The Queen Sofía Spanish Institute is an organization in New York City founded to promote the Spanish language and the culture of Spain. It is located on 684 Park Avenue in the former Oliver D. Filley House.HistoryThe Spanish Institute was founded in 1954. As the center for American-Spanish affairs, the institute organizes lectures, symposia and meetings to discuss economic, political and social issues. Language courses as well as exhibitions and cultural events related to Spain and Latin America are also offered. The institute was named in honor of Queen Sofía of Spain.The president is Inmaculada de Habsburgo, younger daughter of Archduke Karl Pius of Austria.Class programThe Spanish Institute Class Program has offered Spanish as a foreign language at all learning levels since 1968. Group classes are strictly limited to 12 students, thereby enabling full individual participation and a lively and elegant atmosphere. The instructors are native speakers with extensive teaching experience and hold advanced degrees in various fields. Outside the classroom, the students are encouraged to immerse themselves in Spanish and Latin American culture by participating in the Institute’s events and by facilitating their participation in field trips, readings, musical and dramatic performances, art exhibitions and restaurant events around New York City.In winter 2011, the Spanish Institute Class Program, as part of a greater effort to expand the curriculum, introduced Sábados Sociales, new weekly programming meant to deepen current students’ immersion in the Spanish language and open up the possibility of participating in short-term Class Program workshops to prospective students who otherwise were unable to commit to a full course schedule. Structured as a social Spanish lesson, students and an instructor discuss a new topic each Saturday afternoon over wine and tapas.