French Cultural Center Annual Report 2015

Page 1

Photo of lanterns – front cover: Charlotte Cutter

Contents Introductory Message.................................................................2 2015 in Numbers.........................................................................3 70th Anniversary Celebration...................................................4 Learning French at the Center...................................................6 Community Outreach Programs............................................10 The Library.................................................................................12 Cultural Events..........................................................................14 2015 Cultural Events Calendar...............................................16 Bastille Day................................................................................18 Membership...............................................................................20 Gatherings and Fundraising Events.......................................22 Nous sommes Charlie, Nous sommes Paris.................................26 Merci! ..........................................................................................27 2015 Financial Information......................................................31 Trustees and Executive Management Team of the French Cultural Center......................................................32

A nnual R eport 2015

INTRODUCtory Message In 2015, the French Cultural Center celebrated a major milestone: reaching our 70th anniversary. Throughout the year, the staff and the board reflected on our beloved institution’s history, and we mapped promising new directions. This annual report to you — our members, donors and friends — highlights the Center’s activities during the past year. They ranged from the intimate, such as talks by authors Patrick Deville and Tatiana de Rosnay, to our annual Bastille Day street festival, and from in-house French language classes for all ages, to outreach programs in Boston-area schools. The facing page gives a glimpse of how busy we were. Our 70th year also marked the completion of a two-year review of the Center’s strategy and infrastructure, and the adoption of a roadmap for the future. As a result, you soon will see the Center organizing higher-profile events focusing on “la France contemporaine.” We decided to adjust the Center’s membership offerings to make it easier for students, families and others with limited means to join our community. And we committed to making needed investments in our historic Marlborough Street facilities. Already, we have upgraded the IT system, and we soon will begin building renovations (that will, of course, respect and preserve its much-admired French Revival architecture). Amid the celebrations and planning, however, occurred attacks in Paris that shocked the world. In the wake of each tragedy, the French Cultural Center organized events in Boston that drew together people of diverse nationalities, races and religions to express grief, mutual support and their rejection of hatred and barbarism. During those intensely difficult times, the Center’s staff itself was sustained by generous outpourings of support – by phone calls, e-mails and flowers delivered to our doorstep. Far from being discouraging, today’s turmoil only reinforces our commitment to fostering crosscultural understanding. As we pursue that mission, please keep in mind that the French Cultural Center is an independent, private, not-for-profit educational and cultural organization. Our funding comes from you, our members, donors, sponsors and friends. We thank you for your generosity during our 70th anniversary year, and we look forward to counting you as partners in our new endeavors.


Photo by Roger Farrington

Steven P. Galante

Catheline van den Branden

Chairman, Board of Trustees

President, Executive Director



French class registrations



e-newsletter subscribers


Facebook likes


website visitors

different language courses

with 2,609


French books, documents,

CDs and DVDs in our library


electronic resources

on Culturethèque

members 10,649


1,125 volunteers


67 cultural events 54 attendees

native Francophone


Boston area

schools supported

by our free French after-school program


kids and teens enrolled in Summer in French

2,509 hours of private French lessons

2,000 138

Bastille Day

party goers

partners & sponsors

70th Anniversary Celebration Founded in 1945 by former members of the Boston chapter of France Forever, a group that supported the Allied liberation of France during WWII, the French Cultural Center brings the richness and diversity of France and the French-speaking world to New England residents through arts and education programming and its French library. Over the past 70 years, our 501(c)(3) non-profit organization has grown to become one of the leading institutions of French culture in the United States. We are home to the Alliance Française (Boston and Cambridge Chapter) and to the second largest French lending library in the United States, with nearly 1,000 active users. In 2015, more than 1,800 students registered for French classes and 2,609 visitors attended lectures, live performances, art exhibitions, film screenings, cooking workshops and family events at the Center. On May 7, we welcomed 103 guests to the Center, including Center trustees, donors, members and community partners, for a soirée in honor of the 70th anniversary of our institution’s founding. A celebration complete with champagne, French hors d’œuvres, desserts and live jazz, this soirée also featured a retrospective exhibition on the Center’s historical highlights and community impact, showcasing its evolution from a one-room library of 500 French books to the full-fledged cultural center that we are today. Attendees were also invited to our library to share and document their favorite Center memories.

MILESTONES An Overview of the Center’s

70-Year History

We move to our current home at 53 Marlborough St., donated by sculptor Katharine Lane Weems.

We outgrow our Newbury St. home and move to 10 Arlington St.


1949 Belle P. Rand and other Bostonarea Francophiles establish the French Library in Boston at 126 Newbury St.



1985 Under Georges Doriot’s leadership, we acquire the adjacent townhouse at 300 Berkeley St.

Photos of event by Herb Swanson

We celebrate 70 years of promoting Francophone cultures and French language in New England!

We unite with the Alliance Franรงaise of Boston and Cambridge.

1993 To better represent the scope of our programs, we rebrand as The French Library and Cultural Center, Inc.




We simplify our name and rebrand as the French Cultural Center.

