Jonah Bokaer is one of the three artists planned during Le Petit Gala du FIAF. Photo credit: Jonah Bokaer Choreography

Each year, the “Trophée des Arts” is the New York French-speaking social event to be. And at the same time a valuable source of funding for the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), which does not benefit from any public funding, and depends largely on donations from French companies and French and American individuals for its budget of 12 million dollars annually.

“We traditionally organize our gala in November in which we raise between 1.5 and 2 million dollars each year”, explains Marie Monique Steckel, director of the FIAF. “We had to cancel this event this year, originally scheduled at the Plaza Hotel in Central Park with over 500 people. The shortfall is enormous ”. The two main activities of the FIAF are French courses and the organization of French cultural events or those related to France (theater, films, conferences, discussions, dinners, etc.). To continue funding these activities, Marie Monique Steckel and her team have decided to reinvent their end-of-year gala by organizing “Le Petit Gala”, an event halfway between face-to-face and video, scheduled for Monday November 16 from 7pm.

“The evening will take place in two parts. It will begin with three performances by dancers and musicians visible to all free of charge live on Vimeo at 7pm ”, tell Carine Malaussena, director of events for the FIAF. The artists will take turns on the stage of the FIAF theater, unfortunately closed to the public. “In view of the gloomy news, we wanted to offer a recreational break with remarkable artists, which is accessible to our entire New York community”, summarizes Marie Monique Steckel. Free registration here.

The evening will continue at 8pm with a dinner limited to 10 people in the FIAF Skyroom, a meal also available remotely via Zoom. “Lhe dinner is already full with around 100 people participating on Zoom, in addition to the 10 planned on site at the Skyroom. But the FIAF is also holding an auction and an online raffle to win a cruise.“, Adds Carine Malaussena. For $ 50, participants can enter to win a Ponant luxury cruise for two between Edinburgh and Lisbon, with regular chamber music concerts scheduled on the ship. They can also participate in auctions on the FIAF website and try to win prizes such as a Christian Dior bag, a private piano lesson or a trip to the Dominican Republic.

“It will also be possible to donate online during the 7pm show”, explains Carine Malaussena who worked hard with her team, including Alexandre Autrand, to organize this event. “It’s difficult to do events at the moment. With the arrival of the Covid-19 in March, we tried to spend several of our events online, including Bastille Day this summer. But Le Petit gala is of capital importance to us ”. “Our desire to disseminate French culture remains at the center of our ambition. Covid or not, we must always have the ambition to do better, and we must finance all that ”, adds Marie Monique Steckel, who hopes to raise between 250 and 300,000 dollars thanks to the French community on November 16.


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