Tilt Kids Festival Features a Wide Range of New Works for Families by Celebrated French and International Artists

January 23, 2017 | By French Culture

New York, NY, January 19, 2017The Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) are pleased to announce programming for the second annual Tilt Kids Festival. With five world premieres and four U.S. debuts, the multidisciplinary festival presents adventurous and playful new work for families from artists spanning the globe. The Festival takes place March 4 through April 16 at venues throughout New York City. Tickets are on sale at www.tiltkidsfestival.org.

Tilt Kids Festival invites kids and families to discover, play, imagine, think, and create, with performances and events that challenge the boundaries of art forms. From theater to dance parties, music concerts, innovative workshops, conversations, and visual art installations, Tilt is designed to stimulate and inspire the audiences of today and tomorrow.

This year, the French Cultural Services and FIAF are thrilled to join forces with leading cultural institutions throughout the city including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Public Library, The Invisible Dog Art Center, and NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Multiple events will also take place in various spaces at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and FIAF. The 2017 Tilt Kids Festival features programming ranging from high-flying acrobatics and open philosophical discussions for kids, to a new adaptation of a classic fairytale, told through a combination of film and live performance.

Five of the festival’s world premieres are newly commissioned works. The first is a large-scale, immersive installation—the first exhibition in New York—by Hervé Tullet, the internationally acclaimed illustrator and author of over 75 children’s books, including Press Here. In another, Congolese theater director Toto Kisaku invites kids and their parents to create costumes, sound effects, and creative recitation in a participatory performance of his favorite African folktale. The Teens Library, created by French artist Fanny de Chaillé, will highlight the lives of recent immigrant teenagers in New York City, who will become living books and share their personal stories with the audience in an intimate setting. In the festival’s first collaboration with the Met Museum, the Juilliard Orchestra will perform Oscar- and Grammy-winning composer and conductor Tan Dun’s Terracotta Symphony and Hero Concerto, which will complement the Met’s exhibit of terracotta warrior sculptures protecting the Qin Emperor. And renowned actor Nicolas Bouchaud and cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton will offer a compelling, musical retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen classic The Emperor and the Nightingale.

The festival will also include four U.S. premieres that will introduce American audiences to acclaimed works from abroad. Among them, a series of special photobooth workshops created by François Hébel, artistic director of the Greater Paris Month of Photography, will give budding photographers an opportunity to explore the world before selfies, culminating in an exhibition of creative self-portraits made entirely by kids. La Cordonnerie’s clever ciné-performance Snow White or the Fall of the Berlin Wall will combine live theater and music and an original film in a re-imagining of the classic tale of Snow White, set in the context of the Cold War. French DJ Pedro Winter (aka Busy P), known for his work with Daft Punk and founder of the Ed Banger record label, will curate a mini-version of his popular European dance music festival for families, Stéréokids. And Franco-Spanish aerial artist Nacho Flores will present Tesseract, a unique production that combines ephemeral sculpture and circus.

The thrilling Montreal-based ensemble The 7 Fingers (Les 7 doigts de la main), best known for their work in Broadway’s Pippin, will combine culinary arts with acrobatics for their newest creation, Cuisine & Confessions, presented in its New York premiere. And celebrated author, philosopher, and New York Times columnist Simon Critchley returns to Tilt with an all-new edition of Philosophy for Kids, featuring insightful philosophical conversations with children in a parent-free zone.

Tilt Kids Festival invites you on a journey across the arts, and on this train, there is no quiet car! Tilt will elicit a sense of freedom rather than impose decorum. Invited artists create new work that pushes the frontiers of creativity, and stimulates the imagination of both kids and their parents,” said Rima Abdul-Malak, Lili Chopra, and Violaine Huisman, co-curators of Tilt Kids Festival. “In this time of heightened global uncertainty, we remain committed to offering positive, mind-opening artistic experiences that encourage a deeper understanding of the world. No matter how old you are, let curiosity be your guide!”  

