Dedicated to news and information about the activities of the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club in Los Angeles. Since 1971, we have been promoting Polish art and culture in California through events, lectures, exhibitions, film screenings, concerts, book readings, and more...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Our 40th Anniversary Ball - 2/4/2011



HELENA MODJESKA
ART AND CULTURE CLUB IN LOS ANGELES

Has the honor to invite you to the

BALL

Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Club

On the 4th of February 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Mountaingate Country Club
12445 Mountaingate Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049

Guest of Honor
Joanna Kozińska - Frybes
Consul General of the Republic of Poland
in Los Angeles


Evening Attire (black tie)
RSVP to the 20th of January 2012
$100.00 per person



Monday, November 21, 2011

Marek Probosz and Holidays in Pasadena

The Modjeska Club's Christmas Party will take place on December 11, 2011 at 4 p.m. in a private residence in Pasadena (and do not forget to mark your calendar for our 40th anniversary ball on February 4, 2012!).

The wonderful actor, director, screenwriter, and author, Marek Probosz, will be our guest of honor. The party will include an interview with Probosz about his second book, sing-along Polish Christmas Carols, and Polish festive food, created by our talented chefs of the Modjeska Club. We will also dedicate some time to the introduction of new members in our 40-year old institution.

A preeminent figure in European stage, television and film, MAREK PROBOSZ has starred in over 50 films competing at key international festivals including Cannes and Karlovy Vary (Jiri Svoboda’s award-winning Fall of the Lonely Castle) Venice (Jerzy Skolimowski’s 30 Door Key) San Sebastian (Frantisek Vlacil’s The Fern’s Shadow). His second book of short stories Call Me When They Kill You, was published in Poland in May 2011 and will be available for purchase and signing (the stories are all in Polish). In addition to reading from his book, Probosz will also present some poems by his grandfather Jerzy Probosz.

The grandson of Polish poet laureate Jerzy Probosz - a young writer whose career ended with his death in the Dachau concentration camp - and son of architect father and a schoolteacher mother, Probosz was awarded a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from the prestigious Polish National Film, TV and Theater School in Lódz in 1983. He first directed and starred at the Odyssey Theater in Los Angeles in AUM or Tormenting of Actors, an original theatrical production from his own script. After directing six short films based on his own scripts, Marek Probosz obtained his Certificate in Film Directing at the American Film Institute in 1993. In 1998 he received his MFA in Drama.

Since his time at AFI, he has directed a full-length documentary film Jan Kott: Still Alive and wrote six feature film screenplays. In a riveting performance that many thought would become Poland’s first Oscar for Best Actor, Probosz starred as the Polish WWII hero, Witold Pilecki, the only known person in history to volunteer to become imprisoned at Auschwitz concentration camp so he could liberate its prisoners from within, in the feature film, The Death of Captain Pilecki. Many have likened his performance to that of Liam Neeson’s Schindler. The film, extraordinarily controversial within Poland, garnered The Special Jury REMI Award at IFF, Houston ‘07.

Probosz is a regular on the longest-running Polish TV series Clan and the most successful Polish TV series of all time, L Like Love, in which he plays the first homosexual character ever featured on Polish National TV. Aside from its controversy, it has made him a film idol in his homeland where he is mobbed for autographs wherever he goes. His most recent credits are 8 Horizontal, winner of the Grand Prix, Gdynia FF’09 in which he portrays a Polish Arab Mustafa, Revers, Golden Lion Award, Gdynia ’09; FIPRESCI Award, Warsaw FF; and the Polish nominee for the 2010 Oscars.

Most recently, he plays the role of Satora in the new epic film by world acclaimed film director Agnieszka Holland, The True Story of Janosik. His role of Odysseus with illustrious British star Henry Goodman in the Getty Villa theater production, Philoktetes, brought him into directing a Greek play Socrates Now at the Getty Villa in Malibu, California. Probosz’s first book Eldorado, was published with a great success by Stentor Publishing House in Poland in 2008.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Songs of Stones - The Music of Henryk Gorecki (November 19, 2011)

The Modjeska Club is pleased to support a celebration of the music of Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki who died last November at the age of 78.

The concert, entitled "Songs of Stones - The Music of Henryk Gorecki" is organized by Jacaranda: Music on the Edge and will take place at the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Monica, on Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 8 p.m.

The event's sponsors include, besides the Modjeska Club, the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland that is celebrating Poland's Presidency of the European Union (June to December 2011). The concert will be followed by a dessert reception sponsored by the Modjeska Club. A TV crew from Poland working on a documentary about Henryk Gorecki will be on hand and will film interviews with the musicians and organizers of this wonderful celebration. Modjeska Club members who RSVP by November 12, will be able to purchase tickets at a group rate with a discount.

Songs of Stones: Music of Henryk Gorecki
Tribute to Poland's Henryk Gorecki one year after his death


Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 8:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church, Santa Monica
1220 Second Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone: (213) 483-0216

Website: www.jacarandamusic.org
E-Mail: info@jacarandamusic.org

November 19, 8:00 pm or November 20, 6:00 pm

Henryk Gorecki (on the first anniversary of his death)

Four Preludes Op. 1 (1955)
Quartet No. 2 "Quasi una Fantasia," Op. 64 (1991)
Quartet No. 1 "Already it is Dusk," Op.62 (1988)
Kleines Requiem für eine Polka Op. 66 (Little Requiem for a Polka, 1993)


Performers:
Mark Robson, piano; Calder Quartet, Lyris Quartet, Jacaranda Chamber Orchestra, Mark Alan Hilt, conductor

Program note by Patrick Scott, Artistic Director of Jacaranda: "In the annals of popular culture, Gorecki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs is the unprecedented chart-busting Classical crossover hit of all time. Yet, the Polish composer was exceedingly private. Each work distils his personal intensity without losing the tragic longing and wry humor evident in the films, theatre and literature — in the national character of Poland. One year after his death, this evocative program brings together early piano music with two strikingly different string quartets. The first is a one-movement tone poem, the second a four-part journey. A unique instrumental requiem closes the celebration with the haunted serenity that is Gorecki's trademark, as well as brash drama, a sense of absurdity and his fervent spirit of consolation."

Gorecki's notable visit to Los Angeles took place in 1997 when he conducted his Third Symphony and participated in other lectures at concerts at Polish Music Center at USC. The materials from this event, including his lectures, interviews, papers presented at a symposium, his conversations with students, fragments of concert reviews, and the event's program are posted in the Polish Music Journal, vol. 6 no. 2 (2003).


  • Program of Gorecki Autumn

  • Polish Music Journal - Table of Contents

  • Gorecki Talks to USC Music Students

  • Maja Trochimczyk's Interview with Gorecki


    _________________________________________________


    ADAM MICHNIK IN LOS ANGELES - PHOTO ALBUMS

    The photos from Adam Michnik's visit to California have been posted on Picasa Web Album and include some pictures from Claremont MacKenna College - the Milosz Centennial Festival (November 21, 2011), where Michnik gave a lecture on "Poet among Scorpions," the Modjeska Club event moderated by Dr Bohdan Oppenheim at the Ruskin Art Club (November 24, 2011), and Michnik's lecture and book presentation at UCLA (November 27, 2011).

    The link to Picasa Web Album is below:

    https://picasaweb.google.com/108670048753432775207/AdamMichnikWLosAngeles#

    Lucyna Przasnyski has started a Facebook page for the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club and posted her album of Michnik Pictures on FB, along with materials from the October 15 event - links to photo albums and YouTube videos of performances by Marta Honzatko and Anna Kostrzewska. If you are on FB, please look up and join our group.

    ______________________________________
  • Sunday, October 16, 2011

    Michnik at the Ruskin, 10/ 24 at 7:30 p.m.

    The next event of the Modjeska Club's 40th anniversary season will feature a conversation with Adam Michnik, the Editor-in-Chief of "Gazeta Wyborcza" and a historian, essayist, and a former Solidarity activist, who made a major contribution to the change of Poland's political system and the overturning of the communist rule. The conversation will be conducted by Prof. Bogdan Oppenheim, from Loyola Marymount University.

