French Cultural Center Annual Report 2016

Page 1






Introductory Message ................................................................2 2016 in Numbers.........................................................................3 Enhancing our Infrastructure....................................................4 Leadership Giving......................................................................6 Membership.................................................................................8 Learning French at the Center.................................................10 Community Outreach Programs............................................14 The Library.................................................................................16 Cultural Events .........................................................................18 2016 Cultural Events Calendar...............................................20 Bastille Day................................................................................22 Fundraising Events...................................................................24 Merci! ..........................................................................................28 2016 Financial Information......................................................31 Management Team and Trustees of the French Cultural Center .................................................32


INTRODUCTORY MESSAGE Jules Verne, in his marvelous stories of science fiction, offered a consistent vision of the future: it was optimistic. As we shape the future of the French Cultural Center, a similar sense of opportunity and confidence inspires us. That was evident throughout 2016 in the Center’s activities and decisions. On the membership front, we adjusted pricing to make it easier for younger and more diverse audiences to join the Center’s community. The young, of course, embody the future. In cultural affairs, we organized the Center’s expositions and events around carefully chosen themes that continued for several weeks (or months, in the case of the Through the Lens Series) to allow in-depth examination. (Details are on pages 18-21.) The new approach was well-received, brought in a lot of newcomers to the Center and will continue. In education, demand for French language instruction grew strongly (to the point where, in some semesters, we reached capacity limits). The education staff constantly creates and refines courses to keep them fresh – always using the renowned Alliance Française full-immersion method. Our new head librarian, meanwhile, expanded and revamped our collections (see pages 16-17). Behind the scenes, looking to the future, we invested in the Center’s electronic and physical assets – and made plans to invest much more. For example, the Center rolled out a new online registration system that makes class and event sign-ups much easier. The Board of Trustees authorized planning and capital raising for a significant building renovation expected to begin in early 2018 (see page 4). Among personnel, the biggest change was at the top. After eight years as executive director, Catheline van den Branden stepped down to devote more time to new, personal endeavors. On behalf of our trustees, staff, members, students and friends, we thank and salute Catheline for her devotion and innovative leadership. Too numerous to list here, Catheline’s accomplishments can perhaps be summed up as follows: She worked tirelessly to share with New England the richness, beauty and humanity embodied in the French language and culture, and in French-speaking cultures around the world. Building community around the French language and culture is at the heart of the Center’s mission. Though we are not voyaging to the moon, under the sea, or to the center of the Earth, the goal of the journey is profound: to inspire the hearts and minds of all those who come through the doors of 53 Marlborough Street. The support of our members, donors and friends makes the mission possible, and we thank you deeply.


Steven P. Galante

Barbara Bouquegneau

Chairman, Board of Trustees

Executive Director


20 instructors

native Francophone

French course registrations

72 different

French courses





French books, documents,

CDs and DVDs in our library


electronic resources

on Culturethèque

2,731 hours of

private French lessons

5,167 Facebook likes 1,053 Twitter followers


e-newsletter subscribers

92,499 website visitors


hours of free French classes offered as part of the official curricula in 4 Boston-area schools


Cultural events with more than 7,000 attendees


Bastille Day party goers


sponsors and partners

1,171 volunteers 3

ENHANCING OUR INFRASTRUCTURE Founded in 1945 by Boston members 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 71 years, the Center has grown to become one of the leading institutions of French culture in the United States. Headquartered at 53 Marlborough Street in Boston’s Back Bay since 1961, our 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is home to the Alliance Française (Boston and Cambridge Chapter) and to the second largest private French lending library in the United States, with nearly 1,400 active users. In 2016, more than 2,000 students registered for classes and more than 7,000 visitors attended lectures, live performances, art exhibitions, film screenings, food and wine tastings, cooking workshops, holiday festivals and family events at the Center. In line with our long-term plan for growth, we made investments in 2016 to significantly improve our technology infrastructure and building.

Building Renovation Project On November 8, the Board of Trustees of the French Cultural Center approved a plan to renovate the Center. The main objectives of this approximately $4 million renovation include rendering the building accessible to visitors with limited mobility, improving classroom spaces, modernizing the kitchen and wine cellar for expanded gastronomy and wine programming and upgrading the heating, air conditioning and mechanical systems. A capital campaign will be conducted to raise the funds to finance this project.


New Website and Registration Platform On January 20, we launched our revamped website featuring a new design aesthetic consistent with the evolution of our branding. More user-friendly, our new website is now responsive and easier to read and navigate on all devices. New features include larger visuals, numerous content layout options and the capability to embed videos. New content includes staff biographies, an FAQs page, a volunteer opportunities page with a sign-up portal and a page for families. In addition, on May 10, we launched our first blog featuring posts by our executive director and staff on our cultural programs, current cultural events and developments in the Francophone world at-large as well as recommendations for books, films and other resources in our library. In conjunction with the launch of our new website, we also implemented a new online registration platform, ACTIVE Net, making it easier for visitors to sign up for our memberships, cultural events and French courses and proficiency exams, as well as make charitable contributions, by simply creating one French Cultural Center account. The consolidation of this data into one database has also yielded increased reporting efficiency.

Website designed and developed by KEEWARD.


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. In 2016, we launched three new programs to recognize our leading supporters.

