Saturday, September 19, 2020

Polish Hollywood: Aleksandra Kaniak, Marcin Harasimowicz, Monika Ekiert on Zoom, Sat. 10/10/20, 3 pm

Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club is pleased to present "Polish Hollywood Aleksandra Kaniak, Marcin Harasimowicz, Monika Ekiert" on Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 3 pm. via ZOOM. The meeting will be moderated by Elizabeth Kanski, former President of the Polish American Film Society and active member of the Polish Hollywood community.


Topic: Modjeska Club on Zoom: Polish Hollywood with A. Kaniak, M. Harasimowicz, M. Ekiert

Time: Oct 10, 2020 03:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Aleksandra Kaniak, born in Poland, began her career in entertainment at the age of 6 as a child singer winning awards and traveling all over Eastern Europe. She loved traveling, exploring, and learning the languages of other cultures. 

 Aleksandra also became fascinated with American literature and American culture. John Steinbeck and Edward Albee were her favorite American writers to name a couple. Her biggest dream was to move to the United States. Fighting the bureaucratic restrictions Eastern Europe is famous for, Aleksandra burst through and created a visit Los Angeles. She fell in love with sunny California. The American culture was everything she has ever dreamed, and more. 

 Aleksandra started working in modeling and quickly discovered that her true passion is acting. While continuing to work in TV commercials and print she enrolled in acting schools studying with prestigious acting teachers like Vincent Chase, Cameron Thor, Larry Moss. She also studied acting techniques for instance commedia dell’arte, dance and movement, Alexander Techworks and Meisner. 

 Acting roles followed quickly for Aleksandra . She debuted on American screens in “Three of Hearts” with William Baldwin and Kelly Lynch. She had numerous guest-starring parts on American TV series including “NYPD Blue” opposite Dennis Franz, “Beverly Hills 90210” opposite Jason Priestley, “24” opposite Kiefer Sutherland, “NCIS” and “The Event” opposite Jason Ritter and most recently guest starred on highly successful “Grimm”, “Castle” opposite Nathan Fillion and “Scorpion”.

 Aleksandra’s voice, with the mysterious and romantic European accent, is instantly engaging. Many find it unforgettable. Her voice-over work includes infamous Lt. Zofia from “Red Alerts” and Raven from “Cy-girls” as well as Rosetta Stone. 

 Continuing her love of linguistics, Aleksandra is also a licensed translator and a dialect coach. Working on the sets of “Worst Week”, “2 Broke Girls” with Jennifer Coolidge. On the set of “Water for Elephants” she had double duties; she played opposite Robert Pattison as “Mrs. Jankowski” and she was Pattison’s Polish dialect coach. On that set she had the opportunity to work with one of her favorite actors, a double Oscar winner Christoph Waltz and an amazing director Francis Lawrence, whose upcoming projects are “The Hunger Games.”

 Aleksandra currently lives in Los Angeles. She travels the world on acting assignments and continues her passion of linguistics by actively providing translating services in the entertainment and legal industries. Her new upcoming movie is an indie called “American Bistro” to be released soon. 


Actor, writer, born on August 15, 1977 in Wrocław, Poland. In the USA for 12 years, working as "Martin Harris." Known for his film roles in big Hollywood productions like "The Hunt" and "Red Notice", series "The Last Ship", "NCIS: Los Angeles", "MacGyver", "Black Lightning", "Days Of Our Lives", " Scorpion, "Making History" and "StartUp." As a voice-over actor, he lent his voice to the iconic Krueger character in "Call of Duty" as well as in the films "Tenet", "Black Widow", "SpiderMan: Far From Home", "X-Men : Apocalypse "," American Pickle ", and the "Zookeeper's Wife." 

Marcin can perform in the following languages: English, Polish, Russian, German (perfect), Serbian, Croatian, Czech, Ukrainian, Danish (conversational). A well-known sports journalist, Harasimowicz is the author of two best-selling books published in Poland: "Los Angeles Lakers. Golden History" and "LeBron James. There is only one king". He has published in over thirty countries.


