Notes & News Diciembre 2015

Para acceder al último número de Notes & News : DECEMBER 2015 NEWSLETTER

From the President

I want to extend wishes for Happy Holidays and a healthy and successful New Year to all members of the International Institute in Spain community.

As the International Institute heads into its 124th year, we can reflect on the continuity of the Institute’s mission since it was established in 1892. From the outset, the International Institute has been dedicated to education and cultural exchange between the United States and Spain, with its original focus on advancing the cause of education for women and girls in Spain. Today, the women’s colloquium recognizes the fundamental role that raising issues of interest to women has played throughout the organization’s history. The Institute’s educational functions are embodied today in its American English and culture program, which has recently inaugurated an American Cultural Studies program unique in Madrid. The International Institute also continues to welcome study abroad students from American colleges and universities as it has done since the first group from Smith College arrived in 1930. The Institute is also promoting higher education in the U.S. for Spanish students through its Pathways to the American University program.

The Library, always central to the Institute’s activities, remains an extraordinary intellectual resource as well as a vibrant center of activity for a wide public drawn by English and Spanish reading groups for adults, Saturday morning storytelling sessions for children, readers’ theater events for children and adults. Our Librarians Nuria Seguí and Ana Alonso have undertaken the immense task of removing thousands of long-unused items from the Library depósito. We are developing a fundraising plan to permit the Institute to reinvent the space as a contemporary, American-style children’s library, which will enable us to expand the collections for children and youth readers, who are among the most active users of the Library and represent the most rapidly growing segment of the Institute English Program.

The Institute’s ability to promote exchange between the U.S. and Spain has been enhanced by the presence of the American Space Madrid, a collaboration between the Institute, the oldest American cultural entity in Spain, and the U.S. Embassy, Madrid. This venture has brought STEM activities for girls, presented noted speakers like Arianna Huffington, supported the Coloquio de la mujer, and recently mounted a program on the locavore food movement featuring chefs from Brooklyn and Madrid as well as a farmers’ market in the Institute garden. The many events offered in conjunction with the American Space Madrid have attracted thousands of visitors to the Institute over this year.

The International Institute’s all-volunteer Board of Directors and I thank all the members of the core group who have made carrying on the Institute’s tradition possible during this year: Executive Director Pilar Piñón; former English Program Director Patti Trimborn; Librarians Seguí and Alonso; American Space Director Jean Choi; American Cultural Studies coordinator Andrew Bennett; Administrative Assistants María José Lastra, Marián Cortés, and Ana Rueda; Facilities Manager Juan González; Café manager Juan López; porteros Andrés Fernández and Victor Martínez; cleaning staff Trinidad Almanso, María del Mar Ortega, Teresa Zabaleta, Isabel Falquina y Nuria Yubero. We also extend our appreciation to the English Program Faculty.

Lastly, I thank those who have made donations to the International Institute in 2015. The Institute and its historic building at Miguel Ángel, 8 are the results of generous charitable giving by Americans who wanted to bring educational innovation to Spain. Today’s International Institute, a 501(c)(3) organization, still relies on the donations of those who support its mission of educational and cultural exchange. We welcome your contributions, too, so that the International Institute can uphold its traditions in the New Year and beyond.


Margery Resnick