The Georges F. and Edna A. Doriot Society Named for the husband-wife teanam 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 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

Na tixis Global Asset Management

Sequana Capital

Grace and Ted Fey

Ke n and Aulikki Olsen†

St even Galante and Leanne Cowley

Plimpton-Shattuck Fund

Janet L. Testa

Thayer Lindsley† Br igitte and Gérard Moufflet

Je ffrey Plunkett and Catheline van den Branden Patrick and Ute Prévost Stephen and Isabelle Roy

Pierre and Mary Ann Sorel Je an-Paul and Rebecca Valette 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. We thank Eric and Sarah Ward for helping launch this society with the announcement of their planned gift. 6

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. Named after historic leaders in different fields who positively impacted the Francophone world at-large, our Leadership Giving Circles recognize our donors who contribute $1,000 or more to our Annual Fund. We gratefully acknowledge the following Center supporters in our Leadership Giving Circles:

George Sand Circle $25,000 and above

Special Benefits

Beaucourt Foundation; Rowe Foundation William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation

Donors in each circle may opt to receive special benefits packages (with additional

Claude Debussy Circle $10,000 - $24,999

Alexandre Dumas Circle $5,000 - $9,999

benefits reserved for each higher level of

Zeina and Joseph E. Aoun

Jean-Luc Boulnois

memberships, invitations to private

Ba rbara (Suki) and Miguel de Bragança

Plimpton-Shattuck Fund

receptions and dinners with special

Bud and Michelle Stacy

guest artists (free of charge), advance

Le Marquis de La Fayette Circle $1,000 - $2,499

registration for Le Bal, invitations to

Apple Lane Foundation

an invitation to the Executive Director’s

Je an-François and Nathalie Ducrest St even Galante and Leanne Cowley Al yssa LeBel and Edward Kaye St ephen Mormoris and Robert Cornell Patrick and Ute Prévost Hervé Sedky Pierre and Mary Ann Sorel Jim and Cathy Stone Eric and Sarah Ward

Karl and Constance Brommer An ne Lovett and Steve Woodsum

support). Packages may include Center

private galas and soirées (such as Le Tour de France Viticole wine dinner), Holiday Party (free of charge), reserved premium seating at our cultural events,

Christopher and Sally Lutz

the opportunity to be a named sponsor

David and Joanna Nikka

of a cultural event and recognition on

The Shane Foundation

a plaque displayed at the Center

Peter and Lucy Sprayregen

(as well as in our annual reports).

Alvin and Judy Warren

Our complete donor acknowledgement list recognizing 2016 total giving may be found on pages 28-30.


MEMBERSHIP Revenue from annual memberships provides critical operating funding for the French Cultural Center and helps sustain our cultural, educational and outreach activities. Our 1,286 members enjoy borrowing privileges at our library, discounts on our French courses and cultural events, free admission to our Ciné-Club de l’Alliance screenings, access to Culturethèque (our online library and newsstand) and invitations to members-only social evenings (free of charge). All members also enjoy discounts at French restaurants and retailers (listed at right) through our Club Avantage as well as reduced admission to select cultural events hosted by our partner organizations.

Individual and Family Memberships In 2016, we introduced the Essential membership category featuring

Club Avantage Bistro du Midi The Boston Camerata Central Bistro Craigie on Main France-Amérique French Merchants Haven In Jacadi Paris Jean Appolon Expressions La Voile Longchamp Machine Age Olive and Branch for the home Paris Creperie Petit Robert Bistro Pour le Corps Rue Amandine Salon Acote Your French Gift by Isabelle B.

reduced prices ranging from $40 to $75. We also created the Premier membership category ($120 - $160) featuring additional benefits including advance registration for French courses, complimentary tickets to our Un Mois, Un Livre literature workshops, guest passes to Ciné-Club de l’Alliance, 20% off our translation services and extra discounts on French courses. Our Mosaïque memberships ($250 - $500) include all Premier benefits as well as invitations to private receptions with special guest artists (free of charge), advance registration for Le Bal, extra guest passes to Ciné-Club de l’Alliance as well as recognition in our annual report. Members at the Mosaïque Ambassador level ($500) also enjoy complimentary tickets to our Bastille Day Street Festival, and are recognized on our Mosaïque Plaque displayed in our first floor reading room.

Corporate Memberships Our corporate membership program creates strategic partnerships for companies. Benefits packages may be customized and can include the following: French courses at the company’s office, individual Center memberships for all employees, company brand exposure via our marketing channels, rental discounts on our event spaces for private events and meetings, and invitations to VIP events providing business networking and client entertainment opportunities. We thank Air France, France 24 and Natixis Global Asset Management for their continued support as corporate members. 8

Photos on page 9: lower left couple by Pierce Harman Photography; photos of couple (center) and two women talking (lower right) by Christopher Huang.


LEARNING FRENCH AT THE CENTER The quality of our French language education program is unmatched in New England. The worldrenowned Alliance Française full-immersion method is the foundation of our pedagogy. Our students have an unparalleled selection of classes from which to choose, and our small class sizes (max. 10) create intimate settings where students receive personalized attention from their instructors.

