Discover the rich past, present and future of German heritage
The historic Athenaeum in Indianapolis hosts many long-standing proud German heritage groups, clubs and organizations.
Click the names below to learn about how you can become involved!
The Damenverein was and is a social and support group of the Das Deutsche Haus/Athenaeum. Members volunteer at numerous Athenaeum events and activities. They meet socially on occasion for lunch or for dinner. Membership questions: Rosalind “Buddy” McCart 317-846-8613
A “Turnverein” is a gymnastic club. A “Turner” is a tumbler or gymnast and a member of a Turnverein. Indianapolis German members of the Socialer Turnverein constructed Das Deutsche Haus/Athenæum 1894-1898. The Socialer Turnverein changed Das Deutsche Haus to Athenæum and their club name to Athenæum Turners in 1918. Today, the Athenæum Turners participate and sponsor a number of monthly and annual activities. Membership questions: John Seest at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Saenger Chor is a German-American choir located on the west side of Indianapolis. The Saenger Chor sings German folk songs, American pop standards and some classical pieces. Rehearsals are weekly on Tuesdays and the group sponsors social and cultural events throughout the year. Check out their website for a list of calendar events.
The Indianapolis German Language Institute was created in 2002. It was founded by a few parents of the local German playgroup. These parents wanted to further encourage their children’s bilingual language development by providing structured activities in smaller, age-appropriate groups. Theparents wanted to be directly involved in helping their children reach not only a high level of verbal skill, but also attain additional skills in reading and writing. The I.Ge.L. holds their classes at the Athenaeum. For more information contact Igelschule2018@gmail.com
The Max Kade Foundation, named after the prominent German-American business man whose product ‘Pertussin’ is known throughout the country, provided a grant to the German Department of Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis to develop a research center for German-American Studies. The mission of the Center is to support German American Studies through research, teaching, and service. German-American Studies is generally defined as the study of the German diaspora to America and its effect on American culture and society. The Max Kade German-American Center is one of the permanent residents of the Athenaeum.
The Athenaeum Pops Orchestra is an all volunteer orchestra. New members are always welcome, and any well trained musician may apply. He or she will be auditioned by Music Director, Jose Valencia. The Athenaeum Pops Orchestra resides at the Athenaeum.
During the 1800’s, the German immigrants wanted to preserve their culture in their new country. Many of them formed societies based on common interests. Some of these interests included singing. In 1872, the Indianapolis Liederkranz was formed. “Liederkranz” means “singing society”. The club was dedicated to four-part male harmony, so the choir was only for the men. Now over one hundred thirty-five years later, it is still going strong. In 1997, a women’s choir (Damenchor) was added.
The IGHS delights in the German culture that flourishes in the state of Indiana. The IGHS promotes education in German and German-American studies and seeks to help others develop an appreciation of German contributions to Indiana. The IGHS believes that understanding the past illuminates the present. The Indiana German Heritage Society resides at the Athenaeum.
Founded in 1854, the Indianapolis Maennerchor is an open membership men’s choir, building on its history as one of the oldest continuously performing choral groups in the United States. Maennerchor invites men from all walks of life to blend their voices in the creation of glorious sound. Maennerchor enjoys time-honored bonds with the German-American community, its culture, and its heritage. The Indianapolis Maennerchor is one of the permanent residents of the Athenaeum.