French Cultural Center Annual Report 2018

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Leadership Message ..................................................................2 2018 in Numbers ........................................................................3 2018 Program Highlights ..........................................................4 Leadership Giving .....................................................................8 Merci! ...........................................................................................9 2018 Financial Information .....................................................10 Management team and Trustees of the French Cultural Center ................................................11


LEADERSHIP MESSAGE Only a few hundred feet separate the French Cultural Center from Commonwealth Avenue – which is, of course, a major link in Frederick Law Olmstead’s lovely Emerald Necklace chain of parks. The location is apt; the Center is a jewel in its own right – and in 2018, it sparkled! Start with our core mission: teaching French. The Education Department had its strongest year ever, breaking records for group class registrations. Both the youth and adult programs were successful. The Summer in French program sold out as parents took advantage of this unique experience for children and teens. In a significant innovation, the Center revamped its Accent on Success outreach program, which provides French classes at no cost to promising young people from Boston’s disadvantaged neighborhoods. Rather than sending teachers to the schools, we invited students to the Center. There, they receive access to learning materials in the Center’s library. The students are happy – and learning quickly! The library continued to refresh and update its collection, which now holds 32,556 books, documents, CDs, DVDs, and magazines. Through blog postings, the Center’s librarians also are aiding members and students find the best online language learning tools through podcasts, YouTube videos, e-libraries and other resources. The Center’s cultural calendar was, as usual, multi-faceted. Members and guests enjoyed lectures, roundtable talks, exhibitions, fashion shows, concerts, wine tastings, book readings and more. To enhance program quality and reach new audiences, the Center partnered with notable institutions, such as: • Co-hosting the Boston Book Festival in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S. and the Regroupement des éditeurs franco-canadiens; • An Arts de la Table cooking and etiquette workshop series with French designer Christofle; • A discussion series, Le Business, that examined cross-cultural innovation with Harvard Business School and the French American Chamber of Commerce of New England; • An exhibition and roundtables to note the 50th anniversary of the May ’68 Paris uprising with Harvard University and Northeastern University. The Center’s Mosaïque Committee, which raises funds to support the Center’s cultural activities, had a very proud moment: it created and awarded its first Mosaïque Award for Exceptional Achievement to French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. In stewardship, the big news was the Board of Trustees’ approval of renovation projects that will expand classroom capacity and community space; make the Center accessible to people with limited mobility, and update infrastructure systems. Every jewel occasionally needs polishing, and the French Cultural Center is no exception. With your support, we will keep the Jewel of Marlborough Street shining and bright.



24 instructors

native Francophone

French course registrations

70 different

French courses


403 Summer in French



French books, documents,

CDs and DVDs in our library

2,308 hours of

private French Lessons

894 Library Visits 6,198 Facebook followers 1,377 Twitter followers 1,077 Instagram followers


e-newsletter subscribers


website visitors

A Full Academic year of free French classes 2,000 offered as part of Bastille the official curricula in Day 2 Boston-area schools party goers


Cultural events with more than 5,700 attendees




volunteers 3

2018 PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS Cultural Program In partnership with Northeastern University and Harvard University, we presented “May ‘68 Revisited: The Occupy Movement that Paralyzed France.” This spring-time series of exhibitions, discussions, debates, film screenings, readings and other activities presented the view-points of authors, photographers, journalists, artists, academics, politicians and others to help understand the impact of the May ‘68 uprisings. ©Sasha Israel

Partnering with the French American Chamber of Commerce, we presented a special series dedicated to French and American perspectives on business—from startups, healthcare, and biotech, to cross-cultural challenges in a global economy. Performance, Music and Fashion bloomed at the Center with a sold-out fashion show and the debut of a series of well-attended classical music concerts. Wine tastings and gastronomy programs were developed to

©Sasha Israel

further explore these staple pillars of French culture. From studies of vineyards to cooking and dining workshops, these continue to attract both members and new participants.

Education Program 2018 was a successful year for our Education programs. Our group class registrations continued to increase, reaching 1860, two hundred registrations over the previous year. In addition, our Summer in French program operated at maximum capacity with over 400 registrations including over 70 teens. We continue to be a vibrant exam center: 190 candidates for the DELF and TEF exams compared to 146 in 2017. 2018 was a transition year for our Accent on Success program. During the spring we offered classes at the Taylor Elementary School and Edward M. Kennedy School, both Boston Public Schools. In the fall, we transitioned to an in-house program and welcomed our first cohort of students who will study at the Center for two years.


