About the Germanic-American Institute

Our History

The Germanic-American Institute’s predecessor, the Volksfest Association of Minnesota, was formed in 1957 as a collaborative group of Germanic clubs, celebrating Minnesota’s statehood centennial in public festivities. By selling bonds and a variety of volunteer fundraising efforts,  the organization purchased the Summit Avenue Haus for $60,000 in 1965, and refurbished it to suit the needs of a Kulturhaus for social and cultural gatherings. In the early 1990s, the organization changed its name to the Germanic-American Institute (GAI) to reflect the changing demographics and focus of the organization.

The Present

Today, the Germanic-American Institute is a 501 C3 non-profit organization whose mission is to foster appreciation and understanding of the culture, language, arts, and ongoing history of the German speaking peoples through public educational and cultural programs.

The GAI carries out its mission through three main areas: Education, Cultural Programming, and Community Building. Within these areas, we offer:


    • Kinderstube German Immersion Preschool
    • Children’s Saturday school and summer language camps
    • Sponsor of the Twin Cities German Immersion School
    • Language classes for adults
    • Individualized tutoring for children and adults
    • Test center for Goethe Institut proficiency exams
    • Library with German language books, films, CDs, & games

      Cultural Programming

      • Public events such as Deutsche Tage, Holiday Open Haus, Karneval Tanzparty, and St. Paul Oktoberfest
      • Fall & Spring Culture series featuring authors, speakers, film screenings, and performers from across the U.S. and Europe
      • German culture classes on topics ranging from waltz lessons to German baking

      Community Building

      • Interest-based groups such as Skatklub for fans of the German card game and a group for Model Train enthusiasts
      • Monthly community gatherings to enjoy German food, conversation, and socializing
      • Regular opportunities to volunteer and actively participate at events
      • Partnerships with other cultural organizations in the Twin Cities such as the German American Chamber of Commerce, the Jewish Community Relations Council, and the Minnesota Opera
         301 Summit Avenue • Saint Paul, MN 55102
      Phone: 651-222-7027 • Fax: 651-222-6295 • Contact Us
      © 2019 Germanic-American Institute. All Rights Reserved.