Aug 23–26, 2007
Opening of "New York", Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Long Night of the Museums, 1950s Party
On 23 August 2007, after a year of remodelling, the House of World Cultures will reopen. Just a short time later, on 19 September, the House will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original dedication of its building, the Congress Hall. The opening weekend is an opportunity for the public to rediscover the House of World Cultures and, at top-class events, get a taste of the intensive three-month programme devoted to the global metropolis of New York.
The winged structure of the Congress Hall was presented to postwar Berlin by the government of the United States in 1957. It was built as a symbol of the modern, transatlantic cultural age in which the USA and Germany both had an important place. Major shifts in the worldwide balance of power over the past half-century have altered the conditions determining the global conflicts and opportunities of the future. The House of World Cultures is marking the 50th anniversary of the Congress Hall with an interdisciplinary project that explores transatlantic relationships and, in doing so, takes New York as its focus. Many recent political, artistic and urban currents of this world metropolis run parallel to or prefigure similar developments in Berlin, including societal changes driven by transnational migration.
The first three days of the extended weekend are an open invitation for the public to reclaim the House and discover it anew. Thursday, 23 August , offers an immersion into one of the world's most exciting art scenes, with the opening of the exhibition "New York – States of Mind" as well as interactive performances and artist panel discussions. On Friday, 24 August , the Spanish Harlem Orchestra takes the stage with a New York all-star line-up showcasing top-flight salsa, mambo, cha-cha-cha, bolero and Latin swing. The building remains open through the Long Night of the Museums on Saturday, 25 August , as the House hosts special events for cultural nighthawks. Set among exhibits of visual art, silent films will portray the early days in Manhattan, "nomadic New York" will be discussed through performance, and discs will be spun by DJs from New York and Berlin. Jazz, rock 'n' roll, petticoats, a milk bar and kidney tables set the scene on Sunday, 26 August , for a family festival in 1950s style to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Congress Hall and commemorate the era of its origins. Join the House of World Cultures in welcoming New York to the Spree!