The Polish-American Society of Memphis was established in 1978. Our mission is to strengthen bonds and solidarity, provide mutual support and help between Polish People, cultivate Polish traditions, culture and language, and the promotion of native Polish values in the American society.
The Polish-American Society received a letter from Professor Piotr Wilczek, the new Polish Ambassador to the U.S., in which he expressed his support for our initiative “Memphis in Poland”. We also obtained an endorsement from Mr. Jim Strickland, Mayor of the City of Memphis. Mr. Ryszard Schnepf, former Ambassador to the U.S. discussed the project with Mr. Paul Jones, U.S. Ambassador to Poland. Because of this and our direct contacts with the U.S. Embassy, we are expecting a grant which should cover a portion of the expenses associated with the Festival.
The music part of the project is coordinated by Marcin and Becky Arendt representing both our Society and the University of Memphis School of Music. Our other main partners are the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City Hall of Sopot and the Baltic Artistic Agency.
The education part of the Festival is a joint venture of the National Civil Rights Museum and the European Solidarity Center in Gdansk. The object of this undertaking is an exhibition celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Freedom Award. In 1999 Lech Wałęsa was invited to Memphis to receive this Award from the National Civil Rights Museum.
I am sure that you all remember the Memphis in May International Festival Saluting Poland last year. You may also recall that this was the time when the idea of organizing a Memphis music and education event in Poland was born. Ambassador of Poland, Mr. Ryszard Schnepf, was first to announce it publicly when he was visiting Memphis during the 2015 Festival. And you may remember as well that this is how the Polish-American Society of Memphis and the Polish Embassy in the U.S. became the main sponsors and coordinators of the “Memphis in Poland” project.
Our goal was not only to bring Memphis culture and history closer to the public in Poland but also to further develop and strengthen the ties between the Polish and American people of music and culture. Another objective, equally important, was to offer a unique opportunity to Americans who would come for the Festival to Poland to see our Old Country and to appreciate how it has developed both culturally and economically since the fall of communism.Read more...
The Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, DC wants to highlight the efforts of Polish communities at maintaining their Polish heritage. PAS submitted the info about our history, mission, and activities. This information and pictures are published on the Embassy's Facebook page here, here, and here.