by Jo Louise Winters, PR Chair

Board ACPC

(l. to r.) Camille Kopielski; Mary Ann Mlynarski; Deborah Majka; Mary Ellen Tyszka; Gregory Biestek

The American Council for Polish Culture (ACPC) held its 2012 Fall Board Meeting in Canfield, Ohio, hosted by the Polish Arts Club of Youngstown, Mrs. Mary Ann Mlynarski, President. As reported in another article "Touring Youngstown, Ohio — Hosted by Polish Arts Club of Youngstown", Mrs. Mlynarski and her committee, consisting of Aundrea Heschmeyer and the latter’s two sisters Sandra and Cynthia as well as a goodly number of other eager Club members, prepared and precisely executed an outstanding and exciting cultural program to dramatically inform and entertain the ACPC Board members.

At the opening of the business session Friday evening, Pres. Majka called upon Mr. Marion Winters to give a report on the Louis & Nellie Skalny Scholarships for Polish Studies Committee, which is chaired by Ms. Ursula Brodowicz. Since 1998, Mr. Winters has solicited funding for these annual scholarships from the Louis Skalny Foundation, which has generously provided the funds for the scholarships administered by the ACPC. $3,000 was awarded to each of the two winners this year: Krzysztof Lukasik of Carteret, NJ, who expects to receive a Masters Degree in Transportation in January 2014 from Rutgers University where his studies have also included Contemporary Polish Literature and Polish Language., and Matthew Stefanski of Bayonne, NJ, who is attending American University, School of International Service in Washington, DC, where he expects to be awarded a BA Degree in International Relations. Mr. Stefanski’s Polish studies have included Polish history, international relations and economic policies. He completed a Summer Course in Polish Language and Culture at the University of Warsaw’s Polonicum Center for Polish Language.

Pres. Majka made an announcement "that makes us proud — congratulations are in order to Mr. Thaddeus Mirecki, who has been recognized by the Polish Government with the Medal "Zaslugi Kultury Polskiej" and to First Vice-President Camille Kopielski, who has received the Silver Cross from Poland’s President Komorowski for her work in Education for Polish Students in the Chicago schools". Sto Lat!

Ms. Camille Kopielski, Chair of the ACPC Scholarship Committee, which offers an annual $2,000 scholarship award for Summer Study in Poland at a university of the winner's choice. Ms. Kopielski read an enthusiastic letter she had received from one of the two winners this year, Natalia Wojcik, a senior at Kent State University majoring in Fashion Merchandising with a double minor in Marketing and International Business. In her letter, Natalia wrote that she was thrilled to say that her summer in Poland was more than she could ever have imagined. "I was able to experience Poland from living in a student dorm to using public transportation. I was immersed in the life of a real Polish Student." She encourages other American students to apply as "...the skills acquired provide a whole new perspective on the future and a plethora of new job opportunities after graduation".

The second scholarship recipient, Olivia Bogucki, a student at the University of Connecticut, received a special "once in a lifetime" grant at the Massachusetts General Hospital and will utilize the ACPC study in Poland in 2013.

Ms. Kopielski expressed thanks to her committee members, Donna Chmara, Mary Heslin, Alice Laning, and Judi Tompkins for their assistance and support. This highly popular scholarship program has demonstrated that young students who experience studying at a university in Poland are truly enchanted with this exciting opportunity. Upon their return home, they promptly write personal letters to Ms. Kopielski, praising their professors, the rich opportunity of working and mingling with youths from other countries and most importantly the dynamic Polish culture they are a part of. They emerge more deeply appreciative of their Polish heritage.

The Wachtel Literary Competition administered by the ACPC was established in 1995 by Estelle Wachtel-Torres, MD in memory of her father Stanley Wachtel. Mr. Wachtel was a pioneer in Chicago’s Polish Theatre as well as the producer and participant of the Chicago Polish Language Radio Programs. Dr. Estelle honored her father by contributing funds annually to match first prize awards for ACPC Affiliate literary competitions. Chairperson Mrs. Carolyn L. Meleski reported that three ACPC Affiliates qualified and were awarded the Wachtel grants for 2012 for their first prize winners, as follows:

1. Friends of Polish Art, Detroit — Elizabeth Kerikowske wrote "Spalted".

This literary work is a very original fictional story. The Committee was most impressed that the young writer, Elizabeth, was able to weave a fascinating episode with clear sparkling English, picturesque descriptions, and a tender surprise ending.

