UWM Slovenian Arts Program News

_____________________Newsletter of the UWM Slovenian Arts Council_____________________

Spring Edition                                                                                                                           March 2008


2007 Slovenian Arts Program “FRIENDS” Event

On Saturday October 6, 2007, the Slovenian Arts Council hosted the 2007 Fall Friends Event.  The Fall Friends event took place at the beautiful mosaic windowed chapel room, at the Helen Zelazo Center of the Performing Arts.  The program included three very talented Slovenian youths.  Katie and Becky Kaye blended their harmonious voices singing familiar Slovenian songs, and Philip Bregant played two classical pieces on the cello, accompanied by his former music teacher, Sondra Gamzer.  Philip also played a familiar Slovenian folk song accompanied by his Grandmother, Mary Bregant.  The program concluded with a Slovenian Sing-a-Long lead by Dolores Ivanchich and accompanied by Tony Gorenc.  A reception was held immediately following the program.  Everyone enjoyed sampling the delicious Slovenian desserts such as potica, strudel, and flancati.  Special thanks and appreciation to Stanley Vidmar, Judy Price, Dolores Ivanchich, Mary Bregant, Barbara Martinka, Christina Carroll, Tony Gorenc and MaryCay Freiberg for providing the event with bakery, refreshments, accordion accompaniment, and door prizes.  The Council is very grateful for all the helpers who assisted with the set up and clean up tasks.  The success of the event was due to your generous assistance.


President’s Message

2007 was an eventful year, which went by so quickly for the Slovenian Arts Council.  I thank all of you for another successful year celebrating the Slovenian Arts and Culture in the Milwaukee area.  Here is the “year in review” of our 2007 accomplishments.

Saturday, April 14 at UWM, was an eventful day.  The Slovene costumed SNPJ Youth Chorus, “Circle 2 “under the direction of Cecilia “Cilka” Dolgan sang a variety of familiar Slovenian folk songs.  Ashley Russ and Kristy Zwkovich played a musical selection on their button-box accordions and father and son, Anthony and Frank Culkar played an accordion duo musical selection.  The program variety added to the entertainment pleasure of the afternoon.  The Slovenian Arts Program Award of Merit was presented to Cecilia “Cilka” Dolgan for her life-long professional singing and choral music direction.  The Slovenian Arts Program Award of Service was presented to Mary Frangesch for her personal commitment to the Slovenian Arts and Culture throughout her lifetime.

On Monday June 26, a group of best-selling Slovenian Children book writers (Desa Muck, Andrej Rozman-Roza, and Tatjana Kokalj) appeared at the UWM Golda Meir Library and the West Allis Library reading in English from their latest illustrated books for children from the “Forget-Me-Not” series, all published in a Slovene-English format.  The books included “In the Land of Gingerbread,” “The Giant Hen”, “How Oscar Became a Detective”, “Emil Rabbit,” and “Spots and the Hippityhopsters Win the World Cup.”  Many attendees purchased the books and had the good fortune to have them signed by the authors.  I even purchased a set of their books and donated them to the West Allis Children’s Library in honor of our daughter, Therese who loves to read after spending many hours as a child reading at the West Allis Library.  Unfortunately, Author Evald Flisar was unable to make the trip but his young editorial assistant, Spela Brecelj anchored the program and introduced the authors among other tasks expected of her.  By the children’s and adult’s facial expressions and hand clapping the readings evoked much joy and laughter.

On Saturday October 6, the 2007 Fall “FRIENDS” event was held at the Helen Zelazo Center of the Performing Arts.  The program included three very talented Slovene youths.  Katie and Becky Kaye blended their beautiful voices singing familiar Slovenian songs and Philip Bregant played two classical music pieces on the cello.  He also played a familiar Slovenian folk song accompanied by his Grandmother, Mary Bregant.  For additional details regarding this event, be sure to read the article in this newsletter.

The 2008 the Slovenian Arts Council is very busy planning the Sunday, April 13 “Jeff Pecon Orchestra” event.  The program will be at 2:00 P.M. at the American Serb Hall, 5101 W. Oklahoma Avenue, Milwaukee, WI.  For event details, read the article in this newsletter.

 It is only through your faithful support and generosity that we can continue preserving, sharing and presenting the Slovenian Arts and Culture.