Tilt Kids Festival is co-curated by Rima Abdul-Malak, Cultural Attachée of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy; Lili Chopra, Executive Vice President and Artistic Director of the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF); and Violaine Huisman, Director of Humanities at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

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Merci!

Tilt Kids Festival 2017 is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium, Air France and Delta Air Lines, FACE Foundation, Florence Gould Foundation, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, Howard Gilman Foundation, Institut français-Paris, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, La Roche Posay, and SACD (Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques).


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Hervé Tullet: This Isn’t Trash

Co-produced with The Invisible Dog Art Center

Opening Saturday, March 4 from 4–6pm for kids and families; Reception 6–10pm

Saturday, March 4 through Saturday, April 15

The Invisible Dog Art Center, 51 Bergen Street (between Boerum Place and Smith Street), Brooklyn

Gallery Hours: Thursday through Saturday: 1–7pm; Sunday: 1–5pm

Free & open to the public

All ages

Wildly imaginative illustrator Hervé Tullet—best known for the beloved children’s book Press Here—opens the 2017 Tilt Kids Festival with the first-ever exhibition of new works in New York.

School tours of the exhibit will be organized over the course of its run, guided by Teaching Artist Amélie Gaulier who was trained by Tullet. 

About Hervé Tullet

Hervé Tullet is an artist and performer, as well as a renowned children’s book author, whose large-scale interactive workshops, involving up to 1,000 people, take place in various libraries, schools, art centers, and museums around the world. A renowned artist of books, including Mix It UpLet’s Play, and Press Here, Tullet is also celebrated for his large-scale art workshops for children and series of games by Phaidon. In September of 2017, Tullet will release OH! Un livre qui fait des sons. Tullet moved to New York City in October 2015. Since then, he has appeared at events, performances, and readings at such prestigious venues as the Guggenheim and MoMA.

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Nacho Flores: Tesseract (U.S. Premiere)

Co-presented with NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts as part of Circus Now

Sunday, March 5 at 2pm

NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place

(between Thompson Street and LaGuardia Place)

Tickets: $20–$45

All ages

Approx. 30 minutes

Franco-Spanish aerialist Nacho Flores takes his balancing act off of the tightrope to create a whole new kind of circus. Watch with bated breath as he climbs impossible stacks of teetering wooden blocks that rise like mountains and topple like dominoes. Follow him on a surreal adventure through a poetic, shape-shifting landscape where he must battle gravity, befriend ordinary objects, and uncover dreams.

The performance of Tesseract will be followed by Disco 3000 from Finland’s Racehorse Company (also approx. 30 min). For details visit www.nyuskirball.org

About Nacho Flores

Originally from Madrid, Nacho Flores discovered circus in Amsterdam, while living there for two years. He grew weary of juggling numbers on a computer and decided to study at the Carampa Circus School and the Navarro Mar Lecopi School of Theatre. Upon graduation, he met the well-known high-wire artist Ernesto Terri and traveled to Buenos Aires to study with him. Flores later honed his skills at the Moscow Circus and at Le Lido in Toulouse, France, ultimately inventing his own form: balancing on wooden cubes.

Tesseract is a project of Studio/PACT, an initiative co-created by La Grainerie and Le Lido (Center for Circus Arts) located in Toulouse, France.

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François Hébel: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Kid

Generative Workshops: Saturday, March 11, 11am–1pm and 2–4pm

Free with RSVP at www.tiltkidsfestival.org
Opening Reception Saturday, March 18 from 3–5pm

Exhibition: Saturday, March 18 through Wednesday, April 26

FIAF Gallery, 22 East 60th Street (between Park and Madison Avenue)
Gallery Hours: Monday through Friday: 11am–6pm and Saturdays: 11am–5pm

Free & open to the public

Workshops: ages 4–10

Exhibition: all ages

Tilt Kids Festival goes old school with a tribute to the photo booth, precursor to the selfie, in the FIAF Gallery. Capturing the spontaneity of photography before the advent of the delete button, a hands-on workshop will teach kids how to compose a narrative in four frames.  A special jury will select workshop images to be displayed in large scale during the exhibition March 18 through April 26.

