The Francophonie Cultural Festival features six weeks of concerts, theatrical performances, films, culinary tastings, literary salons, children’s workshops, and more in Washington DC. The nation’s capital will resonate with the vibrant sounds, sights, and tastes of the French-speaking in the largest Francophone festival in the world.
This is a great way to learn about other cultures and explore the creative artistry of the many countries that speak French. Since 2001, more than 40 countries have collaborated each year to present an array of experiences all rooted in the Francophone cultures – from Africa to the Americas to Asia to the Middle East. This year, participating countries include Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, France, Gabon, Greece, Haiti, Iran, Laos, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Mauritania, Monaco, Morocco, Niger, Québec, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, and the United States.
Francophonie Cultural Festival Highlights
- La Grande Fête, an annual highlight of the Festival, takes place on Friday, March 21, with more than 35 embassies and organizations presenting the culinary specialties and traditions of the Francophone world. The evening features a concert by France’s hypnotic psyche-punk rock collective La Femme, recent winners of the Best Newcomer of the Year album award at the 29th Les Victoires de la Musique (the French equivalent of the American Music Awards).
- Renowned French pastry chef Jacquy Pfeiffer will present a delicious and educational evening with “The Art of French Pastry”, which will begin with a screening of the documentary, Kings of Pastry, followed by a presentation and signing of Pfeiffer’s new book, as well as a tasting.
- Literary salons will feature authors from a variety of styles and viewpoints, including an examination of the work of Martinique poet and politician Aimé Césaire, a founder of the
négritude movement in Francophone literature; Iranian author Nahal Tajadod, a 2007 winner of the Grande médaille de la francophonie de l’Académie Française who left Iran for France in 1977; and Jean Portante, a native of Luxembourg who was awarded the Grand Prix d’Automne de la Société des Gens de Lettres for his entire life’s work in poetry.
- Among the activities for children are a “Francophone Cultural Day” in the DC Public Schools on March 18; a concert with Belgian singer-guitarist Andre Borbé; workshops with storyteller Raouf Mama of Benin; a virtual Francophone treasure hunt for students; and an afternoon with Swiss director Samuel Guillaume exploring the making of animated movies.
2014 Performance Venues
- La Maison Française - 4101 Reservoir Road, NW Washington, DC
- Smithsonian African Art Museum - 950 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC
- AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center - 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD
- Alliance Française Washington DC - 2142 Wyoming Ave NW, Washington, DC
- Malmaison - 3401 K St., NW Washington DC
- Artisphere - 1101 Wilson Boulevard, Rosslyn, VA
- Bloombars - 3222 11th Street, NW, Washington, DC
- Blues Alley - 1073 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC
- Hillyer Art Space - 9 Hillyer Ct NW, Washington, DC
- Napoleon Bistro and Lounge - 1847 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC
- Inter-American Development Bank - 1300 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC
- Montgomery College, Takoma Park Campus, 7995 Georgia Avenue Silver Spring, MD
- Various Embassies: Côte d’Ivoire, Luxembourg, Switzerland, France, Lithuania and the Residence of the Gabonese Embassy
About the International Organization of La FrancophonieThe International Organization of La Francophonie represents one of the largest linguistic zones in the world. Its members share more than just a common language; they also share the humanist values promoted by the French language. Created in 1970, the organization’s mission is to embody the active solidarity among its 75 member states and governments (56 members and 19 observers), which together represent more than one-third of the United Nations’ member states and account for a population of more than 890 million people, including 220 million French speakers.
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