We are writing this love letter to you, our DANK Haus supporter and to our Haus, which has supported us for the past 60 years!
The DANK Haus is the German American stronghold in Chicago, a global city that honors and pays homage to all cultures. It is a German outlet for many of us who hold Germany and its traditions deep in our hearts and it is a place where we can find like minded people and German and American friends. Every one of you who is a supporter of the DANK Haus loves the safe space that the Haus offers us week after week, month after month, year after year.
Every floor of the Haus shows you a genuine love for Germany. On the second floor, many clubs celebrate their German cultural heritage such as the Brandenburger Schützenverein, the German American Police Association, the Schlaraffia club, and the Seniorenkino who meet every Saturday afternoon where coffee and cake are served along with classic, German-language “Heimat” movies from the 1940s to 1970s. The German seniors in our community value this event as a way to reconnect with their heritage and engage in important socialization. Geselligkeit, fellowship, and good hearted German fun (as well as a sprinkle of beer) are at the heart of each of these wonderful clubs!
As you enter the third floor on a Saturday, you will hear the love of German in the hustle and bustle of over 150 infants, toddlers, children, teenagers and adults who are excited to learn the German language. On Wednesday evenings, we offer after-school German immersion courses and adult language classes. If you learned German as an adult, you can probably thank a DANK Haus German teacher whose enthusiasm and fun-filled lessons taught you one of the hardest languages you never thought you would master - yet, you did!
As you walk the halls of the fourth floor, you will encounter our true cultural footprint, paying homage to our German past. Our permanent museum exhibit celebrates our long-gone, but not forgotten contributions of Germans in Chicago. We now have a genealogy lab where visitors can conduct family research through our international Ancestry.com membership. With an eye to the future, we are expanding our audio oral history program to tap into the life stories of our living community and we are constantly exploring new ways to capture the German immigration experience so future generations are informed on the journey of their ancestors.
We open our doors to our 5th floor Marunde ballroom and 6th floor Skyline Lounge to over 40 area schools, German clubs and other non-profit community organizations. We take pride in our commitment to help other nonprofits by providing affordable space for their fundraising efforts. We host over 25 weddings per year as well as cultural programming such as concerts, cooking classes, indoor festivals and lectures with German themes.
But as our Haus gets older, we need to ensure that our Haus will be here for the next generation of Germans in Chicago, and you can help us.The DANK Haus remains committed to finding alternative funding sources to maintain our 92-year old building, but we need your generous donations to help with the upkeep of our 77,000 sq. ft. building and keep the German culture live and well in Chicago and beyond. Please donate today! Danke!