Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

The Cleveland Foundation welcomes Polish-American Cultural Center!

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Polish-American Cultural Center in Honor of John Paul II has reached yet another milestone; in May 2009 Polish-American Cultural Center (PACC) established an organizational endowment fund at the Cleveland Foundation.  The foundation want to thank the board of directors of PACC for the trust you have placed in the foundation.

So what does this mean to PACC and its supporters?  An endowment fund is a fund set aside to generate income as well as for long-term use for the not-for-profit organization.  Having a strong and stable endowment fund is a sign that an organization is fiscally responsible and prepared for whatever the future may hold.  It can also ensure that the mission of an organization can continue in perpetuity if needed.

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Polish Jokes

Sunday, May 1st, 2005

On April 12, 2005, The Plain Dealer published an article entitled Be yourself and laugh at hearty ‘Polish Joke,’ written by Tony Brown.  In reviewing David Ives’ play Polish Joke, Mr. Brown wrote that “big laughs and even bigger kielbasa are the rewards for those venturing (…) for the hilarious area premiere of David Ives’ excoriating satire…”  We learn from the review that the play contains lots of jokes that “deprecate and insult” those who trace their origin to Poland.  And there are “a few snide references about the Vatican as well.”

Apparently, “the point of the play is one of self-acceptance, of being comfortable with who we are.”  This statement by itself sounds unoffending.  However, Mr. Brown gives us some hint what our self-acceptance should entail by including in his article one special quote from the play. “All Polish jokes are true,” proclaims his favorite and the only quote from David Ives’ work.  Apparently according to Mr. Brown, this self-acceptance simply means that we have to accept that we are stupid.  Such explicit public message would be considered offensive if directed at any ethnic group.  We also learn from Mr. Brown’s review that the play includes a nurse who strips down to negligee in the colors of the Polish flag, and that a partition map of Poland is on display during the performance. (more…)

ArtDeco…… Tamara L. – Maria Górska

Friday, April 1st, 2005

Along with many others, I recently had the opportunity to enjoy the stage production of “Tamara L” at the Polish American Cultural Center.  Joseph Hart, the newest member of our editorial team at FORUM, recently reviewed the play.  Because of Eugene Bak’s efforts to bring the Polish theatrical troupe and their play, “Tamara L” to Cleveland, I take the opportunity to convey to our readers some of the interesting history of the twenties, and to tell about one of the fascinating figures at the center of that era. (more…)

From Wrocław to Case, Akron, and Slavic Village

Tuesday, February 1st, 2005

Magda Staniszewska conducts biochemical research in aging and diabetes. In 2003 she received an invitation to continue her research at Case Western Reserve University. In July of the same year Magda and her husband Marcin packed up and left their native Wrocław to move to Cleveland. During the month after their arrival they began looking for a Polish community. Thanks to the Internet they found St. Stanislaus and „discovered” Slavic Village. Their first contact was Father Jerzy Kusy. Through him, they found out about a meeting of Polish Americans in the Polish Cultural Garden on Martin Luther King Boulevard. There they met Alicja Chwals and Ben Stefański. (more…)

Discover Poland – Exhibition about Poland

Tuesday, February 1st, 2005

Twelve months have passed since the moment of my departure from Poland and my heart was filled with warmth as I viewed the exhibition “Discover Poland” at the Cultural Center. It showed the beauty, history, culture, and economic accomplishments of Poland.

We were able to see the cities of Poland. It is important to mention that many Polish cities are older than the country itself. According to Alexandrian geographer Claudius Ptolemy, the town of Calisia existed in the second century, and the country of Poland began to form in the 10th century. In later years, large cities formed at the initiative of powerful magnates, like Zamość shown on the first picture with its renaissance town hall. The next photograph is the Church of Peace in Jaworze. It is hard to believe that this building formed from wood and clay in the gothic style has a baroque interior. From southeast, we move north. We can admire the harbor in Szczecin, the modern business center, as well as remember the past in the ramparts of King Chrobry. It is impossible not to stop in Malbork, the fortified stronghold of the Teutonic knights. The capitals – old Krakow and the present Warsaw, hold a separate chapter in the history of Poland’s cities. Then, there is Lodź which quickly developed in the late 19th and early 20th century with its many examples of Art Nouveau in architecture. Next was Poznań, popular for its inter-national commerce. Then there was Wroclaw, a city of many cultures. A statement made about the royal city of Kraków says that if “the homeland disappeared, in its monuments one can see the kaleidoscope of Polish history, changes, ways of thinking, and human achievements across the centuries”. It is hard to disagree, looking at the Main Square of the Old City, Sukiennice, and Wawel – the royal castle overlooking Vistula River. Additional pieces of Krakow presented in the colorful pictures are Kazimierz quarters, which was the center of activity at the heart of Krakow for seven centuries. The Jews formed spiritual and economical cultures here contributing to the Polish culture. Currently, the Festival of Jewish Culture – Kazimierz brings back its old charm.