2. Polish Heritage Society, Rochester, NY - Alexa Foley wrote "Kaczynski". Alexa wrote a fascinating and well researched article on David Kaczynski. David turned his brother Ted Kaczynski in to the police authorities knowing that Ted was the much sought after "Unabomber" and could receive the death penalty. At the same time, David felt very strongly that death sentences should be eliminated. He devoted a great deal of his time and money giving speeches and writing articles attesting to the faults of death sentences. After dedicating himself to the task of educating the public as well as State officials, David succeeded in convincing NY State officials to abolish the Death Penalty.

3. Polish Arts League of Pittsburgh — Alice Navadeh wrote "The Road To Reading". In her article, Alice emphasizes that "kid books are most important because they start us on the road to reading." She contends that Polish American authors like Jan Pienkowski, for example, makes counting for very young children real fun in his "123" book. Very young children can’t read yet, but learn to count using Pienkowski’s creative illustrations. Older children are encouraged to read Pienkowski’s book The Fairy Tales Alice believes, in order that they may become heroes by casting off spells as described in The Fairy Tales.

Marcia Lewandowski, Chair of the Affiliate Grants Committee, reported on the highly successful program carried out this year. $250 was awarded to the Friends of Polish Art, Detroit in support of their Szopki Competition. $500 was awarded to the Chopin Fine Arts Club, South Bend, IN for its Juried Chopin Piano Competition. The ACPC also awarded $500 to the Polish American Arts Association of Washington, DC for a Chopin Recital featuring Sembrich Scholarship awardee Andrzej Stec, Tenor.

Marie Hejnosz, Dir., Adam Styka Art Exhibit, Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia, reported on the 36th annual Adam Styka Art Exhibit, Aug. 26th at the Natl. Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, PA. 25 artists participated and show prizes were awarded as follows: First - Jas Szygiel $500; 2nd - Nina Hons $300 by ACPC; 3rd - Justin Jedrzejczyk $200 by ACPC; 4th - Eugieniusz Maziarz $150 by Piasecki; 5th - Zygmunt Sawosko $100 by Druch; Sprecial Prize - Grzegorz Worwa by Polski Uniwersytet Ludowy; and Honorable Mentions to Claire Bergen; Frank Jedrzejczyk, and Halina Nawrot. Hundred of people attended over the two weekends that the Exhibit was open.

Pres. Majka expressed the Council’s most sincere thanks and appreciation to the Polish Arts Club of Youngstown, Mary Ann Mlynarski, President, for their superb efforts in making this Fall Board Meeting a very productive and enjoyable event. Bog Zaplac!

Board ACPC

Affiliate Grants (l. to r.): Mary Ellen Tyszka; Carol Surma; Paul Bosse; Marcia Lewandowski; Deborah Majka; Wanda O'Brien-Trefil; Thomas Payne

Board ACPC

Board Members Meet: ACPC Business Session



by Jo Louise Winters, PR Chair

The American Council for Polish Culture (ACPC) held its Fall Board Meeting, Oct. 19-2012, in Canfield, Ohio, hosted by the Polish Arts Club of Youngstown, Mary Ann Mlynarski, President. Thanks to Pres. Mlynarski and her committee, consisting of Aundrea Cika Heschmeyer and the latter’s two sisters Sandra and Cynthia as well as a goodly number of other eager Club members an outstanding program was fully prepared and precisely executed. What a team the Cika sisters make! ACPC board members were most grateful for the wonderful hospitality extended to them by the Club members. Pres. Mlynarski, Aundrea, and Sandra picked up some of the ACPC members at the distant (one hour trip) airport and even returned some to the airport at 5:00 A.M. Sunday morning. Such grand Polish hospitality! The Board meeting wasn't scheduled to begin until 7:00 P.M., so the members who arrived early had time on their hands. Well, our thoughtful hosts promptly took care of that with an unscheduled visit to the famous Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown where we enjoyed a guided tour through many spacious galleries. Joseph G. Butler, Jr. acquired masterpieces and established the Institute, which bears his name. The Butler Institute collection grew in stature and size. Butler's grandson, Joseph G. Butler III succeeded his grandfather and guided the Institute as its director for over fifty years. Young Butler focused on buying only the best creations of famous artists.

One of the many outstanding paintings that drew everyone's attention was John Singleton Copley's "Mrs. Daniel Rea & Child". Copley demonstrates here an aptitude of portraying children with exceptional sensitivity. In this work, he portrays deep affection between mother and child as revealed in the delighted gaze of the child towards her mother as the child's tiny hand playfully grasps her mother's thumb. The large 49"x39" painting speaks volumes about love between a child and mother.

