9.06.2018 - 9.06.2019 Events, History, Visual Arts


McGolrick Park entrance from Russell St., Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY

Bring your kids, and join us for a free outdoor community event, appreciate new piece of art in the park, reflect on the neighborhood’s past, enjoy educational workshops, live music, gadgets and delicious snacks. Take part in the Sto Lat Polska project to win a plane ticket to Poland. All brought to you by The Polish Cultural Institute New York, as a celebration of the centennial of Poland regaining its independence.

The Polish Cultural Institute of New York, presents the opening event of Ziemia (“Earth” in Polish), a multidisciplinary public art project created in collaboration with NYC Parks and Greenpoint residents. The core object takes the form of a ceramic orb by Greenpoint-based artist Martynka Wawrzyniak in a meadow in McGolrick Park, to be unveiled on June 9, 2018. The sculpture serves as a collective portrait of the diverse Greenpoint community. It is glazed with a mixture of clay excavated in Greenpoint and soils contributed by participating residents from places that are symbolically representative of their identities, including: the United States, Poland, Ukraine, Germany, France, Japan, Serbia, Nepal, the United Kingdom, Ecuador, Mexico, and Namibia. The project includes many Poles who have lived in Greenpoint for generations.
At the opening event, children will take part in creative ecological workshops referencing the materials used in the Ziemia orb: a Soil-Painting Workshop, a Seed Bomb Workshop, and a Sculpture Workshop. Kids will be invited to create their own art with clay, seeds, found objects, and provided art materials.
An accompanying exhibition, What Defines Greenpoint Identity, reflects on the footprints generations of immigrants have left in the neighborhood throughout the years. Looking at architecture, social life and nature, it examines how certain landmark buildings have adjusted to the needs of new residents. This narrative illustrates the diversity of cultures living on one block, and meeting each other in one convenience store, based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It is meant to be an initial reflection on who Brooklynites are. They may be first, second, or third generations of Italians, Germans, Poles, Irish, Puerto Ricans, French, etc. Curated by Magdalena Mazurek with input from Geoffrey Cobb, author of Greenpoint Brooklyn’s Forgotten Past, and Annie S. Hauck, Ph.D., R.D., co-editor of Gastropolis: Food and New York City and author of My Little Town: A Brooklyn Girl’s Food Voice.
A live concert will be performed by Zorya, a musical project created by Polish singer and violinist Karolina Beimcik. This group has its roots in Slavic mythology and is a fresh representation of Eastern European folk music derived from small villages in the mountains, forests, and fields- sung in the original dialects of the Kurpie and Lemko people. Karolina Beimcik- voice, violin, Rafal Sarnecki– guitar, Matt Aronoff– double bass. Alex Storozynski and Mike Batthany will perform a short set including a debut song on Greenpoint! Followed by Jazz by Jesse Lynch Ensemble.
Join us in celebrating the centennial! “Sto lat!” literally means “one hundred years” and is the most common way to wish somebody happy birthday in Poland. Using our #StoLatPolska app, take a picture to turn into a birthday postcard for Poland, and get the chance to win an airline ticket to Poland!
The Ziemia opening takes place in 2018, the centennial of Poland regaining its independence. The United States played a role in securing Poland’s freedom: in 1918, President Woodrow Wilson declared American support for an independent Poland in his Fourteen Points. The Polish Cultural Institute New York considers Ziemia a meaningful symbol of Polish-American relationship and a gift from the Polish community to the New York neighborhood of Greenpoint, which many Poles have called their home.

PROGRAM for the opening event in McGorlick Park on June 9:
2:00 Ecological workshops for kids
3:00-3:20 Inaugural speeches
3:30 – 4:00 Jazz concert: Karolina Beimcik (voice, violin), Rafal Sarnecki (guitar), Matt Aronoff (double bass)
4:00 – 4:20 Alex Storozynski and Mike Batthany set including a premiere song on Greenpoint!
4:20- 5:00 Jazz by Jesse Lynch Ensemble
2:00- 5:00 Sto Lat, Polska! A Postcard To Poland–You are welcome to say your custom “Happy birthday” to Poland for the 100th anniversary of Polish independence by using our new web application
4:00- 5:00 picnic with Polish touch bites

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