DANK Haus German American Cultural Center

The DANK Haus German American Cultural Center is a nonprofit cultural center and language school located in the heart of one of Chicago's traditionally German neighborhoods, Lincoln Square. Open to all ages and backgrounds, the center features a language school, a museum, an art gallery, and a library. Regular programs include a monthly open house, movie screenings, cooking classes, as well as concerts, plays and other performances. Whether you wish to learn the language, connect with your roots, or find new friends, we look forward to meeting you!


Cultural Events

We are known to throw the best events in the neighbordhood. Word Cup, Eurovision, Mayfest, Stammtisch, Kino, Comedy Shows, Classical Concerts, or Oktoberfest.  READ MORE


We offer German language classes for everyone from toddlers and kids to teens to adults. Our cooking classes and other educational events are a hit for all types of students.   READ MORE


First you will be in awe over the "Lost German Chicago" exhibit, but once you see our painting of Kaiser Wilhelm II, it will leave you speechless! READ MORE

Hall Rentals

Plan your event in one of our beautiful, historic rooms. The elegant architectural details from the marble lobby to the gilt plaster frieze of the ballroom make the perfect setting.   READ MORE


There are over 6,000 volumes in our collection, including many rare sets. Categories range from adult fiction history, poetry and drama, but the favorite section are the children's books.   READ MORE


Curated by the Programming Committee, the Willi Scharpenberg Gallery hosts rotating exhibits of German American and German artists in a wide range of mediums. READ MORE

Upcoming events

    • Friday, July 28, 2017
    • 7:30 PM
    • 2nd floor, Brandenburg Room
    • 95

    Im JuliAt the beginning of his summer holiday, trainee teacher Daniel meets Melek, a young Turkish woman who is passing through and looking for a place to stay. After spending the night showing her the sights of Hamburg, he drops her off at the airport, but quickly experiences a change of heart and decides to drive to Istanbul in search for what he thinks is the woman of his dreams.

    Barely on the Autobahn, he picks up a hitchhiker who turns out to be Juli, a street vendor he had met the day before. Together, they embark on a long and exciting road trip across a scorching hot Southeastern Europe. Can Daniel follow the sun from Hamburg to the Bosporus by Friday to meet his love?

    Free Admission
    Food & Drink Available for Purchase

    Free parking on MB Financial Bank lot after 6pm
    (entrance on Western & Gunnison)

    List of registrants available for members only!

    • Saturday, August 05, 2017
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • 4648 N. Western Avenue

    Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, fragments of the iconic monument have been donated to various cities in the world. When Chicago was offered a piece in 2008, it was installed in the lobby of the Western Brown Line station which is located at the center of one of Chicago's traditionally German neighborhoods, Lincoln Square.  

    In celebration of the fall of the wall and the ensuing end of the Cold War, DANK Haus German American Cultural Center and the Gene and Rosemary Schulter Foundation will host a rededication ceremony unveiling a newly restored dedication plaque. The ceremony will be followed by a multi-media presentation showcasing a new book by Francis Gary Powers, Jr.: "Letters from a Soviet Prison: The Personal Journal and Correspondence of CIA U-2 Pilot Francis Gary Powers."

    Powers Jr. is the son of Gary Powers, an American pilot whose spy plane was shot down and captured by the Soviets in 1960, an important Cold War event known as the "U2-incident". In his new book, Powers uses his father's prison letters and private journal to provide a first-hand account of life as a high-profile prisoner in Soviet prisons.

    The story of Gary Powers' imprisonment and eventual release in a dramatic prisoner exchange was recently dramatized in  Steven Spielberg's successful motion picture "Bridge of Spies." In his presentation, Powers will show short movie clips and discuss parallels as well as differences between his father's real-life experiences and those portrayed in the movie.

    Powers' book was published in a limited edition printing of 500 copies. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A and book signing as well as a reception providing the opportunity for personal conversation.

    Suggested donation: $10
    Drinks & Snacks available for purchase

    Please register if you would like to attend this event.

    The event is co-sponsored by the Cold War Museum Midwest Chapter and the Gene and Rosemary Schulter Foundation.

    • Friday, August 11, 2017
    • 6:30 PM
    • DANK Haus | 4740 N. Western Avenue
    • 18
    Pretzels Everybody loves them, but do you know how to make them? Due to heavy popular demand, we're bringing back our very own PRETZEL MEISTER REINHARD for a fantastic, hands-on lesson in authentic German pretzel making! Known long ago as "little rewards," the pretzel or German "Brezel" was most likely developed by a German bakers guild in the early 12th century. This class will use old-world methods passed down through Reinhard's family. As a special treat, each participant will get a supply of special pretzel lye to make their own pretzels at home. Sign up now, this class sells out fast!

    Class fee includes recipe, hands-on demonstration, one drink from the bar, generous tasting, and great camaraderie.
    • Friday, August 18, 2017
    • 7:30 PM
    • DANK Haus, Skyline Lounge
    • 100

    At this month's Stammtisch Open Haus, we are celebrating German-American Elvis Presley! From 1958-1960, Elvis, then a sergeant with the U.S. Army, was stationed in West Germany. The Open Haus will be Hawaiian-themed, due to Elvis' fondness for Hawaii. All guests will receive leis. 

    There will be a performance by The Windy City Elvis, Michael St. Angel, in the Skyline Lounge. In addition, Toast Hawaii – a German sandwich created by Clemens Wilmenrod in the 1950’s, when Germany and the United States were both gripped with Hawaii fever -- will be available for purchase. There will also be a full bar available with Blue Hawaiis on special. 

    Free Admission
    Snacks & Drinks for purchase

    Free parking on MB Financial Bank lot after 6pm
    (entrance on Western & Gunnison)

    List of registrants available for members only!

