French Cultural Center 2017 Annual Report

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Leadership Message ..................................................................2 2017 in Numbers.........................................................................3 2017 Program Highlights...........................................................4 Leadership Giving......................................................................8 Merci! ............................................................................................9 2017 Financial Information......................................................10 Management team and Trustees of the French Cultural Center..................................................11


LEADERSHIP MESSAGE When “online fatigue” sets in, just come to the French Cultural Center. That is what many, many people are, in fact, doing. At a time when the demands and distractions of electronic life seem almost endless, the Center’s classes, concerts, wine tastings, book readings, gallery openings and receptions are filling up faster than ever. We know what it’s about – and you do, too. People want community – real community, where they can make and mingle with friends…discover and enjoy… share and learn… discuss and laugh. The Center saw growth and evolution in all activity areas in 2017. Children, teens and adults alike flocked to the rich array of activities. In education, the year saw a solid increase in group class registrations. The Summer in French program broke records. The teens program did particularly well. In culture, we welcomed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, French court artist Noëlle Herrenschmidt and French painter and sculptor Bernar Venet, among many others. Bastille Day 2017 (sold out!) welcomed musicians Daby Touré of Mauritania and Ben l’Oncle Soul from France. The library/médiathèque launched new reading programs to engage members and students. Once again, we participated in the Boston Book Festival, welcoming renowned French authors Édouard Louis, Christophe Boltanski and Christine Angot. The enthusiasm of members and students reflects the fact that the Center serves the needs of a vibrant community that is met nowhere else in Boston. With that conviction, the Board of Trustees has voted to proceed with a planned building renovation. In 2017, we raised $1.5 million for the project, and fundraising continues. The renovation will proceed in stages, over several years, to minimize disruption. The project will see a major upgrade of the children’s classroom suite…a beautiful teaching kitchen and wine cellar…new and enlarged classrooms…more community space…and a variety of behind-the-scenes improvements to enhance comfort and safety, and to make the Center accessible to people with limited mobility. We are here to serve the Francophone and Francophile community – and we are delighted that you have chosen to be part of it!


Steven P. Galante

Barbara Bouquegneau

Chairman, Board of Trustees

Executive Director


20 instructors

native Francophone

French course registrations

65 different



French books, documents,

CDs and DVDs in our library



private French lessons

5,695 Facebook followers 1,249 Twitter followers 719 Instagram followers

10,905 e-newsletter subscribers

113,007 website visitors


French courses

2,776 hours of

353 Summer in French

electronic resources

on Culturethèque


hours of free French classes offered as part of the official curricula in 3 Boston-area schools


Cultural events with more than 5,100 attendees


Bastille Day party goers




volunteers 3

2017 PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS Cultural Program For the past 72 years, the French Cultural Center has been an integral part of Boston’s cultural and intellectual scene. It is a place to experience literature, cinema, design, music, theatre, fashion, gastronomy, and business, as well as scientific and technological innovation, from the Frenchspeaking world. • Bastille Day 2017 sold out, welcoming two Francophone ©Michael Blanchard Photography

acts that wowed, Daby Touré and Ben l’Oncle Soul. • We welcomed Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and court artist Noëlle Herrenschmidt for a fascinating discussion. • The Center welcomed Bernar Venet, prestigious figure of French design for a gallery exhibition and lecture.

©Michael Blanchard Photography

• The Boston Book Festival 2017 enlightened the crowd with renowned French authors including Édouard Louis, Christophe Boltanski, and Christine Angot. • We proposed various fashion oriented programs including book signings and lectures as part of our Through the Seams events. • We developed and reinforced partnerships with local institutions, including, Harvard University, Northeastern University, and the Museum of Fine Arts, that lead to new projects and exhibitions.


Education Program • 2017 saw a solid increase in group class registrations. • We broke a record for registrations in our Summer in French program with 293 children and 60 teen registrations. • Our annual Festinema children’s film program welcomed over 100 children from surrounding schools. • Over 150 middle and high school students visited the Center during our organized field trips. • We offered 440 hours of free French classes as part of the official curricula in 3 Boston area schools through our Accent on Success program. The 2017 schools were Taylor Elementary, Burke High School and Edward M Kennedy.

Library • We have 31,172 French books, documents, CDs and DVDs in our Library. • On our digital platform, Culturethèque, we have a total of 196,876 items for reading, downloading, and streaming. • We have added an app library of 60 learning resources and games to our in-library collection. • We have about 40 podcasts recommended in our selection, with the added benefit of the “explore” section in French for unlimited future suggestions as this resource gains in popularity. • We’ve recently added the children’s online library epic! to our offerings, adding 100 digital books and audio offerings specifically for children and families.


