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Celebrating 25 Years of Shared Traditions, Culture and People: Cologne, Germany

sistercities_indycologne.jpgThroughout the fall, The Indianapolis Public Library presents a variety of programming that celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Sister Cities relationship between Indianapolis and Cologne, Germany and highlights the art, music and food of German culture.

Individuals of all ages are invited view a special exhibit, "Cologne, Germany - A Sister City German Cultural Exhibition," on display from August 7 through October 31 at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair Street. Explore Cologne and the German-American experience in this dynamic exhibit that features Cologne architecture, sports and culture; German traditions, toys and art; the German immigrant story; German-American contributions to the development of Indianapolis, the Vonnegut family’s contributions to Indianapolis, and the works of author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Be sure to view a portrait of Clemens Vonnegut, Sr. painted by T.C. Steele in the 1890's. Clemens Vonnegut, Sr. immigrated to the U.S. from Germany after the failed 1848 revolution to become a respected member of the German-American community in Indianapolis. He was a founding member of several local organizations and started the Vonnegut Hardware Store. This free exhibit is on display during regular Central Library hours.

Contributions to the exhibit were provided by the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, the Max Kade German-American Center, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, the Nina Mason Pulliam Indianapolis Special Collections Room at Central Library, and Louise Lamkin and family.

Photos from the exhibit's opening reception are available in the Cental Library Flickr gallery.

Those who view the exhibit during National Welcoming Week, September 15 - 22, can pick up a free copy of the book, City of Immigrants, developed by the Indiana Historical Society. Each copy will include a free ticket to The Indiana Experience at the IHS (while supplies last). Visitors may also pick up a copy of the book, German-Americans: An Ethnic Experience, published by the Max Kade Center at IUPUI. Books can be picked up at the Information Desk in Central Library’s Atrium during this week only.

The Indy Library also presents a range of German cultural programs for all ages at various Library locations. These include:

"Cartooning Gothic Structures"
Children ages 5 and older and families are invited to study photos of German Gothic sculpture and create their own cartoon character inspired by it. Artists will use various drawing media. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Space is limited. Registration is recommended.

"Albert Hien, Neon Artist"
Children ages 5 and older and families are invited to discuss the use of neon in art in the style of neon artist Albert Hien and create their own neon-type sculpture using glow sticks. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Space is limited. Registration is recommended. A separate program for teens will be presented on Saturday, September 14 at 2 p.m. at Central Library in the Learning Curve.

"Surreal Collage Photo Transfers"
Adults and teens are invited to create Max Ernst-style collages using photocopies from 19th century pictorial archives. Images will be transferred onto small wood panels using colorless blending markers. Space is limited. Registration is recommended.

"Sister Cities Film Night - Cologne, Germany: Beyond Silence (Jenseits der Stille)"
Adults and teens are invited for a showing of the film, Beyond Silence, the powerful story of a young woman’s battle for independence and her deaf parents’ struggle to understand her gift for music. This film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 1997. No registration is required.

"Oktoberfest! with Your Gourmet Girlfriends"
Families are invited to a program presented by Your Gourmet Girlfriends where they’ll learn to make delicious German dishes, some with a modern twist! Enjoy samples and leave with a booklet full of recipes. Space is limited. Registration is recommended.

"The Meister Winds"
Families are invited to enjoy a performance of The Meister Winds, a traditional Bavarian-type band that will present German music, including selected dances and activities that will involve the audience. No registration is required.

"German Cooking, Hoosier Style"
Families are invited to discover foods that modern Germans as well as their modern Hoosier descendants have embraced from other cultures. The program will include a food demonstration and tasting. Space is limited. Registration is recommended.

"Celebrating 25 Years of Shared Traditions, Culture and People: Cologne, Germany" is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank, The Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund, and The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation, and is presented in partnership with the Office of International & Cultural Affairs - Office of Mayor Greg Ballard and the Indianapolis - Cologne Sister Cities Committee.

Contact your local branch for times and locations of individual programs or call 275-4099 for more information about these free Library programs.