    "Rozmowa z Adamem Michnikiem" will take place at the Ruskin Art Club, 800 S. Plymouth Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90005, at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by coffee and desserts. We will also present another series of awards for the Modjeska Club and its volunteers. The event is free and open to the public.


    Adam Michnik is a historian, essayist, political commentator, and a former Solidarity activist, co-founder of KOR (Committee of the Defense of Workers) in the 1970s, participant in the Round Table negotiations in 1989, and member of Parliament in 1989-1991. As one of the leading organizers of the opposition movement in Poland, he was repeatedly arrested and imprisoned by the authorities, spending a total of six years in prison. Born in 1946 in Warsaw, he studied history at the University of Warsaw (since 1964) where he met fellow opposition leaders, Jacek Kuron and Karol Modzelewski. He was expelled from the University for his dissident activities in 1968 and worked as a welder, while writing under a series of pseudonyms.

    In 1977-1989 he was among publishers of underground publications "Samizdat" and in 1980-1989 he served as an advisor to the Solidarity movement. He was interned in 1981 when the martial law was declared by the government against the nation, and imprisoned until 1984 without a verdict. After the change of the government in 1989, he transformed the Solidarity's daily "Gazeta Wyborcza" into the first free newspaper in the country.

    The author of 13 books and numerous essays, he is widely recognized as one of the most influential journalists of the world. He received many prizes, including: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2001); Erasmus Prize (Netherlands, 2001); honorary doctorates, PhD Honoris Causa from the New School for Social Research, University of Minnesota, Connecticut College, University of Michigan, and Charles University in Prague; Chevalier of the Legion of Honor ( France, 2003); Goethe Medal (2011). Michnik is listed by “Financial Times” as one of the 20 most influential journalists in the world, and is one of the International Press Institute's 60 World Press Freedom Heroes.
    ___________________________________________

    SONGS OF STONES - THE MUSIC OF HENRYK MIKOLAJ GORECKI

    On November 19, 2011, the Modjeska Club will be one of the co-sponsors of the Songs of Stones concert presenting the music of Henryk Gorecki, including two string quartets and Kleines Requiem fur Eine Polka. The concert is organized by Jacaranda: Music on the Edge and will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Monica, at 8 p.m. Small dessert reception will follow. The concert will also be sponsored by the Polish Consulate and is a tribute to a great composer who died last year.

    Maja Trochimczyk is currently editing a volume of studies about Gorecki called "Gorecki in Context" and forthcoming from the Moonrise Press. She interviewed the composer in his home in Katowice in 1998.
    ___________________________________________

    MODJESKA CLUB 40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS



    During the Awards Night on Saturday, October 15, the Modjeska Club, its representatives and awardees received official recognitions from the City and the County of Los Angeles, presented by John Henning, from the office of County Supervisor Michael Antonovich:

    • Resolution of the City Council of Los Angeles, by City Councilman Richard Alarcon, signed by the entire City Council, City Attorney, City Clerk, and City Controller, recognizing the contributions of the Modjeska Club to promoting Polish culture and congratulating it on its 40th anniversary

    • Resolution of the City Council of Los Angeles, by City Councilman Richard Alarcon, and signed by the entire City Council, City Attorney, City Clerk, and City Controller, recognizing Maja Trochimczyk's 15 years of service to the Polish American community and congratulating her for her tireless efforts in promoting Polish culture in California

    • Congratulation Scrolls for Anna Dymna and Marian Dziedziel
      for receiving the 2011 Modjeska Prizes from the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club from the Councilman Richard Alarcon

    • Congratulations Scroll for Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club on the occasion of its 40th Anniversary presented on behalf of the County of Los Angeles by Supervisor Michael Antonovich

    • Congratulations Scroll for Maja Trochimczyk on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Modjeska Club thanking her for her efforts to bring Polish culture to California, presented on behalf of the County of Los Angeles by Supervisor Michael Antonovich

    • Congratulations Scrolls for Helena and Stanley Kolodziey presented on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club, thanking them for their contributions, presented on behalf of the County of Los Angeles by Supervisor Michael Antonovich


    After the Award Presentation by John Henning, Maja Trochimczyk presented Diplomas of Appreciation (Dyplom Uznania) to current and past hosts of Modjeska Club's events, who had allowed the club to use their homes, and organized receptions for the club and its guests: Helena and Stanley Kolodziey, Maria and Edward Pilatowicz, Zofia and Witold Czajkowski and Joanna and Andrzej Maleski. Recognition of our hosts will continue during the next club meeting, including "Dyplom Uznania" for Monique and David Lehman, Halina and Andrzej Jagoda, Elzbieta and Jan Iwanczyk, Dorota and Witold Olszewski, and Jola and Alex Wilk.

    The following past presidents and Board members have been selected for nomination for awards from the Polish government: Andrzej Maleski and Dorota Olszewski (past presidents), Krystyna Kuszta, Krystyna Okuniewska, and Danuta Zuchowski (past and current Board members), and Slawek Brzezinski, Elzbieta Kanska, and Tadeusz Podkanski (former Board members).

    __________________________________

    Photo Credit:

    Adam Michnik, August, 2003 Photo: Agencja Gazeta/Piotr Wójcik

    Modjeska Anniversary Posters (c) 2011 by Maja Trochimczyk

    Friday, October 7, 2011

    New Program on 10/15: Polish Film Music


    Due to an unexpected change of plans of Marian Dziedziel who will only attend the opening of the Polish Film Festival on October 11, he will receive his Modjeska Prize during the opening ceremonies and not at a Club's event on October 15, 2011. The award will be presented by Vice President Krystyna Kuszta, accompanied by Andrew Z. Dowen, Board member. The President will be in Washington D.C. that day. Our 2011 Modjeska Prize for Anna Dymna will be presented at later date, to be announced.

    The new program of our October 15 anniversary celebration will focus on Polish Film Music and will feature four guests: composers Bartek Gliniak and Pawel Mykietyn, and singers/actresses Marta Honzatko and Anna Kostrzewska "Anya" - who will discuss film music and perform for us during the evening. The celebrations will also include other awards for the Modjeska Club.

    BARTEK GLINIAK is a Polish film composer, a winner of the 22-th International Electroacoustic Music Competition in Bourges, who was three times nominated to “Eagle”–Polish Film Award in the category of best film music (2005 – “My Nikifor”, 2006 – “The Collector”, 2007 – "Palimpsest: A Hypnotic Mystery"). Born in 1973. he is a graduate of the Academy of Music in Krakow. A CD with a premiere performance of the oratorio „Seven Songs of Mary” with the libretto by Zbigniew Książek released in 2007 became a Double Platinum Album. His style is characterized by powerful expression, catchy melodies, diversified orchestration and a rich sound world, both acoustic and electronic. He creates simple, melodious motives („My Nikifor”), sparkling in colorful symphonic settings (“Teah”) as well as dark and full of expression symphonic palette with the touch of electronic sounds (“Palimpsest”). In 1994 he debuted at the International Festival of Contemporary Music “Warsaw Autumn.”

    He is an author of soundtracks to over 20 films, among others: “My Nikifor” directed by Krzysztof Krauze, “Palimpsest: A Hypnotic Mystery” directed by Konrad Niewolski , “The Sand is a predator” by Krystian Matysek, as well as “Joanna”, „Case Unknown” and „The Collector” by Feliks Falk. He is an author of the music to one of the most popular Polish TV series “For good and for bad” (“Na dobre i na zle”).
    The compositions of Bartek Gliniak have been performed at such festivals as: the International Festival of Contemporary Music “Warsaw Autumn”, Tage für Neue Musik in Zurich, Cracow Composers Festival, Synthèse Festival in Bourges, The International Rostrum of Composers (IRC), the 3rd International Contemporary Music Festival - Lviv (Ukraine). Since 1995 he has been cooperating with the Polish Radio Theatre and since 2006 he has been a member of European Film Academy (EFA).