 The Slovenian Arts Council sends a warm welcome to our most recent reactivated Council member, Milly Mursec.  We truly value her ideas and look forward to her contributions and comments.

 In closing, I share these thoughts.  Remember that as our senses awaken to the spring season’s unfolding glory - today is yours.  A gift waiting to be opened, more beauty to discover, more dreams to pursue, more blessings to enjoy.  Do allow nature’s gifts to refresh your mind, renew your heart, and reawaken your spirit.

S spostovanjen,

MaryCay Freiberg

President, UWM Slovenian Arts Council


“ESTRELLITA” (Little Star) - Premiere Slovene Film -


On Friday March 7, my Husband Ray and I were privileged to be invited by Dr. Zvone Zigon, Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia, to attend the opening of the 11th Annual European Union Film Festival.  The Film Festival was held at the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago, Gene Siskel Film Center.  This year’s list of films runs from March 7 through April 3, deviating from Slovenia to Ireland, and consisted of 61 films from 26 nations.  The festival opening celebration each year is presided over by the nation currently holding the presidency of the European Union.  Dr. Zvone Zigon, the honorary host, introduced the opening night 90 minute film, “ESTRELLITA,” an affecting story of healing and renewal centered on a 12-year-old boy and a priceless violin.  The Slovenian writer-director, Medved Pevec begins his film with the death of a concert violinist.  His widow and their grown son soon learn of the violinist’s infidelities.  Following the death of the famous violinist, his devoted piano teacher wife is shocked to discover that her husband had a long lead double life.  In anger, she makes a gift of the priceless violin he fondly named “Little Star” to the 12 year old son of penniless Bosnian immigrants.  The boy’s prodigious talent shines through the rare instrument, but the true son, Julian intends to claim his inheritance.  ESTRELLITA glides with beautiful music, great performances, and a moving story of healing and renewal.  It is in Slovenian with English subtitles.  You may be able to obtain a copy of the film directly from the Sales or Production Company.  Please refer to this web site for more information.  www.emotionfilm.si/estrellita/kontakti_en.html




The UWM Slovenian Arts Council is proud to invite you to attend the annual Slovenian Arts Event on Sunday, April 13, 2008 at 2:00 P.M.  This event will be held at the American Serb Hall, 5101 W. Oklahoma Avenue, Milwaukee, WI.  The Jeff Pecon Orchestra from Westlake, Ohio will present a cultural program, which will include traditional Slovenian melodies and a monologue highlighting the outstanding contribution of the Pecon Family to the Slovenian culture in America.  Jeff’s father, Johnny Pecon, was one of the originators of the Cleveland -Slovenian style Polka music sound.  Jeff has carried on from his father’s style and continues to create his own unique Slovenian style of music.  Donation is $10, and all 2008 “Slovenian Arts Program Friends” pay only $5, while Children under 13 are free.  Proceeds from this event will benefit the UWM Slovenian Arts Program.  For further information about this event, go to the website: www.slovenianartsprogram.org or call MaryCay Freiberg at (414)778-1464.


 Mark Your Calendar


Sunday, April 13, 2008  Jeff Pecon Orchestra performance at the American Serb Hall, 5101 W. Oklahoma Ave.  Milwaukee, WI.  at 2:00 P.M.  Contact MaryCay Freiberg at (414)778-1464.


Sunday, April 27, 2008  The USPEH Slovenian Chorus will be singing at the WJYI 1340 Polka Parade Fund Raiser at Serb Hall, 5101 W. Oklahoma Ave.  Milwaukee, WI.  Contact MaryCay Freiberg at (414) 778-1464.


Sunday, May 18, 2008  The USPEH Slovenian Chorus SPRING Concert at St John the Evangelist Church Hall,  8500 W. Cold Spring Road, Greenfield, WI.  at 2:00 P.M.  Contact MaryCay Freiberg at (414) 778-1464.


Sunday, May 26, 2008  Memorial Day Picnic at Triglav Park.  Mass at 11:00 A.M. Dinner at Noon.  Contact Joze Kunovar at (262) 895-7676.


Sunday, June 22, 2008  Privi (1st) Picnic at Triglav Park.  Mass at 11:00 A.M. Dinner at Noon.  Music by the Mike Schneider Band.  1:00 - 5:00 P.M.  Contact Joze Kunovar at ( 262 ) 895-7676.


