Copernicus Foundation

The Copernicus Foundation (Polish: Fundacja Kopernikowska) is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization based in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois.

It was founded by Poles in Chicago in 1971 in order to raise funds towards raising a monument for the famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus to be set in front of the Adler Planetarium. After the monument's dedication at the 500th anniversary of Copernicus in 1973, the Polish-American community decided to use leftover funds towards the purchase of a cultural and civic center for Chicago's Polonia.

After a thorough search for the permanent site of the Polish Cultural Center in Chicago, groundbreaking ceremonies took place at the old Gateway Theatre building located near Milwaukee and Lawrence avenues in 1979. Because the Gateway Theatre had been the first movie theater in Chicago built exclusively for the "talkies," the Foundation decided to preserve the theater itself while remodeling around it. The "Solidarity Tower," with its matching facade, was erected atop the building which was modified to resemble the historic Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland. The tower is an exact replica of the clock tower adorning the castle and its Baroque spire is seen by commuters driving along the Kennedy Expressway.

The activities of the Copernicus Foundation include:

  • The Taste of Polonia Festival
  • The Copernican Award
  • Classic Silent Film Showings
  • Polish Language Theater Productions
  • Children's Theater Productions
  • The Polish Film Festival of America

The Copernicus foundation is also a meeting place for Polish American & other Civic Organization Meetings, the Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce Activities, the Northwest Chicago Historical Society, CAPS (Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy) Meetings, the DAC (District Advisory Council) Meetings, an Annual Law Fair, Dance Recitals, as well as Public Information and Referral Services

Famous quotes containing the word foundation:

    The foundation of humility is truth. The humble man sees himself as he is. If his depreciation of himself were untrue,... it would not be praiseworthy, and would be a form of hypocrisy, which is one of the evils of Pride. The man who is falsely humble, we know from our own experience, is one who is falsely proud.
    Henry Fairlie (1924–1990)