Meet the Alliance française de Tallahassee at an open house
Happy New Year everyone !
The wish for a happy new year has just been shared among French speakers around the world. Including here in Tallahassee. And members of L’Alliance française de Tallahassee hope that by next year, even more Francophiles peck each other’s cheeks and whisper Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Mary Bradford is an American born and raised, a resident of Tallahassee who fell in love with France, its culture and its language early on. And there are many like her.
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Around 2000, several other lovers of France, including Jack Sigler and David Greenberg, had decided that Tallahassee could profit by becoming a chapter of the international organization, Alliance française, based in Paris, a venerable group that promotes language, culture. and the French intellectual. exchanges between French-speaking countries and those which do not yet do so.
But Bradford, the organization’s former chairman and now a member of its board, says that for many years the founders were stymied by a sort of reluctance on the part of the French organization to invest its efforts in smaller chapters. whose number of members often decreased. For indeed, the history of the Alliance Française was grandiose.
Originally founded in Paris in 1883 by scientist Louis Pasteur, writer Jules Verne and Suez Canal developer Ferdinand de Lesseps, the organization is now present in 850 cities in 137 countries, with more than a half a million students. worldwide.
Nonetheless, for over 10 years, the Tallahassee group functioned as a “French association”, not as a voting member of the chapter. It wasn’t until Bradford went to Miami to make a strong case for Tallahassee to become a full and supported member, that in Paris that year it became L’Alliance française Tallahassee, its French courses, the quality of its instructors, and the cultural events on offer, all controlled from Paris.
Although the pandemic has forced many classes to be held online, and the twice-monthly French conversation meetings have also adapted to a new online format once a week, Bradford says that with a bit of luck , some of the other events may resume as the year continues: the monthly French films; wine tastings; group dinners; New Beaujolais presentations; Bastille Day Celebrations, with singers in French.
And as a forerunner in welcoming hoped-for adjustments to normal life, L’Alliance Française invites everyone to an open house from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on January 7 at its offices at 2545 Blair Stone Pines Drive.
Here you can sign up for classes to brush up on your French or learn it from scratch. Non-French speakers or those who are already fluent will be presented to a faculty of teachers born in France where, in an outdoor park-like setting, refreshments will be provided by the restaurant Little Paris.
And damn it! What better way to start a very Happy New Year?
If you are going to
What: Alliance Française Open House
When: 6-8 p.m. Friday January 7
Or: 2545 Blair Stone Pines Drive
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