    PAWEL MYKIETYN, born in 1971, is a Polish composer and clarinetist, who studied composition at Frederic Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw in the class of Włodzimierz Kotoński. He participated in workshops with Krzysztof Penderecki, Witold Lutosławski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Michael Nyman, Magnus Lindberg, and Louis Andriessen. In 1993, Mykietyn debuted at the Warsaw Atumn Festival with La Strada. His composition „3 for 13” was awarded first place at the UNESCO International Composers Tribune in Paris.

    His works include: At Radek's (1993); Epiphora (1996), Piano Concerto (1997), Shakespeare's Sonnets (2000), the opera Ignorant i szaleniec / An Ignoramus and a Madman (2001) and the Second Symphony (2007). Epiphora received the first prize in the young composers' category at the UNESCO 4th International Rostrum of Electro-acoustic Music in Amsterdam, His successes continued, and in 2008 he was awarded Poland's top arts prize, the OPUS Award. Mykietyn plays the clarinet in the Nonstrom Ensemble, a quartet he founded which specializes in contemporary music. In 2000, he wrote music for his first feature, EGOISTS by Mariusz Trelinski. He was awarded Best Music Award at Gdynia Polish Film Festival for STRANGER, 33 SCENES FROM LIFE, TRICK and ESSENTIAL KILLING. He is the winner of the 2011 Hollywood Eagle Award for Best Film Music.


    MARTA HONZATKO is a Polish film and theater actress, a graduate of the Ludwik Solski State Higher School of Theater in Krakow (2006). Marta played the leading role in the major motion picture BLACK THURSDAY by Antoni Krauze, and was announced to be the Best Newcoming Actress in Poland for her part. She also has recently recorded her first CD and is the lead singer in the band "Honzatko Rozmontowana," with songs written by Michal Zablocki; lyrics and music by Al*eksander Brzezinski. She currently performs in the theater and you can see her on stage in the play "Casting", directed by Ewa Kornecka, premiering last August. She has also recently performed in a film titled HENIEK which was directed by Eliza Kowalewska and Grzegorz Madej. Marta is a dynamic and talented rising Polish actress and vocalist.


    ANNA KOSTRZEWSKA or ANYA is a graduate of the University of Warsaw, with a focus on Oriental Studies – African studies. A vocalist, songwriter and producer, Anna is the granddaughter of Herbert Karwacki, a talented Bydgoszcz Opera and Operetta soloist. She has been tutored for many years by the brilliant voice instructor, Ewa Kossak. She participated in many jazz workshops, including those with Lora Szafran, Grażyna Auguścik, Dave Stroud, Wandy Paar, Dean Kaelin, and Rocio Gutitard. In 2004 with Kamil Kucharczyk she co-founded the ensemble Carnival that performed in a number of Warsaw locations. In 2006 at the „Tokarnia” recording studio she recorded Bossa Nova and jazz standards, which were presented by Radio Jazz and PiN. In 2008-2009 she worked on her debut CD Anya, for which she wrote and performed the majority of texts/ She also produced the entire CD, premiered in May 2009.

    Anna Kostrzewska’s Most Important Projects:

  • Charity concerts with great Polish and international artists: Tomasz Stańka, Anna Maria Jopek, Aga Zaryan, Marcin Wasilewski Trio, Mietek Szcześniak, Wendy Waldman, Justyna Steczkowska, Raz Dwa Trzy, Janusz Strobel , Henryk Miśkiewicz and many others(April and May 2011)

  • „Singing Conversations” with Polish poet Tomasz Jastrun, February to June 2011

  • Supporting act for the Vaya con Dios concerts in Poland (May, 2010, Sala Kongresowa, Dom Muzyki i Tanca in Zabrz);

  • Participating in the “Kaczmarski na Jazzowo” concert, part of the Jazz Jamboree (December 2009, Klub Palladium);

  • The release of the album “Anya” with a premier concert at the Palladium Club (May 2009);

  • “Various Faces of Love” Jamboree Original work “Bossanna”; Latin-American Bossa Nova arrangements and Jazz Standards (No More Blues, Swey, Maiden Voyage, Corcovado – with Kamil Kucharczyk arrangements) available on Polish radio stations.

    _________________________________________

    For more information about the screenings of the films with these guests visit the website of the Polish Film Festival for Bartek Gliniak, Marta Honzatko, and Pawel Mykietyn.
  • Sunday, September 25, 2011

    Modjeska Prizes 2011 for Anna Dymna and Marian Dziedziel



    This is it, our anniversary year. Forty years ago, actor Leonidas Dudarew-Ossetyński (1910-1989, Club president in 1971-1977)had a brilliant idea... This internationally known drama teacher, writer, director and actor, invited to join him in the establishment of the new cultural institution the most prominent Polish emigrants living in California at that time. His purpose is still our purpose:

    a) To promote amongst its members the knowledge of Polish heritage and culture.
    b) To organize public performances, concerts, lectures and exhibits with the purpose of acquainting the general public with the culture and art of Poland.
    c) To organize exhibits, lectures, concerts and gatherings having as their purpose the means for Polish artists to showcase their talents.
    d) To use all the Club’s present and future means to spread the Club’s sphere of influence and further the foregoing purposes or incidental thereto.

    In 2010, in order to commemorate its patron, the famous Polish actress Helena Modrzejewska (Modjeska) and honor the achievements of distinguished Polish actors, the Modjeska Club established an Annual Modjeska Prize awarded to recognize the contributions of actors to Polish culture. The first Modjeska Prize was awarded in October 2010 to eminent actor Jan Nowicki (as depicted here). The second Modjeska Prize will be divided between Anna Dymna and Marian Dziędziel. Ms. Dymna will receive her Modjeska Award at a later date.

    The 2011 Modjeska Prizes will be awarded during our Awards Night on Saturday, October 15, 2011, at 7:30 p.m. at a private residence of Helena and Stanley Kolodziey in Beverly Hills. Our members who received invitations should RSVP by October 12 to Krystyna Bartkowski, Secretary.

    MARIAN DZIĘDZIEL

    Born in Silesia in 1947, MARIAN DZIĘDZIEL is a Polish film and theatre actor with a distinguished career both on the stage and on the screen. He graduated in 1969 from the Theater School in Krakow and has been a member of the prestigious Słowacki Theatre in Krakow since 1969. He has also starred in more than 70 films including The Dark House (2009), The Pianist (2002), My Nikifor (2004), The Collector (2005), and films by major film directors, Kazimierz Kutz and Janusz Kidawa. At the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia in 2004, he was awarded Best Actor Award for his role in The Wedding. In 2011 he received the Best Actor in Supporting Role Award for his role in The Mole. For his performance in The Wedding he was also awarded Eagle (Orzel) Polish Film Award ‐ Best Actor Award and the Audience Award. The guest of the 2012 Polish Film Festival of Los Angeles, Dziędziel will attend the screenings of The Dark House on October 14 at 9:00 p.m., presented by the Modjeska Club, and of The Mole on October 15 at 5:00 p.m.

    ANNA DYMNA

    Born in 1951 in Poland, Dymna is a film, television and theater actress who studied acting at the celebrated Theater School of Kraków and started her illustrious career while still a student, performing for the Julius Słowacki Theater in 1969. She joined the National Helena Modrzejewska Old Theatre in Kraków immediately after her graduation in 1973 and has performed on its stage since then.

    Like Modrzejewska, recognized for her talent and beauty, Dymna starred in major plays from the classical repertoire and in numerous films and television series, appearing in over 250 roles to a great critical acclaim. In 2002, she established a Cracow Poetry Salon presenting readings by the most celebrated poets and actors and recognized as one of the most interesting cultural activities in the region.

