The GAI is home to many groups for people interested in different facets of German language and culture. Some have been meeting for several years and others for just a few months. All groups meet on-site at the GAI, unless otherwise noted. If you are interested in joining a group, please call or email their main contact listed below. If you have an idea for a new group you would like to lead, please contact the GAI Office.
The Damenklub - Women's Club - welcomes all German speaking women who are interested in gathering for Gemütlichkeit and conversation auf Deutsch. The Damen meet at the GAI the third Monday of the month at noon for a potluck lunch and conversation. In addition to regular meetings, the Damen host Kaffee & Kuchen (Coffee & Cake) in the summer and sell Lebkuchen as a GAI fundraiser during the holiday season. Please contact Helga Parnell at 651-457-1590 for details on how to connect with the Deutscher Damenklub.
This German language club meets the third Tuesday of the month from September to May at 7:30pm at the GAI. Founded in 1979, the Sprachklub offers GAI members an opportunity to speak German in an informal, congenial setting, regardless of level of proficiency. A variety of topics are presented, and fluency ranges from a working knowledge of German to native speakers. For questions, contact Helga Parnell, 651-457-1590.
The GAI Minnesänger are a pop-up choir that rehearses for shorter intervals in the spring and fall in preparation for performances at the GAI's Deutsche Tage and Community Christmas Dinner. The GAI Minnesänger are also available to perform at other events throughout the Twin Cities. In the past, they have performed at Germanfest, the University of St. Thomas' Adventssingen at the Klubhaus, and the European Christmas Market at Union Depot in Saint Paul. The choir is open to singers ages 10 and up. For more information, contact John Hoffacker.
Haus and Grounds
The GAI's award-winning grounds and our 1906 Haus require dedicated care and maintenance. Haus and Grounds volunteers meet monthly, doing invaluable work, from painting to weeding the flower beds. If you would like to help maintain the GAI property, have a green thumb and/or are a generally handy person, we need you! Contact Jim Gruetzman by email or at 651-783-2996 for information or to volunteer.
Kreuz und Quer
Kreuz und Quer (“back and forth” or “give and take”) is an informal conversation group that meets twice a month — once in Minneapolis and once in St. Paul. K&Q meets in Minneapolis at the Black Forest Inn, at 7pm on the first Tuesday of the month, and in St. Paul at The Glockenspiel at 7pm on the third Thursday of the month. The group is generally large (10-25 people), so it’s easy to spot, but ask restaurant staff if you are in doubt. The Minneapolis meeting doubles as a regular “German Meetup” session but, unlike German Meet-Up get-togethers, Kreuz und Quer is always free!
Intended to be an opportunity for fluent or near-fluent German-speakers to casually converse auf Deutsch, K&Q attracts Americans as well as ex-pats from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Though English is generally verboten, the group is open to speakers of all levels and all those speaking German are welcome. Newcomers can just drop in, but if you have questions in advance, feel free to contact Sean Toren.
Modelleisenbahngruppe (German Model Trains)
This group is for German model train enthusiasts. They meet the second Saturday of each month and set up displays at GAI events like Deutsche Tage and the Holiday Open Haus. Contact Bill Eisenmann and Michael Nollan for more information.
This club plays the traditional German card game Skat. They meet on the first and third Tuesdays of every month at 7pm. Most players are advanced, but newcomers are always welcome, and time will be taken to introduce anyone to this very social game. This is also a great opportunity to improve German language skills with friendly people of various backgrounds. Contact Hilke Riechardt-Martinez for more information.
Spiel und Krabbelgruppe
This is a playgroup for German-speaking parents and grandparents and their children/grandchildren. Meeting times and locations vary based on interest and availability. Contact Kim Fortin to find out more about the playgroup, be added to their contact list, and join their Facebook group.
Stricken und Häckeln
Stricken und Häkeln meets seasonally on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month from 9:30-11am. Meetings are held in the GAI Library on the second floor of the Haus. Feel free to drop in throughout the morning or to come early and grab a bite to eat at Kaffeestube. This is an open group, and friends and family are always welcome to come along for some crafting and conversation. Contact Chava Curland for more information.
Twin Cities Männerchor
The Männerchor is a four-part men's chorus that performs during the holidays and at special events around the Twin Cities during the rest of the year. Repertoire includes folk songs, traditional hymns, and Christmas carols that celebrate our German heritage. While German language skills are not required, they may help with pronunciation. The choir meets twice a month, at 7:15pm on the second and fourth Mondays at the GAI. For more information or to get involved with the Männerchor, contact Bill Berg by email or at 651-437-6650.
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