Kalejdoskop Polski, Minnesota Project aims to capture and preserve the history of Polish-American experiences and contributions to Minnesota. In our vision, this is a five-phase project, with each of the five phases collecting oral histories and photographic portraits from Polish-American Minnesotans from different eras of immigration.“ Kalejdoskop Polski, MN” should deliver a strong visual message.
The first phase of Kalejdoskop project will focus on the Solidarity political refugees. In the 1980s, the Solidarity movement in Poland became one of Europe’s most notable social movements, playing a significant role in ending communist rule in Poland and significantly influencing freedom movements in the whole Eastern Europe. As a consequence of participating in this movement, many individuals experienced terrible repression, including imprisonment by the state. Some of these individuals moved to Minnesota as political refugees.
The Minnesota Historical Society has awarded a Minnesota Historical & Cultural Heritage Grant to the Polish American Medical Society of Minnesota for Kalejdoskop Project that seeks to illuminate the experiences of Solidarnosc/ Solidarity refugees in Minnesota. The Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council has approved an Arts Project Support grant to our organization for this project as well.
With over 240,000 Polish-American Minnesotans in the state (State Demographic Data, 2015), but only four oral histories documenting this community in the MNHS archives, this project responds to a need that has been raised by the community to improve the visibility of the group.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
This publication was made possible in part by the people of Minnesota through a grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Any views, findings, opinions, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Historical Society, or the Minnesota Historic Resources Advisory Committee.