University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

United States. Office of the US High Commissioner for Germany. Management and Budget Division / The America Houses, a study of the U.S. Information Center in Germany

IV. B. Program operations,   pp. 122-124 PDF (1.3 MB)

Page 122

The America Houses during the past year have been evolving in their
program operations toward the status of a complete Public Affairs opera-
tion. As the Public Affairs mission effects its transition from occuna-
tion to normal embassy operations and as its field organization is
increasingly concentrated, the America Houses are expected to act as
outlets for all activities in their respective geographical areas.
This is the concept under which the survey group has studied the
Houses, measured their success, and reached conclusions on goals within
their reach.
A few of the America Houses have already recognized and accepted
the full-fledged Public Affairs concept of their mission. The bulk of
the Houses have taken only partial steps toward maximum responsibilities.
There still are a minority of the directors who are prone to think of
their Houses as a limited cultural institution, looking upon the more
direct media as being incompatible. The philosophy of the latter group
is insupportable, and they should be urged to attune themselves to
present-day demands. The Houses of the middle group should complete
their metamorphosis.
This means that the America Houses, in addition to the activities
normally expected, should also be responsible in their geographic areas
for the field administration of the exchange of persons program, all
film distribution, pamphlet distribution, contact with the press, and
liaison with German cultural institutions.
The concept of the America House cannot be attained alone by the
directors and their staffs. Active counsel, support, and direction of
the regional Public Affairs offices and headquarters are necessary.
The directors are not able to assume a wide range of responsibilities
without help from specialized staffs, and the individual America Houses
cannot acquire the desired status in the communities if parallel and
competing operations are being conducted by employees of another
organizational level.
It is necessary, therefore, that programs be planned and operated
within the framework of policies and objectives of the entire Public
Affairs region in which the America Houses are located. This also iplies
the need for headquarters participation insofar as program counsel and
centrally assisted program procurement are concerned.
Areas 'Where Strengthening Is Indicated
Analysis of the findings of the America House operations continually
discloses a repetition of conditions which urgently indicate need for
intensive and positive actions in the following five areas:
- 122 -

Go up to Top of Page