Mrs. Blanka A. Rosenstiel founded the American Institute of Polish Culture (AIPC) in 1972 as a nonprofit, taxexempt Florida Corporation. The aim of the Institute is twofold. First is to share with Americans the rich heritage of Poland, which has contributed in so many ways to the history of the U.S., and second, to promote the scientific, educational and artistic contributions of Polish-Americans. For over forty years our endeavors have received support from our members, donors, the enthusiastic participation of other ethnic groups in the community, and the friendly cooperation of the press, all of which have helped to strengthen our leading role in the cultural life of the community. AIPC will continue being a catalyst in promoting knowledge about Poland and Polish-Americans nationwide.
Ongoing programs include:
The Harriet Irsay Scholarship was established in 1992 and every year it awards ten to fifteen scholarships to talented students. All majors and areas of study are considered and most applicants are of Polish descent. Over the years, AIPC has awarded thousands of dollars in grants to worthy students.
In 1998, the Institute spearheaded the establishment of the Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies at the University of Virginia for research, education, and sponsorship of visiting scholars. In 2008, the Chair moved to the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. AIPC also established the lecture series at the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Virginia in 2005.
AIPC has sponsored hundreds of lectures at educational facilities throughout the years. As a result of four decades of collaboration with Florida International University (FIU), the Lady Blanka Rosenstiel Lecture Series on Poland was established in 2010. Topics focus on current affairs involving topics such as globalization, art, music, politics and economics.
The first International Polonaise Ball was held 46 years ago and serves as the main fundraiser for the Institute. Every year a different theme explores the cultural ties between Poland and other countries, such as Spain, India, Greece, Japan, Italy, Great Britain, Argentina, Brazil, and China just to mention a few. Guests attend from around the world, and the Institute’s Gold Medal have been awarded to many worthy recipients, including President Lech Walesa; Dr. Andrew Schally, Noble Prize laureate in medicine; James Michener, author; Senator Barbara Mikulski; David Ensor, war correspondent and journalist; and Professor Norman Davies, historian; Alexander Wolszczan, astrophycist…
In 1978, Lady Blanka Rosenstiel established an International Film Festival in Miami and presided over it for two years. A few years later, AIPC presented Polish films, and brought contemporary Polish film-makers and stars to the new For the Love of Film Festival to Miami. Many of the films have won major awards and some were screened for the first time in the U.S. AIPC continues to collaborate with the Miami Film Festival in showcasing thought – provoking works from Poland.
The Institute has long been a champion of fine and modern Polish and Polish – American art, and has sponsored and organized several solo and group shows. We also designed a visual history exhibit, Perspektywa Polska, which had its inauguration at Duke University, NC and traveled nationwide to museums and universities for over 25 years. It was donated to the Orchard Lake Schools, MI.
AIPC has translated and published many books including the five volume history of Poland, Saga of a Nation written by Pawel Jasienica and translated by Alexander Jordan, and the rare Accomplished Senator by Wawrzyniec Grzymala Goslicki (1530 – 1607). Our annual magazine, Good News, is distributed to members and friends, and the Institute houses a library with books in both Polish and English. Publications are also available online, www.ampolinstitute.org and books can also be found in Kindle versions through Amazon for a nominal fee.