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. World 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, August 25, 2017
    • 7:30 PM
    • 2nd floor, Brandenburg Room
    • 97

    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, August 26, 2017
    • 7:00 PM
    • 2nd floor, Brandenburg Room

    Although today it is mainly known for its airport and as a center of international finance, Frankfurt am Main can also be called the birthplace of German Jazz.

    In 1952, with much of the city still in ruins, the jazz trumpeter Carlo Bohländer founded the "Domicile du Jazz," later renamed the "Jazzkeller," which became a legendary underground club and central destination for world-famous jazz musicians. Frequented by both European and American musicians, the Jazzkeller built bridges across the Atlantic and helped to strengthen the relationship between Germany and the U.S. after the war.

    In this colorful documentary, German filmmaker Elizabeth Ok explores the strong desire for a cultural renewal in early post-war Germany. Through interviews with musicians, witnesses and companions, she brings to life the extraordinary personality of the "father of jazz," Carlo Bohländer, and shows the complicated and moving love story between him and his American wife Anita, herself a jazz singer who came to Germany from Harlem in 1964 and still lives in Frankfurt today.

    The director will be in attendance and available for Q&A and discussion with the audience after the screening. In addition, the evening will feature live music by the Thomas Gunther Trio from Chicago.

    Free Admission
    Drinks & Snacks available for purchase

    Please register if you would like to attend this event.

    Free parking in the MB Financial Bank lot after 6 pm.
    (Entrance on Western and Gunnison)

    • Thursday, September 07, 2017
    • Friday, September 15, 2017
    • 4th floor, Scharpenberg Gallery

    DANK Haus proudly presents a new exhibit showcasing  the work of Germany's master float builder,  Jacques Tilly. For more than 30 years, Tilly has designed impressive floats for one of Germany's biggest carnival parades: the Shrove Monday parade ("Rosenmontagszug") in Düsseldorf, a city in the Rhineland that is considered a major stronghold of the German carnival tradition.

    Tilly's floats have gained prominence through his unique style and daring sense of humor. By taking on current issues and transforming them into striking images and provocative scenes, his artwork challenges established social norms and taboos and has led to frequent controversies about the limits of humor.

    As a native and lifelong resident of Düsseldorf, Tilly embodies the city's cherished tradition of "Narrenfreiheit" - the freedom to criticize the political status quo and speak out against the powers that be. His biting political satire spares noone: over the past three decades, he has poked fun at politicians, religious leaders, terrorists, and even the pope.

    In this two-week exhibit, DANK Haus will present an overview of Tilly's work by showing large-scale photographs of his most famous floats.  Each photograph will be paired with additional material illustrating its context and the way it was received.

    On Saturday, September 9 Jacques will be the guest of honor on the DANK float at this year's von Steuben Parade in Lincoln Square.

    More information:

    www.grossplastiken.de (German)


    • 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.

    If you would like to help us decorate the float and/or carry some props, please come to the DANK Haus at noon!

    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: http://dankhaus.ivolunteer.com/danksteubenparade2017

    Vielen Dank and we're looking forward to a fun parade!

    • Saturday, September 30, 2017
    • 5:00 PM - 11:00 PM
    • DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western & Toyota Park, 7000 S. Harlem
    • 48

    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
    • 98

    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:


    "On the trail of the German Harmonica"

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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