History - Slavjane

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Founded in 1959 by "Mr. Slavjane,” Jack Poloka (1938-2010), and incorporated since 1973, Slavjane has performed extensively in the Pittsburgh and tri-state areas. Slavjane has also performed in the former Czechoslovakia, Washington D.C., Rahway, Little Falls, Hillsborough and Atlantic City, N.J., Baltimore, Md., and at Disney’s Epcot Center in Florida. In the summer of 1992, Slavjane was the first Carpatho-Rusyn group from the United States to perform at the annual Medzilaborce Festival of Sports and Culture.

In June 2005, Slavjane had the prestigious honor of being invited to perform at the Rusyn World Congress and Rusyn Youth Rally, both held in Krynica, Poland. The events were part of a successful two week tour of the Rusyn homeland that included performances in Transcarpathia (Užhorod, Ukraine), Lemkovyna (Krynica, Poland), Prešov (Slovakia), and a second appearance at the annual Medzilaborce Festival of Sports and Culture. The group represented the Carpatho-Rusyn Society (C-RS), the Greek Catholic Union of America (GCU), the Rusyns of the United States and North America, the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, and Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church, McKees Rocks, Pa.

Slavjane maintains a very active schedule of rehearsals, performances, social events and fundraisers. Slavjane’s very accommodating home is Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church in McKees Rocks, where Father Frank Firko is pastor.  Slavjane is a cultural program financially supported by the GCU. Slavjane is endorsed by the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh as the official representative of the Carpatho-Rusyn culture in the U.S.

The rich legacy of our heritage is lovingly passed on from generation to generation. It is a cherished bond between the past, the present and the future. Slavjane’s goal is to preserve and share this legacy with our friends, family and neighbors.

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