University of Pittsburgh
November 30, 2005

Pitt to Host Cracow Crèche Exhibition and Reception Dec. 10

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The University of Pittsburgh's Nationality Rooms Program and Polish Nationality Room Committee will present a Cracow Crèche exhibition and reception at 1 p.m. Dec. 10 in the William Pitt Union, Kurtzman Room and Lower Lounge, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

Local residents, ages 14 to 60, will unveil their completed crèches, which they made at Szopka ("shop- kha") workshops, the only formal crèche-construction classes of their kind in North America. The art of Szopka is a folk craft found only in the ancient Polish city of Cracow that transforms cardboard, colored foiled paper, ribbon, and other materials into ornate miniature constructions. They were first displayed in Cracow churches as puppetry in religious morality plays. These constructions were once used to celebrate the launching of the Polish holiday season.

The event will include traditional Polish holiday music and ethnic pastries will be available. Admission to the public exhibition is free.

The art project is funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts through the PA Partners in the Arts program, administered locally by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. The reception is sponsored by the Polish Cultural Council of Western Pennsylvania and Pitt's Polish Nationality Room Committee.

For more information, contact David Motak at 412-600-6768 or E. Maxine Bruhns, director of the Nationality Rooms and Cultural Exchange Programs, at 412-624-6150 or