The photography workshop will be conducted in French and English.

About François Hébel

As director of Les Rencontres de la photographie in Arles (1986-1987), Hébel was crucial to exposing a whole generation of photographers to the greater public, including pivotal figures of the 1980s such as Martin Parr, Nan Goldin, Paul Graham, Annie Leibovitz, Sebastiao Salgado, and Eugene Richards. After leading the Magnum photo agency (Paris and International) from 1987 to 2000, Hébel returned to the prestigious festival Les Rencontres in 2001, resuming his role there as director, where he remained for 13 years. Hébel is also the founder and director, since 2013, of the Foto/Industria Biennial in Bologna, Italy; co-creator of the Photo Spring festival in Beijing, China; and Artistic Director of the Greater Paris Month of Photography in 2017. His publications include Mick Jagger: The Photobook (Contrasto +4, 2010) and Harry Gruyaert, Rivages (Textuel, 2003). Since 2015, Hébel has been curator of the FIAF Gallery, dedicating the space to French photography.

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Toto Kisaku: African Tale (World Premiere)

Saturday, March 11, 11am–1pm

Cultural Services of the French Embassy

972 Fifth Avenue (at 79th Street)

Free and open to the public

Ages 6 and up

Theater director Toto Kisaku offers a hands-on storytelling experience, bringing families together to create a performative telling of an African folktale. Parents and kids will split into teams to create costumes, sound effects, and creative recitation of the text, then reunite to perform the folktale together in this participatory performance.

In French.

About Toto Kisaku
Set designer, actor, director, and producer Toto Kisaku is currently working with local companies from the Institut Français of N’Djamena, Chad on developing theater performance as part of a larger urban reconstruction project. In 2003, he created K-Mu Théâtre, a theater company with the mission of promoting the performing arts in urban areas of Kinshasa. For 17 years, he traveled the world sharing his experiences through shows, workshops, and residencies. Kisaku is the winner of the 2010 "Freedom to Create Award" in Cairo, Egypt. In 2003, Jacques Livchine and Philip Boulay selected him among the young artists of Kinshasa to represent Congo in the 20th edition of the Limoges festival and to perform in two pieces by Bernard M. Koltes. Kisaku also performed in the French version of Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks at the Forum de Blanc Mesnil, the Théâtre Louis Jouvet, and the Théâtre de l'Athénée in Paris. He has produced plays such as Basal'ya Bazoba, Rencontres au pluriel, Surface 1 et 2, 20 ans, et alors!, and Mort d’Oluwemi d’Ajumako, among others. Kisaku has also participated in the Avignon, Limoges, Paris Quartier d’Eté, Taz à Oostende, ICAF, Pilotobes, A/D Werf, Right About Now, Toseka, Mantsina, and Connexion Kin festivals.

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Simon Critchley & PhD Students from the New School: Philosophy for Kids

Co-presented with the Brooklyn Public Library

Saturday, March 18 at FIAF:

11–11:30am: ages 5–7

12–12:30pm: ages 8–10

French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), Haskell Library, 22 East 60th Street

(between Madison and Park Avenue)
Sunday, March 19 at Brooklyn Public Library:

2–2:30pm: ages 6–8

3–3:30pm: ages 8–10

4–4:30pm: ages 10–12

Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch (BPL), 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn

Free & open to the public

Ages 5–12

Following the success of Philosophy for Kids, part of the inaugural Tilt Kids Festival last year, acclaimed scholar and New York Times columnist Simon Critchley and his students return this year for a series of discussions at FIAF’s Haskell Library and the Brooklyn Public Library. Celebrating kids’ unabashed curiosity, he will invite New York’s youngest intellectuals to engage in deep conversations about subjects ranging from friendships to society, and other key themes in philosophy. No parents allowed!

