And now, meet the team behind the scenes. To make it a little easier for you to transport yourself to New York City, we thought we'd each write something about ourselves. Those who dared put their pictures in, those who didn't - well, you'll see.


Assistant to the Director

Deputy Director

Director of Programming, Visual Arts and Music

Budget, Personnel Management

Films and Exhibitions

ACI Librarian

Executive Editor Austria Kultur, Webmaster

Administrative Assistant

Technical Assistant

Use e-mail to communicate with all of us at ACI - we'd be glad to help with any questions and we look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions. And please stop by if you're in the neighborhood - our library is open to the public.

Austrian Cultural Institute
950 Third Avenue, 20th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Tel: 212/759-5165
Fax: 212/319-9636

CHRISTOPH THUN-HOHENSTEIN Director - The most fascinating job I can imagine - difficult, challenging, as well as enriching and fun. Management qualities are not sufficient. One has to try to be an expert in different cultural fields such as fine arts and architecture, film and photography, literature and music. At the same time, one has to remain a generalist able to combine specialists' insights with a broad cultural perspective and discover interdisciplinary aspects and interrelationships.

It may come as no surprise that such a job easily becomes a "hobby." Having studied, inter alia, the history of art, and being the author of several books and an enthusiastic collector of books and CDs, I tend to see my job as my favorite pastime - which of course doesn't make it any less demanding.

My most serious problem is a lack of time. I need much more time, not only for my job but also for my wonderful family.

IRIS KLEIN Assistant to the Director - Life is full of surprises. I left Vienna in 1982, lived in Japan and Los Angeles, travelled throughout Asia and Europe, and nearly forgot all about Austria and Austrians.

When I moved to New York in 1994 and started working at the Austrian Cultural Institute I suddenly rediscovered my home country inmidst the Big Apple. I truly enjoy the cultural stimulus I receive on a daily basis. My job here does not need a description, just a few more diligent hands would be useful.

ERNST AICHINGER Deputy Director Academic matters, lectures, conferences, scholarships and

HERBERT PICHLER Director of Programming, Visual Arts and Music - To be launched from one cultural hot spot - Vienna - to another - New York -, what could be more exciting for someone who is engaged in a solemn diplomatic career but whose secret love has always been opera? (The fact is that after having attended more than 700 performances at the Vienna State Opera during the last 15 years, I thought the moment had come to explore the Metropolitan Opera as well...)

Now, in my new function at the Austrian Cultural Institute, I have the privilege to deal with both American and European cultural environments. And actually one can notice a lot of similarities. In both we love our good old cultural institutions and traditions and want to conserve them carefully. But in both we have also to look and move forward and to be open to thrilling new developments. Therefore the biggest challenge for me is to promote brilliant Austrian artists - in the widest possible spectrum - and help them achieve recognition even in the eyes of the most sophisticated American public.

Not an easy task, but certainly a very rewarding one. And - let me dream a little - one fine day, everybody will know that at the beginning of the third millennium Austria produces not only Schwarzeneggers, great skiers and the most delicious pastries in the world but also excellent and creative artists!

ELISABETH SCHRAMMEL Budget, Personnel Management - Believe me it helps to have been exposed to the calming influence of Buddhism - my prior assignment was in New Delhi - to manage the Institute's budget and personnel. I might add, however, that it's not my colleagues who drive me to chant mantras on occasion. Could it be the budget?

KRISTA LEWIS Films and Exhibitions - My mission in life is "ne cede malis" - make even work into pleasure. What'll it be? I'm the person who runs our free film and exhibition loan program. I've got traveling exhibitions ranging from photo documentaries to original art work, hundreds of Austrian films and videos for classroom use or nonprofit screenings. Sorry - if you're an individual and not a group, you'll have to stick with Blockbuster Video.

FRIEDERIKE ZEITLHOFER ACI Librarian - Scenario: Your project calls for some research into the origin of chocolate. Where do you start? In Vienna? Just make an appointment with me. I'm the librarian at ACI. I won't do research for you, but I'll certainly select the pertinent works ex libris Austrian Cultural Institute New York. By the time you've finished your research in our library, you'll be enlightened to the fact that - contrary to popular belief - chocolate doesn't come from Vienna. And by then you might even be familiar with the spelling of my name.

KLAUDIA BERCOW Executive Editor, Austria Kultur, Webmaster - One of my tasks as executive editor of our magazine AUSTRIA KULTUR is to gather information on all Austria-related events in the U.S. If you know of any happenings that should be announced in our publication, please let me know. And since I am also the one who maintains our Web site, please let me know if you have any comments.

SABINE MAURER Administrative Assistant

The year 2000 started off well for me. I came to the States in January after I have spent almost three years at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Vienna. This is my first posting and I like it very much. Here at the Institute, I am filing, stamping, and organizing all the correspondence. And at the same time, I am learning a lot about Austrian culture. That´s great!

WALTER SIEGL Technical Assistant - Walter! We have 5,000 letters to be mailed NOW... Yeah, on top of whatever everybody has to send out, preferably the day before yesterday.

That's what I do. I'm also the technician for all the minor repair work around the office. Need a strong guy to handle heavy packages, send it UPS? I'm the one to talk to.

When we have an exhibition in our office/gallery space, I hang it on the wall and figure out what looks the best next to the five doors down the hallway in between the fire extinguisher and all the office equipment crammed into our temporary home. But things will change soon, and I'll be able to unfold my talents in the new exhibition space in our new building.

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