On September 18th of this year our local Philadelphia Chapter of the Kosciuszko Foundation will dedicate an officially sanctioned Pennsylvania Museum and Historical Commission marker to commemorate the achievements of Leopold Stokowski.
Leopold Stokowski was first among the musical innovators who began bringing the Philadelphia Sound to the world, through performance, radio and recordings. He experimented with new orchestral techniques and instruments. He had the right mixture of showmanship and talent to break the stale old mold of "classical music" and make audiences cheer. He took the Philadelphia Orchestra to new heights, making it a real "world class" institution. Little wonder then, that when Walt Disney was creating his precedent breaking animated film Fantasia he brought Stokowski into the project to create the musical score.
So that Stokowski's achievements are remembered into the 21st century and beyond, the Philadelphia Chapter of the Kosciuszko Foundation is installing a historical marker, approved by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, in front of the Academy of Music on Broad Street in Philadelphia. We are looking forward to this exciting ceremony!
The Philadelphia Chapter of the Kosciuszko Foundation kicked off its 25th anniversary celebration on October 27, 2019. We would like to express our thanks to those who joined us at the Museum of the American Revolution to commemorate this milestone. Special thanks go to the Chapter's founders who honored us with their presence and willingness to share chapter's history dating back to the initial meeting in 1994.
Many thanks also to our passionate and enthusiastic speakers. The lecture on Poland and the US Constitutions was captivating and highly educational. The Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791 and the American Constitution of 1787 are bound by many shared values and ideals. Both are examples of successful modern constitutions which implemented the ideals of Enlightenment, such as separation of power, checks and balances and effective judicial review while also providing for human and civil rights for their citizens. Both were grounded in local legal traditions and herein seems to lie the key to their success. While it is generally know that American Constitution was based on British parliamentary traditions, it is largely unknown that Poland had long standing liberal legal and political traditions, including extensive human rights protections for its citizen and full religious liberty far earlier than any other European country. Moreover, Poland had a developed parliamentary traditions, effective court system and judiciary and was politically innovative, among them, Poland introduced elective monarchy when the rest of Europe was ruled by absolute rulers. The latter, while innovative, ended up enabling Poland's enemies and resulted in the partitions of the country that lasted 123 years. The lecture dealt with these and other topics related to these two innovative constitutions.
The 12th Polish Cultural Salon that benefits educational scholarship fund of the Philadelphia Chapter was hosted by Hanna and Mirek Wewiora in their beautiful home on Saturday, September 7th, 2019.
The lecture by Ryszard Druch, a well-known cartoonist, graphic artist, cabaret artist, teacher, and above all a promoter of Polish culture and art provided an interesting review of the history of Polish caricature and included the author's personal perspective and many of his own contributions.
Mr. Druch also drew live caricatures of our Chapter's President Sylwia Czajkowska and one of the guest volunteers. As usual, the Salon was a fun gathering with great conversations and a plentiful table! Another truly memorable evening attended by over forty members of our Chapter!
An amazing evening hosted by Hania and Mirek Wewiora and attended by over 60 members of our Chapter took place on Saturday February 23, 2019.
A fascinating presentation on Edith's life and career was given by Mr. Andrzej Jozef Dabrowski a writer, publicist, journalist and radio personality. Conversations, great food and Edith's music filled out the evening !
A spectacular evening of great company, music, dance, carolling and oplatek sharing. So happy to share this event with Ogniwo Polish School, friends from the Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia, Polish People's University, the Jagiellonian Law Society, Druch Studio and many, many others.
Great start of the Holiday Season!
Yesterday, our Chapter proudly participated in the Polish Independence Day Celebration in the Capital of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg!!! Representatives of Polonia groups included: Associated Polish Home, Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia, Gazeta Polska, Marcella Kochanska Sembrich Female Chorus, Poles in America Foundation, representatives of the Polish American community in Harrisburg and Polish Army Veterans Association. Captivating speeches on Polish history and its relations with the US were presented by Robert Torres, Acting Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of State, Vice-Consul Mateusz Gmura and Debbie Majka, Honorary RP Consul for Southeastern Pennsylvania. Overall, a very moving Ceremony 🇵🇱🇺🇸 !
On November 11, 2018 our Chapter celebrated the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence at the 10th Salon of Polish Culture. It was an amazing evening hosted by Elizabeth and John Sozanski featuring Polish poetry after 1918 and a piano recital by Katarzyna Marzec-Salwinski who played multiple works of Frederic Chopin and Ignacy Paderewski. A truly memorable evening attended by 60 members of our Chapter!
On September 29th, 2018, our Chapter held another successful and memorable event at the Philadelphia Museum of American Revolution. In honor of the 100th Anniversary of Poland regaining its independence, we hosted a public lecture by Lynn Olson, an author, historian and a journalist. She presented a fascinating talk on the role of Polish warriors and resistance fighters during the Second World War. The presentation was based on her most recent book "The Last Hope Island".
