Learning Christmas traditions brought children and adults to the Polish Museum

Date: 
12/15/2014
GracePlus

Adults and children work on ornaments. Grace Bazylewsk is seen in the background (r)

Bringing people together to learn how to make traditional Polish Christmas decorations was also a way for people to connect with their ethnic heritage, a goal of Małgorzata Kot, Managing Director of the Polish Museum of America (PMA), 984 N. Milwaukee Ave., Sat., Dec. 14. 

They had two sessions, one in the morning, the other in the afternoon. "Our afternoon class was held so that the children who go to Polish school in the morning could attend in the afternoon," explained Kot. 

BogieJulia

Julia with her dad Boguslaw

"Look at the wonder on his face," says Grace Bazylewsk, as Boguslaw "Bogie" Kwasny displays the paper cutting project he completed with his daughter Julia.

"That one moment [expression on their face] when a person opens up their design," explains Bazylewsk, "is why I love teaching." 

LMuscare

Liz Muscare

Bazylewsk, who is an artist that is a former greeting card designer, taught the cut out class. She is one of the newer members on the PMA Board with roots in the Polish community. Her parents started the Polish Scouting group. Involvement in community is what scouting did for her and others, she says. To make her point she explained that two other Board members came from that background too. They are Richard Owsiany and Teresa Sinkowski. 

AmeliaR

Amelia Radlinski

From the Avondale neighborhood, Liz Muscare was on hand to teach how to make garlands. "You start with a bead on the end of a string. Then string a short piece of straw (real or drinking), followed by a colored star. You continue that pattern for the length of the string, ending with another bead." 

Amelia Radlinski, from Arlington Heights, was happy to be practicing this fun new decorating adventure. 

FathDaughter

Zuzanna and Maciej Janicki work on porcupines

Pingpong

Maya C works on ping pong ornaments

With parents and children, working on all the crafts, there were many challenges and smiles expressed around the tables. Each table had a different ornament being taught. Some were simple others more complicated. 

Third grader Zuzanna Janicki worked with her dad Maciej as they created porcupines. "This is not so easy," said Maciej. 

MałgorzataKot

Małgorzata Kot (l) drew circles for some of the ornament makers

Maya Chrzanowska from Darien has been at Easter workshops at the Museum but her mom thinks the ping pong ball Santas are going to be a favorite around their home for this year's Christmas decorating. Bazylewsk explained that these decorations were originally done with eggs. 

The Museum's other workshop events include Easter for egg coloring and weaving as well as a summer event for kite making and flying. Workshops are not limited to members of the Polish community or the Museum.

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