On Sunday, October 10, 2021, Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club celebrated its "golden" anniversary, i.e. the 50th anniversary at the Pasadena University Club. The evening started with a welcome with a glass of champagne for all guests, followed by a gala dinner. During the award ceremony, the anniversary plaque and a letter from Consul General Jaroslaw Lasinski were presented by Consul Pawel Lickiewicz, Vice Consul for Public Diplomacy at the Polish Consulate in Los Angeles. Then, Orange County Governor Donald Wagner, Los Angeles County Governor Kathryn Barger, Los Angeles City Councilor Monica Rodriguez and California Senator Antony Portantino gave honorary diplomas for the club and its volunteers. The Club president, dr. Maja Trochimczyk awarded the Club's volunteers and volunteers with diplomas and colorful rosettes. She also presented the newly published book "50th Anniversary Album of the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club," which as published in Polish and could be ordered during the Ball.
After the presentation of the awards for the Club and by the Club, prof. Wojciech Kocyan played the Waltz, Op. 18 by Chopin, and then the Helena Modjeska Prizes for 2021 were presented to Jan Englert (video) and Beata Pozniak (in person). The ball began with a solemn 50th anniversary Polonaise led by Marek Probosz, Master of Ceremonies, together with his wife, Malgorzata. Wojciech Kilar's beautiful music from the film "Pan Tadeusz" gave the Polonaise an unforgettable character. The AV and sound projection was prepared by the two-time Emmy Award winner Andrzej Warzocha. Everyone present got a commeratory lapel badge. The dancing had accompaniment of Polish hits from the 1970s and classic dance melodies, preferred by Polish American, including Italian and Salsa tunes.
We reproduce the text of the President's introduction below:
"On behalf of the Club Board and all the organizers, I cordially welcome you to the elegant, historic Pasadena University Club for our Club's 50th anniversary celebration. Our Ball is the culmination of a series of events, started in January 2021, and taking place in the virtual Zoom format. These were meetings devoted to the art of acting (Beata Poźniak and the presentation of the H. Modrzejewska award for Andrzej Seweryn), history (Dr. Iwona D. Korga, President of the Pilsudski Institute and Prof. John Radzilowski), art (Krystyna Sądej) and music ( Katarzyna Sądej, Tomasz Golka and Mikołaj Stroiński)."
"The most significant anniversary project is the publication of the 380-page Album of the 50th Anniversary of the Club. Many thanks to all hardworking volunteers! In addition to the album, in various rooms of the University Club you can see our history - photos and books of meetings with historical entries and signatures. Today, Dr. Wojciech Kocyan will inspire us with Chopin's music. Today we present the Helena Modjeska Prizes for outstanding actors, Beata Poźniak and Jan Englert. They will also receive diplomas from the County of Los Angeles and the state of California."
"A wonderful actor, Marek Probosz, will lead us to dance the polonaise, and Andrzej Warzocha, the winner of two Emmy awards, will provide the AV support. Our celebrations are possible thanks to donations from the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles, POLAM Federal Credit Union, a group of former presidents and members of the Club's board, and Moonrise Press."
"At first, I would like to warmly welcome everyone, especially our honorary guests who have honored our ceremony with their presence."
• Consul Pawel LICKIEWICZ, Vice Consul for Public Diplomacy at the Polish Consulate in Los Angeles
• WWII Veteran, The Child of the Uprising is with us, Professor ANDRZEJ TARGOWSKI, a member of the Club
• Among us there are outstanding actors MAREK PROBOSZ and BEATA POZNIAK
• There are media representatives: PATRYCJA AND ADAM SROCZYK
• Outstanding artists include a long-time member of the PAN ZBIGNIEW NYCZAK Club and Mr. SLAWEK WISNIEWSKI who recently joined our group with his wife MARZENA. We have great painters, amazing artists among us.
• Outstanding musicians: Prof. WOJCIECH KOCYAN from Loyola Marymount University, and double bass player DAREK OLESZKIEWICZ, professor at the California Institute for the Arts
• MS MARZENA WISNIEWSKA Representative of POLAM, our Polish bank, which supports many Polish diaspora groups and, of course, our club and the 50th Anniversary Ball. Marzena is a member of our club along with her husband.
• Former President of the Polish-American Film Society ELZBIETA KANSKA, and activists who spent many years promoting Polish film in California MAREK BERGER, SYLVIA KNUTEL, PIOTR PIECZONKA
• President of the Polish-American Culture Club PAPA in Orange County, Darek SWIATKOWSKI and vice-president GRZEGORZ CHILECKI with his spouses
• Activists from the Polish dance group KRAKUSY - President ELZBIETA ROMUZGA and Artistic Director, Choreographer, Mr. EDWARD HOFFMAN. Mrs. Romuzga is also the newest member of our Club, Welcome!
