IN PICTURES: Goethe Family Circle Reception 2016

“The successful work of the Goethe-Zentrum in Atlanta is only and exclusively possible because of the initiative and the financial contribution of the German-American community in Atlanta.”

The words of Ambassador Detlev Ruenger, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Atlanta, speaking at the Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta Family Circle Reception.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 was an evening of celebration for us here at the Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta. We invited our major donors, supporters, volunteers and members of the Atlanta community to kick off our 40th anniversary year and say thank you to them for keeping the Goethe name in Atlanta.

The Goethe name first came to Atlanta in 1976 when the Goethe-Institut opened its doors. Things were going great until the German government decided to pull funding to the Goethe-Institut in Atlanta and earmarked it for closure. But, the German community here didn’t want to see the Goethe name leave the city, they pulled together and formed a non-profit organization and the Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta was born. It’s thanks to you and your continued support that we’re able to celebrate our 40th anniversary.

The room was filled with dignitaries from the Atlanta area, partners we currently work with and have worked with in the past, supporters who have seen the Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta evolve over the past 40 years, current and previous staff members and volunteers and anyone who has contributed to the success of the Goethe in Atlanta.

The evening got underway when Ms. Miriam Bruns, Executive Director of the Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta welcomed guests and talked about how important the people in the room were to our success – they are the reason we are here today.

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The stage was then handed over to Ambassador Detlev Ruenger, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Atlanta who talked about German-American relations and the success of German companies in the Southeast before moving on to talk about the Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta.

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“Culture creates opportunities to meet, to listen, to talk, to exchange ideas and: to have fun. And this is what the Goethe-Zentrum in Atlanta is all about.” Said Ambassador Ruenger before talking about the history of the Goethe in Atlanta and how, thanks to “a group of enthusiasts who were unwilling to see the German cultural engagement in Atlanta die took matters into their hands and created the Goethe-Zentrum.”

Next to speak was Ms. Claire Angell, International Affairs Director, City of Atlanta, Office of the Mayor who talked about German-American relations in Atlanta, it’s history and how both sides have learnt from each other over the years. Ms. Angell talked about the influence Germany has had on America and the Southeast in particular and how the Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta plays a role in tying these two cultures together.

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The Regional Director of the Goethe-Institut North America, Dr. Christoph Bartmann was next to take to the stage. Dr. Bartmann talked about how Goethe-Institut’s across North American can learn from the Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta and the way we work differently to them. He talked about how the two institutions work together and how pleased he is to be able to celebrate 40 years of Goethe in Atlanta.

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After all that talk of the German-American community in Atlanta coming together to establish the Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta and keep the Goethe name in the city, it was time to say thank you to our major donors and volunteers.

The Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta relies heavily on members of the community giving up their free time, whether it’s to help with our fundraising campaigns, at events or behind the scenes in the office, there’s always a job they can do and we are so very grateful that they choose to spend their time with us. Without volunteers, we would not be able to accomplish nearly as much as we do every year and their contributions to this success needs to be recognized. We also presented a special award to our volunteer of the year, Mrs. Martina Kraus:

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The Goethe Family Circle was established 2 years ago to honor those who have made significant, generous financial contributions to the Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta when its inaugural members were inducted: Dr. Bruce S. Allen, the German-American Cultural Foundation, The Halle Foundation, Me. Peter S. Knox IV, The Lanie and Ethel Foundation, The Siemens Coporation, Mr. James Thurmond Smithgall and Mr. Barry L. Spurlock followed by the addition of Mrs. Liesl Kii last year. These people have made invaluable contributions to helping us to further our mission.

This year, we inducted three people into the Goethe Family Circle, Mrs. Tede Flemming, Mr. Peter Halpaus and Mr. Douglas C. Justice, who were all presented with a certificate and an engraved ‘Goethe’ glass, a wine or water glass modeled on those that Goethe drank out of.

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The rest of the evening was spent mixing and mingling with the guests whilst listening to some jazz music and having our minds blown by German magician Martin Lübke who wowed guests with his magic tricks.

A fantastic evening was had by all and we were so pleased to be able to start our 40th anniversary celebrations with such great company!

Don’t forget, you can keep up with everything that’s going on here at the Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta by following us on social media:

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Posted on February 18, 2016, in What's Happened? and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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