The Goethe Pop Up Kansas City acts as a mini branch of the Goethe-Institut, the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany. Join us in 2021 as we continue to host and support a variety of cultural events in America’s heartland.
Our goal is to present contemporary German art and culture in Kansas City and help shape a current understanding of Germany in one of the Midwest’s fastest-growing cultural centers. We organize a broad range of events and support projects in the fields of arts, literature, music, film, theater, and more at our space in the Crossroads and with partners around the metro area. We aim to explore current issues from both German and US perspectives and collaborate with cultural institutions, artists, universities, schools, and businesses that have an interest in Germany and its language and culture.
The Goethe-Institut operates in over 90 countries worldwide, promoting knowledge of the German language abroad and fostering international cultural collaborations. Our program of public events offers an opportunity to engage with themes and questions relevant to contemporary German culture and society. Faced with the challenges of globalization, we aim to strengthen intercultural dialogue and a global civil society.
Director: Jutta Behnen
Jutta Behnen was born in Cologne, Germany. After graduating from Humboldt-University in Berlin she worked as a consultant and lecturer in German as a Foreign Language and Theater in Germany, Belarus, Uzbekistan, France, England, and the US. She is excited to create a platform for encounter, exchange, and new perspectives as Managing Director for Kansas City’s first pop-up Goethe-Institut.
Program Curator: Rima Girnius, Ph.D.
Rima Girnius, a native Lithuanian-speaker born in the United States, spent her formative years in Munich, Germany. She earned her doctorate in art history from Bryn Mawr College, where her scholarly focus was on early modern German and Netherlandish art. Prior to joining Goethe Pop Up Kansas City, she held curatorial positions at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Figge Art Museum, and Indianapolis Museum of Art. She is committed to finding innovative ways of fostering intercultural dialogue and learning between Germany and the United States.
Program Coordinator: Aaron Burns
A native of Kansas City, Aaron Burns studied music, German, and Romance languages at universities in Kansas City, Chicago, Bonn and Cologne, Germany, and Klagenfurt, Austria. He has always been fascinated by foreign languages and the potential for mutual understanding between cultures. As program coordinator at the Goethe Pop Up Kansas City, he looks forward to working with partners here and abroad to promote cultural exchange between the US and Germany.