Programs for Adults Our courses are designed for all levels of French and include grammar, conversation, intensive programs and thematic classes exploring traditional and contemporary aspects of Francophone cultures. In 2016, new thematic courses included French Slam Poetry, Let’s Talk Human Rights, Literature: Freedom of Speech, Francophone Cultures through Film and France’s Greatest Painters.

Student and Teacher 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 2016 prize winner, Gretjen Hélène, will travel to Burkina Faso to complete a multidisciplinary project exploring motherhood in Burkinabé culture. Inga Bartsch (age 11) was also awarded a $500 prize for her exceptional essay. The de Bragança Excellence in Teaching Award was presented to Désirée Okoh and Céline Ousset, 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.

Language Proficiency Exams The Center is only one of a few schools in New England qualified to administer French language proficiency exams for adults, teenagers and children. In 2016, we offered the following internationally recognized exams to 132 candidates: DELF (Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française), DALF (Diplôme Approfondi en Langue Française) and TEF (Test d’Evaluation de Français). Successful candidates were awarded certificates by the French Ministry of Education, which are required by many Francophone countries for naturalization, job and school applications.


Photo on page 11 of Ambassador visit, lower row by Russ Mezikofsky Photography.

Education in 2016 Classes

Education Courses * Registrations







Summer in French for kids and teens



Intensive programs and workshops







Private lessons


Committee Zeina Aoun, Chair Alexia Duc Steven Galante

* Numbers do not reflect multiple sections of the same course

Visit from the Ambassador of France On February 9, we were honored to welcome the Ambassador of France to the U.S., Mr. Gérard Araud (front row, center) for a visit at the Center to discuss our French language education program with the Consul General of France in Boston, Mr. Valéry Freland (front row, far right).


Programs for Children and Teens French courses for children and teens are at the heart of the Center’s education programming, with 950 registrations in 2016. Our courses are designed for all levels and ages (including toddlers). For students learning French as a foreign language, our instructors create a fun and engaging class environment focused on developing communicative skills and cultural knowledge. Through hands-on activities, our students discover the joys and sense of accomplishment that come with speaking, understanding, writing and reading a new language. For students with native or near-native competency in French, our curriculum focuses on vocabulary building and oral expression through cultural projects as well as reading, writing, grammar and verb conjugation for older students.

Summer in French One of the most popular class sessions, our Summer in French language immersion program for children and teens, had a record 381 registrations in 2016. Students aged 3-12 participated in activities and workshops centered on a new theme each week, such as fine arts, music, theater, engineering, the environment and the Olympic Games. Students aged 13-17 enjoyed morning language classes and afternoon cultural discovery workshops complemented by field trips to museums, restaurants and art galleries.


For several years, the French Cultural Center has played an integral role in cultivating our family’s connection to France. At first as individuals and then as a family with our daughter Inga taking classes, we have enjoyed the vital community that makes the French Cultural Center, and we have gained greater fluency in our written and spoken French through the Center’s courses which we have taken for close to 20 years. We have benefited from the educational and cultural programs that the Center offers and we try to sustain the organization where we can. We look forward to many more years with the French Cultural Center. It is one of Boston’s treasures! — The Bartsch Family David, Sveta, and Inga, age 11

Family events In 2016, we welcomed more than 200 children and parents for fun-filled gatherings in French: Fête des Rois (January), L’Heure du Conte story time (February-June), a design workshop inspired by Le bestiaire exhibition (April), Ciné‑Loulous film screenings (April and November), Fête d’Halloween (October) and Fête de Noël (December). These occasions were 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 The French Cultural Center’s Accent on Success program has provided French language instruction free of charge to over 1,400 children and teens in underserved Boston area schools since its inception in 2005. In September 2016, we transitioned Accent on Success from an afterschool program consisting of one session per week to a school-day course with multiple sessions per week in order to help our students make greater progress in their acquisition of French. The French Cultural Center is grateful to Gérard and Brigitte Moufflet for their continued leadership in supporting Accent on Success, most notably with their generous matching gift that doubled contributions received from thirty-nine donors in 2016.

Institutional Memberships and School Visits The Center supports French language teaching in New England schools through its institutional membership program. In 2016, we provided institutional memberships for 39 schools, including 29 public schools on a complimentary basis, to help enrich their French programs. As members of the Center, these 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. We also offer complimentary field trips to the Center for our institutional members. More than 300 local students visited the Center in 2016. 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 funds projects that help promote French language learning and strengthen middle school French programs. In 2016, Carlos-Luis Brown (of Wilmington Middle School), Kristen Purdy Russett (of Marblehead Veterans Middle School), Pamela Reeves (of RJ Grey Junior High, Acton) and Angela Toussaint (of Thayer Academy, Braintree) each received this $400 award. Funded projects included student subscriptions to interactive, full-immersion French language learning websites, a field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston to study French art as well as workshops on Senegalese cuisine and music.


According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), research has shown that students who have studied a foreign language develop greater cognitive skills in such areas as mental flexibility, creativity, divergent thinking and higher order thinking. The workplace of tomorrow continues to be a world of many cultures and I thank the French Cultural Center for partnering with the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers (EMK) in providing our students with an understanding of other people and cultures. This is a dream come true for the EMK community.

