WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The German Federal Foreign Office (FFO), the Goethe-Institut, and the Federation of German Industry (BDI), today announce the great successes of the Year of German-American Friendship, a year-long initiative based on the idea that the U.S. and Germany are Wunderbar Together – stronger as friends and partners. Over the past year, Wunderbar Together has reached all 50 states, brought together more than 400 partners for over 2,000 events in 560 communities, and introduced German culture to a significant segment of the American population.
Michelle Müntefering, German Minister of State for International Cultural Policies, commented on the biggest public diplomacy campaign sponsored by the Federal Foreign Office so far, "The Year of German-American Friendship has vividly illustrated the meaning of 'Wunderbar Together.' Germany and the United States share a lot – irrespective of the current political situation. We can only address the issues of globalization together – and civil society can provide important impulses for shaping the transatlantic relationship. Our task is now to continue this dialogue between our societies beyond the Year of German-American Friendship."
From a PopUp Tour that visited several cities and highlighted the innovative partnership between Germany and the U.S.; to WanderbUS, an immersive traveling exhibit that educated thousands of students about German culture; to a 360° audiovisual ISM Hexadome tour across North America; and much more, the campaign effectively brought together individuals through events across various sectors, including culture, sport, business, science, and politics.
On top of over 1 million attendees reached in-person, Wunderbar Together also built a multifaceted, strong digital presence that engaged 10.1 million users online. Additional campaign highlights include:
- Secured approximately 235 million impressions across traditional media and owned social media channels.
- Amassed a following of approximately 70,000 followers across three newly created campaign social channels, receiving 518,000 social engagements across these channels.
- Garnered more than 200,000 website visits on WunderbarTogether.org.
- Media outreach resulted in over 1,000 placements in German and U.S. publications.
- Of the over 2,000 events, two-thirds of events were free and open to the public, with over 300 U.S. schools involved.
As seen from these highlights, Wunderbar Together strengthened existing networks, while also bringing many Americans into the dialogue about the German-American relationship who had previously never taken part in such discussions.
With the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, Wunderbar Together is closing out its campaign on a strong note to commemorate this historic moment. End of campaign programming offers opportunities for participants to meet witnesses of the Wall's destruction so they can reflect and immerse themselves in an important piece of history. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will be in attendance to show his dedication and support of the campaign.
Highlights of these nationwide events include:
- Closing Concerts for the Year of German-American Friendship at the Boston Symphony Hall: As part of Leipzig Week at the Boston Symphony (October 27-November 2), the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester will perform together with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under their joint conductor, Andris Nelsons. With this highly symbolic project, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will ring in the end of the Year of German-American Friendship by attending a performance on October 31.
- German American Conference at Harvard (November 1-3): Transatlantic relations will be the topic of conversation for three days at Harvard University. Renowned experts from both sides of the Atlantic will analyze and debate current problems in business, politics, and culture. This year's guest of honor will be President Steinmeier. (Invite only)
- Digital Kinderuni Fest at MIT (November 1): The digital project "Kinderuni" will give 400 students from Boston-area schools the chance to experience lectures, workshops, and science shows. Christoph Biemann, star of der Sendung mit der Maus (The Show with the Mouse) and astronaut Reinhold Ewald will join the students as they explore the question of recruiting and securing young talent.
- WanderbUS at the German International School Boston (November 1): The traveling educational tour bus will be wrapping up its U.S. tour through 48 states in Boston. Students will climb on board the bus and take part in an exciting program of activities that allow students to experience all things Germany.
- Photo Exhibit: Latent Fissures in Miami (November 2): As a student in Germany, Venezuelan photographer Jorge Andres Castillo recorded his visit to the Berlin Wall in a series of photographs. After returning a few months later, he documented the cracks and fissures in the newly opened border. In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Latent Fissures will begin showing at the Miami Institute of Photography.
- Meet the Decisionmakers in Washington, D.C. (November 5-9): Various events will feature honored guests such as American Secretary of State James Baker (1989-92) and former Presidents Joachim Gauck (Germany) and Alexander Kwasniewski (Poland).
- November 5: The Diplomacy Center Foundation will host a commemoration featuring former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker (1989-92). The reception and dinner include remarks from German Ambassador to the United States Emily Haber. Guests will also have the opportunity to preview the exhibit Diplomacy is Our Mission.
- November 8: The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington, D.C., will honor former German President and civil rights activist in the GDR Joachim Gauck at the Triumph of Liberty Conference and Gala.
- November 9: Former Presidents Joachim Gauck (Germany) and Alexander Kwasniewski (Poland) will join a list of world-renowned speakers and guests in commemorating the anniversary at the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Symposium.
- Dance Performance: Wall Stories with Madco Dance Company in St. Louis (November 6-9): Acclaimed professional dance company Madco has commissioned a work titled Wall Stories choreographed by Turkish-German Nejla Yatkin. The multi-media dance performance dramatizes the fall of the Berlin Wall and its impact.
- Exhibition at the Wendemuseum in Los Angeles (Opens November 9): The Medea Insurrection: Radical Women Artists Behind the Iron Curtain, a brand-new exhibition at the Wendemuseum, presents the life and work of radical female artists beyond the Iron Curtain. Some of the featured artists will attend the opening of the exhibition.
- Former Foreign Minister Markus Meckel Visits the United States (December 8-15): The last Foreign Minister of the GDR, Markus Meckel, will discuss his experiences and perspectives in New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Chicago.
By bringing together countless transatlantic actors and creating a special community feeling, Wunderbar Together's year-long initiative successfully intensified the dialogue between the two countries through a unique approach in the history of bilateral relationships.
About Wunderbar Together
From October 2018 until late 2019, Germany is highlighting its close friendship to the United States through a yearlong festival, Wunderbar Together. Working with over 400 partners, the celebration will feature over 2,000 events across all 50 states. Wunderbar Together is a comprehensive and collaborative initiative funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, implemented by the Goethe-Institut and supported by the Federation of German Industries (BDI).
About the Wunderbar Together PopUp Tour
The PopUp Tour is the official roadshow of Wunderbar Together. It combines an impressive Culture Tent with mobile presentation modules, and various flexible pop-up edutainment elements. Programs range from business conferences, science slams, art exhibits, and concerts to interactive student-focused events. The PopUp Tour highlights the many ways our two countries make each other stronger through our cultural and economic ties. The Wunderbar Together PopUp Tour is proudly sponsored by BASF, Bayer AG, BMW Group, Daimler AG, Evonik Industries, SAP, Schaeffler, Siemens AG, Allianz, LANXESS, Lufthansa, and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
SOURCE Wunderbar Together