Learning French at the Center The quality of our French language education program is unmatched in New England. Every one of our language instructors is a native French speaker. The world-renowned Alliance Française full-immersion method is the foundation of our classroom teaching. Our students have an unparalleled selection of classes from which to choose. In 2015, we offered 67 distinct group courses, and we provided 2,509 hours of private lessons.

Programs for Adults Our courses are designed for all levels of French and include grammar, conversation, intensive programs and thematic classes in literature and humanities. Small class sizes (maximum 10) create intimate settings where students receive personalized attention and timely feedback from their instructors. Group courses run in 10-week sessions and are offered on weekdays, in the evenings and on Saturdays to accommodate busy professionals’ schedules. In 2015, new thematic courses included Francophone African Literature, French Baroque Opera, and Philosophy of Modern Society.

Language Proficiency Exams The Center is one of only a few language schools in New England qualified to administer the internationally recognized French language proficiency exams, DELF (Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française) and TEF (Test d’Evaluation de Français). In 2015, we offered these exams in three locations (at the Center, Milton High School and the École Française du Maine) for 100 students. Successful candidates were awarded formal certificates by the French Ministry of Education, which are required by many Francophone countries for naturalization, job and university applications.

Teacher and Student Awards Each year, the Center awards a prize to an adult student to pursue further study in a Francophone country as well as a prize for outstanding teaching. The Rebecca and Jean-Paul Valette Alliance Française Prize is a $2,500 prize awarded to an adult student who completes two consecutive group classes at the beginner level and who writes an essay in French describing a compelling proposal for a travel-based research project. The 2015 prize winner, Rebekah Stout, traveled to various regions in France to complete a multidisciplinary project exploring figure painting and poetry. The de Bragança Excellence in Teaching Award was presented to Andreia De Figueiredo and Nora Massoc, who each received $500 in recognition of their exemplary teaching at the Center. We are grateful to Rebecca and Jean-Paul Valette and Suki and Miguel de Bragança for their renewed support of these awards.


Education in 2015 Classes

Courses * Registrations







Summer in French for kids and teens



Intensive programs and workshops



Private lessons





Total * Numbers do not reflect multiple sections of the same course

Education Committee Zeina Aoun, Chair Brian Thompson Jeffrey Plunkett

Programs for Children Children’s language courses are at the heart of the Center’s education programming, with a total of 816 registrations in 2015. We offer the Alliance Française “Smart Steps to French” curriculum, as well as learning-through-play courses: Les P’tits Chefs (cooking), Le P’tit Labo (science) and Les P’tits Artistes (arts & crafts).

Summer in French One of the most popular class sessions, the Summer in French language immersion program for children and teens, had 301 registrations. Through lively and age-appropriate activities tailored to their individual level of French, children aged 3-12 learned new vocabulary as well as conversation and writing skills. Each week centered on one theme and included special activities such as visits from exotic animals, puppet shows, cooking, theater and art. The Summer in French for Teens curriculum used a comprehensive approach to language acquisition based on vocabulary building, grammar, and reading and writing exercises. Expanding beyond the traditional classroom setting, the thematic language workshops, as well as field trips to museums and restaurants, allowed students to experience French culture through studio art, theater, fashion, gastronomy, architecture and science, creating unforgettable summer memories and lasting friendships.


We are not a French-speaking family, but we wanted to give our kids the gift of French language. We started [our son Marcel] when he was 1 year old. He’s 7 years old now. The results are almost scary. We have been asked why Marcel speaks French like a native French child so many times. How can this be when no one at home speaks French? Thank you French Cultural Center for giving us this gift! Marcel’s face lights up when he’s at the Center and he never says he does not want

Family events We welcomed more than 200 children and parents to the Center for fun-filled Saturday gatherings in French: Fête des Rois (January), workshops with author Véronique Massenot

to go to French class. For us, the Center is just part of our lives. If I had

(October) and the traditional

to do it again? I would not wait until he was 1 year old – I’d take him

Fête des Enfants (December).

straight from the hospital where he was born to the Center!


— Basil Sharpe Father of Marcel, 8, and Gracielle, 4



opportunities to bring whole families into the Center and to allow parents to experience the atmosphere and teaching methods used in their children’s classrooms.

Community Outreach Programs Accent on Success — 10 Year Anniversary! Since its inception in 2005, the French Cultural Center’s Accent on Success after-school program has provided French language instruction free of charge to over 1,300 children and teens in underserved Boston area schools. Our annual Tour de France Viticole wine dinner serves to raise the critical funds needed to sustain Accent on Success. In 2015, we were able to provide full scholarships for 13 Accent on Success students to participate in our Summer in French program. We also established the Gérard and Brigitte Moufflet Fund for Accent on Success to further support the program’s mission. The French Cultural Center is grateful to Gérard and Brigitte Moufflet for playing an essential role in launching Accent on Success and helping to ensure its annual operation for the past 10 years and beyond.

Institutional Memberships and School Visits The Center supports French language teaching in New England schools through its institutional membership program. A total of 47 schools and organizations joined our community as institutional members in 2015, including 24 Boston public schools on a complimentary basis. As institutional members, schools have access to our library’s books, films and music as well as articles from newspapers and magazines, multimedia eBooks, and language learning materials from our online library and newsstand, Culturethèque. Institutional members also enjoy complimentary field trips to the Center. More than 300 local school children visited the Center in 2015. Field trip activities included tours of the Center, scavenger hunts through the library, film screenings and workshops on conversation, music, art and cooking.

