Updates from the Alliance Française de Kalamazoo

Dr. Cynthia Ruoff of the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Western Michigan University penned the following updates from the Alliance.

Kalamazoo, le 1 juin 2022

Bonjour chers membres,

After a very long winter and cool spring, we are celebrating the arrival of summer. Consult the program to view the Spring/Summer activities for the ALLIANCE FRANCAISE de Kalamazoo. After the extended interruption for the Covid pandemic, we are once again able to offer in-person cultural presentations at homes and various venues. For those who wish to maintain and improve French conversation skills, we offer French Tables at local restaurants. In-person discussions and presentations started again in April. We do follow the guidance of  state and local health officials. If you are vaccinated and boosted, come join us.

This evening June 1, Prof. Nassaney will discuss his archaeological career in francophone America, with stops In French-speaking Switzerland, at Fort St. Joseph in Niles, Michigan, and in his research visits to Quebec. He concludes by describing his current role as Michigan Ambassador in the French Heritage Corridor project and how the ALLIANCE FRANCAISE de Kalamazoo is involved in the latest initiative. The excavation site at Fort St. Joseph has an Open House on Saturday August 6th and Sunday August 7th·

Laurie LeClear has invited us to celebrate the French National Holiday or Bastille Day, Thursday July 14th at her home with a potluck. Save the date. Details will follow near the end of June. Join us for A TABLE FRANCAISE on Tuesday June 28th at Brick and Brine Restaurant in downtown Kalamazoo and again on Wednesday August 17th at the Cove Restaurant in Portage.

In addition to TABLES FRANCAISES listed in the program, the Federation of ALLIANCES FRANCAISES USA offers Zoom French Conversations every Wednesday evening from 20h00 (8 pm) to 21h00 (9 pm). The Federation requests that participants are Intermediate, Advanced, or Native speakers of French. The AF of Kalamazoo is one of the 110 chapters included in the Federation.  As a result, members are able to take advantage of the French Conversation groups and the cultural programs on Zoom provided by the Federation. For more information, visit the website:

htt ps:lj afusa.or g/feat ure d-events/ To request a membership form, please contact: cynt hia.ruo ff @wmich.edu 

Nous attendons avec impatience le plaisir de faire votre connaissance. Bien cordialement,

Cynthia Ruoff, Ph.D President -ALLIANCE FRANCAISE de Kalamazoo Martine Goddeyne, Secretary

Nelly Kurzmann, Treasurer


Kalamazoo, le 28 avril 2019

Très chers amis,

Après un très long hiver, nous célébrons l’arrivée du printemps. Vous trouverez ci-joint le programme de notre saison d’activités. Pour nos francophiles, qui ne parlent pas français, nous avons plusieurs activités culturelles en anglais.

I have fantastic news to report. An anonymous donor has made a significant monetary gift to the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. According to the donor’s wishes, the Alliance Française de Kalamazoo is listed as the sponsor of the summer exhibition “L’esprit: Exploring Wit and Beauty in French Prints”. In addition, our Alliance will sponsor an opening-night celebration to be announced at a later date. As a result of this donor’s foresight, the Alliance Française de Kalamazoo will benefit from enormous visibility. Mille fois merci!

The exhibition, from June 15 through August 25, celebrates the joys and foibles of French society and culture between 1830 and 1930, when Paris was the world capital of artistic creativity, innovation, and opportunity. The exhibition includes fully half of the museum’s collection of French prints. These include depictions that glorify or ridicule the ever-present French State, landscapes of the monuments and street life found in big towns and cities, bucolic renditions of farm life, the adoration of beautiful women, the love of children, and the fruitful relationship that arose between printmaking and literature. Among the artists on view are Théodore Géricault, Honoré Daumier, Charles Méryon, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Georges Rouault, and James Tissot.

You will notice we have a new member of the board; Martine Goddeyne has volunteered to attend our board meetings and function as our secretary. As one of her responsibilities, she will be creating and sending thank-you notes in the name of the Alliance Française de Kalamazoo.

We are all greatly saddened by the tragic fire at the Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris. Please see the enclosed note from the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA which includes information on making a donation for the restoration and rebuilding of Notre Dame de Paris.

J’espère vous voir bientôt. Venez nombreux à tous nos événements.

Bien cordialement,

Cynthia Ruoff, Ph.D., Présidente de l’Alliance Française de Kalamazoo, cynthia.ruoff@wmich.edu
Nelly Kurzmann, Trésorière
Martine Goddeyne, Secrétaire


Kalamazoo, le 20 décembre 2018

Très chers amis,

Les membres du comité de l'Alliance Française tiennent à vous souhaiter une bonne et heureuse année 2019, une année ensoleillée et vibrante. Vous trouverez ci-joint le programme de la première partie de notre saison d'activités culturelles. We include soirées in English for those francophiles who would like to participate in our activities. We always welcome you to listen to the French presentations and participate in our activities even if you do not speak French.

Avec l'initiative "One Book/One Federation," la Fédération promeut la littérature française à travers un auteur contemporain. Cette année la Fédération a choisi le roman "La Délicatesse" (2009) by David Foenkinos. Since our Allinace already read this novel a number of years ago, I replaced it with "Souvenirs" (2011) by the same author. This novel explores a young man's relationship with his grandparents, especially his grandmother, and his own search for love. David Foenkinos est né le 28 octobre 1974 et a étudié la musique et la littérature à Paris. I will have the books available at our January meeting.

The "One Film/One Federation movie this year is "le Brio," a dramatic comedy. It is in French but has been subtitled in English. this film has not been released in the U.S. thanks to the support from the Cultural Services in the French Embassy and the Institut français, I have arranged to have an exclusive showing on February 5.

We wish to thank Nelly for organizing the wonderful "Repas de Noël" at the Food Dance on Thursday, December 20. The restaurant incurred substantial damage from a kitchen fire and had to be renovated. We were very happy to hear that he renovations were completed in time for dinner.

At each of our soirées, the hostesses and hosts provide refreshments an delicious desserts in addition to the comfort of their homes. We would like to thank them for their generosity and hospitality. If you would like to host, but the cost is not within your budget, contact me to arrange the details. After the event, please submit your receipts for reimbursement.

Le mois de janvier est le moment de payer vos cotisations. Nous vous remercions de votre participation. Nelly will send you a membership form soon. We ask you to send your check to Nelly before February 15 to facilitate her work.

Nous nous réjouissons d'avance de vous compter parmi nos membres.

Trés cordialement,

Cynthia Ruoff, Présidente de l'Alliance Française de Kalamazoo, cynthia.ruoff@wmich.edu
Nelly Kurzmann, Trésorière