New Season of “Coming Together”
Focuses on Polish Culture

News Anchor Alan Krashesky to Emcee Opening Ceremony

January 27 at Niles West High School; Program Series Runs to April

Popular ABC7 Chicago News Anchor Alan Krashesky, will emcee the opening ceremony of “Coming Together,” a multi-faceted program designed to spotlight a different culture every year, with 2019 being a celebration of Polish culture coinciding with the 2018 centennial of Poland’s independence and also marking 30 years since the collapse of communism in Poland. Considered a top reporter who covers major domestic and international stories, Krashesky is also a recipient of the Heritage Media Award from the Polish American Congress.

The opening ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, January 27, 1 p.m., at Niles West High School, 5701 Oakton St., Skokie. Free and open to the public, festivities will feature Polish art, music, theatre, and food to whet attendees’ appetites for programs that will follow over the next four months. Visit the program website for a complete schedule and details.

Supported by libraries and other institutions in the northeastern Illinois communities of Skokie, Niles, Morton Grove, and Lincolnwood, which are among the most diverse communities in the country, Coming Together is marking its tenth year of celebrating the multitude of cultures that call these communities home. Past cultures that have been celebrated by “Coming Together” include Asian Indian, Filipino, Assyrian, Greek, Korean, Chinese, Latino/Hispanics, and last year Muslim American.

The goal of Coming Together is to study different cultures in depth. More than 50 free activities and programs will be offered from January 27 thru April 7, including book discussions, film screenings, craft demonstrations, and other events highlighting the culture’s contributions to society in the fields of science, literature, arts, and education. An important educational component that Coming Together focuses on is literacy, with a variety of books selected each year to help develop a deeper understanding of the featured culture. This year’s books include:

  • The Best Polish Restaurant in Buffalo by William Kowalski (Adults)
  • Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit (Adults & High School)
  • The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan (Grades 6-8)
  • The Glass Mountain: Tales from Poland by David Walser (Author), Jan Pienkowski (Illustrator) (Grades 3-5)
  • Ignas – The Boy with the Colorful Head (English & Polish) by Anna Mycek-Wodecki (Grades K-2)

Among the featured events this year will be a special visit and book discussion by author William Kowalski on Monday, March 18, 7 p.m., at the Niles-Maine District Library, 6960 W. Oakton St., Skokie.

“Coming Together” planning meeting. PALA Treasurer Bernadetta Koryciarz 2nd from right.

“The countless hours of hard work have paid off,” notes Bernadetta
Koryciarz, Digital Services Librarian at Niles-Maine District Library and current treasurer of the Polish American Librarians Association. A major coordinator of “Coming Together” events, Koryciarz says, “It truly is a festival for everyone in that it not a typical Polish fest with food and music. It is so much more; a feast for your brain with intellectual talks, history lessons, culinary presentations, book discussions, and many more cultural events. And the fact that events are free is just amazing!” 

Over 30 individuals from municipalities, libraries, park districts, places of worship, schools, community groups, and other organizations meet year round to plan each “Coming Together” celebration, Koryciarz notes. “The program planners are volunteers who form a large committee that meets once a month, as well as smaller committees working diligently to put together a variety of programs.”

For a complete list of programs, events, activities and for information on the books which will be featured for “Coming Together” 2019, please visit:


Niles Township Government School District 219

Dave Silbar, Rosamin Bhanpuri       

(847) 845-7548                        847-626-3959