“Wunderbar Together” 2019, the year of German-American Friendship
The pop-up program will be on through November 2019, the initiative is a courtesy of the Federal Foreign Office of GermanyApril 29th, 2019
Kansas City is part of the UNESCO Creative City of Music program and hopes to engage other cities through creative cultural exchanges to continue cultivating inter-cultural understanding, tolerance and mutual respect through music.
Currently 30 cities from 23 countries located across six continents hold the title of UNESCO City of Music. This program is part of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network (UCCN), which is aimed at advocating cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.
Kansas City is known for its swing, jazz, blues and gospel music rooted in the African American community. Not only does Kansas City have a long tradition in music but it has been said that it was crucial in developing of the sound and vocabulary of jazz. It was also the first city to join the UCCN in the United States.
The whole Network includes 180 cities from 72 countries and each are committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Kansas City has several sister cities including- Guadalajara, Mexico, Hannover-Germany, Morelia, and Seville-Spain.
This year the Goethe Institut- a non-profit German cultural association working worldwide with 159 institutes to promote the study of German language abroad as well as encouraging international cultural exchanges-has partnered with UCCN to promote international friendship as part of the year of German and American Friendship.
The Wunderbar Together initiative stems from the idea of renewing dialogue between the American and German community. It is a comprehensive and collaborative program funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, implemented by the Goethe Institut and supported by the Federation of German industries (BDI). There will be more than 1,000 events in all 50 states. It will encompass German-American relations in all fields like science, arts, culture, language, business and sports.
Beginning on Friday April 26th, The Goethe Institut Pop-Up Kansas City will host The Chicago Plan at the American Jazz Museum. The Chicago Plan includes a German tenor saxophonist, bass clarinettist and composer Gebhard Ullmann and American trombonist and composer Steve Swell. While on Monday May 20, a second Goethe Institut event will include “Der Lange Schatten of Berlin” a jazz trio that features Michael Thieke on the clarinet, Hĺvard Wiik on piano, and Antonio Borghini on bass.
The Goethe Institut has six big permanent institutes along the coasts and one in Chicago. Kansas City was chosen because of how much Kansas is growing culturally and to promote cultural exchanges also in smaller cities.
The Wunderbar Together initiative is inclusive for everyone young and old. There are kid-friendly German language lessons and other kid-friendly events offered to kindergarteners because of the many German kids in living in the US. There will also be pop-up libraries with German books as well as screenings of German movies with English subtitles. All events will be bi-lingual so everyone can attend.
Cultural exchanges between America and Germany are important to keep building the relationship between the two countries that have many shared values and deep historic ties. It is a symbol of establishing and keeping in place the unique era of peace, freedom and security after World War II in this transatlantic partnership.