    Dedicated to charity work, in 2003 Dymna established her charity foundation Mimo Wszystko (“Against the Odds”) to provide services to the disabled. She is a recipient of numerous awards for her artistic achievements including the Golden Mask (1996, 1999, 2000), the Golden Screen (1984), and the Golden Lions (1994). In 2004, she received the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta and The Order of the Smile from disabled children. At the 2012 Polish Film Festival she appears in Dolina Issy (The Issa Valley) based on Czesław Miłosz’s novel of the same title. This screening celebrates the 2011 Miłosz Year.

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    MODJESKA CLUB EVENTS OF THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON

  • October 15, 2011 - Modjeska Prize Awards Night with Marian Dziedziel and representatives of Los Angeles area politicians.

  • October 24, 2011 - Adam Michnik, Editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza and Anna Kostrzewska, singer. The interview with Michnik will be conducted by Dr. Bohdan Oppenheim.

  • November 19, 2011 - Gorecki Concert "Songs of Stones" - with Jacaranda Music on the Edge, Santa Monica (the concert is co-sponsored by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland and the Modjeska Club).

  • TBA, December, 2011 - Christmas Party, joint event with the Polish University Club of Los Angeles, Maxwell House, Pasadena

  • January 2012 - "Pastoralki" by Bogdan Kuszta, directed by Maria Pilatowicz

  • February 2012 - "40th Anniversary Ball" - celebrating our achievements with awards and honors from the Polish government and representatives of local, state, and federal government agencies.

  • Other programs, with dates to be announced include presentations by Marek Probosz, Beata Pozniak, Exhibit of Alina Szapocznikow at the Hammer Museum, and more.
  • Wednesday, August 31, 2011

    September 11 at 2 p.m. - "Tour de Polonia" Project of the Polish Museum of Emigration

    In 2011, the Modjeska Club celebrates its 40th anniversary. The fall season is filled with events, starting from September 11, 2011.

    Our first meeting is dedicated to a project of a new Polish Museum of Emigration in Gdynia, Tour de Polonia – The World Through Polish Eyes. The Museum will be represented by the project’s authors, Edi & Asia Pyrek – explorers and artists, as well as collaborators of the National Geografic. The meeting will take place in the welcoming home of Kinga Rymsza-Sarabia and Sonny Sarabia in Orange County, starting at 2 p.m., on Sunday, 11 September 2011. The program will include a presentation about the newly created Polish Museum of Emigration in Gdynia as well as conversations with members of our club, accompanied by a donation drive for the Museum’s holdings. Please do not forget to bring your gifts and memorabilia you would like to share with the Museum, as well as beverages and refreshments for our buffet. This event is free to all guests. There will be free parking on nearby streets.

    Tour de Polonia – The World Through Polish Eyes is a project of the new Polish Museum of Emigration which will open in Gdynia at the turn of 2011/2012. The patronage over this project is extended by the National Geographic, Polska Telewizja (TVP) and TV Polonia. The idea of „Tour de Polonia” is to show Poles through the prism of the country in which they have decided to live.

    Edi Pyrek is an explorer, writer (author of 7 travel books) and staff collaborator of the National Geographic. As a journalist, he authored travel series for TVP, Świat Podróży wg Ediego and Ziema Nieznana and for the Discovery Channel, Święte Miejsca. He also created documenteries for TVP. As a political advisor he worked on election campaigns and image management. He has lectured at colleges about location marketing and worked as a consultant on location branding. For the "Tour de Polonia" project he will gather materials for books/articles and conduct interviews with emigrants.


    Asia Pyrek
    is an explorer, photographer, and a collaborator of National Geographic. She won the first prize in the original Polish photo competition of the National Geographic. She also co-authored three travel books, including a Travel Encyclopedia. As a cinematographer, she worked for the Discovery Channel; she also worked as an editor, film composer, and a singer. As a collaborator of the Polish Museum of Emigration, she will create the audiovisual documentation for the project.


    ______________________________________________


    In celebration of the theme of emigration, I thought it worthwhile to reprint here my poem "An Ode of the Lost" that was published in 2010 in an online Polonian journal, The Cosmopolitan Review. At that time the poem was accompanied by my multi-layered photo - a collage of a photo of Polish fields taken from a train, placed in the chaparral, by Mojave Yucca and desert rocks of California.


    An Ode of the Lost

    to Adam Mickiewicz and all Polish exiles

    Tired exiles in rainy Paris listen to Mickiewicz
    reciting praises of woodsy hills, green meadows—
    distant Lithuania, their home painted in Polish verse,
    each word thickly spread with meaning,
    like a slice of rye bread with buckwheat honey.

    “Litwo! Ojczyzno moja! ty jesteś jak zdrowie.
    Ile cię trzeba cenić, ten tylko się dowie,
    Kto cię stracił”
    —he says, and we, homeless Poles
    without ground under our feet, concur,
    sharing the blame for our departure.
    There’s no return.

    Are not all journeys one way? Forward,
    forward, go on, “call that going, call that on.”
    The speed of light, merciless angel with a flaming sword,
    moves the arrow forward. Seconds, minutes
    stretch into years. Onwards. Go.
    The time-space cone limits the realm of possibility.
    If you stay, you can go on. If you leave—

    Can you find blessing in the blur of a moment?
    In a glimpse of soft, grassy slopes shining
    like burnished gold before the sun turns purple?
    Can you learn to love the sweet-fluted songs
    of the mockingbird, forget the nightingale?

    How far is too far for the lost country
    to become but a dream of ancient kings—
    where children never cry, wildflowers bloom,
    and autumn flutter of brown, drying leaves
    whispers of the comforts of winter?
    Sleep, sleep, eternal sleep,
    in the spring you will awaken…


    (c) 2009 by Maja Trochimczyk

    Note: Quotation from Adam Mickiewicz’s Invocation to Pan Tadeusz, or the Last Foray in Lithuania (“My country! You are as good health: /How much one should prize you, he only can tell who has /lost you”), and from Samuel Beckett’s The Unnameable.



    _________________________________________________


    MODJESKA CLUB'S 40th ANNIVERSARY SEASON

    In 2011 we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Club and we plan the following events:
  • 15 October – Polish Film Festival (the Modjeska Prize)

  • 24 October - Adam Michnik
  • 19 November – Concert of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki;
  • TBA December – Christmas party with the Polish University Club of Los Angeles,
  • 31 December – New Year’s Eve Anniversary Ball.

    For the spring of 2012 we have planned a special treat: Pastorałki by Bogdan Kuszta directed by Maria Pilatowicz. In January 2012, the 40-years of the history of the club will be presented during the Annual Meeting of the Polish American Historical Association in Chicago (by Maja Trochimczyk)



    _________________________________________

    Photos of California landscapes (Big Tujunga Wash with Barbara Koziel Gawronski's Collage; High Sierra Mountain meadows imitating forests of Lithuania and Poland) (c) 2009-2011 by Maja Trochimczyk.


  • Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    Helena Modjeska and Modjeska Club Events

    It is the middle of the summer and it is time to look back at our activities in the 2010-2011 season. We had a very busy and exciting year, with 15 events, ranging from concerts, to lectures, to film screenings, to poetry readings, and meetings with politicians and scientists. The documentation of our events is on the Modjeska Club Website, with links to event programs, announcements, photo albums and reviews.

    After working on the publicity for our events and operations, I realized that the largest gap in our public presence is that of Helena Modjeska herself - our website did not include any information about her. I decided to not write a new entry, but rather use existing material. Therefore, I requested a right to reprint the entry on Modjeska from The Polish American Encyclopedia, edited by James Pula for McFarland Publishing and published in 2011. The entry was written by Krystyna Cap and provides a basic introduction to the life and legacy of Modjeska, including a limited list of references. I added some illustrations, and voila - here's our patron, Helena Modjeska. I am often asked if I am Helena, so I'm happy to be able to put that rumor to rest. No, I was not born in 1840!

