The Goethe-Institut Opens Three New Facilities in Washington, Boston, and Los Angeles
November 27, 2019
“No, ladies and gentlemen, this Goethe-Institut is a guarantee in stone that this is not the end!”
The Year of German-American Friendship may be coming to a close this winter, but the Goethe-Institut is certainly not done with its work in the US! The Institute reaffirmed its commitment to the transatlantic relationship by re-opening three regional institutes in brand new facilities in Washington, Boston, and Los Angeles.
Andreas Ströhl, Regional Director of the Goethe-Instituts in North America, spoke about the motivation to open these new institutes, saying “As a token of how much the Germans value the dialogue here in the US, we can now reopen the Goethe-Instituts Washington and Los Angeles in more beautiful, improved spaces and move back into our newly renovated, long-time property in Boston. We’re staying and we will continue to deepen our partnerships after the Year of Germany in the USA.”
These new facilities are designed with the goal of expanding community partnerships and opportunities for cultural events in mind. New programming will be aimed at diverse target groups while providing space for civil society initiatives and the alternative arts scene.
In Boston, the Goethe-Institut renovated its space in a historic townhouse, fitting for a cultural institute in one of America’s oldest cities. The building, which has been owned by the German government for over 50 years, has been the epicenter of the German presence in New England since its opening.
The opening of the newly improved institute was attended by none other than German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. President Steinmeier gave a rousing speech to attendees that emphasized the importance of the transatlantic relationship for democracy and prosperity, and he praised the work of the Goethe-Institut as instrumental in keeping this relationship alive: “This Goethe-Institut is a guarantee in stone that this is not the end!” he said. “Not only are these wonderful, newly refurbished rooms the place where many will encounter the German language for the first time, the Goethe-Institut also provides a forum for people to meet, learn, and forge personal connections. We need forums like this more than ever today”
South of Boston, the Goethe-Institut Washington moved from its temporary home on K Street to a brand new building on DC’s bustling 14th Street. The area is known for its diverse cultural offerings, making it an ideal location for the Institute.
The Goethe-Institut Washington welcomed cultural and educational partners and members of the public to visit the new Institute at an open house attended by over 1,800 guests. The reception featured food, drinks, a visit by Goethe’s own Wiesn in a Box, and music by the transatlantic jazz group The New Coolnezz: Ilona Haberkamp Quartet. German Ambassador to the US Emily Haber and Secretary General of the Goethe-Institut Johannes Ebert also made sure to take a tour of the new space.
The excitement continues in Los Angeles, where construction is nearly completed on the Institute’s new home in the MacArthur Park neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles. After a hearty pastrami lunch at the historic Langer’s Restaurant, Secretary General Ebert, Consul General Stefan Schneider, and other partners joined the Goethe LA team for a tour of the construction site.
The potential for the new space in a city like Los Angeles is immense, says Ebert. “Los Angeles is always on the move and cultural centers of gravity are constantly shifting. With our new institute, we also want to reach new target groups.”
Find out more about the Goethe-Institut USA here!
German the Most Spoken Language at Home Other Than English and Spanish in 9 States
Recent US Census Data shows the diverse, multilingual nature of the United States. Beyond the two most commonly spoken languages, English and Spanish, Americans reported speaking a range of languages at home, from Haitian Creole to Tagalog. German topped the list in 9 states, more than any other language.Read More
Goethe Project Close-Up Creates an Exchange Between German and American Journalists
“If someone had told me in May that I would be working for a German newspaper, I would have laughed at him. But what seemed completely impossible in May became a reality on Monday,” Kansas City journalist Anne Marie Hunter wrote in the Hessische Allgemeine Newspaper this week.Read More
Using Public Transport as a German Journalist on Exchange in Kansas City
Though huge cities like New York and Washington DC may be known for their public transportation infrastructure, that is not the case in most major American cities. Still, German Journalist Michaela Pflug, who is currently in the US as a part of the Goethe CloseUp project, was determined to try navigating her new home of Kansas City, Missouri using public transport alone.Read More