciliation with Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania and no other publication was as instrumental in bringing democracy back to Poland.