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Last minute news for Sunday, June 24th:
Madison fans of the Polish team gather today in Nomad World Pub at 1pm to watch Poland play Colombia at 2018 FIFA World Cup.  Check our calendar entry for more information...



From the PHC's President, Alan Patek:

Vital organizations need to grow and develop. We have a great group, but how many people of Polish heritage don’t know who we are or know about the great activities that we sponsor? I’m asking all of you to help.

Between now and the end of November, take time to reach out to at least five new people of Polish background you know (friends, family, everyone). Tell them about the club and invite them to join our great group. For each new member (put your name as a referring member on their Membership Form), we will enter your name in a drawing for a free membership next year and a surprise gift.

The Let’s show off the same Polish determination today that made our homeland’s rebirth possible 100 years ago. Let’s exceed our goal of increasing our membership by at least 10%.













In Milwaukee....


Highlights of the upcoming celebration
of Polish pride, heritage and tradition

2018 Do you know Poland

The 37th edition of Polish Fest will take place again on the Summerfest grounds near Milwaukee’s lakefront.  Scheduled this year for June 15, 16 and 17, the Polish Fest program includes numerous performances of folk dance, polka music played continuously on several stages, wide selection of Polish foods as well as samplings of Polish spirits.  The youngest participants will be treated to many age-appropriate performances and contests such as pageants and Chopin Youth Piano Competition.  And everybody will have a chance to pick up some Polish souvenirs and learn new skills by watching folk-artists at work and Polish cooking demonstrations. 

photo gallery

While the 2017 Polish Fest featured many accents linked to the bicentennial of Tadeusz Kościuszko, some events of the 2018 Polish Fest will highlight the 100th anniversary of Poland's Independence.  Among them expect to see the exhibit of Polish architecture 1918-1939 - courtesy of Poland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

2018 Centennial brochure

 The Polish American Congress – Wisconsin Division has prepared for this jubilee year an eye-catching brochure Centennial of Poland's Rebirth summarizing the key events leading to Poland regaining its sovereignty in 1918 and the main architects of those events.  The printed copy of this leaflet - as well as the newly revised brochure Do you know Poland?  (see above) - will be available in the tent hosting the participating Polish organizations.

For all interested in history and Polish language, the  Speakers Forum will provide a series of presentations by local historians as well a variety of activities hosted by local Polish schools.  Check the Speakers Forum page for the complete lineup of all presentations offered this year.

 opportunities to learn more about Polish history & language and get insights useful to all curious about their ancestry (see the listing below).

Here is the lineup of main events in the Speakers Forum:

Finding Babcia’s Grandma - From Where Did Your Polish Ancestors Leave?
Steve Szabados, Genealogy Columnist for the Polish American Journal and Author
Friday June 15th, 2:00-3:00 p.m.

100 Years of US-Polish Relations, 1918-2018
Dr. Neal Pease, Professor of History (UW-Milwaukee)
Friday June 15th, 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Let's Remember Marie Skłodowska Curie! What a Century of Anniversary Celebrations of Her Milestone Years(1867,1898,1903,1911) Tell Us
Dr. Helena Pycior, Professor of History, Emerita (UW-Milwaukee)
Saturday June 16th, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

A Look Back: The 100th Anniversary of Poland’s Rebirth and Its Significance (panel discussion)
Dr. Donald Pienkos, Professor of Political Science, Emeritus (UW-Milwaukee)
Dr. Neal Pease, Professor of History (UW-Milwaukee)
Saturday June 16th, 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Poland’s Rebirth: Three Who Made It Happen: a Soldier, a Politician, and a Virtuous Pianist
Dr. Donald Pienkos, Professor of Political Science, Emeritus (UW-Milwaukee)
Saturday June 16th, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

The Struggle for Independence in America: Polish Workers and the Eight-Hour Movement of 1886
John Gurda, Milwaukee-born writer and historian
Sunday June 17th, 4:30-5:30 p.m.









ŚWIĘCONKA (Easter Basket Blessing) in Madison
check March 31, 2018 calendar entry for times and locations








DSCN9991 03


Join us on Palm Sunday (March 25, 10am-3pm) to celebrate Polish Easter traditions and enjoy Polish foods, crafts, toys, music and various fun activities.

Bring your family and friends to watch our gifted folk artists decorating Easter eggs.

See March 25, 2018 calendar entry for location and more information.

See also the the PHC President, Alan Patek, describing the festival's attractions during the interview aired on Channel 57 on March 20, 2018.

See also the photo gallery from the 2017 Spring Festival.






On September 17, 2017, the Kościuszko Park in Milwaukee was again a place of gathering for Poles upholding their reverence for the Polish-American hero, Tadeusz Kościuszko. The event was organized to honor the 200th Anniversary of his death - celebrated worldwide under the patronage of UNESCO - and to mark the Year of Kościuszko as declared by the Senate of the Republic of Poland.

An important message reverberating throughout the Sunday's event was the need to teach our children the history of their ancestral homeland and its heroes. The task is already a part of the teaching program in the St. John Paul II Polish Saturday School (KPSS), one of the event's organizers. But the "Day with General Kościuszko" was embraced as a great venue for the children of American Polonia to learn more about the hero recognized in both the country of their ancestors and the country where they live.

The ceremony in the Kościuszko Park commenced after the vibrant group from the church arrived waving the Polish and American flags and carrying the wrath to be placed at the Kościuszko Monument. David Rydzewski (president of the Polish American Congress - WI Division) and Bożena Przybysz (KPSS coordinator) delivered the opening remarks. Father Edward Traczyk spoke next reinforcing his earlier message of the importance of teaching history to the children and reminiscing about the estimated 60,000 people attending the original unveiling of the Kościuszko Monument in 1905.

