Thursday, December 22, 2011

Our 40th Anniversary Ball - 2/4/2012

 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: E-Mail: 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: 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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.



  • 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.



    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.



    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 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.



    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.



    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.