Another painting that drew our full attention was Jackson Pollock's 20"x15" "Silver and Black". He created this work at the height of his most creative abstract period. The Institute received the "Silver and Black" painting as a gift from William & Linda Raemer. The work has been estimated at a value of well over one million dollars.

We were entranced by a scene from President George Washington's wedding painted by Junius Brutus Stearns. The painting was signed and dated in 1849. Stearns made it known that he regarded Washington as one of America's greatest subjects of admiration and worthy of appreciation.

Last but not least, we came across the work of Benjamin West, 1738-1820. In 1783 he painted the beautiful "Sepulchre". West depicts three women arriving at Jesus' tomb, carrying spices and ointments. He used his knowledge of Italian painters’ color techniques as shown in the very green landscape, the orange and yellow in Magdalene's dress, and by the radiance surrounding and covering the very bright Angel. We were held spellbound by the very vibrant portrayal of the three Mary’s at Jesus' tomb.

The very large Butler Institute of American Art housing a great many sizeable beautiful and very valuable paintings is indeed a very informative and inspiring museum to visit. It gives the Polish Americans of Youngstown a never ending opportunity for visits to demonstrate and express their deep appreciation of the exceptional profound art on display at the famous Institute, whilst learning and being inspired by the creativity of art geniuses.

That evening President Debra Majka brought the Fall Board Meeting to order, Friday, Oct. 19, 2012. The Youngstown PAC President Mary Ann Mlynarski greeted the ACPC members enthusiastically and outlined the fabulous program designed to inform them of the vital historical Polish American contributions made by past and present families who settled in the Youngstown area. It began Friday evening after the ACPC Board had wound up its business session with a "Taste of Valley Reception", with tables laden with tasty dishes, deserts and wines.

Saturday, the Board concluded its business sessions. Then the Polish Youngstown Club led us off on a whirlwind fantastic program, which lasted well into the evening.

It began with a delicious lunch at the lovely Poland Public Library. There we enjoyed a video lecture by sculptor Tom Antonishak and a discussion about Polish Youngstown’s challenging yet successful effort to relocate their Polish Veterans monument to nearby Peterson Park. We visited Peterson Park, the home of the only known statue that depicts Generals Thaddeus Kosciuszko and Kazimierz Pulaski together. The ACPC members gathered around this beautiful work of art depicting our beloved Polish heroes honoring their presence in this splendid park. Pres. Majka laid a lovely wreath offered by the ACPC at the base of this distinctive monument.

From there we passed the former Polish community stronghold and the only Polish parish, St. Stanislaus Kostka, on our way to enjoy the autumn beauty in magnificent Mill Creek Park. Established in 1891 as the first park district in Ohio, it now offers visitors more than 4,400 acres of public lands — three times the size of Central Park in NY City.

The next stop was the famous "Steel Museum" where a docent tour gave us a dramatic overview of the iron and steel industry and its impact on the labor movement, urban cities and immigration trends. It was followed up with a presentation by Bill Lawson, Director, Mahoning Valley Historical Society, who painted a picture of the industry and labor movement that attracted immigrant families to the Youngstown area.

Across the street is St. Columba Cathedral where at the end of October the Club was scheduled to dedicate the new Shrine to Our Lady of Czestochowa. We were met there by the Shrine project chair for a brief tour of the church and then enjoyed reserved places of honor in the pews and participated gratefully in the 5:30 Mass. Dinner followed, bringing the weekend board meeting to a pleasant end.

ACPC President Deborah Majka expressed the Council’s deepest and most sincere thanks to President Mary Ann Mlynarski and Aundrea Heschmeyer for organizing such a thoroughly enjoyable event with the diligent help of many of its Club’s members. Aundrea also rounded up her dynamic sisters, Cynthia and Sandra Cika to assist from start to finish. Board members were most grateful to Pres. Mlynarski and the Polish Arts Club for the wonderful hospitality extended These sincere feelings bring to mind the Polish traditional Polish saying "Gosc w domu, Bog w domu". We certainly felt the Good Lord’s presence about us as we thoroughly enjoyed the Polish hospitality presented to us by members of the Polish Arts Club of Youngstown. Do milego zobaczenia!

Readers who may be interested in the Polish American activities and programs of the national American Council for Polish Culture are invited to contact Florence Langridge at 860-521-4034 or . Further information is available on the Council’s website . Membership fee is only $10 annually. Join us — your life will be intellectually stimulated and even more enjoyable!

Board ACPC

Statues of Kosciuszko and Pulaski

Board ACPC

Wreath placed at Monument

Board ACPC

Benjamin West's "Sepulchre"

Board ACPC

Washington's Wedding