— Caren S. Walker Gregory, Ed.D, Headmaster,

Accent on Success For the first time in the history of the program, we offered French courses with multiple sessions per week as part of the official school-day curricula in four public schools: Charles H. Taylor Elementary School, Mattapan Curley K-8 School, Jamaica Plain Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, Mission Hill Jeremiah E. Burke High School, Dorchester

Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, Mission Hill


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 library is the largest of its kind in New England with more than 29,000 books, magazines, films, CDs and educational materials for all ages and levels of French. The library is open to the public, with borrowing privileges reserved for the Center’s members. Users can consult our electronic catalogue to search library collections, reserve and renew books, share bibliographies, use RSS feeds and even provide suggestions for new acquisitions. Members of the Center also have unlimited access to Culturethèque, an online multimedia platform containing over 145,000 resources including French eBooks, audio books, newspapers, magazines, videos and CDs.

Bouillon de Lectures January February March April May June September October November

L’actualité littéraire 2015 Se raconter Littérature haïtienne Le livre comme miroir Albert Camus Révolution Jacques Prévert Le roman épistolaire L’œuvre littéraire de Jean-Paul Sartre

Atelier découverte

Discussion Groups In 2016, our head librarian hosted two event series: Bouillon de Lectures and Atelier découverte. Free of charge and open to the public, these series allowed participants to discover the library’s services and resources, while also providing opportunities for meaningful connection between readers. Held in French, Bouillon de Lectures is our book club that discusses different books within a selected literary theme, while Atelier découverte takes the form of a cultural discovery workshop (usually presented in French) during which our head librarian presents


La littérature sort des livres


Politique et société


Un été littéraire


La rentrée littéraire


La biographie en bande dessinée



La presse française

We acquired 602 new items for our collections including

theme-relevant resources from our library, followed by a discussion.

256 materials for our children’s and young adults’ collection, which grew to 4,609 items. Many acquisitions were also made to complement the Center’s French courses and cultural events.


Library Committee

Library in 2016 29,253

Books, documents and CDs/DVDs


Resources on Culturethèque


Items checked out

Steven Galante


Library users

Pierre Sorel




Book club sessions


Cultural discovery workshops

Zeina Aoun, Chair

Eric N. Ward

Management Staff After six excellent years of serving as our library director, Marie




My vision for the library is to continue the heritage of the original French Library while modernizing

France in July and Christianne

our collections and services to

Beasley, formerly of the Alliance

patrons. This evolution will take

Française de Washington DC,

place through outreach services;

joined the team as our head

free-of-cost programming for

librarian. Au revoir, Marie, and

families, adults and language learners; and the development of

bienvenue, Christianne!

certain collections. I hope to bring new life to our médiathèque while preserving its integral role at the Center.

— Christianne Beasley, Head Librarian

Photo of man and child reading by Russ Mezikofsky Photography.


CULTURAL EVENTS For the past 71 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 French-speaking world. In addition, our art gallery features monthly exhibitions linked to Francophone cultures. Over 7,000 visitors attended the 55 cultural events that we presented in 2016. These events would not have been possible without a community of dedicated volunteers. We are immensely grateful to our 1,171 volunteers for their outstanding service and commitment to the Center.

New Event Series and Expanded Cinema Programming In 2016, we adjusted our cultural events programming to focus more on contemporary culture and current affairs. Through the introduction of event series centered on topical themes, the Center’s event programming is exploring modern France – and the wider world of Francophonie – in a more comprehensive, in-depth manner by incorporating our library programming and language classes in these series. Two such series were launched in 2016: Spotlight on Design and Through the Lens: a Multilateral Perspective on Today’s World. In addition, we were able to further develop our Francophone film program thanks to a generous contribution from our Board of Trustees Chairman, Steven Galante. This gift has enabled the Center to screen a broader array of high-quality, recently-released films at our monthly Ciné-Club de l’Alliance; launch a new program for families, Ciné-Loulous, at which children and parents enjoy a film followed by an arts and crafts workshop inspired by the film; organize retrospective marathon screenings such as our Ciné-Rétro: Le Gendarme series; and purchase new chairs with increased comfort for attendees.

The French Cultural Center’s M SAÏQUE Cultural Fund The Mosaïque Cultural Fund supports innovative cultural programming at the Center, including events featuring high-profile experts in various Francophone cultural fields such as authors and chefs as well as visual and performing artists. In 2016, Mosaïque sponsored several cultural programs, notably our Spotlight on Design and Through the Lens series. Thanks to individual gifts, fundraising events and Mosaïque memberships, $117,000 was raised for Mosaïque in 2016.


Culture & Events Committee

Art Committee

Barbara (Suki) de Bragança, Chair Gail Banks Alexandra Chabrerie Susan Clancy Tracy Curley Elaine M. Hepworth Francis J. Hughes Stephen Mormoris Ute Prévost Karen Rotenberg Isabelle Roy Pierre Sorel Lucy Sprayregen Martha Volpe

Lucy Sprayregen, Chair Regis A. de Silva Aurélie Galois A. David Guerra James Paradis Arlinda Shtuni

Spotlight on Design and Through the Lens Series – Sponsors & Partners



Photos of cooking class and singer by Christopher Huang; top left photo of gallery by Russ Mezikofsky Photography.



