Paul Bisaccia

A Chopin and Gershwin concert with pianist Paul Bisaccia happening this Thursday in Greenpoint was originally scheduled at Carnegie Hall, but the event was canceled following controversy over the main sponsor’s anti-gay background.

The rescheduled event, From Chopin to Gershwin: For Our Freedom and Yours, Za Wolnosc Nasza i Wasza, is this Thursday (11/14) at 7 p.m., at St. John’s Lutheran Church (155 Milton St.); tickets range from $15 – $30 and are available here.

To bring the event to the neighborhood, the Greenpoint-based non-profit organization Town Square teamed up with local Polish Americans who recently started a grassroots initiative “Polish Friends of the Warsaw Public Library (US),” to help promote affordable cultural events in North Brooklyn where many Polish residents live.

PFWPL sent background info to Greenpointers on the event’s original cancelation and rescheduling:

The artists scheduled to perform discovered that the sponsoring organization of the concert, Gazeta Polska Community of America, was associated with profoundly anti-gay/right-wing Polish magazine (Gazeta Polska) that had distributed “LGBT-free Zone” stickers for shopkeepers in Poland to place in their windows. All the artists started dropping out – including Paul Bisaccia and Carnegie Hall eventually canceled it.

We felt we should offer a response, as Polish Americans, and we decided to invite the artists to Brooklyn to perform the original set here at St. John’s (an LGBT-affirming congregation), since Chopin is so important to Polish history and the country’s historical struggle for self-determination. We saw a link to the current LGBT struggle for acceptance in Poland.



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  1. Correction – this event was started by Polish Americans, and Susan from Town Square was brought in to help us facilitate ticket sales. She is not responsible for the idea, message or goals of this event or of the Friends of Warsaw Public Library. She attempted to bring Exxon as a co-sponsor to this event, as well as other actors who do not represent us as Polish Americans and Greenpoint residents. If credit is owed, it is to the individuals who worked very hard to cancel the original Carnegie Hall event and make this one happen!

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