About Simon Critchley

Simon Critchley is Hans Jonas Professor at the New School for Social Research. His books include Very Little… Almost Nothing, Infinitely Demanding, The Book of Dead Philosophers, The Faith of the Faithless, The Mattering of Matter, Bowie, Memory Theatre, and Notes on Suicide. He is moderator of “The Stone,” a philosophy column in The New York Times, to which he frequently contributes.

The Philosophy for Kids workshops are organized in collaboration with the Brooklyn Public Library as a continuation of the all-night marathon of philosophical debate, A Night of Philosophy and Ideas, taking place at the Brooklyn Public Library–Central Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, from Saturday, January 28 at 7pm to Sunday, January 29 at 7am.


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La Cordonnerie: Snow White or the Fall of the Berlin Wall (U.S. Premiere)

Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19 at 2pm

French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street

(between Madison and Park Avenue)
$25 General; $20 FIAF Members and Kids

Ages 8 and up

75 minutes

Get a glimpse inside a magic mirror where fiction, history, and fantasy collide. Snow White has been transported into the 20th century—Berlin, 1989 to be exact. Set during the Cold War, this nuanced re-imagining of a timeless tale delves into the very real drama of being a teenager raised by a step-parent.

The French company La Cordonnerie brings their signature mix of film, music, and theater to New York for the first time. Sound effects, score, and narration are performed live in front of an original film, bringing the magic of theater-making center stage.

Ciné-performance in French with English supertitles.

About La Cordonnerie

Founded in 1997 in Lyon, La Cordonnerie has developed a multidisciplinary style of creation—fusing theater, film and music—that they call ciné-performance. The company’s method consists of re-writing and adapting well-known stories, from literary classics like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Shakespeare’s Hamlet, to fairy tales like Ali Baba and Hansel and Gretel, reading themselves into this profound and infinitely rich material, and shaping the tales into modern and offbeat versions suitable for all audiences over the age of six or eight. The adaptation phase is followed by the making of a silent film, which is shown on stage, accompanied by musicians, actors, and sound engineers who re-create live the sound texture of the film, using a multitude of instruments and incongruous objects. Since 2005, La Cordonnerie has produced a repertory of seven shows presented regionally, nationally, and internationally—totaling over a thousand performances.

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Pedro Winter (aka Busy P): Stéréokids (U.S. Premiere)

Saturday, March 25 2–5pm

Cultural Services of the French Embassy, 972 Fifth Avenue (at 79th Street)

Free and open to the public

Ages 3 and up

French DJ Pedro Winter (Busy P)—best known for his collaboration with Daft Punk and his record label Ed Banger—brings a mini-version of his popular French “grown up music festival for kids” to New York. A dance party for children and parents alike, Stéréokids features a live DJ experience led by Winter.

About Pedro Winter

Pedro Winter is a French DJ and event producer, a major figure in the French Touch movement within house music, and was the manager of Daft Punk before creating his storied record label, Ed Banger. He has produced artists such as Justice, Breakbot, Sebastian, and others, and releases his own music under the name Busy P. Along with his collaborators Leslie David and Antoine Lampérière, he created the music festival for kids Stéréokids.


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Tan Dun: Terracotta Symphony and Hero Concerto (World Premiere)
Featuring The Juilliard Orchestra, conducted by Tan Dun

Co-presented with The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Saturday, April 1 at 2pm

The Met Fifth Avenue, Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, 82nd Street and Fifth Avenue

Adults $65–$85

Tickets to this event include Museum admission on the day of the performance.

Tickets available at www.metmuseum.org/tandun

Bring the Kids tickets are available for $1 with the purchase of a full-priced adult ticket.

Ages 7 and up

The world premiere of Oscar- and Grammy-winning composer-conductor Tan Dun’s Terracotta Symphony and Hero Concerto, featuring the Juilliard Orchestra, will transport audiences to ancient China. This first Tilt Kids Festival collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art brings together eastern music with terracotta drumming and an extraordinary exhibit of terracotta warrior sculptures protecting the Qin Emperor. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 B.C.–A.D. 220), on view April 3–July 16, 2017.