Exhibition. Archemy in Talloires. Chemistry-based artworks by Daniel Jay Family. Fête des Rois Film screening. Ciné-Club de l’Alliance: Poulet aux prunes (2011) Food & Wine. Winter Wine and Chocolate Tasting


Exhibition. Les arrêts de la vie. Paintings by Jennifer Jean Costello Lecture. Talk by filmmaker Véronique Aubouy on Proust lu Family. L’Heure du Conte story time: Deux petits cochons Food & Wine. Fête de la Chandeleur with CRISTEL culinary expert and chef Virginie Woo Food & Wine. La Cuisine Légère cooking workshop with Virginie Woo Film screening. Ciné-Club de l’Alliance: Saint Laurent (2014) Exhibition. Un Beau Refuge. Paintings by Tommy Barr


Exhibition. De la musique jusqu’au silence. 3D mixed media artworks by Samuel Luxama Performance. Staged reading of Kamel Daoud’s Meursault, contre-enquête directed by Guy Ben-Aharon Family. L’Heure du Conte story time: Contes en folie Performance. Emel Mathlouthi in concert Film screening. Ciné-Club de l’Alliance: Les Conquérants (2013) as part of the Francophonie Film Festival

APRIL Family. L’Heure du Conte story time: Vive le printemps! Exhibition. Le bestiaire. Abstract and hyperrealist animal costumes curated by Ionna Vautrin Lecture. Living Architecture by architect Elodie Nourrigat, co-founder of Le Festival des Architectures Vives Family. Le bestiaire workshop

APRIL CONTINUED Lecture. Building Intimacy by architect/ artist Didier Faustino Food & Wine. Artisan French Cheese Tasting with Adam Shutes, owner of Boston Cheese Cellar Lecture. Talk by Marjorie Williams, author of Markets of Provence Family. Ciné-Loulous screening and workshop: Five shorts by Michel Ocelot


Exhibition. From Penguins to Polar Bears: the Impacts of Climate Change. Pictorial watercolor paintings by Aurélie Lebrun du Puytison and Stéphanie Jenouvrier Film Screening. Ciné-Rétro: Four films from Le Gendarme series Family. L’Heure du Conte story time: C’est délicieux! Food & Wine. European Food Festival Food & Wine. Truffles and Bubbles Tasting Film Screening. Ciné-Club de l’Alliance: Mustang (2015)

Spotlight on Design Series As part of Boston Design Week, we presented two lectures, a children’s workshop and an exhibition (including guided visits for our younger students) in partnership with leading French designers and architects who have been expanding their practices beyond the expected. Whether curating an imaginary zoo of abstract and hyperrealist animal costumes (Ionna Vautrin), organizing one of France’s major outdoor architecture festivals, Le Festival des Architectures Vives (Elodie Nourrigat), or building structures that challenge notions of private and public spaces (Didier Faustino), these experts gave us an in-depth look into contemporary French design. Le bestiaire exhibition was produced by the City of Design as part of the Saint-Etienne International Design Biennial 2015 and was co-presented with the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) as part of the inaugural Tilt Kids Festival in New York. It is part of Oui Design, a program initiated by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, with the support of the Institut français-Paris, French Ministry of Culture and Communication, FACE Foundation and Florence Gould Foundation. This series was also made possible thanks in part to the Mosaïque Cultural Fund, William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation, Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Jean-François and Nathalie Ducrest. 20

Photos on top left and right of page 20 by Christopher Huang; center photo by Zara Tzanev.




Exhibition. Friday Face – a year in Boston. Portrait paintings and essays by Aurélie Galois Family. L’Heure du Conte story time: Le cirque!

Exhibition. Ex Libris ExChange. Collaborative artworks by Boston and Strasbourg artists Food & Wine. Pastry workshops with Chef Franck Geuffroy, Pastry Director at Ducasse Education Lecture. Talks by three authors as part of the Boston Book Festival: Pierre Simenon on De père à père, Zahia Rahmani on France, Story of a Childhood and Mathilde Piton on Boston le nez en l’air Film Screening. Ciné-Club de l’Alliance: Marguerite (2015) Food & Wine. South of France Master Class Wine Tasting with Master of Wine Matthew Stubbs Family. Fête d’Halloween

Exhibition & Panel. Reporters Without Borders: 30 Years in Support of Free Speech. Posters by Reporters Without Borders Film Screening. Ciné-Club de l’Alliance: U.S. premiere of Howard Zinn, A Popular American History (2015) Family. Ciné-Loulous screening and workshop: Panique au village (2009)

JULY Sports. UEFA European Championship screenings Holiday Festival. Bastille Day

SEPTEMBER Exhibition & Salon. In Search of Lost Memory. Multimedia works curated by Arlinda Shtuni Lecture. Talk by former French Ambassador Alain Briottet, author of Sine Die Film Screening. Ciné-Club de l’Alliance: Mommy (2014) Panel. Presidential Elections in France and the U.S.