Monika Ekiert spent her adolescence in Ostrow Wielkopolski, Poland. She decided to continue her studies at the famed Paris Sorbonne University, where she received a diploma for Economy and International Relations. After graduation, Monika began to work at Canal+ Paris, where she discovered her profound passion for the cinema. Upon committing to the art of acting she commenced her studies of the craft at the School of Theatre & Film at International Acting and at Cours Florent in Paris. That is when her beautiful adventure in the world of cinema began. 

Monika has been the face, lead model and actress for many noteworthy international fashion campaigns, working with well-known brands such as  Giorgio Armani, L'Oréal Paris, Schwarzkopf, Redken, and Shu Uemura and many others.

Building on her continued success in French cinema, television and advertising she continued her artistic journey by revisiting her Polish roots. Passionate of the life, energy and cinema, with her head full of ideas and hearts full of motivation she arrived in Los Angeles Being French-Polish, she mastered these two languages fluently, as well as English and Russian. She has also acting skills in German and Hebrew. 

Monika Ekiert Showreels

Friday, August 28, 2020

Poet Anna Maria Mickiewicz from London on Zoom, Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 11 am

In light of the continuing shut-down of cultural life in California by governor's and mayor's decrees, the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club is moving its Fall Events to Zoom format. Two events are scheduled so far: Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 11 am PST (with a guest from London, UK), and Saturday, October 10 at 3 pm with Polish Hollywood Panel of actors - Aleksandra Kaniak, Marcin Harasimowicz, and Agata Nowicka. 


Topic: Modjeska Club on Zoom - Anna Maria Mickiewicz

Time: Sep 12, 2020 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Anna Maria Mickiewicz ( is a Polish-born poet, writer and editor who writes both in Polish and in English. Anna moved to California, and then to London, where she has lived for many years. She edits the annual literary magazine The Literary Memoir, London, and Contemporary Writers of Poland (USA). She is a member of English Pen. Her first collection of verse was published in 1985. Since then, publications include short stories and essays Okruchy z Okrągłego Stołu (Breadcrumbs from the Round Table) in 2000, Londyńskie bagaże literackie in 2019, and verse collections Proscenium in 2010, London Manuscript, published by Poetry Space, Bristol, UK, in 2014 and The Mystery of Time, published by Flutter Press, USA in  2019. With Danuta Błaszak, she has published an anthology Flying Between Words Contemporary Writers of Poland (Florida: 2015). 

A grey coat

In a grey coat, leaning on a bench, collecting dispersed thoughts,
Nietzsche was terrifying once, with remote grandeur.
Power overcomes weakness.
Now it is just a Dionysian fairy tale on the glowing screen.
A silhouette darkened by fog will leave a mark in the flame of memory.
Power overcome by weakness.

(C) Anna Maria Mickiewicz 

Book links:

Saturday, July 25, 2020

New Board Members and Poetry by Milosz on Zoom, July 29 at 7pm

We would like to inform you all about changes in our Board of Directors:

On April 25, 2020, the Board voted to add long-time club members to the Board: Barbara Nowicka as Secretary and Maria Kubal as Treasurer. Elzbieta Trybus, former SEcretary and Elzbieta Przybyla, former Treasurer will remain on the board as directors. We welcome the new Board members and thank the two Elizabeths retiring from their positions to continue working as Board members.


Maria Kubal has previously served as Board Member in 2010-2018, assisting with the organization of club events.She is a graduate  of Karol Adamiecki University of Economics in Katowice, specializing in Economics and Information Technology, with a focus on Organization of Data Processing and Accounting. After working for eight years as Economic Manager at a Corporation of Coal Industry in Rybnik, she emigrated to the U.S. where for 15 years she was the co-owner of Freightex Inc. a transport company that she managed jointly with her husband Andrzej Kubal. Since 2010 she has been a real estate investor.  An active Polish American community member, Ms. Kubal volunteered for Polish Alma Mater - Polish School in Los Angeles (1997-2007), as a member of the Parents' Committee, a co-organizer of the celebration of the sacraments of St. First Communion and Confirmation and supporter/co-organizer of children's performances and charity events for the benefit of the school - games, lunches, etc. In  2002-2012 she volunteered for Polish Folk Dance Ensemble "Podhale" and provided organizational assistance in the preparation of performances, rehearsals and  concert tours.