About Tan Dun

Tan Dun, following in the footsteps of his musical icons, composer-conductors Gustav Mahler and Leonard Bernstein, has made an indelible mark on the world’s music scene with a creative repertoire that spans the boundaries of classical music, multimedia performance, and Eastern and Western traditions. Dun is the winner of prestigious honors including the Grammy Award, the Academy Award, Grawemeyer Award for classical composition, Musical America’s Composer of The Year, the Bach Prize of the City of Hamburg, and Moscow’s Shostakovich Award. He has led the world’s most esteemed orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. Dun has recently been named Honorary Chair of the Carnegie Hall China Advisory Council and was commissioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to write the Logo Music and Award Ceremony Music for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Most recently, Tan Dun has been appointed as Honorary Artistic Director of China National Symphony Orchestra. Tan Dun records for Sony Classical, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Opus Arte, and Naxos. His music is published by G. Schirmer, Inc. and is represented worldwide by the Music Sales Group of Classical Companies.

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Nicolas Bouchaud & Sonia Wieder-Atherton: Le Rossignol (The Emperor and the Nightingale) (World Premiere)

Saturday, April 1 and Sunday, April 2 at 4pm

FIAF, Le Skyroom, 22 East 60th Street (between Park and Madison Avenue)

Free & open to the public

Ages 4–10

60 minutes                                                                                                                       

Two powerhouse French performers—stage actor Nicolas Bouchaud and acclaimed cellist Sonia Wieder Atherton—join forces to perform an imaginative, musical rendition of Hans Christian Anderson’s treasured fairytale The Emperor and the Nightingale. The pair mixes sounds from bells and all manners of music to tell the story of an emperor who tries to replace the love of a nightingale with a glittering mechanical bird.

Le Rossignol (The Emperor and the Nightingale) is performed in French.
 


About Nicolas Bouchaud

An actor since 1991, Nicolas Bouchaud worked with directors Étienne Pommeret and Philippe Honoré before meeting Didier-Georges Gabily, with whom he collaborated on several plays. In 1998, Nicolas Bouchaud began performing under the direction of Jean-François Sivadier, which marked the beginning of a long collaboration between the two men. Bouchaud headlined Sivadier’s production of King Lear, which was presented in the legendary Cour d’Honneur at the 2007 Festival d’Avignon. The following year, he directed and performed alongside Gaël Baron, Valérie Dreville, Jean-François Sivadier, and Charlotte Clamens in Paul Claudel’s Partage de Midi, also presented at Avignon. In 2010, he created La Loi du marcheur, based on the work of film critic Serge Daney, which premiered at the Festival d’Automne in Paris and was presented in a return engagement the following year due to overwhelming critical and popular acclaim. La Loi du marcheur had its US premiere at FIAF in May of 2014. More recently, Bouchaud performed in Projet Luciole, directed by Nicolas Truong, at the 2013 edition of the Festival d’Avignon. Bouchaud was nominated for a Molière Award (French Tony) for his performance in Sivadier’s production of Molière’s The Misanthrope. In November 2014, Bouchaud will re-team with director Éric Didry in a theatrical adaptation of John Berger and Jean Mohr’s Un métier idéal (A Fortunate Man).

About Sonia Wieder-Atherton

Internationally acclaimed cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton interprets a broad repertory, performing numerous works that have been specifically written for her both as a soloist and chamber music performer. Parallel to her career as a concert performer, she has conceived, produced and performed her own projects, which continually reconsider the concert form, opening the repertory to the sounds of time and exploring the intersections between different forms of artistic expression. Her original works have travelled the world. Wieder-Atherton is the recipient of the Bernheim Foundation Award a winner of the Rostropovich Competition. She has studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur with famed French cellist and conductor Maurice Gendron, as well as at the Moscow Conservatory. 

