Lucyna Migala is a broadcast journalist, impresario, arts administrator and Polish-American cultural activist well known in the Chicago area.
Born in Krakow, Poland, she came to America as a young child with her family. Her parents, Joseph and Slawa Migala became very active in Polish-American community affairs as well as prominent in Polish-language broadcasting.
Ms. Migala holds a degree in journalism from Northwestern University and was a fellow at the Washington Journalism Center in the nation’s capital. She spent 13 years as a writer, reporter and producer for NBC News – based in Chicago, Cleveland and Washington, DC – and covered news events around the US and in Poland. She resigned from NBC to help create WCEV/1450am, one of Chicagoland’s major multi-ethnic radio stations, along with other members of her family. Ms. Migala serves as vice president and program director in a part-time capacity, but is still heard on the air in WCEV ethnic reports and public affairs programming.
Ms. Migala is co-founder, artistic director and general manager of the Lira Ensemble, the nation’s only professional performing arts company specializing in Polish music, song and dance. She,sang as a soprano with the Lira Singers for more than 25 years and is now Lira’s very popular concert narrator, in addition to producing Lira concerts. The company, which includes the Lira Symphony as well as dancers and singers, regularly performs around the Midwest and has made six concert tours of Poland. The Lira Ensemble is artist-in-residence at Loyola University Chicago.
Active in the Polish-American community since her college days, Ms. Migala has served on the national board of the Polish Women’s Alliance of America, as a board member of the Polish American Leadership Initiative, and as co-founder and officer of the Chicago Chapter of the Kosciuszko Foundation. She founded the chapter’s Chicago Chopin Competition. In addition, Ms. Migala has served on the board of the Illinois Humanities Council and the Illinois Arts Alliance, was a founding member of the Ethnic and Folk Panel of the Illinois Arts Council, and served on many arts panels for the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, now known as the Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events. She has participated in many inter-ethnic groups, such as the Illinois Ethnic Coalition, Chicago’s Polish-Jewish Dialogue, and Chicago’s Catholic-Jewish Dialogue.
She has produced and narrated hundreds of concerts in theaters, concert halls, churches and synagogues. In 1989, in cooperation with Carlos Tortolero of the then Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum (now the National Museum of Mexican Art), she initiated a series of innovative Mexican-Polish concerts which continues until today and which inspired an equally successful series of African-American/Polish-American concerts. In 2007, the National Museum of Mexican Art presented her with its Sor Juana Award in recognition of her inter-ethnic initiatives.
In 1995, she was chosen as one of the Most Important 100 Women in Chicago History. Most recently, in 2015, Ms. Migala was named an “Outstanding Pole Outside Poland.” She was eligi-ble because she was born in Krakow, Poland.
In private life, Lucyna Migala is the recent widow of Frank A. Cizon, Ph.D., professor emeritus of sociology at Loyola University Chicago, Indiana University and the University of Chicago, and former CEO of Talman Home Federal Savings.