FUNDRAISING EVENTS Le Bal Dada April 1, 2017 For our sixth annual spring gala, we opened up three floors of our double brownstone mansion for a surreal soirée. With tremendous support from our Honorary Hosts and Bal Committee, our staff completely transformed the Center to create a Dada absurdist atmosphere. As they explored the house, guests discovered surprises at every turn. Proceeds ©Michael Blanchard Photography

supported the Mosaïque Cultural Fund.

Le Tour de France Viticole Wine Dinner October 16, 2017 Le Tour de France Viticole wine dinner is the principal fundraiser for the Center and our Accent on Success French language instruction program. In its eleventh year now, our wine dinner for 100+ guests has ©Michael Blanchard Photography

become Boston’s finest wine event, featuring stellar wines, exceptional vintages and world-renowned vintners. What makes this black-tie affair unique is also the sense of community among the guests who share a dedication to the mission of the French Cultural Center as well as a profound appreciation for the fine wines of France. Held at the Chilton Club in Boston, the 2017 wine dinner featured outstanding wines from Vignobles Comtes von Neipperg, which were presented by guest of honor Count Stephan von Neipperg, owner of Vignobles Comtes von Neipperg.

©Michael Blanchard Photography


Bastille Day July 14, 2017 Our 42nd annual Bastille Day block party took place on July 14, 2017 and welcomed a sold out crowd for the fourth year in a row. 2,000 people joined us on Boston’s tree-lined Marlborough Street to celebrate

©Michael Blanchard Photography

Franco-American friendship, cultural diversity in New England and the pillars of the French republic: Liberté, Égalité, and Fraternité. One of the largest Bastille Day events in the United States, this was a party in true French style, complete with music, dancing, children’s activities, drinks and food from some of New England’s best French restaurants.

©Michael Blanchard Photography

The VIP Reception welcomed members of our sponsor and donor community, including many of Boston’s arts and culture, business, government and philanthropic leaders. Un grand merci to our corporate sponsors, Air France, Natixis Global Asset Management and Ropes & Gray LLP, for their indispensable support of our signature community event. ©Michael Blanchard Photography




LEADERSHIP GIVING As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the French Cultural Center maintains its high standard of education and cultural programming thanks to the generosity of many individuals, corporations and organizations.

The Georges F. and Edna A. Doriot Society Named for the husband-wife team who chaired the Board of Trustees of the French Cultural Center from 1966 to 1987, and who each were awarded the Légion d’Honneur by the French Government, the Georges F. and Edna A. Doriot Society recognizes our extraordinary benefactors whose lifetime giving to the Center exceeds $100,000. We gratefully acknowledge the following Center supporters as part of this society:

$1,000,000 and above Beaucourt Foundation; Rowe Foundation Georges F. and Edna A. Doriot † Dorothy Rowe† Katharine Lane Weems Trust Anonymous (1)

$100,001 - $999,999 Vernon and Marion Alden Zeina and Joseph E. Aoun Wi lliam K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation Cabot Corporation Brad and Tracy Curley Ba rbara (Suki) and Miguel de Bragança Arnaud de Vitry†

Je an-François and Nathalie Ducrest

Ke n and Aulikki Olsen†

Pierre and Mary Ann Sorel

Grace and Ted Fey

Plimpton-Shattuck Fund

Jim and Cathy Stone

Lia and William Poorvu

Janet L. Testa

Je ffrey Plunkett and Catheline van den Branden

Je an-Paul and Rebecca Valette

Br igitte and Gérard Moufflet

Patrick and Ute Prévost

Eric and Sarah Ward

Na tixis Investment Managers

Sequana Capital

St even Galante and Leanne Cowley Thayer Lindsley†

Stephen and Isabelle Roy

Peter and Pamela Voss Anonymous (1) Deceased

The Katharine Lane Weems Society Named for the noted Boston sculptor who generously bequeathed her home at 53 Marlborough Street to serve as the headquarters of the French Cultural Center, the Katharine Lane Weems Society honors our supporters who make planned gifts to the Center. A planned gift through your estate is a wonderful way to leave a legacy of your support of the Center, and will help assure the continued and future success of our programs. Whether by bequest, charitable trust or gift annuity, donors can provide essential, lasting support to the Center and, in many cases, enjoy financial/tax benefits. For more information please contact Joyce Grippen, Director of Development, or call 617.912.0400 ext. 428. 8

MERCI! The French Cultural Center is able to offer hundreds of educational and cultural programs for the New England community each year thanks to the generosity of many individuals, corporations and organizations. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which operates from private funds. The Center gratefully acknowledges the following donors and sponsors who contributed $1000 or more in 2017.