Barbara Nowicki has been a member of the Club for many years; she was a frequent volunteer for Polish Film Festival in Los Angeles. Born in Wloclawek, Poland, she moved to Gdansk after graduating from high school, to attend  University of Gdansk, with M.S degree in biology. In 1980 she left Poland and stayed in Germany until 1983 when she emigrated to the U.S.  She worked at the City of Hope Medical Center   as a Senior Research Associate responsible for designing, organizing and managing the Research Laboratory for the Department of Transfusion Medicine during its growth from 50 to more than 200 professionals. She participated in over 50 research protocols pertaining to the treatment of malignancies. She helped design and performed most experiments and tests related to cellular immunology techniques. In 2001, she  moved to CTL Immunotherapies Inc. in Chatsworth, California - a biopharmaceutical company specializing in cancer vaccine development where as  Associate Scientist whe was responsible for conducting research projects related to cancer vaccine development. In 2006 she accepted job offer from UCLA Medical Center -BM/Stem Cell Transplant Laboratory to manage  daily operations of stem cell processing laboratory and preparation of cellular therapy products for transplant. She currently works part time at USC Norris Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA (consultation on quality assurance). 
Polish Harvest by Mikolaj Gospodarek.


I would like to inform you that our poet friend is organizing a meeting dedicated to the poetry of Czeslaw Milosz on Zoom on Wednesday July 29 at 7 pm.  The poet's son Tony Milosz will join the group of poets who will read the poetry in English and Polish - I'm going to read something too...  The invitation by organizer Neven Karlovac and the login information is copied below.

We will hold our fall meetings in Zoom format as well - on September 12 at 11 am with London-Based poet Anna Maria Mickiewicz and on October 10 at 3 pm with three Polish Actors in Hollywood.


Dear friends and lovers of Milosz's poetry,

You are cordially invited to a Zoom evening of reading and talking about Milosz's poetry, or just listening.  Next Wednesday at 7:00 PM California time.  Please find the login information below.  Feel free to forward the invitation to your friends.  I am delighted to announce the participation of Anthony (Tony) Milosz, the poet's son and translator, who will read some poems also in Polish so we can hear the music as Czeslaw wrote it. I  hope you all will join me.  I haven't seen many of you since we celebrated Milosz's centennial in 2011 and it would be wonderful to see you again albeit online.

With warm regards,

Neven Karlovac,, 1-310-897-2096

Neven Karlovac is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Czeslaw Milosz Poetry Evening
Time: Jul 29, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Best regards and happy summer!

Maja Trochimczyk, President

Maja Trochimczyk and Maria Kubal in Montecito, CA

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Easter, Passover and Spring Wishes 2020

Dear Friends,

It seems that we will celebrate Easter at home, separately, and even our May meeting will be canceled, because in these exceptional times there is a ban on flights from Shengen Zone, i.e. the EU - and therefore from Poland. I wish that you all, members and guests of the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club, have a wonderful Easter, full of peace, love and joy. Regardless of the current mess in the world, we really have something to enjoy!

If someone does not celebrate Easter, only Passover (which started on April 8), then the blessings, peace and joy are the same, only the prayers and holiday dishes are a bit different ... And if someone is from Persia, I wish you good times of Norooz too, celebrated recently on a spring equinox in March. And for atheists, I wish you a happy spring and lots of sun and joy throughout the year.

All in all, our emigrant life is summarized in the simple facts that we wish everything the best,  work hard, take care of our families, care for our friends, and we build a better world together - day by day, sometimes on a thorny road, fighting the storm, and sometimes in beautiful tranquility...Let the calm weather come back as soon as possible so our meetings could again enrich the cultural mosaic in California with beautiful experiences of Polish traditions and culture.

For your enjoyment, some photos are attached, including  various cards I found, my Easter 2016 poets' party, and a poem from that year: Today, you are perfect. ...

