Friday, June 22, 2012

General Meeting of Modjeska Club - June 23 at 5 p.m., Pasadena

A quick reminder that the general meeting of the Modjeska Club and the elections of the new President and Board are scheduled for Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 5 p.m. at the hospitable home of Danuta and Wieslaw Zuchowski in Pasadena. The address and other details have been provided in an email and letters to all Club members who have paid the dues. Whoever did not pay the dues yet and is not eligible to vote, may come to the meeting, pay the oustanding yearly dues, and pick up the ballot to exercise their right to vote.

Over the course of the last two years, the Bylaws of the Modjeska Club have been revised by a committee lead by Andrew Z. Dowen and the resulting text has been sent to all members in good standing with a ballot for approval. The English version is the legal document, and a Polish translation has been posted on the website:

Prof. Norman Davies (center) surrounded by the Modjeska Club members. L to R: Andy Dowen, Jola Zych, Krystyna Bartkowska, Bozena Szeremeta, Dorota Olszewska, Elzbieta Kanska, Krystyna Okuniewska, Maja Trochimczyk, Helena Kolodziey, Krystyna Kuszta and Bogdan Plewnia, May 19, 2012, Beverly Hills. Poster by Lech Majewski, commissioned by Consul General Joanna Kozinska-Frybes jako dar dla Klubu.

The Club has hosted 15 events in the 39th season (2010-2011) and 13 events in the 40th anniversary season (2011-1012), including presentations by artists, writers, actors, musicians, and politicians from Poland, Polish-American poets, musicians, and scholars specializing in Polish culture.  Additionally two events focused on presentations of the Modjeska Prizes to Marian Dziedziel and Anna Dymna. Several events were organized in collaboration with Polish and American partners, to mention only: the Bowers Museum, Jacaranda Music Group, the UCLA Hammer Museum, Instytut Adama Mickiewicza, USC Polish Music Center, Polish Film Festival in Los Angeles, and, our greatest supporter, Consulate General of the Republic of Poland.

Our events were mostly open to the public and about 50% used English as the main language. The "members-only" events included meetings with Prof. Jerzy Balcerowicz, former Chairman of Poland's National Bank in 2010, and with Prof. Norman Davies, a British expert on European history in 2012 

We received honors and recognitions from the City and County of Los Angeles. We have instituted a new award, called the "Modjeska Prize" and given in recognition of outstanding achievements by actors in Poland. Jan Nowicki, Marian Dziedziel and Anna Dymna have received the Modjeska Prizes so far.

Much progress was made in documenting the Club's history as new sources came to life from the collections of the Polish Museum of America in Chicago thanks to the President's reasearch.  In addition, founding members, active in the club's first decade (Wanda Baran, Jerzy Zagner) have also contributed important sources and information.  Research continues. The results will be published in the book "A Grand,  Historical Album" ("Album Wielce Historyczny") that is currently being edited. The publication of the Polish version will be scheduled for the fall 2012. The book will include biographical notes about important artists, writers, scholars and scientists who have belonged to the Club over the 40 years of its history.

It has been a pleasure to serve as the Club's President for the past two years and I'm proud of our collective accomplishments.  I've been assisted by an amazing, dedicated, hard-working, and cohesive Board of Directors: Krystyna Kuszta, Vice-President; Danuta Zuchowski, Treasurer; Krystyna Bartkowski, Secretary; Andy Dowen, Krystyna Okuniewska, Wanda Presburger, Bogdan Plewnia, and Bozena Szeremeta.

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