    However, I did visit Modjeska's Historic Home with actress Ewa Boryczko who wrote a wonderful play about Modjeska and performs the solo work herself. With Kris Cieply, the founder of Helena Modjeska Society of Orange County and the future Modjeska Museum we were interviewed about Helena Modjeska's presence in California for a Polish TV Polonia broadcast "Polska24", now available on YouTube. Lukasz Sochur previously recorded the Modjeska Prize Ceremony and a brief interview with Jan Nowicki.



    __________________________________________

    LIST OF MODJESKA CLUB EVENTS IN 2010-2011

    A full list of events in 2011 is, at this time, only available in Polish as a PDF download on our website: Spis Spotkan PDF.

  • July 21, 2011 - Memorial Service for Tadeusz Bocianski (1935-2011), Our Lady of the Bright Mount Church, Los Angeles.

  • June 19, 2011 - Poles to the South Pole, A travelogue by Bogdan Plewnia and Andrzej Jagoda (Antarctic) and Witold Fraczek (Chile), South Pasadena Public Library.

  • April 16, 2011 - "Milosz in My Life" with poets Dr. John Z. Guzlowski and Cecilia Woloch (USC), and special guest Marek Probosz reciting Milosz's poetry in Polish. A celebration of the Milosz Year. Ruskin Art Club, Los Angeles.

  • March 26, 2011 - "Cosmos - the Real Poetry” presented by JPL/NASA scientists - Artur Chmielewski, Andrew Dowen, David Lehman, Witold Sokolowski and Marek Tuszynski, JPL Van Karman Auditorium, Pasadena.

  • March 12, 2011 - Meeting with Jan Kidawa-Blonski, including a conversation with Andrzej Maleski and fragments from The Little Rose film, Beverly Hills.

  • February 19, 2011 - "Mickiewicz Today" with Professors Roman Koropeckyj (UCLA) and Leonard Kress (Owens College), featuring a special guest appearance by eminent actress Beata Pozniak Daniels accompanied by pianist Sue Zhou, Ruskin Art Club, Los Angeles.

  • January 22, 2011 - "Travel to Tibet" with Edward and Maria Pilatowicz, screening of film and conversations with long-time club members and past-presidents. Home of Monique and David Lehman, Pasadena.

  • December 31, 2010 - New Year's Eve Ball at the Long Beach Petroleum Club, based on a theme "In a Winter Wonderland..."

  • December 11, 2010 - Christmas Concert, Caroling and Reception with guitarist Arek Niezgoda, violist and jazz singer Karolina Naziemiec, and Bulgarian cellist Irina Chirkova. Residence of Jolanta and Alex Wilk, Anaheim Hills.

  • November 21, 2010 - “To Save from Oblivion: The Cabaret of Jeremi Przybora and Jerzy Wasowski” illustrated with songs from the Old Gents’ Cabaret (Kabaret Starszych Panów), performed by members of Club PIE, Poles in Inland Empire. Long Beach Petroleum Club.

  • October 17, 2010 - First Annual Modjeska Prize for Jan Nowicki. Meeting with Jan Nowicki and Malgorzata Potocka, in conversation with Maja Trochimczyk. Residence of
    Helena and Stanley Kolodziey, Beverly Hills.

  • October 16, 2010 - Conversation with Leszek Balcerowicz and Consul General Joanna Kozinska-Frybes, Residence of Helena and Stanley Kolodziey, Beverly Hills.

  • October 10, 2010 - "Concert of Romantic Music" by Marta Wryk, soprano and Adam Kosmieja, piano, Celebrating the Chopin Year, South Pasadena Public Library.

  • September 11, 2010 - "Kapuscinski and Domoslawski" - screening of a documentary by Gabrielle Pfeiffer and interview with Artur Domoslawski by Dorota Czajka-Olszewska, Ruskin Art Club, Los Angeles.

  • August 13, 2010 - Premiere of a documentary "Labyrinth" about Auschwitz survivor and artist, Marian Kolodziej, Arclight Hollywood.

  • August 6, 2010 - Premiere of "A Fantasy on Polish Airs" - ballet to Chopin music by Stefan Wenta, by the Luminario Ballet of Los Angeles, Ford Amphitheater.


    _____________________________________________

    THE POLISH AMERICAN ENCYCLOPEDIA


    The Polish-American Encyclopedia is a monumental, multi-author effort, the largest recent project of the Polish-American Historical Association. This encyclopedic reference work has three types of entries: thematic essays, topical entries, and biographical entries. The essays synthesize existing work to provide interpretations of, and insight into, important aspects of the Polish American experience. The topical entries identify specific places, events or organizations. The biographical entries identify Polish Americans who have made significant contributions at the regional or national level either to the history and culture of the United States, or to the development of American Polonia. There are over 1,000 entries prepared by more than 120 authors who have contributed to the project. The final manuscript is over 630,000 words, which equates to 1,000 typed pages, single-spaced.

    More information about the Encyclopedia on McFarland Website. The encyclopedia was sponsored by the Polish American Historical Association that also published several news items about the Modjeska Club's activities in its semi-annual newsletters (Fall 2010 on Nowicki and Labyrinth and Spring 2011 on Milosz and Mickiewicz). My paper on the 40 years of history of the Modjeska Club was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America and will be repeated at the meeting of the Polish American Historical Association in January 2012.

    __________________________________

    CREDITS:

    Fragment of Helena Modjeska's portrait by Tadeusz Ajdukiewicz, 1880.

    Ewa Boryczko and Maja Trochimczyk in Modjeska's garden at Arden, Silverado Canyon, Orange County. Photo by Lukasz Soczur, 2011.
  • Monday, July 18, 2011

    Tadeusz Bocianski Memorial - 7/21/2011



    Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club

    announces, with profound regret and sorrow the passing of

    Tadeusz Bociański (1935-2011)

    The Memorial Mass and Official Farewell will take place

    at the Church of Our Lady of the Bright Mount

    on Thursday, 21 July 2011 at 7:30 p.m.



    Father Julian Głowacki will celebrate the Memorial Mass. Eulogies will be given by former Club's Presidents, Witold Czajkowski, Jolanta Zych and Andrzej Maleski.

    Afterwards, a commemoration by friends will take place at Szarotka.

    Tadeusz’s favorite refreshments will be served.


    ADDRESS:

    OUR LADY OF THE BRIGHT MOUNT CHURCH

    3424 W. Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018


    Andrzej Maleski's Memorial Essay in Polish, "Wspomnienie o Tadeuszu Bocianskim" (PDF) is posted on the Modjeska Club's website.





    Tadeusz Bociański (17 August 1935 – 14 July 2011) served as the President of the Modjeska Club from 1983 to 1989. His activities contributed to elevating the Club to its high social status and to establishing its broad scope of cultural activities. With an extraordinarily limited budget, he was able to bring to California the most distinguished Polish politicians, actors and artists. As the owner of a Cultural Agency PolArt he organized performances by famous Polish theaters and cabarets throughout the entire West Coast and the Southwest. He was also active in other social and cultural organizations. On 17 January 1998, he received the Cavalier Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland for his achievements in promoting Polish culture abroad.

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    On the Way to the South Pole - 6/19/11


    This week's event is dedicated to Poles traveling to the Antartic, including stop overs in Argentina and Chile. The Club meeting will take place in the elegant South Pasadena Public Library Community Room (1115 El Centro St., South Pasadena, CA, 91030) at 5:00 p.m., on Sunday, 19 June 2011. Details of the program were recently finalized and updated.

    The program includes two presentations: of video recordings and photographs from the travel to the Antarctic by our members, Bogdan Plewnia and Andrzej Jagoda, with their families and friends, and of photographs from travels to South America by Witold Fraczek, the President of our "twin" club - Polacy w Inland Empire (Klub PIE).

    In January 2011, eight members and friends of the Club traveled to South America and the Antarctic, with the destination of the Polish Antartic Research Center on King George Island, in Admiralty Bay and Esperanza Station. Our travelers were: Nina and Tadeusz Budner, Lila and Andy Dowen, Halina and Andrzej Jagoda, as well as Jola and Bogdan Plewnia. On January 15, 2011 the travellers reached the Polish Antarctic Research Center and met with a group of Polish scientists working there.

