It is a pleasure to address you once again this spring, at a time that has unfortunately been tainted by blind violence in Brussels. We wish to pay homage to the victims of this tragedy reaffirm our wholehearted solidarity with the Belgian people, as well as with those who have suffered everywhere—on all continents—in the past months. In a time marked by tragedy, culture continues to draw us together and open our minds to the world, to its diversity and nuance, and sow seeds of mutual understanding. This conviction is precisely what guides the actions of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, which spread through the spheres of literature, cinema, arts, and education.
This month, Tilt Kids Festival presented dance and theater shows, philosophical discussions, and other exciting events for children throughout New York City. Children’s events will continue to take place year-round within the framework of Kids Trail, which offers kids and families the opportunity to explore French culture through cinema, music, theater, dance, and literature. We are very excited to involve young people more thoroughly in our programs—it is they who will shape the world of tomorrow.
In April, we will have the honor of welcoming acclaimed authors and scholars including Dany Laferrière and Andreï Makine, who will tour throughout the US. We are also proud to now be offering French language ebooks on the Albertine Books website: nearly 28,000 titles are available, and many for the first time in the US in this format. This offer reinforces Albertine’s mission and that of the Cultural Services to share French literature and make it accessible in the United States.
Also in April, an exhibition by designer Ionna Vautrin will take place in Boston within the framework of our Oui Design program, which aims to highlight French design and develop new collaborations on both sides of the Atlantic. Oui Design continues in May, during NYCxDESIGN, New York’s citywide celebration of design (May 3-17), with series of exhibitions, workshops, and conferences at various New York museums and fairs.
Wrapping up its third season in May is Films on the Beach in Miami, and starting its 9th season in early June is Films on the Green in New York. This year’s Films on the Green festival will focus on the City of Lights with the theme “A Summer in Paris.” The list of films will be revealed soon, and as is tradition, will mix classic and contemporary cinema at free screenings at different parks around New York City.
The launch of Films on the Green will mark the start of the Paris-New York Tandem, a cultural exchange between the two cities, benefitting from the support of Institut français—Paris, and organized with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. The Tandem will offer dozens of high-level events in all artistic disciplines that will begin in June and continue through October. We will share more information shortly about this project, which united two large cultural capitals.
I wish you a beautiful spring and hope to see you at many of these events soon,
Deputy Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the U.S.