Membership In 2018, our Membership Department developed initiatives to engage new and returning members and provide further value for our community. In addition to our regular Holiday Party and new member socials, we offered several new member-exclusive events, including our first members-only trivia night , a special reception at Devonia Antiques for our Mosaïque members, Le Brunch for family members of the Center, and a French Game Night. To help guide our member engagement initiatives, we inaugurated the Ambassador Club/Club Ambassadeur. This committee provides outreach for the Center in their professional and social circles and provides the member perspective on a variety of initiatives, including member events and marketing efforts. Other notable happenings included starting a Member Spotlight on our blog that highlights our members, adding and renewing partnerships with over 15 Club Avantage partners, and continuing to offer additional discounts with our various partner organizations’ French and francophone-inspired events, including the MFA’s French Film Festival, and Celebrity Series of Boston’s Accrorap dance concert.

Library The Library currently has 32,556 books, documents, CDs, DVDs, and magazines in the collection. Through the Center’s blog, the library has helped members discover French resources through podcasts, YouTube, and e-libraries. As this part of our website reaches beyond our community (with our most popular post reaching 3,439 readers!), it continues to help cement the Center as an authority in the francophone world. For the fifth year in a row, the French Cultural Center hosted the Boston Book Festival, co-presented with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S. and with the Regroupement des éditeurs franco-canadiens. We welcomed Hubert Haddad, J.R. Léveillé, and CharlesEtienne Ferland on October 13th. 5


Mosaïque Award Ceremony March 23, 2018 The French Cultural Center and Mosaïque Committee was proud to present French pianist and film, fashion and art collaborator Jean-Yves Thibaudet with the first-ever Mosaïque Award for Exceptional Achievement.

Maison Alex Gambal Wine Dinner April 12, 2018 The Maison Alex Gambal Wine Dinner was an intimate affair limited to 45 guests who enjoyed the ultimate Burgundy experience in a private club on Beacon Hill. The wines were presented by Guest of Honor Alexandre Brault, Co-Gérant of Maison Alex Gambal. Proceeds benefitted our cultural and educational programs.

Le Bal Révolution May 12, 2018

©Michael Blanchard Photography

For our major fundraising spring gala, Le Bal Révolution, we stormed the Liberty Hotel for an evening of cocktails, dinner, dancing and a silent auction. The Co-Chairs and committees, Le Bal Mosaïque and Les Révolutionnaires, helped the French Cultural Center staff create a memorable and festive evening for approximately 150 guests. Proceeds supported the Mosaïque Cultural Fund.

Le Tour de France Viticole Wine Dinner October 22, 2018

©Michael Blanchard Photography


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 twelfth year now, our wine dinner for 100+ guests is one of Boston’s finest wine events, featuring stellar wines, exceptional vintages and world-renowned vintners. The committee and the guests who attend share a

Le Tour de France Viticole Wine Dinner (Cont.)

©Michael Blanchard Photography

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 2018 wine dinner featured outstanding wines from Château Haut-Bailly and Château de Fargues, which were presented by guest of honor Véronique Sanders, General Manager of Château Haut-Bailly, and by Philippe de Lur Saluces, Co-Manager of Château de Fargues.

Bastille Day July 13, 2018 Our 43rd annual Bastille Day block party took place on July 13, 2018 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 Franco-American friendship, cultural diversity in New England and the pillars of the French republic: Liberté, Égalité, and Fraternité. ©Michael Blanchard Photography

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. 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, Delta Airlines 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 Katharine Lane Weems Trust Anonymous (1)

