In 1985, Frank and Wanda Winiarz, co-presidents of the Polish Arts Club of Buffalo, Inc. established the Polish Arts Scholarship Trust. It began with the investment of approximately $25,000 from the profits of a National Convention that the Club hosted in 1985. Robert Ciesielski, attorney and club member, drew up the formal Trust agreement.
Three trustees, who are elected by the directors of the Polish Arts Club, administer the scholarship. The trustees have the responsibility of investing the funds of the scholarship, so that money will be available for future awards. Wanda Winiarz was the chair of the trustees from the conception of the scholarship until 1996. Leonard Sikora was the trustee chair from 1996 to 2010. Stan Nowak is the current trustee chair.
The members of the selection committee advertise the scholarship, review the applications, and interview each of the finalists. Annemarie Franczyk was the selection chair from 1986 to 1998, and Anne Flansburg has been selection chair from 1998 to the present.
Since 1986 the Polish Arts Club of Buffalo Scholarship Foundation has awarded 69 scholarships to Polish American students for a total value of $69,000.
The applicant must be a student with Polish ancestry, a legal resident of New York State and majoring in the Visual or Performing Arts in an accredited College or University. Furthermore, the applicant must be enrolled at the junior, senior or graduate level. The student must also reside in the Western New York area. An application is available on the website, and must be completed and postmarked by the specified deadline.
A 300 or more word essay on a Polish Artist who contributed to your field or study and 2 letters of recommendation from professional or academic sources.
Applications will be accepted after March 1, 2024 and must be postmarked by May 1, 2024.
Stanley Nowak (Chair)
Scholarship Recipients – 1986 to present
This list of Polish Arts Scholarship winners is compiled from a list furnished to the Trustees by Annemarie Franczyk, selection chair from 1986 to 1998, and Anne Flansburg, selection chair from 1998 to the present.
1986 Karen Kleinmann Mary Swartzwelder
1987 Alan Kryszak Mary Swartzwelder
1988 Cynthia Przybyl Alan Kryszak
1989 Peter Kopera Alan Kryszak
1990 Krzysztof Witek Thomas Witakowski
1991 Thea Zastempowski Elaine Pawlak
1992 Christopher Sierzchula Debra Imiolo
1993 Jolie Marie Brown Peter Jakubowski
1994 Jeffery Kazukiewicz
1995 Jeffery Kazukiewicz Michael Slon
1995 Kristinn Rzepkowski
1996 Justin Pomietizarz Michele Kiec
1998 Suzette Henry Steven Backowski
1999 Jessie Wicher
2000 Jessica Kielb
2001 Laurie Stahrr
2002 Kristen Kubisty Ericka Milczarski
2003 Chris J. Handley Tara Laurie
2003 Mary Beth Wrobel
2004 Bryan Banach Kelly Bochynski
2004 Steven Dunning Lindsay Gabryszak
2005 Michael Rakoczy Sabatino Scirri
2005 Kyle-Lynn Tuttle
2006 Stephani Greer Gregory Wlosinski
2007 Trevor Jelowski
2008 Rose Valby Elizabeth Wojtowicz
2009 Cyril Bodnar III Brittany Mruczek
2010 Christina Slomczewski
2011 Rachel A. Bicheler
2012 Sarah Lewandowski John Smigelski
2013 Kyle Baran Mary Jane Masiulionis
2014 Patricia Manos Mark Pietruszka
2015 Justin Kohan Aaron Zakrzewski
2016 Brandon Mellerski Conrad Ziarniak
2017 John Szablewski
2018 Justina Wolanin
2019 Collin McCrea Amelia Wroblewski
2020 Ryan Washcalus
2021 Evangelista Schmarder
2022 Anna Pascucci Kristen Smigielski
2023 Melanie Babak Elizabeth Fomenko