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Cultural Services

205 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 3710
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone (312) 327-5230 - Fax : (312) 327-5207


The cultural service belongs to the cultural network of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It operates under the authority of the French Embassy in the US and promotes French culture and language in partnership with the local institutions and with the support of the French services. There are ten French cultural services in the US: New York, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles which operate in three specific domains : education, university and culture.

Fabrice ROZIE, Cultural Attaché
Denis QUENELLE, Deputy Cultural Attaché
Assistant: Laurence GEANNOPULOS - Phone 312/327-5235

The cultural service initiates several programs in partnership with local institutions in order to develop and improve the teaching of French in the Midwest : teachers’ training, invitations to France of American education administrators at the highest level, coordination of the relations between the various pedagogical institutions, and counseling in the matters regarding the teaching of French. Eventually, we set specific programs in partnership with the schools including the ’Francophonie’ chapter and maintain a close relation with the Midwest American schools which have a French curriculum. (Lycee Français of Chicago, Franco-American School, French School of Detroit, International School of Indianapolis).

Thanks to the special and ongoing partnership with Midwest Universities, the cultural services stive to promote French competence and develop links between French and American universities. As the representative of the Embassy programs (Chateaubriand scholarships and assistantship programs) the cultural service facilitates and encourages cooperation projects, symposiums, seminars, exchanges and visits. We encourage the departments of French and Social Science to invite French lecturers on tours with an aim at plurisdisciplinarity. Three universities(Northwestern in Chicago, University of Wisconsin in Madison and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ) have been recognized by the French Embassy as pluridisciplinary centers and as such receive a yearly funding linked to this specific activity: The France Chicago Center, university foundation based at the University of Chicago and created in April 2001 can be added to these centers for excellence which allow a long-term cooperation aiming at enhancing the exchanges between academics, and also promoting French culture through the very active cultural institutions in the Midwest. (museums, concert theatres and theatres).

The French Cultural Service also offers information and help in the following fields:

  • Studies in France
  • Grants for higher education
  • Grants for teachers of French
  • Internship for students

The cultural service promotes French contemporary creation in the entire scope of the cultural fields mainly by enticing the partner institutions to schedule French speaking artists and favor their presence in the local cultural life. Beside their counseling and influence mission, the cultural service in cooperation with the Embassy services, designates specific funding to support this activity.

The promotion of French cinema takes on various forms: propositions, organization and promotion of festivals or series designed by the Ministry of foreign affairs and in partnership with local institutions, helps to find copies of films and acquire screening rights to show them, invitations of filmmakers, conference tours in the universities (Tournee) and support to symposiums and conferences. . The European film festival (Gene Siskel Center in March) and the Young French Cinema (Facets in December) are two examples of the policy of the cultural services in Chicago, which allows a constant visibility of our film creations.

The cultural service aims at promoting the diversity of the French speaking creativity in the fields of theatre, dance and music. Its role as a go-between, in particular with the AFAA (Association Française d’Action Artistique) allows it to propose to its partners performances and artists whose level of excellence guarantees our cultural programs an eminent position. The organization of performances or concerts or the invitations of artists, can be supported through the foundation Etant Donné for the performing arts which supports selected theatre projects. In Chicago, events like the World Music Festival (in September), the Festival of French Contemporary Theatre (opening in the fall 2004) or the choreographies presented at the MCA or at Columbia College are prominent examples of our cooperation. The contemporary interpretation of the classical works can also be supported by the cultural services.

The cultural service strives to encourage the local exhibits of contemporary French-speaking artists and ensures the promotion and coordination of the traveling exhibitions planned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Like the performing arts, the visual arts benefit from the Etant Donné funding which allows the support of contemporary artists. In this matter, the cultural services act as a go-between with the AFAA in order to show our contemporary creation and attempt to encourage their partners specialized in patrimonial matters to keep a contemporary dimension inside their traditional exhibitions of French art (conference, symposium, artists participation) The long term partnerships with institutions such as the Art Institute, the Museum of Contemporary Photography or the Renaissance Society in Chicago, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis or the Bemis in Omaha, ensure an important visibility to artist like Th. Hirschorn, P. Huygue, M. Auder, T. Grant or S. Calle, recently exhibited in the Midwest.

An invitation program planned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs allows the cultural service to invite to France American professionals of the arts to attend festivals, theatre productions, conference and other major events in their field of interest. This program allows them to get better acquainted with contemporary artistic creation in France, to meet with artists, directors, choreographers and other prominent partners and to make contact with their French homologues.

The lecturers and writers program, which enables them to speak in literary institutions or in universities, allows the circulation of recently translated works or works which are not available in English yet. About twenty authors are thus proposed every year in order to attract the interest of intellectual or potential editors in various literary genres : novel, poetry, theatre and essays. Finally, the organization of symposiums or franco-american literary meetings is also a major aspect of our mission.

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Cultural Department :
Education/Linguistic Department

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