1. What makes Deutsches Haus unique?
First of all, the location is quite unique! I remember passing by the gates of Washington Mews many years ago and wondering who the lucky people were who worked there on a daily basis – now I am delighted to be a part of the team.
Deutsches Haus is a unique place also because it is brimming with creativity and passion for the German language and culture and takes its mission of creating a dialogue between German-speaking and American culture very seriously. I have attended countless events at Deutsches Haus at NYU and always left feeling invigorated and with a broadened horizon.
2. What was your best moment at Deutsches Haus so far and why?
I was lucky to start working at Deutsches Haus just as the Festival Neue Literatur was wrapping up and attended a dinner with the organizers and the authors. Meeting everyone who had made this event happen was wonderful and the theme of the festival “Border Crossings” struck a personal chord, seeing as I myself grew up between two cultures. This successful collaborative project of New York’s leading German-language cultural institutions was a wonderful introduction for me and shed some light on what lay ahead.
3. What fascinates you about culture and art?
Culture and art are powerful vehicles that can communicate profound feelings and complex concepts and they enrich our lives on every imaginable level. One of my favorite things to do on a weekend is to stroll through the art galleries in Chelsea and see what shows I stumble upon.
4. Where do you see the future of the cultural programs at Deutsches Haus?
We want to continue providing an excellent and exciting cultural program that makes people think and get truly inspired about the art, the books, the films and the great thinkers and academics the German-speaking world has produced. There is such a wealth of talent and rich cultural history (as well as future) and it will be our pleasure to introduce them to our New York audience!
5. You have been living in New York for a long time now. Why did you decide to go to New York in the first place?
I was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, but moved to New York with my family at the age of six and remained here for ten years. At the age of 16 I moved back to Germany in order to complete my Abitur in Cologne, Germany. I studied at the University College of Dublin, Ireland, and lived in Seville, Spain, for a year in order to learn the language. However, deep down I always knew I wanted to move back to New York. There is such an incredible energy here and you can never really run out of steam.
6. Can you describe your personal New York?
I’m all over New York – there are so many facets to this city. My brother lives in Queens, my sister in Brooklyn, and my husband and I live in Manhattan, and we have a lot of fun exploring the different boroughs. Whether it’s a dim sum brunch in Flushing or a stroll through the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden – things are never dull. I love going to the Metropolitan Opera and the theater and make time to see exhibitions at museums and gallery shows. The days are never long enough in my personal New York.
7. What is your favorite spot in New York City and why?
Honestly, right now my favorite place might just be the courtyard behind Deutsches Haus at NYU. There is beautiful light there and tall trees and the birds chirp as they fly overhead – it is a peaceful oasis right in the heart of Manhattan. The second it gets a bit warmer I plan to have many happy cups of coffee there and brainstorm with my colleagues.
8. What is your highlight of the week (or upcoming weeks)?
I am excited about tonight’s opening of Berlin Becoming. The show focuses on Berlin’s constant physical and psychological renewal and I am curious to discover the artists’ thoughts and inspirations that shaped the works that have been installed here at Deutsches Haus.
Another event I am looking forward to is the screening of Beatrice Moeller’s documentary Everything We Want about women and gender roles in the 21st century and the tricky question of “How to be a woman these days.” I look forward to seeing some of you there!