Best wishes,

Dr. Maja Trochimczyk, President
Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club

Monday, February 3, 2020

Dominika Swiatek, "Groszki i Roze" Polish Songs, Saturday 29 Feb 2020, 4 pm Santa Monica

The Board of Directors of Helena Modjeska Art And Culture Club has the pleasure to invite members and guests to a FREE CONCERT at the Santa Monica Library (601 Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90401) - Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium -  on SATURDAY,  29 February 2020 at 4:00 p.m. The performance will start at 4:30 and RSVP is requested to

Concert by Dominika Świątek and Andrzej Perkman

The concert consists of two parts. The first are songs once sung by Ewa Demarczyk, i.e. great literary and musical masterpieces such as: "Carousel with Madonnas", "Poems of War", Skrzypek Hercowicz "," Tomaszów ", the monumental" Grande Valse Brillante "and the title" Peas and Roses " .

The second part will include songs by the brilliant Polish poet and bard - Jacek Kaczmarski. In addition to the well-known "Our Class" and "Sources", less popular songs such as "Sparks and Tears" and "Mucha in a Glass of Lemonade" will be performed. The whole concert is a tribute to great Polish poetry and Polish composers. This is a presentation of a very important part of Polish culture and the wonderful tradition of Polish poetic song.

Dominika Świątek - singer, composer, poetry interpreter, Polish philologist Music director of the Hybrydy Theater of the University of Warsaw, She published three CDs with her compositions to poems of Polish poets: "Prophecy" with poetry of Juliusz Słowacki, "Seventh Angel" with poetry of Zbigniew Herbert, and "Coraz ciszej" "To the poems of the contemporary poet Jerzy Hajduga. Decorated with the medal of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage "Distinguished for Polish Culture".

 Andrzej Perkman - pianist, composer, arranger, lecturer at the Theater Academy in Warsaw, he cooperates with Warsaw theaters: incl. National, Contemporary, Dramatic, Rampa, Roma, Studio.


L TO R: Seated Agata Pilitowska, Maria Nowotarska. Standing Chris Justin, Ela Trybus, Maja Trochimczyk, Beata Czajkowska, Anna Sadowska, Ela Przybyla, Ewa Barsam, Vice Consul Pawel Lickiewicz

 L TO R: Seated Agata Pilitowska, Maria Nowotarska. Standing Chris Justin, Ela Trybus, Maja Trochimczyk, Beata Czajkowska, Anna Sadowska, Ela Przybyla, Ewa Barsam, Vice Consul Pawel Lickiewicz

Ela Przybyla and Ewa Barsam in conversation with Agata Pilitowska

 L TO R: Seated Agata Pilitowska, Maria Nowotarska. Standing Chris Justin, Ela Trybus, Maja Trochimczyk, Beata Czajkowska, Anna Sadowska, Ela Przybyla, Ewa Barsam, Vice Consul Pawel Lickiewicz

Maja Trochimczyk, Maria Nowotarska, Agata Pilitowska

Ela Trybus and Maria Nowotarska, Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens

Ela Trybus, Maria Nowotarska, Agata Pilitowska, Marek Szczerba at the Huntington Library

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Agata Pilitowska & Maria Nowotarska Perform "Monsieur Chopin" Receive the Modjeska Prize, 31 January 2020

The Board of the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club in Los Angeles is very pleased to invite its members and the general public to a one-time performance of Dobry wieczor, Monsieur Chopin, a play based on Chopin's letters written and directed by Maria Nowotarska. The performance by Maria Nowotarska and Agata Pilitowska of the Polish Theater from Toronto will take place on Friday, January 31, 2020, at 8 p.m. at the Magicopolis Theater in Santa Monica (1418 4th Street, Santa Monica, with plenty of public parking nearby).