The monument's eventful history moved again front and center in the words of Claude Krawczyk, a chair of the Kościuszko Monument Restoration Committee, attending the event along two other committee members: Judy Ramazzini and Susan Mikos. It is thanks to the committee and many benefactors that after the performed renovation and rededication on the Independence Day in 2013, the monument now adorns the park in its unvarnished glory.

The wrath honoring the "Hero of both Hemispheres" was laid at the monument's base after the participants sang the American and Polish anthems. Katarzyna Zawiślak (KPSS) led the singing and later directed also her young students playing a traditional tune Płynie Wisła, płynie, po polskiej krainie (Flows the Vistula River, flows across the Polish land) on hand bells. The choice of song could not be more opportune since along with Tadeusz Kościuszko, the Vistula River is one of several honorees proclaimed as 2017 patrons by the Polish Parliament.

Besides the animated group of school children wearing folk costumes or red T-shirts (featuring the school logo and coat of arms of the Republic of Poland in the back), four attendees in the Kościuszko outfits helped to give the event a very special atmosphere. It wasn't just the costumes as they also delivered speeches describing in Kościuszko's voice the three main phases of his life.

Brothers Fabian and Kevin Marchewka (both from the Catholic Polish Saturday School of St. John Paul II) gave voice to the young Kościuszko describing his childhood, school years and favorite subjects. Stan Graiewski's (Polish American Congress - WI Division) speech focused on the Kościuszko's participation in the American Revolutionary War and ended with a moving salute to the attentive audience.

The third speech - written by prof. Don Pienkos (Polish American Congress - WI Division) and delivered by Neil Dziadulewicz (Syrena Dancers) - turned the spotlight on Kościuszko's deeds after the American War of Independence and particularly on his efforts to restore the free Poland. The conclusion of that speech could not summarize his life work any better, while simultaneously giving the gist of its meaning to the contemporary society and to all of us attending the ceremony:

"There are many, many memorials and monuments to what I stood for - freedom, independence and social justice - for all people. Like the beautiful monument right here in Milwaukee.

Thank you for this!

But perhaps the two best testimonials are the living ones. One is the America's Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The other is the Poland of today - a democratic, free and independent Poland, a Poland for all Poles whatever their station in life, a Poland that is a trusted friend and ally of the United States.

Thank you all for today, too!"


Kosciuszko 102b


September 17, 2017 12:00 pm


Gathering at his Monument in Milwaukee's Kościuszko Park

To honor General Kościuszko on the 200th anniversary of his death, join members of St. John Paul II Polish Saturday School, the Polish American Congress, and Polanki to hear the story of Kościuszko told in his own words (in Polish and English)

The event will begin following the procession from St. Maximillian Kolbe Church to the Kościuszko Monument starting after the end of 10:30 am Mass in Polish.

Anticipated time of the event in Kościuszko Park is 1 hour.

Please bring your own chair if you want to sit during the program


September 25, 2017 4:00 pm


Kosciuszko 108b

Lecture by Dr. James Pula
Professor of History at Purdue University

The free lecture with refreshments will be hosted in the Polish Center of Wisconsin.

The event is sponsored by the Milwaukee Society of the Polish National Alliance and supported by Polanki (the Polish Women's Cultural Club of Milwaukee), the Wisconsin State Division of the Polish American Congress, the UW-Milwaukee Polish Studies Committee and the Polish Heritage Alliance.


It was an unusual birthday gift that arrived from Poland to the White House on October 14, 1926. Delivered a few months after the 150th anniversary of American independence was celebrated on July 4th of that year, it was a collection of nearly 30,000 pages with 5.5 million signatures gathered among 30 millions of citizens of the Second Polish Republic and about 3 millions of Poles living abroad. The pages were bound into 111 volumes of which the first one was entitled "The Polish Declarations of Admiration and Friendship for the United States."

      From reports of the 2016 WSIP recipients
Wisconsin Study in Poland Scholarship

The program also gave me the exposure of studying in a different country and in a different language and made me realize how great studying abroad actually is even if just for a month. Studying in Poland made me get out of my comfort zone and be fully exposed to a new culture and way of living. This program was one of the best experiences if not the best experience in my life. (Bartłomiej Boryczka)

On the first day of the program, I was very impressed and I learned a lot from the Wisława Szyborska’s secretary professor Michał Rusinek’s speech “Lost in Translation”. It was very interesting and a very good start to the program. I also got to learn and discover the Polish language at a much deeper level and came to realize that ...... Polish is truly one of the hardest languages, however in my opinion also the most beautiful. (Bartłomiej Boryczka)

I made good contacts with my professors there and am grateful for the time they shared with me in and out of the classroom. Their instruction affirmed my passion for the study of Polish culture and history as well as given me new strategies as both an instructor and a student myself. Furthermore, my studies influenced my creative work as they always have. (Peter Burzynski

I also discovered the magnificent Jagiellonian University. I learned about the history of the university and that UJ is the oldest university in Poland, the second oldest university in Central Europe and one of the oldest universities in the world.(Bartłomiej Boryczka).

I attended an awe-inspiring street performance festival, a Jewish music festival, and spent time in bookstores chatting with local poets and sipping coffee on tables that had original handwritten works by Nobel Laureates Czesław Miłosz and Wisława Szymborska encased within them. This last experience was especially impactful on me since I have long been inspired by the works of both poets. I teach their work every semester and have written about it extensively in my graduate studies. It was truly a pleasure to feel their presence so closely. I also made pilgrimages to their tombs in Kraków in order to pay my respect and perhaps gain insight for my own poetry. (Peter Burzynski)

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