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A walk through Slavic Village

Monday, November 1st, 2004

Slowly, but surely a new face of Slavic Village is born. All you have to do is look around. So many restored buildings, with the best example being the Polish American Cultural Center. It is so nice to look at it without shame, and hear someone say: “Unbelievable, such a nice place in the Warsaw district?” However, more beautiful does not necessarily mean safer, but …that will change too, just as the surroundings have changed. Not long ago an acquaintance told me that he is buying a house. His answer to the typical question “where?” was, “You will laugh, but in the Warsaw district.” Maybe this sounds strange, but “He’s not stupid – I thought – he has no children, the prices are lower here than anywhere else, taxes too, and the place is becoming more attractive, and everything is so close.” One can say that there are only positives here.

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Discovering our Polish ancestors

Monday, November 1st, 2004

Many in the Polish-American community of northeastern Ohio have started to learn more about Poland by first learning more about their own families. They have joined the Polish Genealogical Society of Greater Cleveland (PGSGC). Polish-Americans in the Cleveland area first came together to discuss genealogical research and Polish culture in the fall of 1991 at the initiative of Ed Mendyka. Mendyka started the group from a heritage room set up at the St. John Cantius Roman Catholic Church Polish Festival. The group now has over a hundred members throughout the area and the United States and is part of the Federation of East European Family History Societies (http://feefhs.org/), an organization formed in 1992 to promote research and organize the work of the many genealogical societies that had been established throughout the country. Interest in genealogy in the United States has grown over recent decades, as people increasingly look to discover more about their families in order to understand their background.

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Growing up Polish

Monday, March 1st, 2004

We refer to ourselves as Americans of Polish origin.  My sister and I were born in the United States, whereas our older brother was born in Belgium where our parents had completed their university studies after the Second World War.  We not only grew up speaking Polish at home, our parents taught us to read and write Polish before we started (American) kindergarten.  However, we were more than just bilingual, we were brought up bicultural as well.  Has this hurt us at all?  Have there been any negative repercussions associated with this?  Absolutely not!

As adults, we realized that our parents had been enlightened people who knew that by virtue of being raised in this country, we would be Americans in every sense of the word and that we would speak like everyone else.  However, they also knew that giving us a second language would enrich our lives and broaden our horizons.

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Polish American Cultural Center honoring Pope John Paul II Plans for the Future

Saturday, March 1st, 2003

We have already achieved a good measure of success in a relatively short time, but we do not intend to rest on our laurels. We have set goals for the future that are very ambitious but well thought out and planned.

Here is a summary of our plans:

— The Center is cooperating with Pulaski Franciscan Development Corporation under the direction of Father Michael Surufka and the patronage of Bishop Pilla to rejuvenate the Warszawa District in Slavic Village. Specifically, we refer to 65 th Street from St. Stanislaus Church to Lansing Avenue, where our Center is located.

— We have organized “Panel Discussions” composed of experts who will discuss topics in various fields such as tax issues, legal matters, medical issues, investment strategies etc. The first panel has already taken place. The subsequent panels will be held the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM at the Center.

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Waterfalls and Urban History

Sunday, February 2nd, 2003

Slavic Village residents have a new way to learn more about their community and the contributions of Polish immigrants to Cleveland.  The Mill Creek Falls Neighborhood History Center opened at 8404 Webb Terrace in October.  Visitors have come by to visit even during the coldest days of winter, but staff members are looking forward to the Center’s first spring and summer.  The History Center is located just steps away from the new Cleveland Metroparks overlook, from which one can see Cuyahoga County’s 48-foot waterfall.

Mill Creek Falls provided the power for the area’s first grist and saw mills, paving the way for the development of industry in the region.  With the help of Cleveland Metroparks and area businesses and residents, the Falls have become accessible to residents once again.  Joan Brilla generously donated her nearby home to be used for educational purposes and, with the organizational efforts led by Bobbi Reichtell of Slavic Village Development and the Slavic Village Historical Society, local residents, many with Polish backgrounds, planned the renovation of the home and the Center’s exhibits.

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