Middle School Teacher Awards The Alliance Française of Boston Award for Middle School Teachers of French is a new prize created to fund projects that help promote French language learning and strengthen middle school French programs. In 2015, Dominique Le Paul (of Melican Middle School, Northborough), Kathryne Presswood (of Kennedy Middle School, Natick), Wendy Perkins (of Worcester Academy) and Laura Sylvan (of Vassal Lane Upper School, Cambridge) each received this $400 award. Projects funded by this award included student subscriptions to interactive, full-immersion French language learning websites and live conversation sessions in French with middle school students from Québec through the use of iPads.


Accent on Success

Through its partnership with the Richard J. Murphy School, the

With three new schools joining in

barriers of communication and provided access to skills and insight

2015, the program operated in 11 urban schools: Josiah Quincy School, Chinatown Boston International High School, Dorchester Epiphany School, Dorchester Richard J. Murphy School, Dorchester Curley K-8 School, Jamaica Plain JP Manning School, Jamaica Plain Boston Latin Academy, Longwood Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, Mission Hill Excel High School, South Boston Ohrenberger School, West Roxbury Rindge Avenue Upper School, Cambridge

French Cultural Center has helped our students to break through into different cultures. For some of our students, their participation in the Accent on Success program is their first time experiencing a language other than English, and for others, the program allows them to strengthen a connection to a language and cultural heritage which has waned over distance and time. French Cultural Center teacher, Mademoiselle Marie, quickly formed a strong bond with our students and instilled in them a desire to learn. Her lessons and activities not only supported our students in learning the French language, but also helped them to work together on a common goal and better understand each other. — Harry Gilliam Assistant Principal Richard J. Murphy School, Dorchester

The Library When the French Cultural Center’s predecessor, the French Library in Boston, was founded in 1945, it consisted of a single room with 500 books. Today, our French library is the largest of its kind in New England. Our collections are comprised of more than 28,000 books, magazines, DVDs, CDs and electronic and educational materials. The library is open to the public, with borrowing privileges reserved for the Center’s members. Users can consult the electronic catalogue to search library collections, reserve and renew books, share bibliographies, use RSS feeds and even provide suggestions for new acquisitions.

Bouillon de Lectures


Michel Tremblay


Nouveautés 2014


Littérature algérienne

informal book club that meets monthly to discuss



different books within a selected literary theme.






Emmanuel Carrère


Classiques du théâtre


Marguerite Yourcenar

Led by our head librarian, Bouillon de lectures is an


Members of the French Cultural Center have unlimited access to this online multimedia platform containing French eBooks, CDs, videos and the latest issues of French magazines. In 2015, over 113,000 resources were added to Culturethèque, including over 70,000 CDs. The library staff added new QR codes to signage featuring recommended resources, allowing members to have instant access to highlighted items.

Children’s Reading Room One of the Center’s treasures is our cozy and colorful children’s reading room, lined with over 4,400 books for our young readers. The library staff expanded the children’s collection, as well as added more board games and playing cards in French. A $5,000 anonymous gift enabled us to further develop our resources for children and young adults.


Library Committee Zeina Aoun, Chair Steven Galante Pierre Sorel Eric N. Ward

Library in 2015 28,905

Books, documents, CDs and DVDs


Resources in Culturethèque


Items checked out


Library users


New acquisitions


Book club sessions

Book Sale In May and in November, the library opened its doors to the public for a beloved event – the book sale. More than 1,500 books for adults and children were sold, raising a total of $1,545 to help the library acquire new books.

Community Engagement With the head librarian at the International School of Boston (ISB), we established our Livr’aison book exchange program to further enrich the children’s collections at ISB and the Center. Every two months, a diverse, curated selection of 20 fiction and non-fiction books for children are exchanged between our institutions. We also maintained our book deposit program with the libraries of Belmont and Waltham, loaning each of them a unique rotating selection of 120+ books.

Cultural Events For 70 years now, the French Cultural Center has been an integral part of Boston’s cultural and intellectual scene. It is a place to experience French literature, current events, cinema, design, music and gastronomy. In addition, our art gallery features monthly exhibitions linked to French and/or Francophone cultures. Nearly 2,600 visitors attended the 54 cultural events that we presented in 2015.


SAÏQUE Cultural Fund

The Mosaïque Cultural Fund supports expanded and exceptional cultural programming at the Center, including events featuring high-profile Francophone artists, writers, chefs and performing artists. In 2015, Mosaïque sponsored several cultural programs, notably a lecture by French author Tatiana de Rosnay. Thanks to individual gifts, fundraising events and Mosaïque memberships, $53,000 was raised for Mosaïque in 2015. Since the inception of the fund in 2011, $472,809 has been raised for Mosaïque.

