Berlin Office

VA-Halloween-Event 2014. Photo: David von Becker

In 1996, Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e.V., known at the time as Circle of Friends and Supporters of Villa Aurora e. V., established an office in Germany to coordinate activities in Los Angeles and Berlin.
In addition to administering the selection of grant recipients and the organization’s overall funding, the Berlin Office produces programs and publications featuring alumni presenting results of their stays in Los Angeles to the German public.

The Berlin Office also develops programs focused on current transatlantic debates as well as the history of exile. Regular events include both an annual reception, which brings future fellows and alumni together with representatives from culture, politics, media, the sciences and humanities, as well as the commemoration of the Burning of the Books on May 10, 1933.

The office is situated at the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities on Gendarmenmarkt. Once a year, the organization arranges meetings of the juries responsible for selecting artists for the Villa Aurora Fellowships and intellectuals addressing fundamental issues of our time for the Thomas Mann Fellowships. As a result of intense discussion, experts choose recipients for the subsequent year from a large number of applicants. For those selected, the Berlin Office is the first point of contact: It is where they outline their projects and plans and work with the Berlin team to initiate contacts with partners in Los Angeles.

Together with Reporters Without Borders and the University of Southern California’s Feuchtwanger Memorial Library, Villa Aurora and Thomas Mann House e.V. grants its annual Feuchtwanger Fellowship to a writer or journalist committed to human rights or facing censorship and persecution in their home countries. Additionally, the Berlin team, in cooperation with a partner institution, invites an artist from Los Angeles to Berlin to foster sustainable cultural exchange with Villa Aurora and Thomas Mann House alumni.