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Six-Month Long Cultural Program to Highlight Polish History

A recent Warsaw transplant is looking to create a unique Polish experience for New Yorkers and Poles alike in Greenpoint.

Marta Pawlaczek, who moved to New York from Poland just over a year ago, is organizing a six-month long cultural project that is targeted primarily towards Poles living in Greenpoint – to engage them with their history and culture and to allow them to connect with their roots.

Pawlaczek works for Culture Shock, a Warsaw-based organization that examines local culture through art, design, new technologies, education, and public spaces.

As the vice-president of the organization, Pawlaczek is overseeing the operations in New York.

As part of the project, the group will organize a series of educational workshops, concert series, film screenings, and recreational activities among other things over the six-month period.

“I don’t necessarily want this to be a political discussion,” Pawlaczek said. “This is really about being able to celebrate Polish history and create good cultural activities in the community. It’s a way for people to know Polish culture a little bit better in Greenpoint.”

Pawlaczek began volunteering at the Public Library on Norman Avenue, when she moved to the city. It was there, particularly through her interactions with local residents, that she came up with the idea for creating the program. She said a number of older residents spoke about a sense of disconnect from Polish culture.

The event that kicks off the program on Sunday is an “intergenerational meetup,” – it’s an event that is hoping to bring Polish people of different ages – primarily newer transplants and those who have lived here for years – to share their stories and experiences about living in Greenpoint.

“These activities are definitely also a way to meet people in the neighborhood,” said Pawlaczek. “To get to know someone you didn’t before, especially for the new generation to meet the old and share stories about how everyone got here.”

In May, the group will be offering Photography workshops to people aged 15 and over – everything from the basics of handling a camera to composing images and processing pictures.

In July and August the group is putting together a series of board game nights – games that will test your knowledge of Polish history.

Participating in the events is entirely free of cost, but attendees must register during the next two weeks to participate. Almost all of the events are being held at the Public Library on Norman Avenue.

Events and activities kick off on May 4th, and continue until December, and almost all will be conducted both in Polish and English.

To register and find out event schedules visit http://www.cultureshock.pl/greenpoint-transition-program-en/. For more information email Marta Pawlaczek at marta@cultureshock.pl or call: 646-589-2060.

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