    The Polish Center for Antartic Research is named after a meteorologist, Henryk Arctowski (1871-1958) who participated in the expedition of „Belgica” in 1897-1899; it was the first group to spend winter in the area. Due to environmental concerns travels to the Antarctic are now nearly impossible, because larger ships will not be allowed in the waters surrounding the South Pole region. Let us then see Poles living on the largest research station of the Antartctic.


    We will admire incredible glaciers, mountains, and, of course, penguins. We will also learn about the life of Henryk Arctowski, who was born in Poland, but studied in Belgium, France, England and Switzerland. In Paris, he met the explorer Adrian de Gerlache and joined his expedition to the Antarctic region in 1898. After returning north, he worked for a while in Sweden and in the U.S. at the New York Public Library. After returning to Poland in 1920 he served as the professor of meteorology at the Lwow University, but decided to move back to the U.S. just before the outbreak of World War II. He was lucky: he would have been killed with all the other Lwow professors when the Germans came to the city.



    WITOLD FRACZEK ON TRAVELS TO PATAGONIA (CHILE) & ARGENTINA

    The way to the South Pole leads through and around South America and we will counter a brief report from the Modjeska Club group's visits to Argentina and Chile with a report by the President of our partner club, Klub PIE from Riverside.

    Witold Frączek spent three months in South America and has many interesting stories to tell. Having a chance of an interactive discussion will enliven and enrich our evening, as well as strengthen the bonds between the two Clubs.

    He provided the following introduction: "My family, the Frączeks, has spent several months in Chile in 2010. One of the trips that we made in that longest country of the world was to its very south, to Chilean Patagonia, where a remarkable Torres del Paine National Park is located. Later, after leaving Chile and on our way to the Inca fatherland, we stopped in Mendoza, Argentina, famous for its quality red wine, especially Malbec."

    NOTE: This activity is not sponsored by the City of South Pasadena or the South Pasadena Public Library.
    ______________________________________

    PLANS FOR THE CLUB'S 2011-2012 SEASON:

      In the fall of 2011 we plan the following events:

    • September – the opening of an exhibit of painting by Ewa and Andrzej Mazur

    • October – two events, the Polish Film Festival with our Modejska Prize awarded to an actor/actress from Poland and a conversation with Adam Michnik

    • 19-20 November – concert of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki coorganized with Jacaranda - Music at the Edge in Santa Monica

    • 31 December – New Year’s Eve Ball and the 40th anniversary of the Club.

      In 2012 we are planning to meet in:

    • January for the premiere of Bogdan Kuszta’s humorous play directed by Maria Pilatowicz

    • February – to see Beata Pozniak and admire her talents, and

    • May – to attend the opening of a Polish Fiber Art Exhibition with works by Monika Lehman, Włodzimierz Cygan and Margaret Handwerker.


    Other programs and events are now being arranged. If any of our members have any special wishes, please do not hesitate to contact us, so we could add them to the list of proposals to be approved by the Board and start working on organizing those events.

    ___________________________________

    40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS

    The Modjeska Club was founded in 1971 and in 2011 we turn 40. For some members this is a nostalgic look back: if only we were as young as our Club!

    Our anniversary celebrations are to include the Awards Ceremony (coinciding with the Modjeska Prize Award to a Polish actor) in mid-October, the New Year's Eve Ball and the publication of a book, containing a historical overview of our activities, and essays by past Presidents. I have also included a discussion of the anniversary in the annual meeting programs of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America (held on June 10-11, 2011 in Washington D.C.) and the Polish American Historical Association (to be held in January 2012 in Chicago).

    For those who have cherished pictures or mementos from the past, please share them with the members of the Editorial Committee: Maja Trochimczyk, Krystyna Kuszta, and Joanna Maleski. The book will be published in English and Polish.

    ______________________________________

    AV EQUIPMENT FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN

    We are very happy with the response to our fund-raising campaign for AV equipment, which brought so far over $2,400, including a grant from The Wagner Foundation and a planned in-kind donation of a digital projector from the Sharp Corporation. We greatfully acknowledge this support from a group of dedicated donors, invited to assist us by Board Member Bogdan Plewnia.

    We hope to continue receiving donations and are very thankful to all the donors. If every club member contributed just $50, we would have new state-of-the-art equipment for our events!

    ___________________________________________

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Poles at the South Pole and Paderewski

    After a one-month of hiatus (due to the President's deadlines and various graduations), the Modjeska Club is finally meeting again. I'm sure everyone missed their friends!

    “POLES IN THE ANTARCTIC” – A TRAVELOGUE – 19 JUNE 2011

    Our special event is dedicated to Poles in the Antartic. The meeting will take place in the elegant South Pasadena Public Library Community Room (1115 El Centro St., South Pasadena, CA, 91030) at 5:00 p.m., on Sunday, 19 June 2011.

    The program includes a presentation of video recordings and photographs from the travel to the Antarctic by our members, Bogdan Plewnia and Andrzej Jagoda, with their families and friends. In January 2011, eight members and friends of the Club traveled to South America and the Antarctic, with the destination of the Polish Antartic Research Center on King George Island, in Admiralty Bay and Esperanza Station. Our travelers were: Nina and Tadeusz Budner, Lila and Andy Dowen, Halina and Andrzej Jagoda, as well as Jola and Bogdan Plewnia. On January 15, 2011 the travellers reached the Polish Center and met with a group of Polish scientists.

    The Polish Center for Antartic Research is named after a meteorologist, Henryk Arctowski (1871-1958) who participated in the expedition of „Belgica” in 1897-1899; it was the first group to spend winter in the area. Due to environmental concerns travels to the Antarctic are now nearly impossible, because larger ships will not be allowed in the waters surrounding the South Pole region. Let us then see Poles living on the largest research station of the Antartctic.

    We will not spend our winter there, just admire incredible glaciers, mountains, and, of course, penguins. We will also learn about the life of Henryk Arctowski, who was born in Poland, but studied in Belgium, France, England and Switzerland. In Paris, he met the explorer Adrian de Gerlache and joined his expedition to the Antarctic region in 1898. After returning north, he worked for a while in Sweden and in the U.S. at the New York Public Library. After returning to Poland in 1920 he served as the professor of meteorology at the Lwow University, but decided to move back to the U.S. just before the outbreak of World War II. He was lucky: he would have been killed with all the other Lwow professors when the Germans came to the city.

    ___________________________________________

    PLANS FOR MODJESKA CLUB'S 2011-2012 SEASON:

      In the fall of 2011 we plan the following events:

    • September – the opening of an exhibit of painting by Ewa and Andrzej Mazur,

    • October – two events, the Polish Film Festival with our Modejska Prize awarded to an actor/actress from Poland and a conversation with Adam Michnik;

    • 19-20 November – concert of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki coorganized with Jacaranda - Music at the Edge in Santa Monica

    • 31 December – New Year’s Eve Ball and the 40th anniversary of the Club.

      In 2012 we are planning to meet in:

    • January for the premiere of Bogdan Kuszta’s humorous play directed by Maria Pilatowicz,

    • February – to see Beata Pozniak and admire her talents, and

    • May – to attend the opening of a Polish Fiber Art Exhibition with works by Monika Lehman, Włodzimierz Cygan and Margaret Handwerker.

    Other programs are now being arranged. If any of our members have any special wishes, please do not hesitate to contact us, so we could try to figure out how to organize those events.

    Moreover, our anniversary celebrations are to include the publication of a book, containing a historical overview of our activities, and essays by past Presidents. For those who have cherished pictures or mementos from the past, please share them with the Editorial Committee: Maja Trochimczyk, Krystyna Kuszta, and Joanna Maleski. The book will be published in English and Polish.

    _________________________________

    AV EQUIPMENT FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN

    We are very happy with the response to our fund-raising campaign for AV equipment, which brought so far over $2,400, including a grant from The Wagner Foundation and a planned in-kind donation of a digital projector from the Sharp Corporation.

