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Mieczysław Oniskiewicz, Polish Media Center

From June 12 to 14, 2024, the Polish Institute of Culture and Research in Orchard Lake hosted distinguished representatives of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland, Dr. Jolanta Miśkowiec (Director of the Department of Cultural Heritage Abroad and Memorial Sites) and Dr. Aleksandra Figurska (Head of Department). They were accompanied by Dr. Monika Matwiejczuk, Curator and Head of the Collections Department at the Polish History Museum in Warsaw. With these distinguished guests, Dr. Paweł Pietrzyk, Director of the State Archives, also arrived and could feel almost at home in Orchard Lake, as he had visited this place many times over the last 20 years. Initially, it was a working visit to help organize the archives at Orchard Lake, and now he visits Orchard Lake as the Chief Director of the State Archives. The purpose of this visit was to become acquainted with the current state of the archives (including precious works of art) stored in Orchard Lake and to be informed of plans for the future. The host of this visit was Dr. John Radziłowski, the Director of the Polish Institute of Culture & Research at Orchard Lake Schools, accompanied by the PICROL Staff: Anna Bieciuk (Associate Director for Polonia Affairs at PICROL), Sr. Genowefa Potaczała (the Archivist at Orchard Lake), Elijah Majeski (Galeria Manager), Dr. Alicja Kalic (Editor-in-Chief of Polish Media Center) and Mietek Oniśkiewicz (Polish Media Associate).

The guests arrived on Wednesday (June 12) in the morning from Chicago, where, for two days, they had the opportunity to visit the Polish Museum of America. Arriving at Orchard Lake, they had the chance to see the newly renovated Galeria and get acquainted with the projects related to the planned construction of the Research Center on the premises of Orchard Lake Schools.

Here, a valuable collection of archives and works of art will find its permanent home in appropriate conditions. Despite a carefully and detailed planned visit, director Dr. Radziłowski did not hide any secrets from the Polish guests, who could see everything related to the archival collections at the Orchard Lake Schools. And they took advantage of it urgently and with great interest. Dr. Pietrzyk expressed his frank assessment of the current situation of the archives and plans for future cooperation in his interview with the editor-in-chief of the Polish Media Center, Dr. Alicja Karlic (link to the interview with English subtitles below).

During official dinners, he also shared this opinion with the Board of Trustees of PICROL and the Directors of the Board of Regents of Orchard Lake Schools. Let us hope that this short but very fruitful visit will bring tangible results in the further activities of the Polish Institute, especially the valuable collection of archives and works of art under its care, as well as deeper cooperation in the future with the State Archives and the Ministry of Culture of Poland.



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