The University of Southern Maine’s Franco-American Collection will be hosting a lecture by Prof. Rhea Côté Robbins on the topic “Franco-American Gender Roles: Motherhood and More” Thursday, March 13th at 1 p.m. at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College. Robbins is is a professor of Franco-American Studies at the University of Maine, and is the founder of the Franco-American Women’s Institute, an organization of women who gather together as a force for the specific purpose of promoting Franco-American, ethnic women’s voices in a variety of forms. Continue reading
The entire student body from L’École Française du Maine in Freeport is putting on a show in French for about 250 patrons of the Franco Center’s monthly French luncheon, known as “La Rencontre,” with the next one set for Thursday, March 13 at 11:30 a.m. This year the students are participating in a circus production from France known as Cie Tour du Cirque, a traveling husband-and-wife team who visit accredited French schools throughout America to teach students about the circus and to incorporate the children into the show itself. The children will sing, dance, juggle, do acrobatics and magic tricks in a show entitled “Derrière la Porte,” which translates as “Behind the Door.”
“In the francophone world the circus is a deep part of our culture, so it’s very culturally relevant to what we do here,” says Willy LeBihan, director of L’École Française du Maine, a K-6 elementary school and one of 40 French-language schools in the United States that enjoy full accreditation by the French national government.
The couple who created this circus, Farid Abed and Marion Achard, come from the Dijon region in the eastern part of France. They will be arriving in Maine on March 9th for the final stop of their current east coast tour and will spend four days at the school preparing the children for their roles. The circus has also appeared at schools in New Orleans, North Carolina, New York and Boston.
The student circus will immediately follow lunch, where patrons will be served lasagna with ground beef from DaVinci’s Eatery along with their signature “garlic knot” bread rolls, which is another annual tradition at the Franco Center. The cost to attend La Rencontre is $7, which includes both the meal and the entertainment. To make reservations, call the Franco Center at 783-1585 any weekday between noon and 4 p.m. The deadline for reservations is 4 p.m. on Monday, March 10th.
In the past when La Rencontre was held on a Fridays, the lasagna was always meatless in observance of Catholic prohibitions on meat consumption on Fridays during lent. Now that La Rencontre has been moved to Thursdays, however, ground beef no longer poses a problem for observers of lent.
LeBihan says that one of the school’s faculty, Céline Fournier, has long had a fascination with the circus and has spent considerable time during the current school year sharing her knowledge with her students.
“On top of being a certified teacher, she is someone who has practiced acrobatics and studied contemporary dance, and she has been training the children in these disciplines,” LeBihan says of Fournier. “Our students are prepared and are thrilled to particpate.”
“This year’s lineup in the ninth annual ‘F.A.B.’ Winter Dance Showcase is a testament to the health and diversity of Maine’s contemporary dance community,” says Carol Dilley, an organizer of the event and director of the Bates College dance program.
“F.A.B.” takes place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at the Franco Center, 46 Cedar St. in Lewiston. The event is produced in association with Bates by the Franco Center, formerly known as the Franco-American Heritage Center. (“F.A.B.” stands for Franco-American and Bates.) Continue reading
A storm expected to dump a few more inches of snow in Lewiston on Saturday will not be enough to force the cancellation of Saturday evening’s Piano Concert by official Steinway artist, David Fung. The concert will take place beginning at 7:30 p.m., as scheduled. His program will open with four short Scarlatti sonatas, followed by Beethoven’s Sonata No. 31 in A-flat major, Op. 110. Following intermission, he will perform two Rachmaninov Preludes (No. 10 in B minor, Op. 32, and No. 8 in A minor, Op. 32) and Schubert’s “Wanderer” Fantasie in C major, Op. 15.
The Franco Center has pre-emptively decided to postpone its monthly French luncheon, known as La Rencontre and originally scheduled for this Thursday, by one week due to a messy winter storm expected to hit the region this week.
The new date is Thursday, February 20th – a week later. A private event scheduled at the Franco Center on Friday precluded moving La Rencontre back by just one day, and so management decided to keep the event on a Thursday for the sake of continuity. Continue reading
The University of Southern Maine’s Franco-American Collection will be hosting a lecture by Prof. Christian Potholm on the topic of Franco-Americans and Maine politics, Thursday February 27th at 3:30 pm at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College.
Potholm is DeSilva Alexander Professor of Government and Legal Studies at Bowdoin College. He’ is also the founder of the Potholm Group, a political research and consulting firm. Potholm was a consultant for the State Taskforce on Franco-Americans in 2012, and has been an expert observer of Maine’s politics for decades. His books on Maine politics include: This Splendid Game, The Delights of Democracy, An Insider’s Guide to Maine Politics and most recently, Maine: An Annotated Bibliography. All are available from Amazon.com
“This is an unprecedented year for Franco-Americans in terms of Maine’s political scene,” says Collection Coordinator James Myall. “For the first time in Maine, and perhaps anywhere in the United States, there are two Franco-American candidates vying for the governorship. We’re pleased to welcome Professor Potholm to share his insights on both the political history of Maine’s Franco-Americans and what the upcoming year has in store.”
The event is part of the Franco-American Collection’s Spring Lecture series, organized in partnership with USM LAC faculty and made possible by support from the University of Maine System’s Diversity Committee. For more information on the other events in the series, please visit the Collection’s website, www.usm.maine.edu/franco.
The event is free and open to the public. USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College is located at 51 Westminster Street in Lewiston. For more information, call 207-753-6545 or email email@example.com
Ed Gabrielsen & Friends, who were set to perform a concert at the Franco Center back on Saturday, January 11th until a combination of freezing rain and dense fog that same day caused the concert to be postponed, have set a new date for the show — it will now take place on Saturday, September 27th at 7:30 p.m.
Ticket-holders for the postponed concert may hang on to their tickets from the original date and present them at the door, and they will be honored. For those wanting to purchase tickets, the ticket price will remain at the originally-set price of $15 per person.
What is not known at this time is whether the same opening acts — a young Portland-based trio named The Press Gang, which performs traditional Irish music, and the folk and world-music duo of of Leah Wolfsong and Reinaldo Cortez — will be on the bill. As soon as we learn additional details about the show, we will post them on this web site’s regular events calender.
The Franco Center will host a concert on Friday, January 24th by the Phish tribute band Pardon Me, Doug. Tickets are $6 in advance and $8 at the door. This will be the second appearance at the Franco Center by the Portland-based band, which will return for yet another show in May. Their first show, held in the Franco Center’s downstairs Heritage Hall last February, was very well-attended and earned them an invitation to come back for two shows in the current season. Continue reading
The Franco Center is offering naming rights to its crown jewel, its acoustically and visually magnificent 428-seat Performance Hall.
The board and management at the Franco Center are not saying what the exact cost will be to affix a corporate sponsor name to its elegant main performance space, only that their goal is to find a sponsor willing to enter into a long-term commitment of five to ten years or more. Continue reading
The University of Southern Maine’s Franco-American Collection will be holding its monthly sing-along session at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College Friday, January 17 at 1:30 p.m. The sessions consist of an hour of French and French-Canadian songs, led by a group of enthusiastic local volunteers. Song sheets are provided, so those whose French is less than fluent are welcome to attend. New participants are always welcome. Continue reading