Gastronomy Workshops We further developed our gastronomy programming in 2015 by offering nine pastry workshops for over 100 students. Students had the opportunity to learn


Pâte à Choux and Éclairs




M’hancha aux Amandes and Tarte au Sirop d’Érable


Tarte au Citron Méringuée




Tarte Tatin


First Steps in the World of Pastry

how to bake traditional French desserts such as tarte tatin as well as treats from other Francophone countries including m’hancha aux amandes from Morocco. As a special series, we welcomed Chef Franck Geuffroy, Pastry Director of the acclaimed École de Cuisine Alain Ducasse, for three pastry workshops in October. The Center looks forward to hosting Chef Geuffroy once again for pastry workshops in October 2016.


All about La Pâte à Choux Pie! Pie! Pie!

Mosaïque Committee

Art Committee

Suki de Bragança, Chair Gail Banks Alexandra Chabrerie Susan Clancy Tracy Curley Elaine Hepworth Francis J. Hughes Ute Prévost Karen Rotenberg Isabelle Roy Pierre Sorel Nathalie Tabor Martha Volpe

Lucy Sprayregen, Chair Regis A. de Silva Aurélie Galois James Paradis

2015 Cultural Events Calendar JANUARY



Exhibition. Members Art Show Family. Fête des Rois Food & Wine. Pâte à Choux and Éclairs pastry workshop Ciné-Club de l’Alliance. Screening and discussion: L’Autre Dumas, 2010 Concert. Impressions Intimes starring pianist Tania Stavreva

Exhibition. À Table. Paintings by Pascale Lord Food & Wine. M’hancha aux Amandes and Tarte au Sirop d’Érable pastry workshop Ciné-Club de l’Alliance. Screening and discussion: Un rêve américain, 2013 Lecture. Jeanne et Osithée, Parallèles Croisées. Play by Jean-Claude Redonnet and Grégoire Chabot Lecture. Designing the Future of Food. Panel discussion with French designers François Azambourg and Marc Bretillot and American Scientist David Edwards co-presented with Le Laboratoire Cambridge

Food & Wine. Tarte au Citron Méringuée pastry workshop Exhibition. Louis Pasteur and the Evolution of the Vaccine. Photographs from Le Musée Pasteur, made possible with generous support from Sanofi Ciné-Club de l’Alliance. Screening and discussion: Entre ses mains, 2005 Lecture. Talk and book signing by Patrick Deville, author of Peste & Choléra, made possible with generous support from Sanofi

FEBRUARY Exhibition. Paris et Provence. Photographs by Béla Kalman Social. Fête de la Chandeleur, crêpe day Food & Wine. Confiseries pastry workshop Social. Speed Dating in French Food & Wine. French Wine Scholar Program Ciné-Club de l’Alliance. Screening and discussion: Dans la maison, 2012

Pianist Tania Stavreva demonstrated how French music has influenced composers around the world in her concert titled Impressions Intimes. This program featured riveting pieces composed by Federico Mompou of Spain, Houston Dunleavy of Australia and Pancho Vladigerov of Bulgaria.


In honor of Francophonie month, we co-presented a screening of Un rêve américain with the Québec Government Office in Boston. In this documentary, Franco-Ontarian musician Damien Robitaille embarks on a crosscountry road trip exploring the extraordinary history of the 11,000,000+ people of French Canadian heritage living in the United States. Following the screening, the audience enjoyed an open discussion and reception with Damien Robitaille and producer Claude Godbout.

MAY Food & Wine. Kouign-Amann pastry workshop Exhibition. Dans le Jardin. Photographs by Dag Scheer Lecture. Talk by Junie Terrier, author of Derrière le papier à fleurs Ciné-Club de l’Alliance. Screening and discussion: 99 francs, 2007 Lecture. Talk by Rex Passion, author of The Lost Sketchbooks: A Young Artist in the Great War

Author Patrick Deville spoke about his adventurous, fictional biography on Franco-Swiss microbiologist Alexandre Yersin titled Peste & Choléra. Winner of the Prix Femina in 2012, Peste & Choléra explores epidemics, colonialism, world wars and Yersin’s fascinating discovery of the bubonic plague. This event was made possible thanks to generous support from Sanofi.




Food & Wine. Tarte Tatin pastry workshop Exhibition. Dans le Jardin. Photographs by Dag Scheer Lecture. La Romance de Paris: A Musical Promenade by Desmond Colborne Family. Screening: Minuscule, la vallée des fourmis perdues, 2013 Ciné-Club de l’Alliance. Screening and discussion: La Tête en friche, 2010 Theatre. LAFAYETTE, a one act play by Ian Curteis

Exhibition. The Sojourn. Paintings by Regina Berkeley Family. Mail art workshop with author Véronique Massenot Family. Travel diary workshop with author Véronique Massenot Food & Wine. Pastry workshops with Chef Franck Geuffroy Food & Wine. Le Café Gourmand with Chef Franck Geuffroy Lecture. Talk and book signing by Tatiana de Rosnay, author of Manderley for ever Boston Book Festival. Talks by three authors: François Furstenberg on When the United States Spoke French; Antonio Casilli on online trolling; Elaine Sciolino, contributor for The New York Times, on The Only Street in Paris co-presented with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States Ciné-Club de l’Alliance. Screening and discussion: Après mai, 2012

Exhibition. L’Iconographie Française. Drawings and paintings by Lully Schwartz Ciné-Club de l’Alliance. Screening and discussion: Tu veux…ou tu veux pas, 2014 Concert. From Chopin to Ravel by pianist Hélène Tysman co-presented with the Consulate General of France in Boston

New York Times bestselling author Tatiana de Rosnay spoke about her remarkable career as well as her 2015 biography on Daphné du Maurier titled Manderley for ever. Ms. de Rosnay also spoke about her 2007 novel Sarah’s Key: an international sensation that has sold more than 10 million copies all over the world and was adapted for film.