DECEMBER Exhibition. The Naked Eyes Collection. Paintings by Gregory Fritz-Laplanche Holiday Festival. Marché de Noël Film Screening. Ciné-Club de l’Alliance: 9 mois ferme (2013) Family. Fête de Noël

Spotlight on Design Series Through the Lens Series

Through the Lens Series: A Multilateral Perspective on Today’s World As part of this series, we welcomed renowned artists, journalists and experts in politics, economics and ethics from both sides of the Atlantic to share their analyses and participate in debates about some of today’s most pressing issues. In 2016, we organized two panel discussions, an art exhibition, a film screening, a workshop for French language teachers and two French language courses covering topics such as the presidential elections in France and the U.S., the protection of journalists in conflict zones, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and human rights. Speakers included Ted Widmer (former senior advisor for President Bill Clinton), Ron Haviv (Emmy award-winning photojournalist), Sonia Dridi (journalist for BFM TV, M6 and France 24), Slimane Zeghidour (chief editor for TV5MONDE), Margaux Ewen (Advocacy and Communications Officer at Reporters Without Borders) and filmmakers Daniel Mermet and Olivier Azam. Through the Lens continued through May 2017. The 2016 portion of this series was made possible thanks in part to TV5MONDE, Reporters Without Borders, Natixis Global Asset Management, Institut français-Paris, Les Mutins de Pangée, the Mosaïque Cultural Fund and Jean-François and Nathalie Ducrest.

Photo on top left of page 21 by Christopher Huang.


BASTILLE DAY Our 41st annual Bastille Day festival took place on July 15, 2016. Sold out for the third year in a row, the event welcomed 2,000 people 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. 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 fantastic Francophone bands rocked the concert stage: Ginkgoa, an energetic FrancoAmerican band blending vintage Paris chic and New York cool rhythms with swinging électro beats, followed by Emeline Michel, an internationally acclaimed Haitian songstress known for masterfully fusing pop, jazz and blues. The VIP Reception welcomed members of our sponsor and donor community, including many of Boston’s arts and culture, business, government and philanthropic

Bastille Day 2016 in numbers




VIP guests






Promotional reach through media partners

leaders. Un grand merci to our gold sponsors, Air France, Natixis Global Asset Management and Ropes & Gray LLP, for their indispensable support of our signature community event.

Nous sommes Nice – a tribute As our staff completed the final preparations for Bastille Day, we learned of the tragic terrorist attack that had occurred during Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, France on July 14. We are sincerely grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support that we received in the wake of the attack, ranging from phone calls and emails to bouquets of flowers. After careful consideration, we held our event in tribute to the victims and to celebrate the cherished values for which they died (Liberté, Égalité and Fraternité). The Center is committed to its work of building bridges of cross-cultural understanding in order to help yield a more peaceful future. 22

Photos on page 23: top center café scene, performer in pink light, and street panorama by Pierce Harman Photography; top right man and child, second row left two women with “Oui” sign, third row left couple and lower left couple by Roger Farrington.


FUNDRAISING EVENTS The French Cultural Center’s fundraising events wowed guests with French elegance, ambiance





essential funding for our programs.

Le Bal: Enfer & Paradis April 2, 2016 For our fifth annual spring cocktail dînatoire, we opened up three floors of our double brownstone mansion for a record-breaking, sold-out crowd of 242 guests. With tremendous support from





Hosts staff




transformed the Center to create a French-inspired hell and heaven. As they explored the house, guests discovered surprises at every turn including pop-up musical performances, two dance floors, a silent auction and a video art exhibition featuring a film on a special one-night loan from Le Centre Pompidou-Metz. Proceeds supported the Mosaïque Cultural Fund.

History 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 2016 – L e Bal: Enfer & Paradis 24

Top three photos on page 24 by Russ Mezikofsky Photography; bottom photo by Pierce Harman Photography.

Le Bal Committee Miguel de Bragança A. David Guerra Olivia Ives-Flores Amanda McGuire Jessica Jama-Nussenbaum Serge Roux Stéphanie Roux Trevor Stricker

An Evening with David McCullough May 23, 2016 During this dinner for 68 guests at the Somerset Club in Boston, Pulitzer Prizewinning




and a

author lecture

David on


fascinating ties between France and the Wright Brothers, the subject of his #1 New York Times bestseller: The Wright Brothers. The French Cultural Center is deeply grateful to Mr. McCullough for presenting his work at two Mosaïque fundraisers in the past four years.

Mosaïque’s Fifth Anniversary November 9, 2016 In celebration of the five year anniversary of the launch of the Mosaïque Cultural Fund, we were pleased to host Anne Poulet, Director Emerita of The Frick Collection and Curator Emerita of the Department of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, for a lecture at the Center on the future of arts and culture organizations. The lecture was followed by a champagne reception where our sold-out group of 72 guests had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Poulet while enjoying French hors d’œuvres and jazz performed by Snap Four.

All photos on page 25 by Pierce Harman Photography.


Le Tour de France Viticole Wine Dinner November 21, 2016 Le Tour de France Viticole wine dinner is the principal fundraiser for the Center and our Accent on Success French language instruction program offered free of charge to students in underserved Boston area schools. In its tenth year now, our wine dinner for 100+ guests 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 as well as a profound appreciation for the fine wines of France. Held at the Chilton Club in Boston, the 2016 wine dinner featured outstanding wines from Domaine Clarence Dillon (including vintages from Château Haut-Brion





Haut-Brion), which were presented by guest of honor Jean-Philippe Delmas, Deputy Managing Director of Domaine Clarence Dillon.