• Our former, very distinguished Club Presidents are also with us: Mrs. JOLANTA ZYCH, president in 1998 2006, who organized a group of former presidents to offer financial and spiritual support for our celebration. Ms ELZBIETA KANSKA and Mr ANDREW DOWEN, president in 2013-2018
• There are also very distinguished members of the previous Boards of Directors, KRYSTYNA BARTKOWSKA, KRYSTYNA OKUNIEWSKA and, again, ELZBIETA KANSKA, co-editor of our album of the club's history
• The current board of directors is with us: Vice President Dr. ELZBIETA TRYBUS, BEATA CZAJKOWSKA, treasurer MARIA KUBAL, secretary BARBARA NOWICKA, board members ELZBIETA PRZYBYLA, ANNA SADOWSKA, and SYL VES. Thank you for your presence and great help.
• The double Emmy Award winner ANDRZEJ WARZOCHA, responsible for the audiovisual setting of our ball, is here and without him we would not have such a great event. Applause!
In a moment I will be replaced at the microphone by MAREK PROBOSZ, an excellent film and theater actor, director, professor, and author, whose artistic achievements are well known to us, although not all of them, because their list is constantly growing. See a short list in the event program book! I have here breaking news: Marek has just received information that at the Pola Negri festival in Poland he will receive the Politka award for his film and theater achievements and for promoting Polish culture around the world. Marek has performed in our club many times. I had the pleasure of interviewing him three times, in 2006, 2011 and 2020. We are honored that he has agreed to join us today as the Master of Ceremonies, the Host of the Evening and the Leader of the Polonaise. Mark, he's handing you the microphone. "
AWARDS FOR THE CLUB, ITS VOLUNTEERS AND HONOREES
After a short welcome, Marek Probosz invited the Consul to the microphone. PAWEL LICKIEWICZ - CONSUL FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY, at the Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles, read a letter from Consul General Jaroslaw Lasinski, and handed over a commemorative plaque to the President
Pasadena, 10 października 2021 r.
Uczestnicy Jubileuszu pięćdziesiątej rocznicy powstania
Klubu Kultury im. Heleny Modrzejewskiej.
Dear President, Members of the Board, Dear Guests,
“One times one equals one.
Two times two equals ... four.
Four times four equals sixteen.
Five times ten equals fifty. "
This multiplication table was recited by Helena Modjeska at private receptions in England and America. She recited it in Polish in such a way that the listeners had the impression that they were listening to the story alternately funny, emotional, and moving to tears at the end.
Just as the "Modjeska multiplication table" went down in the history of the theater, today the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club is remembered in Polish cultural history. The Club has been cherishing, preserving and strengthening Polish cultural heritage in California for fifty years.
Southern California may seem like a perfect place to promote Polish culture. The immediate vicinity of the world-famous art and entertainment center is both an opportunity and a challenge. The local art market is saturated, and the competition for the audience and their commitment is overwhelming. The way art is created, stored and delivered to the public has also changed. The relationship between the creator of culture and the audience has changed in its own way.
Helena Modjeska and her theater group lived for long weeks in railway cars to play on many stages of the American theaters while traveling through the United States. Today, almost every traveler can watch the latest Shakespearean production on board a plane, all at once. High art also competes with pure entertainment. Moreover, the rush and impatience that accompany us in today's realities suggest seeking light and quick solutions.
In such conditions, the uninterrupted, fifty-year work to spread Polish tradition, culture and high art deserves a special distinction. Over the years, the Modjeska Club promoted Polish artists, organized exhibitions, film screenings, and enabled the exchange of Polish and American artistic circles. With its activities and achievements, the Club is among the best examples of over 200 years of history of Polish emigration to the United States.
Such an intense and wide-ranging activity of the Club for so many years had to be based on strong local ties, hard work and determination, which has been shared by long-term members and co-creators of its success. Members of the Club often participated in theatrical productions themselves, thus referring to the roots of the Club and the activities of its founder, talented actor, producer, director and journalist, Leonidas Dudarew-Ossetyński.
I am convinced that you also recognize the importance of the Club's community in this success, mutual creation of opportunities and possibilities, openness to new initiatives, means of expression and artistic solutions. Such an approach to the promotion of Polish culture will always find support and allies.
Dear President, Dear current and former members of the Board, members of the Club,
By expressing my sincerest congratulations on the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club in Los Angeles, I would like to wish you at least another fifty years of fruitful activity.
JAROSŁAW J. ŁASIŃSKI
Translated by Maja Trochimczyk
"After reading the letter and presenting the commemorative plaque, it was time for honorary diplomas from government institutions in California. Our ceremony was joined by representatives of the City and County of Los Angeles, Orange County, where the historic home of Helena Modjeska Arden is located, and the Senate of the State of California. They couldn't be with us personally, so their scrolls and congratulations were sent by mail. We framed the club's diplomas and you could see framing the stage and take a closer look during the break. Congratulations were sent by: Monica Rodriguez, Los Angeles City Councilor. Kathryn Barger, Los Angeles County Supervisor, Donald. P. Wagner, Orange County Supervisor; and Senator Antony Portantino, of the California State Senate. They were happy to share their appreciation and congratulations on the occasion of our celebration.