With over 750 visitors, our 14th annual Marché de Noël was a tremendous success. Visitors enjoyed complimentary warm cider and mulled wine and discovered culinary treats, clothing, linens, soaps and crafts from merchants bringing the essence of France to Boston.

SEPTEMBER Exhibition. Les Mystères de Paris. Photographs by Ellen Feldman Ciné-Club de l’Alliance. Screening and discussion: La Vénus à la fourrure, 2013 Food & Wine. Wine & Chocolate tasting workshop

Following his pastry workshop series, Chef Franck Geuffroy presented an authentic Parisian Café Gourmand in our ballroom, which we transformed into a cozy salon de thé for the occasion. Attendees sampled and learned about classic French miniature desserts including financiers, macarons à l’ancienne, chouquettes and mousse au chocolat.

DECEMBER Exhibition. L’Iconographie Française. Drawings and paintings by Lully Schwartz Festival. Le Marché de Noël Ciné-Club de l’Alliance. Screening and discussion: La Belle et la Bête, 2014 Family. Fête des Enfants

Bastille Day Our 40th annual Bastille Day celebration took place on July 10, 2015. 2,000 New Englanders gathered on





Bastille Day 2015 in numbers


Franco-American friendship, cultural diversity in New England and the cherished pillars of the French republic:





throughout Boston, on the MBTA and in local news outlets, this event sold out for the second year in a row and at a record 24 hours in advance.




VIP guests


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. Two phenomenal Francophone bands rocked the concert stage: The Hot Sardines, a Franco-





American sensation whose “hot jazz” got the party

Promotional reach

started, followed by the world-renowned Paris

through media partners

Combo, who electrified the crowd with its brilliant mix of French pop, jazz and cabaret with gypsy, Latino and Middle Eastern rhythms. The VIP Reception welcomed members of our sponsor and donor community, including many of Boston’s arts






philanthropic leaders. Un grand merci to our gold sponsors, Natixis Global Asset Management and Air France, for their indispensable support.

What New Englanders love about Bastille Day The entire experience was just wonderful. The music was outstanding. The food and drinks were delicious and perfectly appropriate for Bastille Day. The crowd was lively and at ease. Everyone was enjoying themselves and having a fun time. This is always a beautiful evening in Boston, offering great opportunities to connect with others while celebrating the Francophone World! I love the French street party atmosphere and the live music was fantastic! 18

Photos on page 19: Girl with waffle; friends with masks; man, child with hat, and woman; and top left man and woman by Roger Farrington. All other photos on page 19 by Russ Mezikofsky Photography.

Membership The 1,393 members of the French Cultural Center enjoy borrowing privileges from our library, discounts on our French language courses and cultural events, unlimited complimentary access to Culturethèque and invitations to members-only social evenings. Members also enjoy discounts at local French restaurants and retailers through our Club Avantage program as well as reduced admission to select cultural events hosted by partner organizations including ArtsEmerson, Harvard Film Archive and Celebrity Series of Boston.

Members Art Show During the month of January, twelve members exhibited their works of art in the Center’s gallery for the annual Members Art Show. All of the pieces contained a Francophone cultural link, yet ranged in style, medium and dimension.

Social Events On May 27 and October 14, we welcomed a total of 149 new members for guided tours and a social reception at the Center, which provided opportunities for our members to learn about our institution’s building, history and programs as well as meet and mingle with the staff and fellow new members over French wine and hors d’œuvres. On December 1, we welcomed a sold-out crowd of 136 members for our beloved members holiday party, complete with live French jazz music, dancing, wine, hors d’œuvres and sweets.

Volunteers The many lectures, concerts, exhibitions and special events organized this year would not have been possible without a community of dedicated volunteers. We are immensely grateful to our 1,125 volunteers for their outstanding service and commitment to the Center. In 2014, we instituted a loyalty point system to reward volunteers who earn points towards complimentary memberships and language classes. Nine volunteers received complimentary memberships in 2015.


Top photo on page 20 by Roger Farrington

Gatherings and Fundraising Events The French Cultural Center’s special events





elegance, ambiance and charm, and generated indispensable funding for the daily operations of our programs.

Le Bal du Labyrinthe March 28, 2015 For the first time in the history of the French Cultural Center, we opened up three floors of our double brownstone mansion for our signature spring black-tie cocktail dînatoire for 200 guests. Our staff, with tremendous support from our Honorary Hosts and Bal




transformed the Center to create a Frenchinspired





every turn including two dance floors, a photobooth and even a cinema! Proceeds supported the Mosaïque Cultural Fund and our Accent on Success French language instruction after-school program.