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Fanny de Chaillé: The Teens Library

Saturday, April 8 from 11am–4pm

Albertine Books, 972 5th Avenue (at 79th Street)

Free and open to the public
Ages 6 and up

Note: Some stories may contain mature content

Described by The New York Times as “storytelling coming to life,” The Teens Library is inspired by the idea that anyone can be the author of knowledge and share it with others. Created by French artist Fanny de Chaillé, the interactive project is a living library where visitors are invited to choose from a catalogue of “books”––which are actually people––each of whom relate their individual story.

Each “book” is the result of a collaboration that started in November 2016 between the artist and a group of teenagers who are part of the New York Public Library Literacy Leaders program. In a series of workshops, they worked together to determine a theme, topic, or personal history to be shared. Participating teens are primarily recent immigrants to the U.S. aged 14–17. In intimate sessions with the audience, each teen will tell his or her unique story to both parents and kids. The Teens Library is a reminder of the power of storytelling. It brings stories to life and gives a voice to any individual.

About Fanny de Chaillé

Fanny de Chaillé began creating her own plays, installations, and performances in 1995. She has worked with renowned artists such as Daniel Larrieu, Rachid Ouramdane, Emmanuelle Huynh, and Alain Buffard. She has created installations, performances, and choreographic works including Le Voyage d’hiver (2001), AMERIQUE (2006) and Gonzo Conférence (2007). In 2010, she created La Bibliothèque (The Library), a performance produced with 23 residents of the Cité Universitaire Internationale in Paris. The piece has been since presented in countries around the world, including the 2013 edition of FIAF’s Crossing the Line Festival. In 2013, the Centre Pompidou‘s Nouveau Festival commissioned Chaillé’s piece La Clairière, created with set designer Nadia Lauro.

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The 7 Fingers (Les 7 doigts de la main): Cuisine & Confessions (New York Premiere)

Co-presented with NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts

Tuesday, April 11 through Friday, April 14 at 7:30pm

Saturday, April 15 at 2 and 8pm and Sunday, April 16 at 3pm

NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place

(between Thompson Street and LaGuardia Place)

$45 to $99

90 minutes

All ages

“An unfailing recipe of rock circus-dance-theater that warms our stomachs is how Le Monde describes Cuisine & Confessions, the newest creation by Montreal-based circus company The 7 Fingers, the company behind Traces and Broadway’s Pippin, combines culinary arts with circus high jinks. The company’s awe-inspiring acrobats combine kitchen appliances, food, and recipes with elaborate choreography, jaw-dropping acrobatics and pulsating music to heighten audiences’ most visceral senses.

About The 7 Fingers

The 7 Fingers is a collective that is at once unified and multi-faceted.  In 2002, seven circus artists came together and became The 7 Fingers. Over the course of 15 years, the collective has grown. Each year, projects have given way to new projects, as diverse as the very artists themselves: original productions, Broadway shows, artistic collaborations, project direction, custom-designed events, performances for Olympic ceremonies, televised creations, immersive performance experiences, and much more. Every one of these projects carries The 7 Fingers’ unmistakable mark. Ambassadors of diversity, the artists have consistently spread their horizons, mixing genres to better tell their stories. Fascinated by the human condition, the 7 Fingers create performances that speak about our world and our time. Their works reach audiences across nations, with over 500 shows a year. 

About the Cultural Services of the French Embassy

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, digital innovation, language, and higher education across the US. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the country, the Cultural Services brings artists, authors, intellectuals and innovators to cities nationwide. It also builds partnerships between French and American artists, institutions and universities on both sides of the Atlantic. In New York, through its bookshop Albertine, it fosters French-American exchange around literature and the arts. www.frenchculture.org

About FIAF

The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) is New York’s premiere French cultural and language center. FIAF's mission is to create and offer New Yorkers innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French cultures. FIAF seeks to generate new ideas and promote cross cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of expression. www.fiaf.org


Tilt Social:

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French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)

@FIAFNY (Twitter/Instagram)

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