Quoi de neuf / Infolettre

"Je Suis Charlie" Vigil in Portland

The events of the past 12 days in France have touched many throughout the world and have led to peaceful rallies and vigils in many cities. Members of Portland's French  community gathered on Saturday, January 10, in downtown Portland to hold a peaceful memorial to the victims. The vigil, organized mainly via Facebook by young French expatriates including Julie Chartrou-Wood (at front right in the photo), drew hundreds of participants. Click here for a gallery of photos prepared by Alliance member and professional photographer Heather Heaton and click here for an article on Oregonlive. Merci also to KGW which sent a news team to the Alliance's Kamm House and to the vigil at Pioneer Courthouse Square. 

Mayor Charlie Hales & Others Show Solidarity
On Friday, January 9, the office of the Mayor Charlie Hales (pictured here) sent a letter to Rhonda Lynn, the new Executive Director of the Alliance, for dissemination to the French-American community. The letter reads, in part: "As Mayor of Portland, I remember the rush of good will we received after an attempted terrorist attack to Pioneer Courthouse Square at Christmas 2010. People from  throughout the world, including France and the francophone countries, rallied behind Portlanders then. As we rally behind the French today." Click here for the letter.
  The Alliance's Paris-based Fondation has also issued a formal statement honoring the victims, noting that cartoonist Georges Wolinski shared his craft with the Alliance Française network. Click here for that news release, in French. 
Batum News & T-Shirt Tie-In
Blazers starter Nicolas Batum was featured in a story on KGW last week for wearing a "Je Suis Charlie" T-shirt in pre-game warm-ups (the photo here is from his Twitter account). Click here for the online video report which includes a short statement from Batum, who hails from Lisieux in northern France. Readers have contacted us to find sources for purchasing the T-shirts. Click here to read a CNN story, "Retailers walk line with 'Je Suis Charlie' merchandise." (Note that Batum had his T-shirt custom-made.) Finally, remember that French Night is coming on February 25 at the Moda Center. Only 30 of the special group tickets remain and those are in the $130 range. Visit the event page for details. 
February Offers Bounty of French Films   
February not only brings a bounty of French-language films during the Portland International Film Festival (details will be published soon) but also a French-language film from Canada, called Mommy, which is scheduled to open at Living Room Theaters on February 13. The film, which won a Cannes Jury award, depicts a feisty widowed single mom who struggles with full-time custody of her unpredictable 15-year-old ADHD son, with the help of a neighbor. Click here for the trailer and here for the theater listing. 
Staff & Intern News Around the Alliance     
Welcome to Constance Vottero (shown here at the left), who has joined the teaching and administrative staff. Constance is from Lyon, has a master's degree in Romance Languages, and has taught French in U.S. colleges for two years. Her undergraduate degree is in modern literature with a minor in English and her experience includes translating contemporary American novels into French. Bienvenue also to Nathalie Macdonald (here at right) who is interning briefly in Portland. A resident of the 11th arrondissement in Paris, she is helping primarily with administrative tasks around the Alliance office and will return to her law studies at the Sorbonne next month.      
Dates to Remember
Jan. 23: Highlights of the Canals and Rivers of France (sold out)
Feb. 25: French Night at the Blazers at the Moda Center (almost sold out)
Quick Web Links

Winter Term is under way. Spring Term starts the end of March.   




Some are hosted by Alliance staff, board members or other volunteers. Drop-ins welcome; membership is encouraged but not required.

NW, N, or Central   

St Honoré on NW Thurman on

Wed., 6pm, Jan. 21         

C'est Si Bon on NE 7th on the first Tuesday, Feb. 3 @ 6pm  

Philippe's Bread on N. Williams on Sat., Feb. 7 for B2/C1 levels (advanced, fluent)  

SE Portland

At Chez Machin, Mon., Feb. 9, at 7p.m.

At Vie de Bohème weekly on Sundays, 4-5:30 p.m.


At Gustav's in Vancouver, Tues., Feb. 3 at 5:30 p.m.


In-Kind Sponsors







Actor Sought, Facebook Group for Expats,
Conversation Group News and More 


  Seeking French Male Actor: A local video company is seeking a male actor, age 25 or so, for a marketing production that involves both voice-over and on-camera work on a video to promote software for driving internet-based product sales. Candidates should be fluent in French or nearly so, and comfortable in front of the camera. All experience levels will be considered. Approximately 4 hours; $600. Email bill@berrymediaworks.com.  

   French Expatriates in Portland: French expatriates in Portland can connect via a Facebook group set up especially for them: "page pour les expatriés français vivant à Portland, OR et ses environs." Click here for the Facebook group page. Note - the group describes itself as intended for French persons living abroad; it's not a travel discussion group nor a French conversation group for learners of French.    

  Conversation Group Update: The C'est Si Bon group will henceforth meet on the first Tuesday of each month. The group is free, welcomes all levelsFACC2008 of French, and meets at 22 NE 7th Ave. Click here for the restaurant's web page.  

  The French-American Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest is planning some business networking meetings in Portland in the coming months and is seeking venues for breakfast meetings and/or evening meetings. Venues would need to be free or low in cost, and accommodate 15-30 people. Email linda.witt@comcast.net to discuss.  

   News in Alliance Management and Board: The Alliance's management team and board have undergone several changes recently. As mentioned in the Dec. 31 newsletter, Rhonda Lynn (pictured here at left) was promoted on January 1st to be the Alliance's new Executive Director, replacing Linda Witt. In board news: This past Monday, the board accepted Richard Sullivan's decision to decline re-election. Richard served on the board since 2011 and was the diligent host of the St Honoré conversation group (NW Thurman location). Merci, Richard!   

  Euro Startup Weekend: The 2nd Euro Seattle Startup Weekend event will be on January 23-25 at Amazon (in the Westlake area of downtown Seattle). Sponsored in part by the French-American Chamber of Commerce and Google for Entrepreneurs, the intensive networking and business development weekend is a rare opportunity. The concept brings together a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. Participants share ideas, form teams, and launch startups. Click here for all details.     

   John Kerry Speaks Again: In the previous bulletin, the most popular link was the speech by John Kerry, in French, regarding the Charlie Hebdo tragedy. Click here for that speech, headlined "John Kerry exprime en français sa solidarité au nom de tous les Américains," on BFMTV which is a CNN affiliate. (Photo: Wikipedia Commons). Kerry spoke again in French this week in Paris - click here for his latest speech (it's the second video once you click through to the BFMTV page).   

  Siri Vik Performance: The Lincoln City Cultural Center on the Oregon coast will present Siri Vik in a French cabaret-style tribute to Edith Piaf, Jacques Bel and others, on Saturday, Jan. 31. Optional lodging-ticket packages are available at the Ocean Terrace Condominiums and the Seahorse Oceanfront Lodging. Click here for the website and here for a flyer. (Siri Vik, shown here at right, enjoyed  excellent reviews when she performed recently in Portland in an event jointly organized by the Alliance and Zeitgeist Northwest.)    



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