Alliance Française d’Indianapolis recently relocated to Carmel and is eager to share its mission with the community.
“A lot of the schools around here have foreign language programs,” said Jean Minka, executive director of Alliance Française d’Indianapolis. “The students learn all different languages. We want to support all these schools that have French programs. We have a lot of resources we can put into place to enhance their programs.”
The organization felt Carmel was the perfect place to immerse itself in the community.
“We have a large number of followers in the Carmel, Westfield, Fishers, Noblesville and northern Indianapolis area,” Minka said. “Strategically, the location is perfect for our followers. Carmel and the mayor have been pushing for development in the city. It was perfect for us. It really can’t get any better to be in the center of the cultural development.”
The organization will host a Bastille Day Celebration from 6 to 10 p.m. July 14 at Sofia Square. Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille, a fortress prison in Paris, on July 14, 1789. The event marked the first step toward bringing democracy to France.
“We celebrate Bastille Day to bring back the French heritage in Indiana,” Minka said. “This year there will also be a gallery walk on the same day, so we’re teaming up with the gallery walk organizing committee in order to have a common theme that day.”
The event will offer a celebration of all that is French, including food and wine.
“We want people to dress French-like,” Minka said. “We’ll have French food, French beverages, French and American music and some activities for children. This is something we’re going to do every single year. I think we’ll add to it each year. It’s just the beginning.”
The evening will end with fireworks and is free to attend. For more, visit afindianapolis.org.
FRENCH INTERN SPENDING SUMMER IN CARMEL
By Riya Chinni
Josephine Hutchinson, originally from France, will stay in Carmel for six weeks this summer to intern at the Alliance Française d’Indianapolis and learn about American culture—all while sharing her native culture.
Hutchinson said she enjoys Carmel and believes its valuing art and culture is what makes it an ideal location for the Alliance Francaise.
“(Carmel residents) can be part of the different events we have,” she said. “They can take courses and they can also be members and support the organization so we can grow more and have more events and activities.”
The organization offers events at Books & Brews in Carmel from 6 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday nights for people to speak French and work on French conversational skills.
A part of Hutchinson’s role as an intern is to converse with people who call or come into the office as the organization encourages all to get involved.
“We’d like to say that Alliance Francaise is not an exclusive club,” Executive Director Jean Minka said. “We don’t have any restriction on the basis of anything you can think of, so everybody is welcome.”