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Dear Friends,

It has been another successful year filled with a variety of Polish Music Center events. We are very proud of everything we have done in 2019, and must now turn to you with a fundraising request that will make next year’s PMC plans come to fruition. First, some of the most important 2019 accomplishments:

  • Spring Concert: guest performers from the Łódź Music Academy celebrated the anniversaries of Bacewicz, Moniuszko and Ryterband in March
  • Paderewski Festival Youth Exchange: for the sixth time we took two talented young pianists from the Central Coast to Poland for cultural and performance experiences during the summer
  • National Archives in Poland: collaboration continued with a summer PMC visit of 3 gifted archivists and an autumn Paderewski Exhibition in Warsaw, featuring images unique to our collection
  • MAB conference (Lublin) and PAN conference (Warsaw): Dir. Zebrowski presented on PMC’s unique archival collections in September and October
  • Paderewski Lecture-Recital: the West Coast premiere of 3 Paderewskis in October (see below)
  • Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles: another memorable fall weekend under PMC artistic direction
  • Roman Ryterband Celebrations (Łódź): the 40th anniversary a forgotten composer held in his homeland in November
  • Assisting research worldwide and hosting visiting scholars from Poland throughout the year

As you can imagine, producing these events, maintaining our unique archives, supporting research, and updating our extensive website takes time, manpower and resources. It also carries significant costs. The Polish Music Center must solicit funds each year from a variety of sources, mainly from a devoted and relatively small circle of our supporters. Another source of funding has been the Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles, however next year we will not be able to count on their support. Due to procedural changes, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will no longer be able to disburse funds through Consulates for Polonia-related activities. Poland’s Senate will assume the function of supporting Polish culture abroad, but its rules require formal partnership with a Senate-sanctioned organization in Poland. That is something that the Polish Music Center—a part of Thornton School of Music at USC—is legally and practically unable to do.

Nonetheless, our plans for next year are proceeding apace with a Spring Concert featuring the Cracow Duo (March 28), followed by continuation of the Paderewski Lecture-Recital series at USC (October 11) and Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles (November 5-8). We will also host specialists from the National Archives, continue working on archiving and digitizing our special collections, and provide information about Polish music around the world via our website and monthly Newsletter online.

To accomplish these goals, and much more, in 2020, we will need your support. In our crucial fundraising drive at the end of each calendar year, only 2-3% of our solicitation letters are acknowledged with a response and donation. If we could consistently reach a 10-20% annual response level, we could contemplate funding a part-time librarian position—something that we urgently need at the PMC.

If you are—and have been—one of our steadfast supporters, please accept our sincere gratitude for your much-needed help. It is thanks to your generous and consistent encouragement that we were able to accomplish so much in 2019.

If you have received this letter in the past but did not have a chance to reply, please consider doing so today (giving details below). We turn to our list of friends only once a year and make every effort to ensure that you are not receiving any additional solicitations.

As always, your gift will be recognized in our concert program booklets throughout the year. In addition, the first 50 donations of $100 or more will receive a complimentary DVD of our October 12 premiere presentation of the 3 Paderewskis opera (pictured above).

To donate by credit card, please visit giveto.usc.edu—you will find a PMC checkbox under University-wide Giving Opportunities > Centers and Institutes > Music. You may also contact us directly at (213) 821-1356 to give by phone, or checks may be sent to our mailing address: 840 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90089-0851. However you choose to give, please indicate “USC Polish Music Center,” either in the remittance line of your check or in the online form, to ensure that your contribution is routed directly to our department.

You are always cordially invited to stop by the Polish Music Center to experience the impact of our exceptional programs and learn more about how your year-end gift helps advance the profile of Polish music around the world. Should you have any questions or would like to schedule a visit, please call us at (213) 821-1356 or email polmusic@usc.edu. If you are farther away but still want to check in on the PMC, please visit us at polishmusic.usc.edu.

Thank you for your consideration. With our best wishes for the Holiday Season, we remain sincerely and gratefully yours,

Marek Zebrowski, Director & Krysta Close, Assistant Director