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Press release from the Polish Mission

By June 5, 2014November 12th, 2022No Comments3 min read

download1.jpgORCHARD LAKE, MI — The Michigan Humanities Council is pleased to award The Polish Mission of the Orchard Lake Schools a $13,195.00 matching grant to support Portrait Studios of Polonia: the Face of Polish Immigration. Portrait Studios of Polonia is an educational program presented in cooperation with the Wayne State University, the University of Michigan-Dearborn, the Hamtramck Historical Museum, and the Clinton-Macomb Public Library. This major grant cycle from the Michigan Humanities Council supports nearly $1 million in projects exploring history, poetry, reading, education and community identity across Michigan.

Portrait Studios of Polonia is a community-focused educational program that will culminate in an interactive exhibition featuring a replica vintage portrait studio. The exhibition will premier at the Historic Galeria, located on the campus of the Orchard Lake Schools at 3535 Indian Trail, Orchard Lake, 48324, on October 3, 2014. Following the opening in Orchard Lake, the exhibit will travel to our partner institutions in metro Detroit.

Portrait Studios of Polonia deals with the pictorial history of the family, community, and ethnicity, though assimilation into American life. We call the Michigan community to participate by documenting and presenting the story of Polish immigration to the United States, Digitization sessions, and consultation workshops will be held at metro Detroit locations that were once cornerstones of Polish-American communities.

The Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI) is the genealogy department of The Polish Mission of the Orchard Lake Schools, America’s leading Polish cultural institution. Cecile Wendt Jensen is Director of PARI and initiator of Portrait Studios of Polonia. “We feel a sense of urgency to document this earlier way of life while those who lived it can contribute to its legacy. The Polish Mission is the brick-and-mortar keeper of Polish tradition and history, and a destination for defining the role heritage plays in our modern world.”

According to Polish Mission director Marcin Chumiecki: “We are extremely grateful to the Michigan Humanities Council for their continued support of our programs. This project is especially intriguing to me, since I’m a photographer myself. It’s how I started my new life in the United States. I hope to learn more from my fellow photographers from the past.”

Major Grants are awarded to Michigan nonprofits in support of cultural, educational and community-based public humanities programming. These grants play a vital role in defining our culture, our state, our community and ourselves, and are intended to connect us to Michigan’s rich cultural heritage and historical resources.

Information and media will be posted at

About the Polish Mission: The purpose of The Polish Mission of the Orchard Lake Schools, which were founded in 1885 by Polish immigrants, is to preserve and promote Polish and Polish-American culture, tradition, and history for present and future generations. The Polish Mission organizes programs, courses and events that highlight Polish and Polish-American
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