The Bedrock: Polish Cultural Center in Seattle and the Polish Home Association
Pretty much every local Polish organization in Seattle has an official address and meetings at the Polish Cultural Center Dom Polski on Capitol Hill, also known as the Polish Home or the Polish Hall. The most important of these organizations is the Polish Home Association (PHA). Created in 1918, it has owned the Polish Home building and the related real property lots for over a century. PHA is the host to all other organizations.
Polish Home Manager Grazyna Olejniczak, telephone at the building (206) 322-3020. The ballroom, the restaurant as well as meeting rooms are available for renting, please see the rental info at the PHA website or contact the Manager.
Polish Women’s Club organizes Polish Bazaars twice a year. The spring bazaar is on Saturday before Palm Sunday (a week before Easter) and the fall bazaar is a 2-day event on the first weekend of November.
Other Polish Organizations in Seattle
All Polish organizations are happy to welcome new members, please contact the organization you are interested in directly. Also big events organized by different organizations provide ample opportunity for volunteers.
● Seattle Polish Foundation (SPF), formerly Polish Home Foundation, since 2000; President John Golubiec. This is the principal Polish charity organization in Seattle, supporting variety of Polish cultural events, initiatives and causes as well as fundraisers. The biggest fundraiser was for the Polish Home Expansion Project 2005-2010, with the price tag at $800,000, for the new wing of the building and a new parking lot.
SPF is the producer of the annual Polish Festival Seattle at the Seattle Center, since 2012; Director Alisa Lidzbarski Lahti. This is the biggest Polish event in Seattle and State of Washington, typically 7,000-10,000 people attend the event happening on the second Saturday in July. The other big event produced by SPF is the Annual Seattle Pierogi Fest at the Polish Cultural Center since 2006, typically on the second Saturday in May.
● Seattle-Gdynia Sister City Association, (SGSCA), since 1993; President Zbigniew Konofalski. SGSCA facilitates cultural, educational and business exchange between Seattle and Gdynia, including the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia.
Another event organized by SGSCA is a yearly summer business school in Gdynia and other cities in Poland for high school students. SGSCA also brings some students from Poland to a summer business school in Ellensburg, WA.
UW PSEC is raising funds to establish an Endowed Chair of Polish Studies at the University of Washington. In addition, it sponsors a Distinguished Speaker Series, provides student scholarships, collaborates with the Polish-US Fulbright Commission, and builds partnerships with community organizations in the Pacific Northwest.
● Polish Scouts (ZHP), Troup Kaszuby, since 1986; Scout Master / Harcmistrz Anna Borodenko. The local scout organization is headquartered in Seattle, but there is also a scout group in Tacoma. Scout meetings are in Polish.
Polish Organizations in WA State
● Polish National Alliance (PNA) / Związek Narodowy Polski, Lodge #156 in Tacoma, since 1890, president: Janina Hansen; nowadays it has meetings at the Polish Cultural Center in Seattle.
PNA is a fraternity insurance organization, established in 1880. The Tacoma Lodge #156 is the oldest Polish organization in our state; this is also the only surviving PNA lodge in the state. The Wilkeson Lodge #480 and the Seattle Lodge #489, both established in 1899, merged with the Tacoma Lodge. The Seattle Lodge “Jedność – Towarzystwo Polaków i Litwinów na Zachodzie” was the direct predecessor of the Polish Home Association.