The Teutonic Council of Savannah was founded in February of 2014 when the Greater Savannah International Alliance, encouraged members of Savannah’s three German cultural societies to meet with representatives from the Sister City of Halle, Saale, Germany in conjunction with a concert of Handel’s Messiah.
The sell-out concert was held at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah, Georgia. The concert featured the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus along with four soloists from the Halle Opera Theatre Company. The German Heritage Society sponsored the soloists along with some help from the Georgia Salzburger Society. The success of the concert and cultural exchange was a catalyst for the creation of the Teutonic Council.
The Teutonic Council at present consists of trustees, representing the three Savannah area German cultural societies, Greater Savannah International Alliance, the Port of Savannah, local German-American businessmen, and other individuals and organizations.
The Teutonic Council incorporated and received its 501(c)(3) designation as a charitable organization in March of 2015. Its mission is to support meaningful cultural exchange between Savannah and the German-speaking countries, Germany and Austria, and the Sister City of Halle, Germany.
Since its founding, the Teutonic Council has established a growing program of teacher and student exchange between Halle and Savannah and arranged for local families to host high school exchange students from Halle and also an intern with The Creative Coast. Other such exchanges are underway. Besides its musical sponsorships, the Teutonic Council has established exchanges in the arts in general, including an international sharing of paintings on the Internet highlighting the effects of global warming.
The Teutonic Council introduced German-American Day in Savannah, sponsoring a yearly celebration with speakers and an offering of information about significant cultural, historic, and scientific contributions that Germans and German-Americans have made to the United States and to the world. German-American Day, a national holiday on October 6, celebrates German heritage and commemorates the landing of 13 German families in Philadelphia in 1683. It was suspended during World War I but revived by President Reagan in 1987.
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