Austrians and Austria in Boston, Massachusetts, New England
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History


The Austro-American Association of Boston is an organization dedicated to promoting the many facts of the rich cultural heritage of Austria in America. The A-AA sponsors a wide variety of social and cultural programs, including lectures, readings, concerts, films, social events, and holiday observances. These celebrations include the Austrian-American Day (combined with a Heurigen which welcomes the new wine in Austria) on the 26th of September, and, on the 26th of October, the Austrian National Holiday which commemorates Austria's independence after World War II. The A-AA's Christmas Party and the Annual Meeting and Dinner are included in our schedule.

The history of the Austro-American Association of Boston dates back to its founding in 1944 by a group of Austrians living in the Boston area. Many were Jewish immigrants who had settled in Boston short before World War II. Their purpose was to provide support to one another and perpetuate the traditions, culture, and language of their Austrian heritage in their new homeland. In the following years, the Association further expanded its membership to include other immigrants from Austria and Americans of Austrian descent, as well as many interested Americans enjoying our Austrian culture and the friendly atmosphere that characterizes our country. In order to accommodate these different groups, the meetings and lectures are held in English, but spirited conversations in German are heard at these events and at smaller and informal monthly gatherings, the "Stammtische". A-AA events generally take place each month from September to July and are almost always accompanied by fine Austrian cuisine. The Austro-American Association of Boston is one of the oldest institutions of its kind in New England. In 2004, the organization had 113 members, 15 of them life members.

In July 1970, the Association was incorporated as a non-profit cultural institution in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The A-AA scholarship program was established in 1976 with the nurturing of Prof. Harry Zohn, an incorporating member and long-time Chairman of the Board. The A-AA grants scholarship awards to scholars and artists, generally graduate students, in support of projects related to aspects of Austrian culture. In return, the recipients present lectures or performances related to their projects at one of our events.

On June 6th, 2009, the A-AA celebrated its 65th anniversary with a dinner at the MIT Endicott House. Austrian Consul General Dr. Brigitte Blaha and Austrian Vice Consul Dr. Heinz Grohs were honored guests at the event.

The A-AA is a member of the WELTBUND (www.weltbund.at), as well as a member of the Austrian-American Council (A-AC), an organization with chapters in almost all US states. Their objectives, cultivating the strong ties of friendship between the people of North America and Austria, promoting Austrian culture, and projecting the Austrian image, closely parallel those of the A-AA.

The A-AA will continue to be a link for its members and friends to all Austrian topics of interest. With the help and determination of its members and our official Austrian representatives, we will become an even more active and effective extension of Austria.
 
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