Winter 2015

February 11, 2015 | By French Culture

Dear Friends,

Though it has been over a month since the devastating attacks in France, the emotional and physical repercussions of these events have not been forgotten.  We are so grateful for the moving, compassionate response from our friends and partners in the U.S.  Though the reverberations of violence that have touched our country and the entire world will remain forever present in our minds, we simultaneously hope for future peace.

It is now more important than ever to cultivate international solidarity.  Through events and initiatives in the arts and education, we aim to bring curious citizens of diverse backgrounds together with the goal of cultivating understanding, tolerance, and friendship.

I invite you to join in the events, discussions, initiatives, and exhibitions described below with a spirit of understanding, humanity, and openness.  This mindset reflects the heart of our mission at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy: to reveal the nuance of French culture to all those who are curious.


Thomas Michelon
Deputy Cultural Counselor


Visual and Performing Arts

The vital French arts scene in the United States continues to blossom: the French “Book Machine” project devoted to books in Los Angeles, plus Antoine Catala and Renaud Jerez at the New Museum 2015 Triennial and the major Loris Gréaud exhibition at the Dallas Contemporary Museum, and Jérôme Bel in the Double life exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston offer a panorama of artistic experiences that allow viewers to get a good look at French creativity today.



The Cultural Services and the Collège International de Philosophie are launching the second series of the thematic Minds in Migration debates.  On February 9, at the Jewish Community Center in New York, there will be a discussion on Benjamin Stora and Abedlwahab Meddeb’s book, Histoire des relations entre juifs et musulmans des origines à nos jours

As for children’s events, an exhibition on the great illustrator Tomi Ungerer will take place at The Drawing Center through March 22, in partnership with the Books Department of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. 


Film, TV, and New Media

This March, French innovators will descend upon Austin, TX for SXSW, a major international confluence of creators and major players in the music, film, and interactive fields.  Three panels (The Dystopia of Digital Plutocrats; Makers: Technology for Development and Innovation; Out of Bounds: The Rise of A-National Companies) organized by the French Embassy will hone in on the critical issues of the tech ecosystem today, and a presentation by the creators of the French-made, socially-minded Ideas Box will demonstrate how humanitarian and digital advances bring education and creativity to refugees worldwide.  These events are open to those with a SXSW festival pass.

As for film, with support from the Cultural Services, a rare 1928 film, Verdun Vision d’Histoire (Verdun, Visions of History), with sound design by Bernie Anderson, will be projected in Chicago in February. Starting on March 6, New Yorkers will get the chance to discover the most recent French productions during the 20th Rendez-Vous with French Cinema festival.  On this occasion, the Cultural Services will host Anne-Dominique Toussaint’s galerie cinéma, a singular photography exhibition revolving around cinema.



In February, notable French artists on tour in the US who will perform in New York City include: Tigran Hamasyan, a jazz pianist who plays SubCulture on February 25 and 26, French Touch pioneer Étienne de Crécy, who plays Brooklyn's Verboten Club on February 12th , Asaf Avidan, a French-produced Israeli Folk Rock artist, who plays Irving Plaza on February 4, and Stéphane Dénève, a French conductor who guest conducts the NY Philharmonic with Jean-Yves Thibaudet at Avery Fischer Hall on February 11 through 13.

This March, the annual SXSW Festival in Austin, TX, will include performances from a variety of Francophone acts including Stromae, Ibeyi, The Inspector Cluzo, and Christine and the Queens.


French Language Education

Wonderful news for the expansion of bilingual education: starting in September 2015, students will have the opportunity to take advantage of a fully bilingual education from ages 4 through 18 – from Pre-K to 12th grade at the School for International Studies in Brooklyn and will receive an official international diploma.  To learn more about this school and support dual language programs, follow this link.


Higher Education

With the goal of establishing French-American education and research partnership, the Partner University Fund, has launched its seventh call for projects.  In 2014, this program benefitted over 1000 students and 500 researchers.  Since its creation in 2007, PUF has supported over 70 collaborations and generated around 230 joint publications.

Launched by United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, and by French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Laurent Fabius in May 2014, the Transatlantic Friendship and Mobility Initiative aims to double student exchanges between France and the United States by 2025.  A call for projects launched in the fall of 2014 has come to a close and six of the most innovative projects of American universities have been chosen. The selected programs will be supported by the Cultural Services and the Office for Science and Technology of the French Embassy.


Albertine Books

The Albertine bookshop, located within the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York, invites you to come in and discover the best of French literature and intellect every day of the week.

Several thought-provoking debates and discussions available on Livestream this month, including a conversation with Amanda Filipacchi and Neil Labute, an exploration of Le Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, an event on Modiano, and a conversation on The Letters of Samuel Beckett ( 

Plus, at 6pm on February 28, join us for a daring discussion on Dangerous Liaisons (Les Liaisons dangereuses) by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos at the Albertine Book Club with Antonin Baudry. All events are free and open to all.


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