Sunday, July 20, 2008  MISSION Picnic at Triglav Park.  Mass at 11:00 A.M.  Dinner at Noon.  Music by Ed Hodnik.  1:00 - 5:00 P.M.  Contact: Joze Kunovar at (262) 895-7676.


Sunday, August 17, 2008  Drugi (2nd) Picnic at Triglav Park.  Mass at 11:00 A.M.  Dinner at Noon.  Music by Hank Thunander  1:00 - 5:00 P.M.  Contact: Joze Kunovar at (262) 895-7676.


Sunday, September 14, 2008  Vinska Trgatev (Wine Festival) at Triglav Park.  No Mass.  Dinner at Noon.  Music by Grant Kozera 1:00 - 5:00 P.M.  Contact: Joze Kunovar at ( 262) 895-7676.



Remember, only he is worthy of his Ancestors whose customs he honors


Slovenian Arts Program Performance Grant


Are you aware that the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee - Slovenian Arts Program established a Slovenian Arts Performance Grant in 1998?  The Grant is given to promote and support Slovenian Arts events and to further promote a relationship between the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Slovenian community.  Grants are limited to local (Southeastern Wisconsin region) Slovenian Arts organizations and individual performers.  Grants may also be received by organizations within the above-mentioned area, which may be hosting an appropriate group, performer, or event from outside of this area.  The maximum of two Grants will be available each year, each for $500.00.  The Grant will be presented in June or July for the “fall,” and January or February for the “spring.”  An organization, or performer shall be limited to receiving this award not more than once in a three-year period.


Any organization or performer receiving a Grant, must acknowledge in its program, flyers, or posters for the event, using the Grant funds that it is sponsored in part by a Grant from the UWM - Slovenian Arts Program.  Applications for the Grant can be obtained by telephoning (414) 778-1464 or writing to Mary Cay Freiberg, 1223 South 118th Street, West Allis, WI.  53214.



Slovenian Websites to Visit 






Slovenian Arts Program Tribute cards


Are you ever at a loss for ideas about what to give a Slovenian relative or friend who “has everything” or at the time of a funeral when the family suggests donations to your favorite charity in lieu of flowers?  The Slovenian Arts Program has tribute cards available, which can be used for either a gift or a memorial donation to the Slovenian Arts Program.  These cards can be obtained from members of the Slovenian Arts Council or from the Bevsek-Verbick Funeral Home.  It is a great way to honor a relative or friend and promotes our Slovenian heritage.



FRIENDS” of the Slovenian Arts Program

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)



1.   Who are “FRIENDS” of the SAP?


FRIENDS” of SAP is a non-profit group that provides funding and support for programs such as Slovenian arts, artifacts, dance, literature, music and dance.



2.   Should I renew my “FRIENDS” membership every year?


Yes.  An annual membership donation is required to be considered a current “FRIEND.”



3.   What is the annual membership donation, and who determines the amount?


The upcoming 2008 membership donation for a SINGLE person is $25.00, and a COUPLE is $35.00.  The membership donation is a fixed annual amount determined by the Slovenian Arts Council (SAC).



4.   When and to whom should I send my new/renewal donation?


The annual TWELVE-month membership donation should be sent in the month of January to the SAC Corresponding Secretary, to be considered a “FRIEND” for the calendar year.



5.  Does a one-time donation to the SAP qualify me as a “FRIEND”?


Yes!  Any donation made to the Slovenian Arts Program (SAP) which exceeds the annual membership fee, automatically welcomes you as a “FRIEND” for the calendar year.



 6.  What perks, besides being invited to special events, receiving discounts on program tickets,

      and in addition, the semiannual newsletter interests you?


Please inform any SAC Council member.


Slovenian Arts Council Executive Officers and Council members



Executive Officers                                                                             Council Members


President:                               MaryCay Freiberg                            Patricia Gorence

Vice President:                      Judy Price                                          Tony Gorenc

Treasurer:                              Denise Bartlett                                 Dolores Ivanchich

Recording Secretary:            Christina Carroll                               Barbara Martinka

Corresponding Secretary:     Mary Bregant                                   Virginia Strukel

                                                                                                            Milly Mursec

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