    We hope to continue receiving donations and are very thankful to all the donors. If every club member contributed just $50, we would have new state-of-the-art equipment for our events.

    ___________________________________________

    EVENTS BY OUR FRIENDS

    The Paderewski Music Society in Los Angeles

    presents a Gala concert

    “The Legacy of Paderewski”

    featuring Piotr Kosinski, pianist

    First Prize Winner of the 2010 Paderewski Int'l Piano Competition in Los Angeles.
    Mr. Kosinski, from Poland, triumphed over pianists representing 14 countries.
    He will be making his West Coast debut as part of an American tour.
    Also on the program: celebrated actress Jane Kaczmarek, Paul Jan Zdunek as Paderewski, and a nine-minute documentary, in which several luminaries recollect the Great Artist and Statesman, including the appearance of Ignacy Paderewski himself.
    Reception will follow.

    An evening not to be missed!

    Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    Zipper Hall - Colburn School, Conservatory of Music
    200 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, between 2nd and 3rd Streets,
    diagonally across the street from the Walt Disney Concert Hall

    Tickets: $30 (including reception)

    Due to limited seating the advance tickets are offered as a convenience and will be available at a special Will Call pick up window with little to no waiting time.
    Checks should be payable to Paderewski Music Society and received by June 8, 2011
    please mail checks to: 8504 Independence Avenue, Canoga Park, CA 91304

    For PayPal purchases, please use the following Email address: paderewski.music.society@ijpaderewski.org

    For additional information, please call 818-456-7742 or 818-429-6688

    Tuesday, March 29, 2011

    "Milosz in My Life" with Guzlowski, Woloch and Probosz (April 16, 2011)

    On April 16, 2011, at the Ruskin Art Club (800 S. Plymouth Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90005) the Modjeska Club will celebrate the Milosz Year, declared by the Polish Parliament in honor of the centennial of the great poet and essayist, one of the most penetrating and insightful minds of the 20th century. Our guests will include two eminent Polish-American poets, Dr. John Z. Guzlowski and Cecilia Woloch, and a talented actor, Marek Probosz who will recite Milosz in English and Polish.

    CZESŁAW MIŁOSZ (Česlovas Milošas in Lithuanian) was born on June 30, 1911 in a little Lithuanian village and lived in Poland and Berkeley, California (where from 1961 to 1998 he was a professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Berkeley), and back in Krakow, Poland where he died on August 14, 2004. Milosz was a celebrated poet, prose writer and translator who defected to the West in 1951; in 1980 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

    JOHN GUZLOWSKI is the author of Lightning and Ashes, a book of poems about his parents’ experiences in Nazi concentration camps; a portion of which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. His stories and poems appear in such national journals as Ontario Review, Chattahoochee Review, Atlanta Review, Nimrod, Crab Orchard Review, and Marge, and in the anthology Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust. Garrison Keillor read Guzlowski’s poem “What My Father Believed” on his program, The Writers’ Almanac. Czeslaw Milosz said that Guzlowski’s poems about his parents are “astonishing.” He blogs about his parents at http://lightning-and-ashes.blogspot.com/

    Asked about a personal statement about his poetry, John sent the following:

    "I was born in a refugee camp in Germany after World War II, and came with my parents Jan and Tekla and my sister Donna to the United States as Displaced Persons in 1951. My Polish Catholic parents had been slave laborers in Nazi Germany. Growing up in the immigrant and DP neighborhoods around Humboldt Park in Chicago, I met Jewish hardware store clerks with Auschwitz tattoos on their wrists, Polish cavalry officers who still mourned for their dead horses, and women who walked from Siberia to Iran to escape the Russians. My poems try to remember them and their voices."

    Here's what Czesław Miłosz had to say about Guzlowski's book:

    "In [Guzlowski’s] poems the land of his parents and the work camps are always present, although at the same time they are only part of his poetic repertoire. In the volume which I have at hand, there are a lot of completely different poems, completely free of the burden of the past. This slim volume even astonished me with its doubleness. The first part summons precisely the camp images from the life of the author’s parents, who were treated by the Nazis like beasts of burden. Their awkward language, because they were both half-literate, was for the Nazis a language of mules. The second part reveals an enormous ability for grasping reality with some distance." — Czesław Miłosz

    CECILIA WOLOCH is the author of five collections of poems, most recently Carpathia, from BOA Editions Ltd. She is the recipient of a NEA Fellowship and is currently a lecturer in the creative writing program at the University of Southern California, as well as the founding director of The Paris Poetry Workshop. She spends a part of each year traveling, and in recent years has divided her time between Los Angeles, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Shepherdsville, Kentucky; Paris, France; and a small village in the Carpathian mountains of southeastern Poland. Cecilia also runs private workshops for writers in the U.S. and Europe. For more information, visit www.ceciliawoloch.com.

    CECLILIA WOLOCH’s “Anti-Bio” (in the first person) is a poem of its own:
    “I drive a pick-up truck and can climb into and out of it in a cocktail dress and high heels. I can dance salsa and cha cha cha and speak fairly decent French. I’m currently learning Polish and can fake it in a couple of other languages. I know maybe more than is healthy to know about eastern European history, the Bolsheviks, WWII and Hitler and Stalin, and the history of the Roma (gypsy) people in Europe, but way less than any academic specializing in those things would (I hope) know. I’m an excellent parallel parker. Good navigator and map-reader. I have expertise in making complicated travel arrangements and in getting small children to laugh, if not getting them to go to sleep. I can ride a horse with a Western or English saddle. I can do splits, but not cartwheels. Double pirouettes but not triple. My grammar skills have advanced to the point that I know how and when to use the subjunctive. I can braid my hair with my eyes closed. I can explain the history of English prosody with a couple of coconuts. I make a perfect cup of coffee and a mean omelette, but that’s the full extent of my culinary skills."

    "I know the names of many wildflowers. Can still do “figures in my head” and balance my checkbook to the penny. I’m addicted to novels. I’ve never owned a television. I’ve taught creative writing to the criminally insane and line dancing to the elderly. I’ve crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border on foot in the company of smugglers and journalists. Have been robbed by a Russian gang in Warsaw and rescued by off-duty police in Paris. I’m not talking about Havana. I prefer to live out of a suitcase. Once gave myself a haircut with a breadknife. Can build a fire and bathe in a bucket. Can apply lipstick in a rearview mirror.”


    John Guzlowski's 2009 review of Cecilia's book of poems, Carpathia is on his blog Writing the Polish Diaspora


    A preeminent figure in European Stage, television and film, MAREK PROBOSZ has starred in over 50 films competing at key international festivals including Cannes and Karlovy Vary (Jiri Svoboda’s award-winning Fall of the Lonely Castle) Venice (Jerzy Skolimowski’s 30 Door Key) San Sebastian (Frantisek Vlacil’s The Fern’s Shadow).

    The grandson of Polish poet laureate Jerzy Probosz - a young writer whose career ended with his death in the Dachau concentration camp - and son of architect father and a schoolteacher mother, Probosz was awarded a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from the prestigious Polish National Film, TV and Theater School in Lódz in 1983. He first directed and starred at the Odyssey Theater in Los Angeles in AUM or Tormenting of Actors, an original theatrical production from his own script. After directing six short films based on his own scripts, Marek Probosz obtained his Certificate in Film Directing at the American Film Institute in 1993. In 1998 he received his MFA in Drama.

    Since his time at AFI, he has directed a full-length documentary film Jan Kott: Still Alive and wrote six feature film screenplays. In a riveting performance that many thought would become Poland’s first Oscar for Best Actor, Probosz starred as the Polish WWII hero, Witold Pilecki, the only known person in history to volunteer to become imprisoned at Auschwitz concentration camp so he could liberate its prisoners from within, in the feature film, The Death of Captain Pilecki. Many have likened his performance to that of Liam Neeson’s Schindler. The film, extraordinarily controversial within Poland, garnered The Special Jury REMI Award at IFF, Houston ‘07.