Le Bal Committee Miguel de Bragança Olivia Dufour Nina Eastman Olivia Ives-Flores Serge Roux Stéphanie Roux Trevor Stricker 22

All photos on page 22-23 by Russ Mezikofsky Photography

Themes of Le Bal 2012 – Le Bal de l’Absinthe 2013 – Le Bal de Saint Germain-des-Prés 2014 – Le Bal Électro 2015 – Le Bal du Labyrinthe

A Parisian Soirée with the Legends of Chansons Françaises June 13, 2015 Our Chansons Françaises Soirée was our most successful Mosaïque fundraiser of the year with 89 guests in attendance. At this cocktail dînatoire taking place on the first floor of the Center, guests danced the night away to top 1920s-1970s hits from the chanson française genre performed by New York’s sensational Oh Là Là jazz band, led by native Parisian singer Marie Michèle.

Extraordinary Wine Dinner September 8, 2015 During this private evening at L’Espalier restaurant, wine importer and connoisseur Frederick Ek presented a remarkable selection of France’s finest wines from his own personal cellar — all mature and rare vintages from Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne as well as the Loire and Rhone Valleys. Nine guests enjoyed this event consisting of a champagne reception and six-course dinner featuring expert wine pairings. Proceeds supported the Mosaïque Cultural Fund. The Center is deeply grateful to Mr. Ek for generously sharing his expertise and donating the extraordinary wines for this event.

Le Tour de France Viticole Wine Dinner October 26, 2015 Le Tour de France Viticole wine dinner is the principal fundraiser for the Center and our Accent on Success French language instruction after-school program offered free of charge to students in Boston area schools. In its ninth year now, our wine dinner has 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 and a profound appreciation for the fine wines of France. The 2015 wine dinner featured exquisite wines from Château Cheval Blanc and Château d’Yquem, presented by guest of honor Pierre Lurton, Managing Director of Château Cheval Blanc and President of Château d’Yquem. Held at the Chilton Club in Boston, the event raised $255,000. Wines served Champagne Bollinger La Grande Année Brut 2004 Y 2012 Château Quinault L’Enclos 2011 Château Cheval Blanc 2006 Château Cheval Blanc 2001 Château d’Yquem 1989


All photos on page 24-25 by Roger Farrington

History of Le Tour de France Viticole 2004 – Taste of Provence Château St. Julien d’Aille Domaine de Trians Château La Calisse Les Maîtres Vignerons de la Presqu’île de Saint-Tropez 2007 – Château Lynch-Bages 2009 – Maison Joseph Drouhin 2010 – Château Palmer 2011 – Château Margaux 2012 – Château Angélus 2013 – M. Chapoutier 2014 – Château Mouton Rothschild 2015 – Château Cheval Blanc and Château d’Yquem

Year after year, the French Cultural Center hosts a wine dinner gala in the fall with both the wines and the winemakers directly from legendary châteaux. How do we do this year after year and raise more than $200,000 for the Center and its Accent on Success program at the same time? Our secret is the Wine Committee and our impeccably organized staff. Imagine for a moment if you had to put on a black-tie dinner for 100+ [guests], with the finest French wines, and design a paired set of courses! Our Wine Committee team pulls this off flawlessly. — Eric Vogt Trustee and Wine Committee Chair

Wine Committee Eric Vogt, Chair Jean-François Ducrest Frederick Ek Steven Galante Brigitte Moufflet Patrick Prévost

Nous sommes Charlie, Nous sommes Paris Following the terrorist attacks in Paris and its suburbs on January 7 and November 13, the French Cultural Center received a remarkable outpouring of support from people from all over New England, ranging from flowers to messages of sympathy written in our condolences book to offers to provide free counseling services and host European families stranded in Boston. In response to the attacks on January 7, we organized a gathering to honor the victims during which we showed cartoons from Charlie Hebdo. We


also welcomed a diverse panel of scholars for a discussion on tolerance in regard to satire and religion. In the wake of the attacks in November, we continued to encourage people to visit the Center to seek support and friendship. We stand together with the victims of terrorism and feel more strongly than ever that we must continue our work of building bonds between people who come from different backgrounds and cultures in order to help yield a more peaceful future.

Merci! The French Cultural Center maintains its high standard of education and cultural programming 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 $500 or more in 2015.

