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

    • Thursday, September 28, 2017
    • 7:00 PM
    • Thursday, January 04, 2018
    • 9:00 PM
    • DANK Haus, Skyline Lounge

    Join us as we survey the history of the German speaking peoples from the scientific revolution of the 17th century, through the Enlightenment of the 18th and up to the unification of Germany in 1871.

    Meet the great German scientists, Leibniz and Kepler among others, whose discoveries helped lay the intellectual foundations of the Enlightenment.

    We'll discuss the emancipation of the serfs--most of our ancestors--and the Jews in the late 18th and 19th centuries, and what effect this would later have on urbanization, the industrial revolution as well as immigration to America.

    Syllabus for E to U 4.pdf

    • Saturday, September 30, 2017
    • 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    • DANK Haus, 4th floor - Gallery
    • 35

    DANK Haus Kinderschule is excited to welcome popular German children's book author Werner Holzwarth! Besides his beloved story of the little mole, Herr Holzwarth published other favorites like "Ich wär so gern ... dachte das Erdmännchen" and "Mag ich! "Gar nicht!" After reading to and with our Kinderschule students in the morning, we are happy to welcome families for a public reading of "Vom kleinen Maulwurf, der wissen wollte, wer ihm auf den Kopf gemacht hat" and other stories. Everyone is welcome! The reading will be in German. Bring your Werner Holzwarth books to have them autographed! Space is limited; reserve your spots now! Kids under age 1 attend for free.

    Reading will be from 2 - 3 pm; doors open at 2:45 pm.

    Free parking on MB Financial Bank lot after 12pm

    (entrance on Western & Gunnison)

    • Saturday, September 30, 2017
    • 5:00 PM - 11:00 PM
    • DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western & Toyota Park, 7000 S. Harlem
    • 32

    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
    • 63

    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"

    • Saturday, October 07, 2017
    • 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    • Chase Promenade South, Millennium Park

    Join the Chicago Cultural Alliance for an opening celebration that will bring Chicagoans young and old together over food, performance, and art at Millennium Park October 7th, 11am-6pm.

    World Dumpling Fest, the kickoff event to Inherit Chicago, will feature dumplings of the world from Chicago’s best ethnic restaurants, cultural performances that will preview programs to come throughout the month in the neighborhoods, and heritage-based artisans selling original crafts and artwork. This all-ages event is FREE to the public, but if you want dumplings, click here to buy your tickets!

    World Dumpling Fest is an afternoon of cultural performance, art and food at Millennium Park, celebrating diverse cultures throughout the city and world. The event will preview the INHERIT CHICAGO events in the neighborhoods, and feature dumplings from 10-15 area ethnic restaurants, 7 artist booths and performances throughout the day.

    • Tuesday, October 10, 2017
    • Tuesday, January 09, 2018
    • 4 sessions
    • DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Avenue
    • 100

    Join us for the inaugural Deutsch Mic @ the DANK, an offenes Mikro evening of German-language, song, spoken word, and musical composition beginning on Tuesday, September 12th! 

    This will take place every 2nd Tuesday of the month at 7:30pm in our skyline lounge. All performers are welcome! All performers are welcome! Bring your Gitarre, Geige, Krok MS-20 or just your schöne Stimme. Piano on premise.

     Free Admission, drinks available for purchase.

    • Wednesday, October 11, 2017
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

    Ignacio Zaragoza. Friedrich von Steuben. Tadeusz Kosciuszko. Their names sound very different, but share a common trait: they have all become legends. In this multi-media workshop, in collaboration with the Polish Museum of America and OPEN Center for the Arts, explore what happens when three legendary figures come to life and learn how they are remembered today, exploring issues of cultural heritage, the relation of truth to fantasy, and a community's need for legends.

    Registration is required via eventbrite, make sure to reserve your spot today at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/our-leyendas-legends-legendy-tickets-36559500450

    • Saturday, October 14, 2017
    • 10:30 AM
    • Sunday, October 15, 2017
    • DANK Haus

    Come visit the DANK Haus at the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago which is a free public festival that offers behind-the-scenes access to more than 200 buildings across Chicago. Explore the hidden gems and architectural treasures of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods such as Lincoln Square—all for free.

    When: October 14, 2017 10:30am-2:30pm
                October 15, 2017 11:00 am- 3:00pm

    Where: DANK Haus German American Culture Center 
                 4740 North Western Ave
                 Chicago, IL 60625

    Free admission - Visit the official Open House Chicago website for a map of all the sites

    • Friday, October 20, 2017
    • 7:30 PM
    • DANK Haus, 5th floor ballroom
    • 325

    Cap off your Oktoberfest season at the best fest in town, featuring Paloma Band Chicago, free admission and authentic German food and drinks. Attendees will enjoy plenty of yodeling, dancing, and pretzel eating! Paloma Band of Chicago will be the LIVE entertainment for the night. Come wearing your finest dirndl and lederhosen to the Oktoberfest of the Season at the DANK Haus!

    Free Admission
    Snacks & Drinks for purchase

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

    • Saturday, November 04, 2017
    • 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    • 119

    On the occasion of the 90th birthday of our beautiful building, we are combining this year's Annual Meeting with a birthday party celebrating the long and lively history of the DANK Haus! In addition to photographic installations of the building's past, there will be two keynote speakers sharing their knowledge about the building's architect Paul Gerhardt and Chicago's architecture in the 1920s. Afterwards, we will raise a glass of champagne and enjoy a scrumptious piece of birthday cake. If you love our Haus, you do not want to miss this!

    Free admission, snacks and drinks available for purchase. 

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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