Donors $100,000 and above

$5,000 - $9,999

$1,000 - $2,499

Beaucourt Foundation

Jean-Luc Boulnois

Apple Lane Foundation


Joel Alvord

George and Lisa Ireland

Chris and Darcey Bartel

Jean-François and Nathalie Ducrest

Liberty Mutual Insurance

Bastille Kitchen

Mimi Jigarjian

Elizabeth Blake

$25,000 - $49,999

Lia and William Poorvu

Karl and Constance Brommer

Plimpton-Shattuck Fund

Michael Cirami

Bud and Michelle Stacy

Consulate General of France in Boston

$50,000 - $99,999

William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation Steven Galante and Leanne Cowley Brigitte and Gérard Moufflet Rowe Foundation

$10,000 - $24,999 Zeina and Joseph E. Aoun Bondir Cambridge, James Bondir Barbara (Suki) and Miguel de Bragança Alyssa LeBel and Edward Kaye Gonzague and Elizabeth Montrichard Stephen Mormoris and Robert Cornell Natixis Investment Managers Patrick and Ute Prèvost Ropes & Gray LLP Hervé Sedky Pierre and Mary Ann Sorel Jim and Cathy Stone TV5MONDE USA Michel and Martine Vounatsos Eric and Sarah Ward

$2,500 - $4,999

Brad and Tracy Curley Lauren Daddona

Laurent Amouyal and Julie Gladstone-Amouyal

Regis DeSilva

Marie Brizard

Consulate General of France in Boston

Neil Diver and Katherine Williams

Oliver and Negin Ewald


Jim Hughes

Frederick Ek

Nathaniel Jeppson

Grace and Ted Fey

St. Killian Importing

Ronald Lee Fleming

Anne Lovett

Michael Kendall

The Lovett-Woodsum Foundation

and Alexandra Haagensen

Domaine Clarence Dillon

Nicolas Massard

John and Pamela Humphrey

Merieux Developpement

Institut Français-Paris

David Nikka

Anne Lovett and Steve Woodsum

William Patton

Marcum LLP

Ana Pavlovic


Pernod Ricard USA

Jeffrey Plunkett

Donald Rosenfeld

and Catheline van den Branden

Michael and Karen Rotenberg

Laurie Melchior Scott

The Shane Foundation

Brigitte Scheinmann

Kate Staehly

Peter and Lucy Sprayregen

Stern McCafferty

Jean-Paul and Rebecca Valette

Janet L. Testa

Christopher and Alison Viehbacher

Vinadeis Eric Vogt and Robin Grumman-Vogt La Voile Catering & Events Alvin Warren


2017 FINANCIAL INFORMATION The French Cultural Center reduced its operating deficit to $136,000 in 2017. This improvement was achieved mainly through careful management of expenses. Strong enrollments in Education Programs continued to contribute to the overall financial success. In addition to the operating results shown below, the Center also secured contributions to the Building Renovation Fund in the amount of $1,018,000 as well as contributions to the Mosaïque Fund for benefit of future Cultural Events by over $54,000. The Center’s endowment was valued at $14,178,700 as of December 31, 2017, an increase of 9% from 2016.

FY 2017 Revenue Income from operations *



Fundraising events











Endowment allocation ** Total revenue

$2,347,044 100%

Endowment allocation

21% 40%

Income from operations






Fundraising events

* I ncludes tuition, book sales, translation services, cultural event tickets, facility rentals and proficiency exam fees ** R epresents the endowment funds approved by the Board of Trustees to support annual operations

FY 2017 Expenses


Educational programs



Library programs



Cultural programs



General and administration



Fundraising events






Facilities and technology



Total expenses

$2,482,711 100%

Net income (deficit)



Facilities and technology




Educational programs


Fundraising events

8% Library



General & admin


Cultural programs


Board of Trustees

Executive Director

Steven Galante, Chair

Barbara Bouquegneau

Zeina Aoun Jean-Luc Boulnois

Chief Financial Officer

Barbara (Suki) de Bragança

Michael Richard

Gonzague de Montrichard Catharine-Mary Donovan

Director of Education

Jean-François Ducrest

Elisabeth Karnoub

Alyssa LeBel Stephen Mormoris

Head Librarian

Patrick Prévost

Christianne Beasley

Hervé Sedky Pierre Sorel Lucy Sprayregen Eric Vogt Eric N. Ward Honorary Trustees Vernon R. Alden Alain Briottet Jordan Golding Gérard Moufflet

This 2017 Annual Report was published in November 2018.

Except where noted, photographs are property of the French Cultural Center.


Merci !

53 Marlborough Street Boston, MA 02116 617.912.0400 /frenchculturalcenter


For more information, please contact: Joyce Grippen Director of Development French Cultural Center 53 Marlborough Street Boston, MA 02116 Tel. 617.912.0400 ext. 428 Email.


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