IN PICTURES: The Goethe 40th Birthday Ball

Guys, as you know, at the end of August we celebrated 40 years of Goethe in Atlanta in style with you, our members, donors, supporters, students and the Atlanta community at the Goethe 40th Birthday Ball. The celebrations were amazing and we’re so glad you could join us for the evening – the pictures definitely suggest that you enjoyed yourselves! For those of you who came to celebrate, here’s a chance to take a look back and remember the evening, for those of you who couldn’t be there – here’s what you missed out on!


On Saturday, August 27, 2016, we gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta, GA for the Goethe 40th Birthday Ball.

It was a chance for us to celebrate with you, our loyal members, supporters and donors; who have kept us at the heart of Atlanta’s vibrant cultural community. You are the reason we are still in Atlanta. When funding from the German government was cut, it was the Atlanta community that came together and saved us from closure, forming the nonprofit Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta that we are today. And, can we say, you were all looking pretty nice indeed:

The evening started with a VIP reception for our sponsors and their guests: The Halle Foundation, Mr. Peter Knox IV, Kuehne & Nagel, Spurlock & Associates, Inc., IFF International, Bauerfeind, The Pike Law Firm, P.C., Rödl & Partner, Arnall Golden Gregory LLP, Ms. Tede Fleming, Mr. Craig Harley, Ms. Liesl Kii and Mr. Mark Williamson. Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta guests and members of the consular corps were also in attendance:

Next up came the opening reception which included live jazz music from Traci Wynn and Bill Wilson, before guests tucked into their first course: Grieβnockerlsuppe. This was followed by a performance by local theatre company, 7 Stages Theatre who performed three songs from The Threepenny Opera: “Army Song,” “How to Survive,” and “Tango Duet.” Guests then enjoyed the second course of Rinderroulade mit Champignonsauce dazu Rotkohl, Spätzle und kartoffelpüree – traditional German fayre influenced by our namesake Goethe! After welcoming remarks were made by the Executive Director of the Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta, Ms. Miriam Bruns, guests were invited onto the dance floor:

The evening continued with a performance from Capitol City Opera: “Lippen schweigen” from Die lustige Witwe, and “Frühlingsstimmed-Walzer” from Die Fledermaus before we moved on to the highlight of the evening: an award ceremony which saw the Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta chairman, Mr. Barry L. Spurlock presented with the highest civilian order from the Federal Republic og Germany – the Order of Merit First Class. Consul Olaf Ladegast presented the decoration to Mr. Spurlock for his outstanding philanthropic leadership fostering German-American cultural relations in the Southeastern United States.

“For more than a decade, Barry Spurlock has been one of the most dedicated contributors to the German-American cause in the Southeastern United States,” Consul Ladegast remarked. “He has been instrumental in shaping the Goethe-Zentrum in Atlanta and his invaluable contributions made it possible that the Goethe-Zentrum can present the image of a modern Germany to the community in the region.”

After his election as Chairman of the Board of the Goethe-Zentrum in 2007, Mr. Spurlock used his leadership skills to guide the institution out of its financial crisis and to pave new ways for the language classes and an intensified commitment to volunteer work. Mr. Spurlock told the audience that his enthusiasm for all things German started with his love for German automobiles. “When I began restoring a Mercedes Benz in the 1970s and discovered that the only manuals I had were in German, I just had to enroll in a German class at the Goethe-Zentrum.”

Mr. Spurlock celebrated the honor with his friends and family:

Next up was dessert: Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte and Linzer Torte followed by a champagne toast to Mr. Barry L. Spurlock and a second performance from Capitol City Opera, “Bei Männern” from Die Zauberflöte and “Wunderbar” from Kiss me, Kate. The night ended with raffle prizes and much more dancing:

Oh and we can’t forget that while all of this was going on, in the corner of the room, artist Erica Arndts was live painting a portrait of Goethe which was part of a silent auction. This was won by Mr. and Mrs. Daniela and David Britton who, upon receiving the painting, donated it back to the Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta saying that Goethe should be where he belongs, at the Goethe! That you so much guys, he looks great in our lobby!


So there you have it, the Goethe 40th Birthday Ball! If you came to celebrate with us, we hope you had a fantastic time! If not, maybe you can make it to the next ball we host…maybe when we hit 50 years!


Of course, all of this could not have been possible without the generous support of the Goethe 40th Birthday Ball Sponsors:



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 September 27, 2016, in What's Happened? and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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