Tag Archives: Polish-American Women

Polanie Club archives tell stories of Polish women in Minnesota

A few years ago I was introduced to, intrigued by – and soon wrote about – the Polanie Club, a Northeast Minneapolis organization founded in 1927 by twelve women of Polish descent. (https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/tag/polanie-club/) I enjoyed learning about the ongoing work of the organization and have followed the organization ever since.

The stated mission of the Polanie Club was to preserve and broaden knowledge of Polish culture while encouraging local Polish residents to pursue higher education. The work of the women of the Polonai Club has been bold and enduring. Members of the Polanie Club have sponsored scholarships, published books of fiction and nonfiction and a cookbook of Polish recipes which turned out to be a successful fundraiser for the organization.

Thus I was concerned to learn recently that the Polanie Club will soon dissolve. The membership – and thus the energy of the organization – is waning.

The really good news is that the archives of the Polanie Club, an incredible treasure trove of local, ethnic and women’s history, will remain an accessible and curated resource for scholars and anyone who has an interest in the history and stories of Polish immigrants. The Polanie Club archives will become part of the Immigration History Research Center collection at the University of Minnesota Libraries.

As a complement to the IHRC archives, the Minneapolis History Collection will continue to curate the files of the Polanie Club. That collection includes information about programs from the 1930’s through the 1960’s as well as various clippings about activities, publications and news of the Club. These files supplement, or may on occasion duplicate, the U of M archival collection.

The official archives at the Immigration History Center, supplemented by the materials at the Minneapolis History Collection, will provide a robust history of this unique organization. Appreciation is due to the members and leaders of the Polanie Club who have preserved the record and who will now share their history for posterity.

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Jazz Vocalist Grazyna Auguscik Graces Twin Cities Polish Festival

Art critic Howard Reich is an ardent and articulate fan of jazz vocalist Grazyna Auguscik who will perform for Minnesota fans at the forthcoming 2011 Twin Cities Polish Festival.

Writing in July 2010 Reich rhapsodized about Ms. Auguscik’s performance of the work of Poland’s national musician, Frederic Chopin:

The music world has been awash with 200th anniversary celebrations of Frederic Chopin’s birth, but surely none as free-wheeling as Sunday night’s marathon at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.  (Chicago Tribune, July 26, 2010, quoted online)

Reich goes on to “hazard a guess” about how the Master might have responded to Auguscik’s jazz interpretation of his work:

Chopin himself might have reveled in these sounds. His piano music, after all, bristles with the spirit of improvisation, as if the composer had sat down at the keyboard and instantaneously invented some of the most enduring works in the piano repertory.  Most of Chopin’s preludes, etudes, and nocturnes unfold in utterly unpredictable ways, changing emotional tone at the drop of a sixteenth note—just like jazz. (Ibid)

To this lay person, Auguscik is becoming a YouTube superstar.  Her several videos are not to be missed!

Auguscik is recipient of countless awards and testimonials for her vocal talents.  Recently she was honored for yet another accomplishment.  Now a Chicago resident who carries her unique talent throughout the nation and the world, Auguscik is the May 2011  recipient of the Polish Promotional Emblem Foundation award.  The prestigious award recognizes “the achievements of Polish-born émigrés in the fields of business, culture, science and personality.”

The Twin Cities Polish Festival 2011 is set for Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14, on the Mississippi Riverfront.  For details on this fun- filled – and free – family event click here.