The Domaine Clarence Dillon team and I were thrilled to support the French Cultural Center and its Accent on Success program by donating a selection of our finest wines for the Center’s 2016 wine dinner gala. It was truly a pleasure to work with the French Cultural Center team in support of their noble mission. The evening was extremely well-organized and the company was marvelous — I will forever have fond memories of this very successful fundraising event. — Jean-Philippe Delmas Deputy Managing Director Domaine Clarence Dillon 26

All photos on pages 26-27 by Roger Farrington.

Wines served Champagne Bollinger La Grande Année Brut 2005 Clarendelle Blanc 2015 Clarendelle Rosé 2015 Clarendelle Rouge 2011 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc 2011 Château Haut-Brion Blanc 2011 La Chapelle de La Mission Haut-Brion 2010 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion 2009 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Rouge 2003 Château Haut-Brion Rouge 1998 Château Quintus 2012 Clarendelle Amberwine 2012

History of Le Tour de France Viticole 2004 – Taste of Provence Château St. Julien d’Aille Domaine de Trians Château La Calisse Le s 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 2016 – Domaine Clarence Dillon including:

Château Haut-Brion

Château La Mission Haut-Brion

Wine Dinner Committee Eric Vogt, Chair Jean-François Ducrest Frederick Ek Steven Galante Brigitte Moufflet Patrick Prévost 27

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 $250 or more in 2016.

Donors $100,000 and above

$5,000 - $9,999

$2,500 - $4,999 (cont.)

Beaucourt Foundation; Rowe Foundation

Nancy Adams and Scott Schoen

Laurie Melchior Scott

François Bardonnet

Peter and Lucy Sprayregen

Jean-Luc Boulnois

Christopher and Alison Viehbacher

$50,000 - $99,999 Jean-François and Nathalie Ducrest

Brad and Tracy Curley Grace and Ted Fey

$1,000 - $2,499

Eric and Sarah Ward

Jean-François Formela

Apple Lane Foundation

$25,000 - $49,999

Allison Horne and Peter Riehl

Steven Galante and Leanne Cowley

Stéphane and Brenda Bancel William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation Brigitte and Gérard Moufflet Patrick and Ute Prévost Pierre and Mary Ann Sorel

$10,000 - $24,999 Zeina and Joseph E. Aoun Barbara (Suki) and Miguel de Bragança

France 24 John and Pamela Humphrey George and Lisa Ireland

George and Hillery Ballantyne Gail Banks and Edward Pinkus Darcey and Chris Bartel

Liberty Mutual Insurance

Marta Bergamaschi and Alessandro Rollo

Lia and William Poorvu

Karl and Constance Brommer

Bud and Michelle Stacy

Anna Laure Bursaux

Anonymous (1)

Gonzague and Elizabeth de Montrichard

$2,500 - $4,999

Jessica DeVito

Laurent Amouyal and Julie Gladstone-Amouyal

Catharine-Mary Donovan Doreen Donovan Corkin

Alexandra Chabrerie and Ian Watson

Robert and Evelyn Doran Francis J. Hughes

Plimpton-Shattuck Fund

The Consulate General of France in Boston and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States

Jeffrey Plunkett and Catheline van den Branden

Neil Diver and Katherine Williams Frederick Ek

Ropes & Gray LLP

Ronald Lee Fleming

Hervé Sedky

Michael Kendall and Alexandra Haagensen

Alyssa LeBel and Edward Kaye Stephen Mormoris and Robert Cornell Natixis Global Asset Management

Jim and Cathy Stone TV5MONDE USA Anonymous (1)

Institut français-Paris Anne Lovett and Steve Woodsum Marcum LLP PwC

FACE Foundation Rima Hyder Anjali Iyengar and Jonathan Kasen David and Stephanie Javaheri Christopher and Sally Lutz Jim and Lisa Micali Snežana Milanović David and Joanna Nikka Lorna E. Oleck William and Leslie Patton Greg Pelling and Julie McLaughlin-Pelling Michael and Karen Rotenberg


Donors (continued)

In-Kind Donors

$1,000 - $2,499 (cont.)

$250 - $499

Luke Aaron

Stephen and Isabelle Roy

Jennifer and Matthew Bock


The Shane Foundation

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Jean-Paul and Rebecca Valette

David Chicoine

Eric E. Vogt and Robin Grumman-Vogt

Mehgan Conciatori

Jason Bond

Alvin and Judy Warren

Alison Coolidge and Thomas Boreiko

Bondir Cambridge

Katherine B. Winter

Marylouise and Christopher Crofton-Atkins

Bondir Concord

Anonymous (8)

Panos and Sara Demeter

Boston Cheese Cellar

Millie Anne Ferres

Dillon Buss

Scott and Barbara Greenstein

The Charlotte Inn

Deborah Hanley and Francis McGuire

Community Boating

Patrick Jerome

The Consulate General of France in Boston and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States

$500 - $999 Dana and John Clancy Michelle Roden Conway Miguel Samuel de Bragança

Lorence Kim

Air France Art New England Magazine Bastille Kitchen

Oliver and Negin Ewald

Kamal and Brinda Kirpalani

Valéry Freland, Consul General of France in Boston, and Laurent Colomines

Kristina Kutsukos John Lahr

French Cable Station Museum, Orleans, MA

Steve and Phoebe McCarthy

Barbara (Suki) and Miguel de Bragança

Stephen and Ingrid Miles

Gina deWolfe

Anne and François Poulet


Gérard Riveron

Domaine Clarence Dillon

Maria Shabanova

Kira Doutt

Bailey Silbert

Ducasse Education

Brian Sirman

Frederick Ek

Kimberly Smith

Exhale Spa Back Bay

Susan and Theodore Stebbins


Susan Stenger

Haven In

Lawrence and Elizabeth Sulak

The Henry Ford

Steven Thompson

Highball Lounge

Emily Walton

Olivia Ives-Flores

Anna Winestein

Kronenbourg 1664

Jonathan and Sydney Winthrop

Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc

Doris Yaffe

La Voile Catering & Events

Anonymous (15)

