Immigrants from Southeastern Europe – areas now contained within the present-day boundaries of the Republics of Bulgaria and Macedonia – first began to arrive in Pittsburgh and other American cities in the early 1900s. In 1930, Pittsburgh’s Bulgarian community leaders established a social and cultural organization – the Bulgaro-Macedonian Beneficial Association (BMBA) – that they named Otets Paissii, to honor the monk who wrote the first history of the Bulgarian people. In 1935, a permanent home for the society was constructed on West Eighth Avenue in West Homestead
In 1994, the Bulgarian Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center (BMNECC) was born, incorporated as a tax-exempt, non-profit organization. The original facility has undergone significant renovations and remains a highly functional base as the country’s national center for Bulgarian and Macedonian culture and education. It is the oldest Bulgarian Macedonian organization in the United States.
The mission of the Bulgarian Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center (BMNECC) – is to embrace, preserve and present the cultural values and rich traditions of the Bulgarian and Macedonian people, and to articulate and promote those values and traditions as a way of enhancing tolerance, preserving tradition, and promoting understanding among all people.