    Probosz is a regular on the longest-running Polish TV series Clan and the most successful Polish TV series of all time, L Like Love, in which he plays the first homosexual character ever featured on Polish National TV. Aside from its controversy, it has made him a film idol in his homeland where he is mobbed for autographs wherever he goes. His most recent credits are 8 Horizontal, winner of the Grand Prix, Gdynia FF’09 in which he portrays a Polish Arab Mustafa, Revers, Golden Lion Award, Gdynia ’09; FIPRESCI Award, Warsaw FF; and the Polish nominee for the 2010 Oscars.

    Most recently, he plays the role of Satora in the new epic film by world acclaimed film director Agnieszka Holland, The True Story of Janosik.His role of Odysseus with illustrious British star Henry Goodman in the Getty Villa theater production, Philoktetes, brought him into directing a Greek play Socrates Now scheduled for the Getty Villa in Malibu, Los Angeles in 2011.

    Probosz’s first book Eldorado, was published with a great success by Stentor Publishing House in Poland last year. His second book of short stories Call Me When They Kill You, is due to be published in Poland in May 2011.


    ______________________________________

    CLUB UPDATES


    The cosmic adventure of the Modjeska and PIE Clubs accompanied on March 26, 2011 by a full contingent of their friends and relations was very successful. The highly entertaining and educational lectures by five scientists, engineers and managers at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory captivated the attention of the audience that filled over 200 seats at the JPL Von Karman Auditorium in Pasadena. Many thanks to JPL, the co-organizers Andrew Z. Dowen and Artur B. Chmielewski, and the five presenters: Andrew Z. Dowen, David Lehman, Artur B. Chmielewski, Marek Tuszynski and Witold Sokolowski. A longer report by Dr. Mira Mataric will follow.

    For those of you who missed it, here's a link to the song that NASA sent into space to introduce aliens to our culture: Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode. A second link has some tribute commentary and a 1958 video of Chuck Berrydancing with his guitar. In the meantime, enjoy the Picasa Web Album of photos prepared by our club members.

    Now, that we are talking about photo albums, photos from our meetings with Jan Kidawa Blonski (March 12) and with Leonard Kress, Roman Koropeckyj and Beata Pozniak (February 19) are already posted on the blog and the website. See the links on the right margin.

    This year, we are celebrating our very own 40th anniversary! We will definitely throw us a birthday bash, possibly in the form of a New Year's Eve Ball. We will also publish a book about our history, including the second edition of the material gathered for the Club's 25th anniversary, not so long ago. We hope to receive additional reports, reminiscences, and ruminations by anyone who writes well and has the time to do it for free. The editors will accept whatever they feel like, but it is always worth a try!

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Cosmos - The Real Poetry (March 26, 2011)

    On Saturday, March 26, 2011, at 6 p.m. five managers and engineers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena will present their most recent projects at an evening entitled "Cosmos - the Real Poetry." The presentations will be held at JPL's Von Karman Auditorium located at 4800 Oak Grove Dr. Pasadena, CA 91109. All lectures will be in English and the event, co-hosted by Artur B. Chmielewski and Andrew Z. Dowen, will be open to the general public, with light refreshments provided. The Modjeska Club greatly appreciates the support of JPL in hosting this event.

    The Club's Board member, Andrew Dowen, will moderate the event, and provide the overall introduction about JPL and JPL's relationship with NASA. As he writes:

    "Our wonderful Modjeska Art and Culture Club brings to us the beauty of poetry, literature, arts and music. But is there greater beauty than the universe itself? What we learn from other worlds goes beyond the most sophisticated rhymes, most pleasant chords and greatest human intellect. Space exploration touches upon the very understanding of us, where we came from, who we are and where we are going. Five Polish engineers surrounded by spacecraft in the auditorium at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena will share with you the excitement of space exploration.

    Please note that JPL is a Federal Research Facility and you will be stopped by JPL Security and asked about the purpose of your visit. Simply state that you are attending an outreach event in Von Karman Auditorium. The guard will point you toward the "Gust Parking Lot" (2nd out on the circle), which is located directly to the left as you approach the second Guard Checkpoint. Please park there and walk toward the entrance to the parking lot where one of us will show you the way to Von Karman Auditorium."

    PRESENTATIONS


    ANDREW Z. DOWEN (Program Manager, Interplanetary Network Directorate) - "NASA/JPL adds New Instruments to its Cosmic Orchestra”

    Andrew (Andy) Zdzislaw Dowen, a Computer Scientist, is finishing his 22nd year as a CalTech/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) employee. During these 22 years Andy held many engineering and management posts within JPL and NASA. Among those, a Chief Engineer for Communication assets, NASA's Mission Standards Program Manager and a Director of Operations for Space Operations Management Office at Johnson Space Center (JSC), Huston. Presently Andy is NASA's Multimission Ground System Services (MGSS) Program Office Manager. He manages software development, hardware, people and processes necessary for NASA's Deep Space and Astrophysics Missions to carry out their scientific objectives. Andy graduated from New York University School of Engineering with BS in Electronics and Masters in Computer Science.


    DAVID LEHMAN (GRAIL Project Manager)- “To the Moon - an Overview of the GRAIL Project”

    David H. Lehman is the husband of the tapestry artist Monique Chmielewska Lehman. He is also a Project Manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission. Prior to working at JPL, David was a naval nuclear engineering officer on the submarine USS Abraham Lincoln.


    MAREK TUSZYNSKI (Engineer, Autonomous Systems Division) - "Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission Overview and Video"


    Marek Tuszynski graduated from Cal State Northridge with Degrees in Math and Computer Science and Masters in Applied Mathematics.
    Mark has worked at JPL for the past 23 years on many projects. The two he favors the most are: Cassini Mission to Saturn where he was a Cognizant Flight Software Engineer and Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) where he performed the function of the Attitude Control Subsystem (ACS) Project Element Manager for Flight Software.
    Mark is currently working as Project Element Manager for Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Flight Software.



    ARTUR BARTOSZ CHMIELEWSKI (Manager, Solar Systems Exploration) - "Modjeska in Space, so what do space scientists think about our poetry, music, literature and ... hamburgers"


    Artur Bartosz Chmielewski, known to Americans who cannot pronounce Czemieluski, as ABC, completed his undergraduate studies in mechanics at the University of Michigan and his M.Sc. in Computer Science at the University of Southern California(USC). At JPL for 30 years, he has served as an engineer for 16 NASA missions and the director of such space projects as: Space Technology 6, Space Technology 8, Mars Autonomous Rendezvous and, most recently, Rosetta. That final mission, Rosetta, will land on a comet in 2014. His greatest achievements include a) building the first ever expanding antenna that was unfolded in space to the size of a tennis court and b) serving as a co-host for one of the Modjeska Club events.

    WITOLD SOKOLOWSKI (Materials scientist/technologist, Mechanical Systems Division) - "Smart materials from spacecraft applications to . . . saving a human life"

    Dr. Witold Sokolowski, is a scientist, with over 20 years of the management of material research and technology development at Caltech/JPL, working on advanced modern materials for space exploration. He is an author of more than 70 publications, 2 technical books (third book presently in writing), 3 US Patents and 16 NASA Novel Technology Reports. His major achievements: quit smoking and be designated as one of the presenters during the Modjeska Club meeting.


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    FUTURE EVENTS


    April 16, 2011 - "My Milosz" with poets Dr. John Z. Guzlowski and Cecilia Woloch (USC), and special guest Marek Probosz reciting Milosz's poetry in Polish. A celebration of the Milosz Year. Ruskin Art Club, 800 S. Plymouth Blvd., Los Angeles, 6:30 p.m.

    May 21, 2011 - "Helena Modjeska in California" field trip to Orange County

    June 18, 2011 - "Poles in South America - A Travelogue" and Annual General Meeting of the Modjeska Club, South Pasadena Library Community Room

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    All photos (C) by JPL/NASA and used by permission.