Zacharie Lanoue

Amy Gallant Sullivan Natalie Gardiner and John Hambright David-Alexandre and Kelly Gros Camilo E. Gutierrez Elaine M. Hepworth Walter and Karameh Kuemmerle Thomas Lafarge and Rebecca Stevenson Renaud and Isabelle Megard Gregory Morzano Michael Murray James Paradis Claudia Pouravelis Joan Preston Donald Rosenfeld SpotHero Suzanne and Jeffrey Stamen Reza Taleghani Janet L. Testa Thomas W. Thaler Mark Valle Martha Volpe Michael and Laura Wilmerding Anonymous (10)

Jennifer Leclerc and David Martin

Lauren Daddona Blaise Danio

Rebecca Larios Liquid Art House Lorina Ma Maison Frank McGuire, Frank McGuire Architects Julianne Merino Miam Miam Macaronerie


In-Kind Donors (cont.)

Partner Organizations

Mirbeau Inn & Spa

American Society of Interior Designers NE

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston New Bedford Symphony Orchestra Pernod Ricard USA

Back Bay Association Beacon Hill Civic Association Belmont World Film

Petit Robert Bistro South End

First Church in Boston French-American Chamber of Commerce NE French Heritage Society Fusco & Four, Public Relations

Jordan Piantedosi

Boch Center

Jeffrey Plunkett and Catheline van den Branden

Boston Accueil Boston Athenæum

Stephen and Isabelle Roy

Boston Book Festival

The Royaumont Foundation

Boston Celtics

Safar Boston

Boston Chamber Music Society

Harvard University Graduate School of Design

SnapBooth Photobooth Rentals

Boston Early Music Festival

International School of Boston

Spaces Design Studios by Suzanne Logan

Boston International

Le Centre Pompidou-Metz

Peter and Lucy Sprayregen

Boston Lyric Opera

Le Laboratoire Cambridge

Boston Opera Collective

Massachusetts Lafayette Society

Boston Public Schools


Boston Society of Architects/AIA

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Vintus Wines

Boston-Strasbourg Sister City Association

Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay


Boston Symphony Orchestra

Your French Gift by Isabelle B.

Celebrity Series of Boston

Office of the Arts at Harvard University

Anonymous (7)

Chocolate Therapy

St. Killian Importing Kristin Texeira vinodivino

Galerie Bugada & Cargnel Goethe-Institut Boston Harvard Book Store Harvard Film Archive

Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal

Citi Performing Arts Center

Parkour Generations Americas

Consulate General of Canada in Boston

Québec Government Office in Boston Reporters Without Borders

Consulate General of Haiti in Boston

The Society for Experiential Graphic Design

The Consulate General of France in Boston and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States Coolidge Corner Theatre

TransCultural Exchange swissnex Boston World Music/CRASHarts

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of these listings. For any questions, please contact: Benjamin Capellari 617.912.0400 ext. 427 |


2016 FINANCIAL INFORMATION In 2016, the Board of Trustees of the French Cultural Center decided to make several needed investments in line with the Center’s long-term plan for growth. As a result, the Center ended 2016 with an operating deficit of $235,000. The Board’s priority for investments included: first, increased staffing in our Education, Library, Cultural Programming and Development departments; second, higher-quality cultural programs which were associated with greater costs; and third, reduced entry-level pricing for our memberships to attract and retain a larger and more diverse membership. The Center continues to monitor its expenses very closely in order to maximize the revenues available for use in our programs. As of December 31, 2016, the Center’s endowment (which includes restricted and board designated funds) was valued at $13,029,200, an increase of 3% from 2015. We thank our members and donors for their continued support of our mission, and we reaffirm our optimism for the future. FY 2016 Revenue Income from operations *



Fundraising events






Membership Endowment allocation ** Total revenue





$2,535,558 100%

Endowment allocation

20% 36%

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 2016 Expenses Educational programs



Library programs



Cultural programs



General and administration



Fundraising events






Facilities and technology



Total expenses

$2,770,972 100%

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

Cultural Programs Manager

Lucy Sprayregen

Jessica Jama-Nussenbaum

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

This 2016 Annual Report was published in September 2017. Development & Membership Committee Eric N. Ward, Chair Steven Galante Stephen Mormoris Hervé Sedky

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 / Annual Fund

Mosaïque Cultural Fund

Planned Giving: The Katharine Lane Weems Society

Corporate Membership

Sponsorship of Bastille Day

For more information, please contact: Benjamin Capellari French Cultural Center 53 Marlborough Street Boston, MA 02116 Tel. 617.912.0400 ext. 427 Email.

53 Marlborough Street Boston, MA 02116 617.912.0400 /frenchculturalcenter