Le Mot de la Présidente
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Le Protocole d’accord : ensemble tout est possible!
The positive results of co-operation
In the previous “Mot”, I did my best to explain the difference between the Federation of Alliances Françaises, U.S.A., Inc. (“Federation”) and the Delegation of the Alliance Française de Paris in Washington DC (“Delegation”). Let me briefly recap:
I. Who we both are.
On March 4, 1902, at the Equitable Life Building, 120 Broadway, in New York City, representatives of the then existing 33 Alliance Française chapters in the United States decided to “Fédérer les Alliances”! Today, the Federation is an American 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, that provides services to its Member Chapters, coordinated through its office in Chicago.
The Delegation, on the other hand, is the entity representing the Alliance Française de Paris in the United States, with its office in Washington, D.C. The French Minister of Foreign Affairs aids the Delegation by assigning détachés from France, three to work at the Delegation, in Washington, D.C., as the Délégue Général, Délégue Général adjoint, with others working in Alliance Française chapters throughout the country.
II. What we each do.
The Federation, as the name implies, is an organization in which the Member Chapters join together for mutual support and to foster communication among each other on issues of common interest about how best to manage themselves and promote their mission.
In addition to its many programs, including, without limitation, the Cultural Offerings-a la Carte, One-Book/One Federation, the Federation Forum and many other initiatives, the Federation has an extensive Grant Program. In 2007, the Federation more than doubled the Grant monies available. This is in large measure due to a generous bequest received from the Estates of Paul and Odette Wurzburger, of the Cleveland Ohio area, on December 14, 2006. This bequest gave the Federation a renewed confidence to be more aggressive in providing financial assistance to our Member Chapters:
a). The A. Reynolds and Eleanor Morse Visibility Grant - for signage or other projects to promote awareness of Member Chapters, $1,000, per annum, with annual deadline application in February.
b). The Prize Book Fund - cash awards (aggregating approximately $4,000 annually) to purchase books etc. for student prizes in the Delegation's National Concours or locally organized French contests, with annual deadline for applications in February.
c). The School Development Grant - (with participation from the Delegation -$5,000 and French Cultural Services -$5,000). In January, 2007, the Federation Board voted to double its contribution from $10,000 to $20,000 per annum, for a total of $30,000 in grant monies for School Development.
d). The Cultural Development Grant. The Federation Board established this new $15,000 grant in January, 2007, to help defray the costs to our Member Chapters of obtaining Cultural Programs, either from the Delegation’s international season, the Federation’s Cultural Offering a la Carte, or an event originated by a Member Chapter. The Délégué Général has been invited by the Federation to serve as a member of this Committee.
e). The Wurzburger Outstanding Achievement Award for excellence in educational or cultural endeavors. This Grant was established by the Board in January, 2007, in the amount of $5, 000 from income generated by the Wurzburger Bequest, with an annual application deadline of September 7.
We want you to be easily able to find what you need as a Member Chapter on our Web-site, and, if it is a Grant, have easy and clear access to the Application. Details of the above Grant Programs may be found on the Federation’s web site at www.afusa.org.
The Delegation is organized and functions differently than the Federation. The Delegation assures all of the Alliance Française chapters in the United States a liaison with the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, the French Ambassador and the French Cultural Services. The Delegation offers its pedagogical expertise to all of the chapters on an ongoing basis, and each year brings to the United States an international offering of cultural and artistic programs of the highest quality.
III. How we work together
Although the Federation and the Delegation are separate and distinct entities, we share a common goal, that goal being to bring French language and francophone culture to an American public and to respond to the needs of the Alliance Française chapters in the United States.
An example, this year’s selection of the "One Book/One Federation" Committee, Victoire: les saveurs et les mots by Maryse Condé of Guadeloupe, complements the Delegation’s Tournée of a Maryse Condé play, Comme Deux Frères. The Federation offered an automatic “bingo” grant in the amount of $500 to any Member Chapter that chose this play. This program will be presented at various Alliance Française chapters, including the Alliance Française de Chicago, in celebration of Black History Month, in February 2008.
In order to avoid the duplication of efforts in providing separate e-mail newsletters, the Federation has joined together with the Delegation in “L’AF en bref”, now known as “Lettre d’information Délégation générale et Fédération des Alliances Françaises USA” or “E- Newsletter of the Délégation générale and the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA”.
The proof of this successful renewed co-operation between the Federation and the Delegation is the signing of Le Protocole d’accord in April of 2007, thanks in large measure to the initiative of Pierre Hudelot, Délégue Général. The Protocole now formalizes the mutual co-operation between the Federation and the Delegation.
By working together, the Delegation and the Federation have pooled their resources and joined forces. As we move forward, our vision for the future is that the Federation and Delegation continue on this path to better serve the entire réseau. Ensemble tout est possible!
With warm wishes for continued co-operation!