Whereas, established in 1971 Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club celebrates its 50th anniversary, and
Whereas the Club is a 501©(3) charitable organization dedicated to the promotion of Polish cultural heritage in California. During its past five decades of existence, it has made a significant contribution to enrich the ethnic mosaic of Southern California. The Club invites eminent guests from Poland and organizes meetings with artists, actors, film directors, scholars, journalists, musicians, and government officials. The Club also presents concerts, film screenings, theatrical performances, and exhibitions, and
Whereas the Club members are Polish American professionals who wish to learn more about and share Polish culture with their community. Membership is split 50/50 between Los Angeles and Orange County, and
Whereas the Club collaborates with the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland and well-known cultural institutions, such as the Polish Film Festival in Los Angeles and the Polish Music Center at the University of Southern California. Other partners have included UCLA, Art Center College of Design, the Autry Museum, Jacaranda Music on the Edge, L.A. Master Chorale, the Bowers Museum, and
Whereas, the club has organized hundreds of cultural events, including public meetings and interviews with distinguished representatives of Polish arts and sciences. Nobel Prize winner and poet Czeslaw Milosz, Oscar winner and director Andrzej Wajda, and lectures by eminent scholars, politicians, and athletes, including Prof. Leszek Balcerowicz and Olympic medal winner Irena Szewinska, and
Whereas, in 2010 the Club established the Modjeska Prize to honor the achievements and contributions of Polish actors,
Therefore be it proclaimed that Supervisor Donald P. Wagner does hereby congratulate the Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club on its 50th anniversary and recognizes its years of dedicated service to the community.
Donald P. Wagner, Supervisor, County of Orange
Antony Portantino – Senator of the State of California sent diplomas and scrolls for the Club, the President Maja Trochimczyk, and the Modjeska Prize Winners, Jan Englert & Beata Pozniak. The text of congratulations for the Club is reproduced below:
On behalf of the California State Senate I join the Greater Los Angeles community in recognizing this tremendous milestone. I celebrate your organization’s role in showcasing the artistic heritage of Polish Americans and their numerous contributions to our District. Your commitment to bringing people together to enrich the cultural tapestry of our region is commendable. I look forward to watching the Club continue to thrive. Congratulations and best wishes for all your future endeavors!
Senator Anthony Portantino
Senate of the Stateof California
After so many diplomas and awards it was necessary to take a little break to refresh the spirit with music... Marek Probosz announced the performance of Prof. Wojciech Kocyan:
"There can be no Polish celebration without Chopin. Welcome to the stage for a moment of beautiful music in the ballroom atmosphere. Our musical star will be the excellent pianist, Professor Wojciech Kocyan from Loyola Marymount University. Dr. Wojciech Kocyan is a laureate of international piano competitions, Busoni and Viotti, as well as a laureate of special prizes of the 11th International Winner of the Chopin Competition and winner of the Paderewski Competition First Prize He has performed in Europe, Japan, Australia, the United States, Canada and Mexico He has recorded for television, radio and film, and his performances have been broadcast in Europe, the United States and Australia. found on DUX, NAXOS and Spotify. Today he will play Fryderyk Chopin's Waltz in E flat major, Op. 18."
After the performance of the outstanding pianist, President Trochimczyk presented him with a commemorative diploma and a rosette, saying: "I would like to thank Professor KOCYAN for his performance both now and for years in our Club. We highly appreciate our cooperation and your membership in our organization." Then she asked the eminent jazzman Darek Oleszkiewicz to the stage, stating: "We also have a diploma with thanks to our favorite jazz musician Darek OLESZKIEWICZ. You have played for us so many times, with your own group, and together with jazz musicians such as Krzesimir Debski, Urszula Dudziak or Grazyna Auguscik. Each performance was a great musical feast for all listeners. Thank you very much! "
Maja Trochimczyk started the presentation of Modjeska Prizes from the history of these awards.
"The annual Modjeska Prizes have been established in 2010 to commemorate the club's patron, Helena Modrzejewska, and to honor the achievements of outstanding Polish actors. In October 2010, the first prize was awarded to actor Jan Nowicki. In 2011, awards were given to Anna Dymna in Kraków and to Marian Dziędziel in Hollywood. In 2012, the laureate was Barbara Krafftówna, and in 2013, the director and screenwriter, Ryszard Bugajski. After a five-year break, in 2018 the Club honored with the Modjeska Prize the eminent actress Jadwiga Barańska. In 2019, the award was presented to two actresses from the Polish Theater in Toronto, Agata Pilitowska and Maria Nowotarska. In January 2021, the award for 2020 was presented on Zoom to Andrzej Seweryn. In 2021, two Modjeska Prizes will serve as “lifetime achievements awards” and honor the most eminent representative of the acting world in Poland, the legendary “Icon of the Polish Film” Jan Englert, and the most outstanding representative of Polish actors in Hollywood, Beata Poźniak, who distinguished herself with a highly successful career in the USA."