All Shook Up about goin to Graceland
Living Traditions Folk Ensemble, Northeast Ohio’s premiere Eastern European folk dance and culture company, is excited to announce that it has been selected to be the only U.S. performance troupe to be featured at the Memphis in May International Festival from May 10 – 15. Each year this award-winning $7-million event selects a different country as the honored nation and their culture, artwork, dance and music. In its 39th annual event, it also produces extensive educational, international and economic programs for the city and builds international relationships and understanding through education. When the festival announced it had selected Poland as its honored country, LTFE threw their wianek in the ring to be considered as performers. The performers are being flown down to Tennessee, housed and hosted with Southern hospitality to visit important tourist destinations. The 12 dancers participating in this trip-including four from Youngstown--will be presenting a 45-minute show and participatory production twice a day all week at different schools throughout the region. The group has already reached out to  Polish-American Society of Memphis and are working to set up a blues-filled Polish Happy Hour on Beale Street next week! Follow the group’s adventures on Facebook, both LTFE and PYTOWN pages.

Polonia supports Fiddler on the Roof
Tradition! It’s what PolishYoungstown is all about. These last few weeks a number of us have taken to the stage to celebrate the history and traditional experience of Eastern European Jews at the beginning of the 19th Century. The Youngstown Playhouse’s Fiddler on the Roof tells the story of a village in Tsarist Russia-their joys, celebrations and losses. A Broadway classic, the original production was directed by Jerome Robbins whose family originated from Poland. He visited his grandfather in the family village which inspired him to tackle this project. This production is directed by Polish American Journal’s Cultural Editor Staś Kmieć who is currently artistic director of Ballet Western Reserve. Kmieć is not only specially certified to direct the show but also was in the traveling show and performed the show more than 300 times. Joining him in the show are Agata & Isabella Khoury and Aundréa, Auggie, D’Ella, Millie and Sophie Heschmeyer. Zapraszamy! Join us at The Youngstown Playhouse May 8, 9, 14, 15, or 16 at 7:30 PM or May 10 at 2:30 PM. You can reserve your tickets online at www.theyoungstownplayhouse.com or call the box office at 330-788-8739.

PHH celebrates spring!
This winter we had a taste in Ohio of the kind of winter our friends in Poland endure every year with heavy snowfalls and record-setting bitter temperature. Hungry for interaction with others, time in the sun and contact with nature, Poles have a tradition of celebrating the change in weather in a festive fashion in early May with family-oriented gatherings called majówka. Formerly just the first picnic of the year, travel agents have jumped on the idea and now it’s standard to go away for a long weekend with deals on excursions to the mountains, the sea or the even the city.  So here on the homefront, we will be celebrating the arrival of nice weather at Polish Happy Hour on a beautiful deck with some tasty vodka cocktails flavored with some fresh spring ingredients. Zapraszamy! Join us on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at the White Fire Grille  at 6580 Ironwood Blvd, Canfield, OH 44406  (330) 702-9866

A Shared Slavic Mission
This month's installment of the Polish Film Series will be taking advantage of the American Slovak Cultural Association of the Mahoning Valley's screening of the new documentary, Final Mission. This documentary film tells the story of American airmen shot down over Slovakia during WWII and taken in and hidden from the Germans by Slovak villagers. It is a story most people have never heard …neither here nor in Slovakia! We are well aware that this is a Slovak film and not a Polish one, but Slovaks are our brothers from another Slavic mother and their stories are just as important as ours. If you're still not enticed, the filmmakers themselves will be in attendance for the screening and available for a Q&A after the film. Dušan Hudec and Darina Zmržova, the director and producer, respectively, are stopping in Youngstown on their way to Chicago as part of the film's press tour. This will be an intimate screening, so there will be plenty of opportunity to meet the filmmakers and pick their brains. There will also be a fabulous 24 poster display that goes along with the film which was shown in Bratislava Square when the film premiered last August in commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising.  Zapraszamy! Join us! This FREE screening will take place on Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 12 PM at First Presbyterian Church on Wick Ave. As always, this event is free of charge.

Events in review
A Literary Afternoon
Students, faculty, and friends of Polish Youngstown were treated to an engaging presentation and discussion of the 20th Century Polish historical novel by CSU Visiting Polish Scholar and Kosciuszko Fellow Dr. Tomasz Markiewka on Thursday, April 23, 2015, at the Steel Museum. The historical novel's function and the legacy of this literary tradition were explored through the writings of Hanna Malewska, Zofia Kossak, Antoni Gołubiew, and Teodor Parnicki.  Dr. Markiewka discussed the distinctive styles of each writer giving particular attention to Teodor Parnicki.  Parnicki is given credit for modernizing this genre because of his use of innovative narrative techniques and his interest in psychoanalysis as Dr. Markiewka noted.  Special thanks to the Slavic Student Association and its faculty advisor Dr. Bonhomme for helping to bring this excellent presentation to Youngstown!

News from Poland by Ted Mirercki
Polish aristocrat has challenged UK politician to a sword-fight
British politician Nigel Farage is no stranger to controversial comments. His party, the UK Independence Party is a Eurosceptic  populist group in the United Kingdom that seems to revel in making them. However, a recent comment has had the leader called out. The election candidate blamed traffic on one of England's largest motorways on...immigrants, one of his favorite scapegoats. That was a step too far Prince Jan Zylinski, a legit Polish royal. Drawing his ancestral sword and summoning the honor of Polish armed forces who were Britain's allies during the Second World War, Zylinski challenged Farage to a sword-fight in London's Hyde Park over the UKIP leader's "idiotic" immigration stance. Addressing the Farage via a video on YouTube, the swashbuckling businessman proclaimed he wanted to defend the honor of Poles living in Britain and said that he's prepared to meet his enemy on the field of battle. If, however, Farage is too chicken to face Zylinski with a sword, he'll debate him instead.  The Polish royal—an oft debated title—takes his Polish roots seriously and puts his money behind his cultural evangelization. He lives in the White House, a replica of his grandmother’s beloved palace in Gozdowo that was destroyed during WW2. Her grandson promised he would rebuild it for her. See inside here. Last year, he undertook the creation of a 30-foot statue to commemorate his father’s role in the Polish Calvary.  More on this and other stories in this week’s edition of Polish Media Watch.

Calendar Highlights
May 8 Fiddler on the Roof opens... May 9 Cleveland Museum of Art Kosciuszko panel dedication... May 14 Polish Happy Hour May… May 16 Polish Cinema Slovak Style... May 17 Polska Kuchina Polish cooking with herbs... June 11 Polish Happy Hour & Simply Slavic Community Dance Lessons... June 20 5th Anniversary Simply Slavic... July 11-12 YSU Festival of the Arts... August 23-27 PNA Convention, Cleveland... Sunday, August 30 Polish Day 2015

 

Do Zobaczenia!
Aundréa and Your PolishYoungstown Team