RSVP to by Jan 27, 2020. Please note that the students and faculty of the Polish Schools may attend for free, while club members pay $10, and guests $30 per person. You may also make your reservation via PayPal, adding $3 for PayPal fees - to

To find out more about the play, you can read the review (in Polish) from its performance in Stockholm, Sweden:

After the performance, the Board of Directors of the Modjeska Club will present the 2019 Modjeska Prize for achievement as Polish actors to the stars of the evening, who performed for the club many plays, focusing on great Polish emigre women, such as  Pola Negri, Ordonka, Tamara Lempicka, and others.  Established in 2010, the Modjeska Prize serves as a Lifetime Achievement Award in the field of acting. So far, awardees included Jan Nowicki, Anna Dymna, Barbara Krafftowna and, in 2018 Jadwiga Baranska. Ms. Nowotarska and Ms. Pilitowska are the first recipients who are emigres and permanently live in Canada, while performing around the world.


From her graduation at the Krakow Theater Academy, she was an actress in the Słowacki Theater in Krakow. Her artistic achievements include a number of significant roles in dramatic and comedy repertoire. She cooperated with outstanding Polish directors - among others with E. Axer, K. Braun, K. Dejmek, B. Dąbrowski, B. Korzeniowski, R. Niewiarowicz, and R. Zioło. Nowotarska also appeared in Polish films, including the roles of "Andrzejowa Korczynska" in Nad Niemnem, "Tekla Ostrowska" "in" Between Lips and the Edge of the Chalice (Miedzy Ustami and Brzegiem Pucharu). In  the Television Theater, she starred in many great performances, including Barbarians, Świętoszek, Iwanów, Maple Brothers, A Forgotten Devil, Mary and Magdalene, etc. Nowotarska moved to Canada in 1990l due to her extensive experience, she become a co-creator of theatrical life in Toronto. She has been the creator, artistic director, screenwriter, director as well as actress in the theater known as Salon of Poetry, Music and Theater of the Polish Canadian Music Society. The repertoire of the Salon includes a whole array of the greatest Polish poets from Kochanowski to Szymborska and Twardowski.

Together with Agata Pilitowska, Nowotarska has developed a series of plays about the Great Polish Emigrant Women "written especially for actresses by Kazimierz Braun and directed by him as well: Helena, A Thing about Modjeska, American Dreams, Tamara L. about Tamara Lepicka, Radiation about Maria Sklodowska-Curie,"Stories of Pola Negri, and Mysteries of Ordonka. These plays have beentranslated into seven languages ​​and performed by Nowotarska and Pilitowska in many theaters around the world. At the same time, Maria Nowotarska has conducted teaching activities at the Acting School operating at the Salon, preparing youth of Polish descent for work as actors. She  received awards from the A. Mickiewicz Foundation, the Turzans Foundation. In 1995 she received the title "Women of the Year" for her artistic activity, and in 2000 she was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland. In 2004 she was awarded the title of "Meritorious for Polish Culture" by the Polish Ministry of Culture, and in 2006 she was honored with the Medal Gloria Artis. Other awards include the 2011 Golden Owl, Zlota Sowa statuette for achievements in the field of theater - in Vienna and the 2011 Gold Medal of the American Institute of Polish Culture


Agata Pilitowska graduated from the National Academy of Theatre Arts in Cracow, Poland and came to Canada in 1986. She played many English speaking roles in Toronto’s theatres. From 1992 she is associated with the Salon of Poetry, Music, and Theatre where she played in more than 100 productions, most notable in the series of dramas, written and directed especially for AgataPilitowska and Maria Nowotarska by Kazimierz Braun. These plays were performed not only in Toronto, but also in many cities in Canada, the United States, Europe, as well as in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her evening of poetry, “Szymborska Nobel 96”, was performed in Polish and English at the Concordia University in Montreal, Georgetown University in Washingtn DC, and as part of the International Writers Festival in Ottawa. Since 1999 she was a presenter and journalist of the TV OMNI, where she was the host of a weekly programme “Z Ukosa”. For the OMNI TV she dubbed thirty three hourly TV programs “Canada, the Peoples’ History” . Agata Pilitowska was given the title “Distinguished Advocate of Polish Culture ” ,the medal “Gloria Artis” , the statue “Golden Owls” for her achievements in acting and theatre in Vienna Austria , “Golden Cross of Merit “, the statuette “Politka” for her role of Pola Negri , “Golden Leafs Awards “ for the roles of Pola Negri and Hanka Ordonowna.