Inaugurated in 1954, the Italian Cultural Institute of Cologne is an office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs whose purpose is to improve awareness of the Italian language and culture abroad.
The Institute offers
- Italian language courses of various levels,
- cultural events: film festivals, theatrical performances, exhibitions, concerts, literary events, but also conferences and debates on various scientific and current issues,
- an extensive library equipped with 19,000 volumes and a video library of 1,500 videotapes and DVDs.
Admission to cultural events and use of the library are – as a rule – free.
The Institute has five classrooms for Italian courses, a library with a reading room, a theatre hall with approx. 200 seats fully equipped for theatre, film and video screenings, as well as a large foyer and other spaces suitable for shows and exhibitions. The staff currently include six people.
For many events, the Institute works in direct collaboration with the cultural departments of the various cities of its jurisdiction. As documented by the programme, it also works in close collaboration with the universities of the North Rhine-Westphalia region and with various cultural institutions: from the radio and television body WDR to Tanzhaus NRW in Düsseldorf, from the Romano-Germanic Museum to the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne, from the Art Collection of North Rhine-Westphalia in Düsseldorf to the Ruhrtriennale.
The Institute also participates in the city’s main cultural events, such as Passagen (design) and Plan (architecture). The main festivals in which the Institute usually takes part include the International Music Competition Cologne and Litcologne, the annual literary festival.
Some events are the result of collaboration with other local foreign cultural institutes, in particular the French and Japanese cultural institutes, and the Spanish Institute in Düsseldorf.
In November 2014, the Institute’s area of competence was extended to the Hessia. In this sense, a relationship of cooperation has also been established with the main cultural institutions of the city of Frankfurt and the Land, in particular with the International Book Fair, the German Film Museum, Luminale, the European Music Festival, the Music Expo and the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival. The Institute is also a member of the EUNIC Cluster in Frankfurt.
A corner of Italy in Cologne for the past sixty years!