Bonjour French Cultural Center in Boston with Mitch Thomas and Jacynthe Jacques.
It was an honor to be among colleagues who were invited to celebrate the launching of Le Mois de la Francohonie, at a well attended event hosted by the French Cultural Center of Boston. Leading the welcome for the approximately 120 attendees were the French Consul General of France in Boston, Valéry Freland and the Quebec Government Delegation for New England.
Traveling to the party on March 1, was a pleasure, with the Gendron Franco Center Executive Director Mitch Clyde Thomas driving from Lewiston, Maine, while Cultural and Language Programs Director Jacynthe Jacques and I helped with navigating.
Surprisingly, lighter than usual Boston traffic allowed for an early arrival at the French Cultural Center, on Marlborough Street and street parking was less complicated than we anticipated.
Fortunately, the program was scheduled on the day before the damaging Nor’easter hit on March 2nd, when the subsequent flooding would have surely canceled this wonderful celebration.
The French Cultural Center of Boston is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure the vibrant growth of French Language and Francophone Cultures in New England.
In fact, the Center contains the second largest private collection of French books, periodicals, DVDs, and CDs available in the United States, in addition to offering online accessible resources through Culturethèque. A school is also located on the site, and it is a member of the Alliance Française network, offering language classes and programs for adults and children.
Cultural programming showcases the many aspects of Francophone cultures through numerous lectures, concerts, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, art exhibitions, holiday celebrations and more. Political and artistic personalities often hold talks at the French Cultural Center, making it the hub of French culture in Boston.
During the gala, held in the impressive Cultural Center, attendees who visited our Maine exhibit table requested more information about Franco-Americans.Indeed, I was pleased by how many of our exhibit’s visitors expressed interest in knowing more about the history, culture and the speaking of French in Maine. Thankfully, our French language credibility at the event was enhanced by the expert bi-lingual speaking ability of our friend Jacynthe, who was born and raised in Quebec and now lives with her family in Lewiston.
In Maine, recognition programs to celebrate Mois de la Francophonie are planned in Lewiston as follows:
At the University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn College (USM LAC) in the Franco-American Collection, a free public forum abut the unique Basilica of Sts Peter and Paul, with Julie Anne Baumer, writer and journalist. She will speak about her articles reporting the Sts. Peter and Paul Basilica, followed by a Cabaret Style Sing Along with the beautiful singers, Les Troubadours. This program will be held at the University of Southern Maine L/A College, Room 170, 51 Westminster Street, in Lewiston.
An early evening Public Celebration and Reception, hosted by the Gendron Franco Center on Cedar Street, and the Franco-American Collection, will include a recognition ceremony.
Mois de la Francophonie is also offering special televised programming on TV5Monde from Quebec at this site.
For more information about Le Mois de la Francophonie du Maine, contact the Gendron Franco Center and ask to speak with either Mitch Thomas or Jacynthe Jacques. Merci beaucoup!