Donors $100,000 and above

$5,000 - $9,999

$1,000 - $2,499

Beaucourt Foundation; Rowe Foundation

Tom and Lisa Blumenthal

Vernon R. Alden

Brian and Karen Conway

Karl and Constance Brommer

France 24

Anna Laure Bursaux

John and Pamela Humphrey

Alexandra Chabrerie and Ian Watson

Jack and Elizabeth Meyer

Christophe Couturier

$50,000 - $99,999 Jean-François and Nathalie Ducrest Steven Galante and Leanne Cowley Cynthia and John S. Reed Jean-Paul and Rebecca Valette

$25,000 - $49,999 William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation Jérôme and Bénédicte Malavoy Pierre and Mary Ann Sorel

$10,000 - $24,999 Zeina and Joseph E. Aoun Cabot Corporation Charles and Julie Davidson Suki and Miguel de Bragança Michael Kendall and Alexandra Haagensen Alyssa LeBel and Edward Kaye Natixis Global Asset Management Plimpton - Shattuck Fund Patrick and Ute Prévost Hervé Sedky Eric and Sarah Ward Anonymous (1)

Brigitte and Gérard Moufflet

and Johanna Schick-Couturier

Ryan and Erin Nagle

Catharine-Mary Donovan

Jeffrey Plunkett

First Republic Bank

and Catheline van den Branden Lia and William Poorvu Ropes & Gray LLP

Sibila Glöggler Korb Député Frédéric Lefebvre - Réserve Parlementaire

Bud and Michelle Stacy

Elaine M. Hepworth

Jim and Cathy Stone

Herbert and Leila Hooper

Henri and Belinda Termeer

Francis J. Hughes

Christopher and Alison Viehbacher

Rima Hyder

Anonymous (3)

Sidney and Lynne Levitsky

$2,500 - $4,999 François Bardonnet Jean-Luc Boulnois CBRE/New England Susan and Brian Clancy Michael F. and Marian Cronin Brad and Tracy Curley Frederick Ek David and Stephanie Javaheri Peter S. Lynch PwC Stephen and Isabelle Roy

Anne Lovett and Steve Woodsum Christopher and Sally Lutz Rania Matar and Jean Abouhamad Eleanor and Frank Pao William and Leslie Patton Donald Rosenfeld Michael and Karen Rotenberg Serge and Stéphanie Roux The Shane Foundation Janet L. Testa Eric Vogt and Robin Grumman-Vogt Alvin and Judy Warren Anonymous (12)

Peter and Lucy Sprayregen Stan and Nathalie Tabor Anonymous (2)


Donors (cont.)

In-Kind Donors

$500 - $999

90+ Cellars

Kronenbourg 1664

Gail Banks and Edward Pinkus

Air France

Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc


La Voile

Art New England

Landmark Theatres

Bacardi USA

LaVie Organique

Bar Boulud Boston

The Lenox Hotel

Jason Bond


Bondir Cambridge

Liquid Art House

Bondir Concord


Michaela Bosch

Ma Maison

Boston Cheese Cellar

Maison de Mer

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Jérôme and Bénédicte Malavoy

Dillon Buss

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Camille Albane Paris

Neatly Nested Design & Décor

Central Bistro Boston

Olive and Branch for the home

Robert Charney


Château Cheval Blanc

Pain D’Avignon

Château d’Yquem

Patisserie on Newbury

Chocolate Therapy


Clear Flour Bread

Pawel Przewlocki

Desmond Colborne

Péché Mignon

Community Boating

Petit Robert Bistro – South End

Consulate General of France in Boston

Jeffrey Plunkett

Elizabeth Blake Marilyn Capek Ceci and Eduardo Cordeiro Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States Francis and Barbara de Marneffe Regis A. de Silva François Ducroux and Katherine McCubrey Robert and Katherine Fichter Natalie Gardiner and John Hambright Camilo E. Gutierrez Todd Hultman Elysabeth and Michael Logan Stephen and Ingrid Miles Françoise Oldcorn Lorna E. Oleck Reserve Suzanne and Jeffrey Stamen Vincent and Susan Zelenko Anonymous (11)

Lauren Daddona Pat Dagle/Blanc

Cynthia and John S. Reed

Suki and Miguel de Bragança


Gina deWolfe

Erin Robertson


Salt & Olive

Dole Plantation

Salt and Peppered

Ducasse Education

Schoenhof’s Foreign Books

Jean-François and Nathalie Ducrest

Sisley-Paris at Saks Fifth Avenue

Frederick Ek

SnapBooth Photobooth Rentals

The Elephant Walk

Pierre and Mary Ann Sorel

Follow the Honey

St. Killian Importing

Formaggio Kitchen South End

Bud and Michelle Stacy

Four Seasons Hotel Boston


French Merchants

Veolia North America

French Press Bakery & Cafe

Eric Vogt and Robin Grumman-Vogt

Gérard Bertrand Wines

Watson Adventures

International Poster Gallery

Mitch Weiss

Olivia Ives-Flores

Whole Foods Market

Jacadi Paris

Charles River Plaza

Jordan Piantedosi

Your French Gift by Isabelle B.

Joséphine, Restaurant Parisien

Anonymous (1)

KitchenWares by Blackstones 28

and Catheline van den Branden

Mosaïque Ambassadors

Partner Organizations

Club Avantage

American Society of

Bistro du Midi

François Bardonnet

The Boston Camerata

Brian Clancy


Central Bistro Boston

Brian Conway

Back Bay Association

Craigie on Main

Regis A. de Silva

Beacon Hill Civic Association


Rima Hyder

Blue Heron

French Merchants

David Javaheri

Boston Accueil

Jacadi Paris

Jim and Lisa Micali

Boston Athenæum

Jean Appolon Expressions

Snežana Milanović

Boston Lyric Opera

La Voile

Anonymous (4)

Boston Opera Collaborative


Boston Public Schools

Machine Age


Olive and Branch for the home

Interior Designers NE

Sister City Association

Paris Creperie

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Petit Robert Bistro - South End

Celebrity Series of Boston

Petit Robert Bistro Needham

Consulate General of Canada

Pour le Corps

in Boston

Salon Acote

Consulate General of France in Boston

Schoenhof’s Foreign Books

Coolidge Corner Theatre

Your French Gift by Isabelle B.