$100,001 - $999,999

Vernon and Marion Alden

Jeffrey Plunkett and Catheline van den Branden

Zeina and Joseph E. Aoun

Patrick and Ute Prévost

William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation

Dorothy Rowe†

Cabot Corporation

Stephen and Isabelle Roy

Brad and Tracy Curley

Sequana Capital

Barbara (Suki) and Miguel de Bragança

Pierre and Mary Ann Sorel

Jean-François and Nathalie Ducrest

Jim and Cathy Stone

Grace and Ted Fey

Janet L. Testa

Steven Galante and Leanne Cowley

Jean-Paul and Rebecca Valette

Brigitte and Gérard Moufflet

Arnaud de Vitry†

Natixis Investment Managers

Peter and Pamela Voss

Ken and Aulikiki Olsen†

Eric and Sarah Ward

Lia and William Poorvu


Annual Fund: Leadership Giving Circles Unrestricted gifts to the Center’s Annual Fund provide critical operating support, help ensure financial stability for our organization and grant flexibility to our staff to seize innovative programming opportunities that foster institutional growth. Our Leadership Giving Circles recognize our donors who contribute $1,000 or more to our Annual Fund.

George Sand Circle

Alexandre Dumas Circle

$25,000 and above

$5,000 - $9,999

Beaucourt Foundation

Jean-Luc Boulnois

Leadership Giving Circles Rowe Foundation William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation

France24 Bud and Michelle Stacy

Named after historic leaders in different fields who positively impacted the Francophone world at-large, our

Claude Debussy Circle

Le Marquis de La Fayette Circle

Leadership Giving Circles recognize our donors who contribute $1,000 or more to our Annual Fund. We gratefully

$1,000 - $2,499 $10,000the - $24,999 acknowledge following Center supporters in our Leadership Giving Circles. Karen and Thomas Allen Zeina and Joseph E. Aoun Barbara (Suki) and Miguel de Bragança Delta Airlines Jean-François and Nathalie Ducrest Steven Galante and Leanne Cowley Alyssa LeBel and Edward Kaye Nicolas Massard and Emily McComb Stephen Mormoris and Robert Cornell Brigitte & Gérard Moufflet Lia and William Poorvu Patrick and Ute Prévost Ropes & Gray, LLP Hervé Sedky Pierre and Mary Ann Sorel Jim and Cathy Stone TV5MONDE Eric and Sarah Ward Vincent and Susan Zelenko

Scott Schoen and Nancy Adams Apple Lane Foundation Chris and Darcey Bartel Karl and Constance Brommer Oliver and Negin Ewald Brian Hasbrouk Herbert and Leila Hooper Anne Lovett and Steve Woodsum Christopher and Sally Lutz David and Joanna Nikka William and Leslie Patton Sea-Dar Construction The Shane Foundation Peter and Lucy Sprayregen Stern & McCafferty Amy Gallant Sullivan Thomas W. Thaler Jean-Paul and Rebecca Valette Alvin and Judy Warren Barbara White


2018 FINANCIAL INFORMATION The French Cultural Center further reduced its operating deficit to below $25,000 in 2018. The success of our Educational Programs and the generous support of our Fundraising activities were instrumental to our financial results. In addition to the operating results shown above, the Center also secured contributions to the Building Renovation Fund in the amount of $493,000 as well as contributions to the Mosaïque Fund for benefit of future Cultural Events by over $56,000. The Center’s endowment was valued at $15,095,800 as of December 31, 2018, an increase of 6% from 2017.

FY 2018 Revenue Income from operations *



Fundraising events

$495,656 19.5%


$364,218 14.3%

Membership Endowment allocation ** Total revenue



Endowment Allocation

21.7% 41%

Income from Operations



$550,428 21.7% $2,542,294 100%




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 2018 Expenses Educational programs

$926,402 36.1%

Library programs



Cultural programs



General and administration

$483,058 18.8%

Fundraising events

$316,504 12.3%



Facilities and technology

$279,679 10.9%

Total expenses Net income (deficit)


Facilities and Technology




Educational Programs


Fundraising Events


$2,566,656 100% ($24,362)


6.9% 18.8%

General & Admin

Library Programs


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

Hilary Grove Alyssa LeBel

Director of Development

Nicolas Massard

Joyce Grippen

Stephen Mormoris Patrick Prévost

Director of Marketing

Hervé Sedky

Jamie Haslett

Pierre Sorel Lucy Sprayregen


Eric Vogt

Ingrid Marquardt

Eric N. Ward Vincent Zelenko Honorary Trustees Vernon R. Alden Alain Briottet Jordan Golding Gérard Moufflet

This 2018 Annual Report was published in October 2019.

Except where noted, photographs are property of the French Cultural Center. 11

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.