The lecture was followed by book signing and a dinner reception in the beautiful Liberty Hall. The " World War II Polish Living History Group" held an exhibition devoted to preserving the memory and deeds of Poland's armed forces in World War II. The event was captivating and very well attended!
Board members of the KF Philadelphia Chapter with Lynne Olson, Tomasz Kierul and the leaders of the WWII Polish Living History Group
Dinner reception at the Liberty Hall
Our Chapter held the The Ninth Polish Cultural Salon at the home of Elizabeth Zechenter. As the month of April is celebrated as the National Poetry Month in America, we hosted A Poetry & Music Salon in cooperation with the Jagiellonian Law Society. Poetry readings included works of Stanisław Barańczak, Polish poet, literary critic, scholar, editor, translator and lecturer at the Harvard University, as well as, classics by Jan Kochanowski, Wislawa Szymborska, Czeslaw Milosz and Zbigniew Herbert. Tadeusz Turkowski (a former actor of the Hybrydy Theatre in Warsaw) also read poems by Andrzej Wala, a local poet, journalist and the founder of the Polish-American Ethnographic Society named after Bronislaw Malinowski (one of the most important 20th century anthropologists). The salon also showcased a young Polish violinist, Ania Filochowska, a rising star in the world of classical music, currently a senior at the Curtis Institute.
Big thanks to Elizabeth for hosting another successful and fun Salon.
A delightful evening celebrating the 250th Jubilee of Polish National Theatre took place on February 17th, 2018 at the home of Hania and Mirek Wewiora.
A fascinating presentation was given by Mr. Andrzej Jozef Dabrowski a Polish theatre director and script writer, publicist, journalist and radio personality. Mr. Dabrowski is an alumnus of Uniwersytet Warszawski and Wyzsza Szkola Teatralna im. A. Zelwerowicza in Warsaw. In the United States Mr. Dabrowski is associated with: Nowy Dziennik, Glos , Kurier Plus and Instytut Pilsudskiego w Ameryce.
The National Theatre's stages have hosted many important premieres over 250 years of its history — important not only in terms of their artistic and intellectual value, but also political and social significance.
The Consul General of the Republic of Poland, Maciej Golubiewski along with his wife Agata visited Philadelphia on November 27, 2017. He met with leaders of local Polonia organizations at the Kosciuszko House on Pine Street. Debbie Majka (Honorary Consul for Southeastern Pennsylvania), Peter Obst and Marie Hejnosz (Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia), Janusz Romanski (The Polish People's University) and Yolanta Roman and Sylwia Czajkowska (The Kosciuszko Foundation Philadelphia Chapter) were present. The Consul General was interested in the potential modernization of the House in order to attract more visitors. Also, a proposal of a new movie about Kosciuszko was discussed.
In 2017, several members of Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia and of the KF Philadelphia Chapter completed the National Park Service training and served as volunteer guides at the Kosciuszko House.
Our Christmas Dinner Theatre took place on December 9, 2017 at the Associated Polish Home in Philadelphia. The evening begun with the performance by the Toronto's Salon of Poetry and Music called " Good Evening Monsieur Chopin". Sharing oplatek, dinner and carolling followed. Our raffle prices were in high demand. All together an evening of fun!
On September 23, 2017 our Chapter hosted a Celebration of the Bicentennial of General Tadeusz Kosciuszko death at the Museum of the American Revolution on Third and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia.
Professor Gary Nash of UCLA, author of "Friends of Liberty: Thomas Jefferson, Tadeusz Kosciuszko and Agrippa Hall" delivered a scholarly presentation entitled:
"KOSCIUSZKO, JEFFERSON and HISTORY'S FORGOTTEN MAN FROM STOCKBRIDGE"
Friends of Liberty tells the remarkable story of three men whose lives were braided together by issues of liberty and race that fueled revolutions across two continents. Thomas Jefferson wrote the founding documents of the United States. Tadeusz Kosciuszko was a hero of the American Revolution and later led a spectacular but failed uprising in Poland, his homeland. Agrippa Hull, a freeborn black New Englander, volunteered at eighteen to join the Continental Army.
"Friends of Liberty" is a great book to read on subject.
Dear members, friends and supporters of the Kosciuszko Foundation Philadelphia Chapter
I am pleased to announce our chapter's quarterly newsletter, "Quo Vadis." Your input, offerings and news are welcomed for publication. To subscribe, click here. Links to our current and past Newsletters are here.
President, The KF Philadelphia Chapter
April 16, 2016 saw the inauguration of Polish Cultural Salons in Philadelphia & New Jersey. The Polish Cultural Salon is inspired by the famous Thursday Dinners of King Stanislaw Poniatowski, where the king and his guests dined and discussed the literature, art and politics of the day. Our Salons take place in the private homes of KF Philly members and friends.