Dedham Choral Society Dîner en Blanc - Boston French-American Chamber of Commerce NE French Heritage Society Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, Inc. Goethe-Institut Boston Harvard Film Archive International School of Boston Le Laboratoire Cambridge Massachusetts Lafayette Society MISTI MIT France Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Odyssey Opera Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston Québec Government Office in Boston Skylark Vocal Ensemble TransCultural Exchange Uber Boston swissnex Boston World Music/CRASHarts


Bastille Day 2015 Gold Sponsors

Community & Small Business Supporters

Air France Natixis Global Asset Management

Silver Sponsors Ropes & Gray LLP

Bronze Sponsors CBRE/New England PwC

Beverage Sponsors Gérard Bertrand Wines Kronenbourg 1664 Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc Lillet Lorina St. Killian Importing

Media Sponsors Art New England DigBoston

Individual Sponsors Michael F. and Marian Cronin Brigitte and Gérard Moufflet Pierre and Mary Ann Sorel Jean-Paul and Rebecca Valette

Bar Boulud Boston Boston Cheese Cellar Central Bistro Boston Consulate General of France in Boston Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States The Elephant Walk First Republic Bank France 24 French Press Bakery & Cafe La Voile The Lenox Hotel Ma Maison PAUL USA Inc. Reserve Sisley-Paris at Saks Fifth Avenue SnapBooth Photobooth Rentals

Promotional Partners American Society of Interior Designers NE Back Bay Association Beacon Hill Civic Association Boston Accueil Boston-Strasbourg Sister City Association Consulate General of Canada in Boston French-American Chamber of Commerce NE Goethe-Institut Boston International School of Boston MISTI MIT France Québec Government Office in Boston Schoenhof’s Foreign Books TransCultural Exchange Uber Boston World Music/CRASHarts

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this listing. For any questions or concerns, please contact: Kate Riester, Senior Manager of Development & Outreach 617.912.0428 | 30

All photos on page 30 by Russ Mezikofsky Photography

2015 Financial Information The French Cultural Center ended 2015 with an operating deficit of $156,000 despite an otherwise strong year. There were several contributing factors. First among these was the record-breaking inclement weather experienced during the first quarter of 2015, which led to lost revenue because of the cancellation of several events and lower participation rates. Additionally, the Board of Trustees voted in 2015 to reduce the allocation of endowment funds to operations from 5.25% to 4% (calculated using a trailing three-year average), in anticipation of a sustained, low-return investment environment. The Center’s endowment was valued at $12,637,600 as of December 31, 2015, a decrease of 4% from 2014. Finally, staff costs increased slightly in 2015. We thank the French Cultural Center’s members and donors for their continued support of our mission, and we reaffirm our optimism for the future.

FY 2015 Revenue Income from operations *



Special events









Endowment allocation **



Total revenue

$2,463,648 100%

Endowment allocation

21% 34%

Income from operations






* I ncludes tuition, book sales, translation services, cultural event tickets, facility rentals and proficiency exam fees

Special events

** R epresents the endowment funds approved by the Board of Trustees to support annual operations

FY 2015 Expenses Educational programs



Library programs



Cultural programs



General and administration



Special events






Facilities and technology



Total expenses

$2,619,768 100%

Net income (deficit)



Facilities and technology




Educational programs


Special events

8% Library



General & admin


Cultural programs


Trustees and EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT TEAM of the French Cultural Center Board of Trustees Steven Galante, Chair Zeina Aoun

Executive Management Team President, Executive Director Catheline van den Branden

Jean-Luc Boulnois Barbara (Suki) de Bragança Catharine-Mary Donovan Jean-François Ducrest Alyssa LeBel Stephen Mormoris Patrick Prévost

Chief Operating Officer Barbara Bouquegneau Chief Financial Officer Michael Richard

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

This 2015 Annual Report was published in August 2016. Development Committee Eric N. Ward, Chair Steven Galante Stephen Mormoris Hervé Sedky Michelle Stacy

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


Thank you

By supporting the French Cultural Center, you help sponsor our rich and diverse cultural and literary programming and maintain the quality of our French library and educational offerings. A variety of giving options are available: •

Leadership Giving Circles

Mosaïque Cultural Fund

Corporate Membership

Sponsorship of Bastille Day

Planned Giving: The Katharine Lane Weems Society

For more information, please contact: Development Office French Cultural Center 53 Marlborough Street Boston, MA 02116 Tel. 617.912.0428 Email.

53 Marlborough Street Boston, MA 02116 617.912.0400 /frenchculturalcenter