German-American cultural institutes bring people together to exchange ideas of interest and concern on both sides of the Atlantic. The centers organize and co-sponsor conferences, lectures, panel discussions, readings by American authors, poetry slams, concerts, film showings, photography exhibits, and much, much more.
Each center is different. Some centers offer English language courses. Many centers have libraries that provide unique opportunities to learn about the United States. A visitor to a GAI library, for example, may find young people learning how to apply for an exchange program at an American high school or college or planning a group cultural, sports, or community project with American students here in Germany. Story Hours and programs for children are also featured at some locations.
Most of the German-American institutes were established by the U.S. government in postwar West Germany as ‘Amerika Haus’ cultural centers. Today they are affiliated with the U.S. State Department’s American Spaces and EducationUSA network. This new network includes the American Space Leipzig at Leipzig University.
The centers are largely financed through a combination of German federal local, state and government funds, as well as co-sponsorships, donations, and fee-based services and activities. The U.S. Embassy in Berlin and the U.S. Consulates provide grant support for selected American Spaces and EducationUSA programs.