    • Friday, August 25, 2017
    • 7:30 PM
    • 2nd floor, Brandenburg Room
    • 100

    Julian, a young man, firmly believes in his ability to jump over cars and wants to try it out. His best friend, who drives the car, becomes frightened at the last moment, and accidentally dies. Due to Julian's belief in "carjumping" and his guilt at his friend's death, he is placed into a psychiatric clinic in Berlin. Yet when he learns the father of his deceased friend is sick, Julian, driven by the desire to heal him through the power of walking, breaks out of the clinic, and sets out on foot for Southern Germany. 

    As he travels, a number of different people -- a doubt-filled doctor named Julianne, and a frustrated housewife named Ruth -- join him on his journey. Then, the group encounters Jan, a policeman who has been commissioned to take Julian back to the clinic in Berlin. Will Julian make it to Southern Germany, or will Jan convince him to go back to Berlin? 

    Free Admission
    Food & Drink Available for Purchase

    Free parking on MB Financial Bank lot after 6pm
    (entrance on Western & Gunnison)

    List of registrants available for members only!

    • Saturday, September 09, 2017
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM (EDT)
    • 4051 N. Lincoln Ave.

    It is that time of year again, the famous Von Steuben Day parade in Lincoln Square and marchers are needed to help represent the DANK Haus, your neighborhood cultural center!

    DANK Haus is inviting all members, students, volunteers and supporters to walk with us in this year’s Von-Steuben-German-Day Parade. Put on your festive gear (Trachten or our famous German Chicago Pretzel shirt) and celebrate German-American Day with us. All ages are welcome!

    The parade takes off at the intersection of Lincoln and Irving Park and meeting point is at the CVS Pharmacy (4051 N Lincoln Ave) at 1 PM. 

    Don’t have one of our famous German Chicago Pretzel shirts? No problem, stop-by at DANK Haus or email us at dank@dankhaus.com with your size (sizes available S-XXL). If you do intend on marching with us, please make sure to register! Vielen Dank!

    • Saturday, September 30, 2017
    • 5:00 PM - 11:00 PM
    • DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western & Toyota Park, 7000 S. Harlem
    • 53

    Come out to support Bastian Schweinsteiger and the Chicago Fire Soccer Club on September 30th against New York City FC at 7:30pm for German Heritage Night!

    Step 1: Get your tickets! Tickets are $25 (portion going back to the DANK Haus!) To purchase tickets, visit https://groupmatics.events/DANKFIRE

    Step 2: Transportation A bus will leave from the DANK Haus at 5:00pm, returning around 11:00pm. The cost of the bus is $18 for members, $20 for non-members, including light refreshments.  Make sure to reserve your spot today by registering for this event!

    If you decide to drive, parking will be $20 the day of the game. 

    Free parking on MB Financial Bank lot after 1pm
    (entrance on Western & Gunnison)

    List of registrants available for members only!

    • Friday, October 06, 2017
    • 7:30 PM
    • DANK Haus, 6th floor - Skyline Lounge
    • 100

    Peter Madcat RuthDANK Haus is thrilled to present this unique event: a double act featuring Grammy Award winner Peter Madcat Ruth in joint performance with author Herbert Quelle.

    Madcat is the quintessential champion of the one man band - he sings, plays harmonica, guitar, high-hat, ukulele, jaw harp, and penny-whistle. Tracing his musical roots back to Big Walter Horton and the Chicago Blues of the 1960s, Madcat has established an international career and is rapidly approaching legend status through his phenomenal virtuosity on the harmonica. He is equally at home playing blues, folk music, jazz, country, or rock and roll. Audiences, ranging from pre-schoolers to senior citizens, delight in his exhilarating, riveting performances. As one critic said: "He could coax a smile from a rock.

    Herbert Quelle’s recently published book “Monika’s Blues” explores the relationship of the German harmonica with African-American Blues musicians. His facts, figures and fun anecdotes in the form of a fictional road trip from Chicago to the Mississippi Delta are as much about the background and history of the instrument as about social and racial questions.

    Peter’s topnotch performance combined with readings from Herbert's new novel guarantee an unforgettable,  highly entertaining evening.

    Snacks & Drinks Available for Purchase

    Free parking on MB Financial Bank lot after 6pm
    (entrance on Western & Gunnison)

    Weather permitting, we will also open our terrace to catch some breathtaking views of the city.

    List of registrants available for members only!

    More information:


    *** PLEASE NOTE: Registration for this event will open soon! ***

Join now

Friends of DANK Haus

Whether you are interested in taking a class in our language school, participate in one of our events throughout the year, support our community outreach, attend the museum, gallery and library, or simply want to show the pride in German heritage and culture, our Friends of DANK Haus Benefits program has lot of perks:
  • Free monthly Open Haus Stammtisch event
  • Free movie events
  • Free museum access
  • Free parking during off-business hours
  • Discount on German language classes (coming soon)
  • Discount on rentals of our Skyline Lounge and Ballroom  
  • Discount on Kulturküche cooking classes
  • Discount on concerts and special events
  • Discount on flights to Germany (coming soon)
  • Invitation to exclusive member-only events
  • Early-bird access to events with a guaranteed sell-out 

When joining the Friends of DANK Haus benefits program, you are supporting a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We also encourage you to support and join the DANK National organization, which has its own membership benefits.

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German American Cultural Center
4740 North Western Avenue 
Chicago, IL 60625

Connect with us

Office: +1 (773) 561-9181
Email: Dank@Dankhaus.com

DANK Haus German American Cultural Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
DANK Haus German American Cultural Center does not discriminate based on race, color, sexuality, national origin, sex, disability or age.
©2017 DANK Haus. All rights reserved.

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