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Tag: Louisiana

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On the Road (to the Elysée): Jacques Chirac in America

Before becoming president of France, Jacques Chirac was a vagabond in America during the 1950s. At least, that was the story he liked to tell. Jacques Chirac, who passed away on September 26, was a friend to America and would tell anyone willing to listen. One such person was President Bill Clinton, whom he met in Washington in 1995 less...

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Françoise Gilot: Muse and Artist

With the recent republication of her hit memoir Life With Picasso and a gallery show opening on August 3 in New Orleans, artist Françoise Gilot remains more current than ever in the seventh decade of her career. “A painter, his model, and an intelligent woman, she is a superb witness to Picasso as an artist and to his views on art.”...

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Degas House in New Orleans Enshrined by French Culture Minister

The house at 2306 Esplanade Avenue where Edgar Degas lived and painted from 1872 to 1873 has received the Maison des Illustres label from the French minister of culture. This is the second site in the United States to be recognized in this way, along with Marguerite Yourcenar’s house in Maine. The label was created in 2011 to showcase “residences that...

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Edgar Degas, an Impressionist in New Orleans

Edgar Degas is renowned for his paintings of young ballet dancers and horse races, and his series depicting women ironing. A lesser known painting is that of New Orleans. He travelled to the city in 1872 to see the American side of his mother’s family, who worked as cotton and textile merchants. The painter saw this six-month stay as a...

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Franco-Responsibility, Louisiana Rises to the Challenge

What if "Franco-responsibility" was the key to guaranteeing the future of the French language in Louisiana? This new term was coined in Quebec to describe a simple goal — increasing the use of French in daily life. On Wednesday evenings in Lafayette, Louisiana, almost every customer in the Blue Moon Saloon speaks French. Everyone meets at 7 pm for the...

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“Cajun Music Has its Place in America!”

Just a few miles from Lafayette, Louisiana, six musicians are putting their all into passing down the heritage of the French language and Cajun music. Their band, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, was formed in 1990 by brothers Louis and Andre Michot, and received a 2018 Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Music Album. Director Bruno Doria has made a "rockumentary"...

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Mardi Gras in Louisiana: Carnivals Between the City and the Country

From the first days of January and Mardi Gras, held on March 5 this year, Louisiana celebrates a French tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages — the carnival. The line-up includes floats and bead necklaces in New Orleans, and masked horse riders and Cajun songs in the countryside. This is the world’s biggest show enjoyed for free every...

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La Francophonie’s Decision Confirms the Rebirth of French in Louisiana

Louisiana’s application to join the International Organization of La Francophonie (IOF) was accepted on October 11. But in Paris and in Baton Rouge the "battle" of La Francophonie in Louisiana is only just beginning. Louisiana is now a part of the institution of La Francophonie. The American State’s population comprises more than 5% of Francophones with 5,000 students enrolled in...

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Louisiana Joins La Francophonie

It's official! The American state has joined the International Organization of La Francophonie (IOF) as an observer member. Its application was accepted on Thursday, October 11, by the organization’s member states at a summit in Erevan, Armenia. The 54 full member states and governments of the IOF made a unanimous decision at the 17th summit of La Francophonie. According to...

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Louisiana’s Master’s in Bilingual Education to Start in May 2019

In the last step of a process which started more than a year ago, the Louisiana Board of Regents met in Baton Rouge on Wednesday, August 22, and allocated the funding required to create a Master’s degree in elementary French immersion education. A first class of ten students will begin the course at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in...

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Louisiana’s Application to La Francophonie to be Determined in October

Will Louisiana join the International Organization of La Francophonie (IOF)? The answer will be given in October at the 17th summit of La Francophonie held in Yerevan, Armenia. “Louisiana’s application is valid,” says Bertin Leblanc, the spokesperson for the IOF. The American state is home to almost 250,000 Francophones and 5,000 students enrolled in dual-language immersion programs, and submitted its application...

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“Francophones in Louisiana Lack Visibility”

An advertising expert in Louisiana is hoping a website and a simple word — “Bonjour” — will give the state’s 250,000 Francophones more visibility. Three weeks ago, Brian Clary was looking for a Francophone hairdresser in the Lafayette region. The Virginia-born advertising consultant moved to Louisiana at the start of the summer and could easily have patronized an Anglophone salon....

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Louisiana Green-Lights a Masters in Bilingual Education

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the state’s Department of Education have approved the creation of a Master's degree in elementary French immersion education. A first class of between five and ten students will begin the course in May 2019. The Louisiana Board of Regents will meet in Baton Rouge on August 22 to allocate the funding required to...

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A Movie About the Lost Bayou Ramblers and the Rebirth of Cajun French in Louisiana

A documentary project about the Cajun rock band The Lost Bayou Ramblers has been awarded the French Culture Film Grant by the #CreateLouisiana industry-building initiative and the TV5 Monde television network. “On va continuer !” (We will go on!). These words conclude every concert played by The Lost Bayou Ramblers. The sound of his instrument is still resonating when Louis...

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The Last Cajun

Norbert LeBlanc doesn’t hunt alligators anymore. Instead, he has spent the last 15 years taking Francophone tourists on tours of the swamps east of Lafayette in his role as a guardian of Cajun culture in Louisiana. The engine purrs slowly as the boat slips between the cypress trees. The stem of the vessel cuts gently through the duckweed covering the...

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Louisiana Applies to be Part of La Francophonie

On April 5, 2018, Louisiana submitted its membership application to the OIF, the International Organization of La Francophonie, which unites French-speaking countries. The decision will be announced at the OIF Summit held in Yerevan, Armenia, on October 11 and 12 of this year. The State of Louisiana is home to almost 250,000 Francophones and has 5,000 students enrolled in English-French...

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The Rebirth of Cajun French in Louisiana in Classrooms and Online

From Baton Rouge to Lafayette and from the App Store to social media, a group of Louisianan activists is fighting to preserve the language of their ancestors — Cajun, or Louisiana French. Luke Romero uses his iPhone if he wants to understand his Francophone grandparents. Born into a family based in Louisiana since the 18th century, the 33-year-old software developer...

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French on the Airwaves

Americans speaking to other Americans… but in French! From Brooklyn to San Francisco and from Boston to Minneapolis and Ville Platte (Louisiana), many radio stations and shows are now broadcast in French. It’s 7:30 pm (EST) on Radio Soleil. After the horoscope in Creole and a few bars of kompa blasted out on a trumpet, it’s time for the weekly...

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TV5 Monde Celebrates “French Month” in March

Promoting Francophone culture in the United States is the mission of TV5 Monde. And as part of "le Mois de la Francophonie" (French Month) celebrated every March, the channel will be screening a series of documentaries and movies showcasing the diversity of the French language in the United States. Here is our selection. Rendez-vous d’Amérique March 10, 6:25 pm EST...

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A Musical Journey Through New Orleans After Katrina

Music holds sway in New Orleans. In Faubourg Tremé, a book published in French and English on October 12, Parisian photographer Alexis Pazoumian studies the role of music in the reconstruction of the city ten years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans has always held a deep attraction for photographers. Lee Friedlander, Bernard Hermann, William Claxton, and George...

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A Documentary Depicts the Rebirth of French in Louisiana

A pair of French teachers have spent two years following the key players in the rebirth of the French language in Louisiana, including teachers, activists, politicians, students and parents. The duo’s resulting documentary, Theo’s Choice, will premiere in Lafayette, Louisiana on January 26, 2018. Théodore Brode is one of the rare French teacher from Louisiana. He is part of the...