Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce

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Why we have to say “Danke” to the DANK-Haus

By Mona B

Not only for the past week’s Maifest, but also for more than 150 public cultural programs per year, the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce and the Lincoln Square community have to say thank you to the DANK-Haus, the German American Cultural Center 0f Chicago on 4740 N Western Avenue.

Built in 1927, the original idea behind the DANK-Haus was to give post-war Germans in Chicago a voice. Realizing that this was unnecessary, the cultural center developed into a place where old German customs are celebrated and traditions are continued to give the Germans in Chicago “ein kleines bisschen Heimat” (German for “a little bit of home”).

When I met with Nicholle Dombrowski, the Executive Director  of the DANK-Haus, I understood that a lovely and very passionate person is behind this organization which successfully lives up to their mission of preserving and promoting German culture, heritage, and language.

“The Biggest Building No One Has Ever Seen”

Looking at the building from the outside, one cannot imagine what is behind those big walls. Guarded by the German and the American flag, this inconspicuous building has everything and much more: A museum, an art gallery, a library with a huge collection of German books and magazines, a German language school and many many clubrooms for local German clubs. And yes, there is an Olympic sized lap pool in the lower level!

Also amazing: The DANK-Haus roof top from where you can oversee the complete Lincoln Square area and the city of Chicago. On a nice day with a clear sky, you can even see the Lake. So, the next time when you are at the DANK-Haus make sure to ask to get a peak of the roof top and experience “Chicago”.

“Being German or having a German heritage is becoming popular again”, Nicholle from the DANK-Haus says. After speaking with Nicholle, it seems like more Germans or people with German heritage are interested in their roots again. “People are proud to be American, but they want to be more than just that”.

At the DANK-Haus, Germans and Americans come together in a friendly environment and celebrate the cultures together. Having weekly events such as the “Stammtisch” (A nice get-together where people can talk over a beer or a glas of wine) and the “Kinderchor” but also promoting old German traditions such as “Kinderfasching”, “Weiberfastnacht”, “Jaegerstammtisch”, dinner and dances (of course “the German way”) and many many more. And let’s not forget the 5th season of the year – Soccer!

With its EURO 2012 – ViewingParties, the DANK-Haus provides Germans with their true love. Germans love their “Fussball” (Soccer) and thanks to the DANK-Haus, we can enjoy all the Germany matches on a big screen with beer, bretzels and Schnitzel. So, if you want to experience a real “Fussball-Spiel” and watch the game with around 200 people dressed in Germany-shirts the DANK-Haus is your location!

The DANK-Haus is offering so many great public events, which are basically all free, that it is not possible to list all of them here. Go to Events to see their full schedule and make sure to stop by this Wednesday to support the German Soccer Team against the Netherlands!

The DANK-Haus is there for the Lincoln Square Community!

Last but not least I would like to put a special emphasis on how much of an asset the DANK-Haus is to the LS-Community! This organization tries to support the community on every end. This ranges from special fundraisers like the Mayfest to simple rent-outs and sharing of the rooms for shows, local clubs or German artists.

If this post hasn’t convinced you to visit the DANK-Haus, go online and check out their website or simply stop by!But don’t forget to be on time, so if the party starts at 7:00, do it the “German” way and be there at 6:30.

The Lincoln Square Chamber is proud to have such an incredible organization in our neighborhood. Thanks for keeping the “German” in us alive and for educating the community about the culture.

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