Polish Global Economic Forum
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ZIEMIA: Picnic on Earth

Bring your kids, and join us for a free outdoor community event, appreciate new piece of art in the park, reflect on the neighborhood’s past, enjoy educational workshops, live music, gadgets and delicious snacks. Take part in the Sto Lat Polska project to win a plane ticket to Poland. All brought to you by The Polish Cultural Institute New York, as a celebration of the centennial of Poland regaining its independence.
  • Opening of Ziemia sculpture in McGolrick Park
  • Opening of exhibit What Defines Greenpoint Identity 
  • Concert info: Zorya Project, and Jesse Lynch Ensemble
  • Saturday, June 9th, 2:00-5:00 p.m.
  • McGolrick Park, entrance from Russell St between Nassau Ave and Driggs Ave, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY
  • Transport: G subway to Nassau Ave stop
  • Admission is Free! 

The Polish Cultural Institute of New York, presents the opening event of Ziemia  (“Earth” in Polish), a multidisciplinary public art project created in collaboration with NYC Parks and Greenpoint residents. The core object takes the form of a ceramic orb by Greenpoint-based artist Martynka Wawrzyniak in a meadow in McGolrick Park, to be unveiled on June 9, 2018. The sculpture serves as a collective portrait of the diverse Greenpoint community. It is glazed with a mixture of clay excavated in Greenpoint and soils contributed by participating residents from places that are symbolically representative of their identities, including: the United States, Poland, Ukraine, Germany, France, Japan, Serbia, Nepal, the United Kingdom, Ecuador, Mexico, and Namibia. The project includes many Poles who have lived in Greenpoint for generations.

The meadow where the orb sits is composed of plants which have been present in this neighborhood since pre-colonial times and which are also native to the Polish countryside.  

The Ziemia project also involves workshops focused on the social and ecological history of the neighborhood conducted by Wawrzyniak in local schools, community art centers, and senior centers, involving participants across generations and cultures.

At the opening event, children will take part in creative ecological workshops referencing the materials used in the Ziemia orb: a Soil-Painting Workshop, a Seed Bomb Workshop, and a Sculpture Workshop. Kids will be invited to create their own art with clay, seeds, found objects, and provided art materials. The purpose of the workshops is to restore a personal connection to the soil and the neighborhood’s ecology, raise environmental awareness, and learn a guerilla gardening technique to help in efforts to re-wild Greenpoint.

An accompanying exhibition, What Defines Greenpoint Identity, reflects on the footprints generations of immigrants have left in the neighborhood throughout the years. Looking at architecture, social life and nature, it examines how certain landmark buildings have adjusted to the needs of new residents. It highlights institutions that have endured unchanged and remembers some that are long gone. Curated by Magdalena Mazurek with input from Geoffrey Cobb, author of Greenpoint Brooklyn's Forgotten Past, and Annie S. Hauck, Ph.D., R.D., co-editor of Gastropolis: Food and New York City and author of My Little Town: A Brooklyn Girl’s Food Voice. This narrative illustrates the diversity of cultures living on one block, and meeting each other in one convenience store, based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  It is meant to be an initial reflection on who Brooklynites are. They may be first, second, or third generations of Italians, Germans, Poles, Irish, Puerto Ricans, French, etc.

A live concert will be performed by Zorya, a musical project created by Polish singer and violinist Karolina Beimcik. This group has its roots in Slavic mythology and is a fresh representation of Eastern European folk music. Their repertoire includes charming lullabies, love songs, and original compositions inspired by the history and culture of Central and Eastern Europe. The music derives from small villages in the mountains, forests, and fields and it is sung in the original dialects of the Kurpie and Lemko people. Karolina Beimcik- voice, violin, Rafał Sarnecki- guitar, Matt Aronoff- double bass.

Join us in celebrating the centennial! “Sto lat!” literally means “one hundred years” and is the most common way to wish somebody happy birthday in Poland. Using our #StoLatPolska app, take a picture to turn into a birthday postcard for Poland, and get the chance to win an airline ticket to Poland! In 1926 Poland sent the US a birthday card with 5.5 million signatures! Help us beat this number!

The Ziemia opening takes place in 2018, the centennial of Poland regaining its independence. The United States played a role in securing Poland’s freedom: in 1918, President Woodrow Wilson declared American support for an independent Poland in his Fourteen Points. The Polish Cultural Institute New York considers Ziemia a meaningful symbol of Polish-American relationship and a gift from the Polish community to the New York neighborhood of Greenpoint, which many Poles have called their home.

Ziemia sculpture will be on view in McGolrick Park from June 9 2018 to June 9 2019.

What Defines Greenpoint Identity will be on view from June 9 to September 30 2018.


  • 2:00 - Ecological workshops for kids
  • 3:00-3:20 - Inaugural speeches
  • 3:30-4:00 - Jazz concert: Karolina Beimcik (voice, violin), Rafał Sarnecki (guitar), Matt Aronoff (double bass)
  • 4:00-5:00 - Jazz by Jesse Lynch Ensemble
  • 2:00-5:00 - Sto Lat, Polska! A Postcard To Poland--You are welcome to say your custom “Happy birthday” to Poland for the 100th anniversary of Polish independence by using our new web application
  • 4:00-5:00 - Picnic with Polish touch bites

Ziemia will be on view in McGolrick Park from June 9, 2018 to June 9, 2019.

What Defines Greenpoint Identity will be on view from June 9, 2018 to September 30, 2018