French in Austin in February: crêpes, romantic movies and a gothic masterpiece

Candlemas* was Tuesday, but the traditional crêpes parties are this weekend, starting with the Alliance française d’Austin’s Fête de la Chandeleur tonight at 7PM in the kitchen of the Sustainable Food Center, off East MLK Boulevard, while the Austin French Circle’s Cercle de lecture meets again to discuss Albert Camus’ La Peste at Central Market North Lamar. Then it will be Education Française Austin’s turn to celebrate la Chandeleur on Sunday afternoon.

After all those crêpes, francophiles will then be able to head to Freestyle Language Center’s free Love is in the Air French and Italian Film Fest at the Austin Film Studios to see La Fille sur le Pont with Vanessa Paradis, and stick around for French conversation after the screening.

In between all those events, French immersion school Jean-Jacques Rousseau will be hosting an open house tomorrow from 10AM till noon.

But the following weekend, French-American organizations seem to have decided to take a break for Valentine’s Day (which is not as big in French-speaking Europe than it is here), and possibly President’s Day. So why not indulge into some Big Easy fun to celebrate another French-related tradition next week, on the occasion of Fat Tuesday? Do512 has listed many Mardi Gras celebrations.

Cultural francophile activities resume after February 15, with a pretty special docent-led tour of an exhibit about the Crusader Bible, “one of the most celebrated French illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages”, at the Blanton Museum of Art organized by the Alliance française.

A kids movie screening at Jean-Jeacques Rousseau French immersion school, an open house of the French curriculum Austin International school, and a screening of the French movie Amitiés Sincères screening by the Alliance’s ciné club will then conclude the month, before we head into March and French-speaking month.

* Celebrating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple, and different from Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, falling on Tuesday 8 this year, explains Wikipedia


Crazy Crepes food truck gets a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Austin

Read this “story of a family of immigrants struggling to bring a dream to life in America,” “story of food culture in Austin,” and “story of a deaf-owned business, which has discovered taste as a universal language that transcends barriers to communication” on the Austin American Statesman.

French in Austin in January: A French reading club and more conversation sessions on top of the regular pétanque games and French movie!

Here at French in Austin, we celebrated the holidays till the end, with a French Kings’ cake on Sunday, and still haven’t taken time to take down holiday decorations.

But after missing January’s first apéritif, Freestyle Language Center’s and Alliance Française’s registration days for this semester’s French classes, the Heart of Texas pétanque club’s annual meeting, and the Capital of Texas’ French-speaking welcome organization (Austin Accueil)’s Galette des rois, it was time to update the calendar, and remind y’all of Austin’s many French-speaking or francophile events!

Because in January, you can still enjoy (on top of the regular French conversation sessions):

  • French-English bilingual story time at the Hampton branch of the Austin public library,
  • DJ sets by Austin French DJ Eric Débris aka DoctorMix at the Aviary (and sign the petition to avoid the bar’s closure if you’d like),
  • pétanque games,
  • weekly kids workshops at Austin French for Kids,
  • a French movie: Alliance française’s ciné club is showing Qui Vive, a 2014 film by Marianne Tardieu taking place in a lower-class French suburb, this month,
  • and a new French book club: an Austin French Circle MeetUp group is starting a group to read Albert Camus’ La Peste.

Also note that on Saturday January 23rd, French immersion preschool La Petite Ecole Internationale launches a series of open houses at area French-immersion schools.

It’s also worth to note that Austin French Social MeetUp group French conversation sessions taking place at Austin French For Kids aka Jean-Jacques Rousseau in North Austin are now split up in two levels, and that the school’s story time for toddlers is now free of charge.

See calendar for details.

Finally, Freestyle Language Center owner Elizabeth Mack also informed French In Austin of her plans for “the near future”: be prepared for “new ‘FLC Abroad’” sessions: “We’re planning our trips to Paris, Italy, Peru and Costa Rica – late summer and fall,” she wrote. “Also our book groups, great events, film festival, etc… Then our May ‘immersion’ for travel.” Ouf!

There’s still a lot coming up, so stay tuned with the French-speaking community here and on Facebook!

French Legation Museum’s Festival of Carols cancelled

“We have decided to cancel this year Festival of Carols due to the forecasted threat of storms,” informed the French Legation Museum, inviting to “please check back for information about our spring choral festival”.

The good news is, because it is not participating in the event, Jean-Jacques Rousseau French immersion school will have its regular Saturday workshops for French-speaking and French-learning kids, as well as its French conversation session for adults.

French in Austin’s calendar has been updated in consequence.


French in Austin in December: Lots of shows to celebrate the holidays the French way!

We’re already well into December, and many French speakers living in Austin will be back to their home countries during the holidays, but it’s not too late to celebrate the season the French way!

After Freestyle Language Center kicked off its first holidays-themed immersion series last week, an Austin French tradition is coming up on Saturday: the French Legation Museum’s Festival of Charols, to be concluded by Jean-Jacques Rousseau French immersion school’s choir at 4pm.

The school’s end of year performance will take place the next day, and French after school Education Française Austin’s Christmas show the following week, on December 19.

Embracing the French cultures in Austin in December is very much about pleasing the children, but if you want to escape the holidays, you can go see French/Romani film Gadjo Dilo by Tony Gatlif. The Alliance française’s Ciné-club will broadcast this great movie about a young French man who travels to Romania in search of a mysterious singer on Sunday December 13 at 2pm.

Then it will be time to think about where to find bûche de Noël in Austin. Stay tuned to for suggestions on where to purchase the best ones in Austin.

New “Traditions around the World” series at Freestyle Language Center for the holidays

“Travel countries and continents through Culture & Food”, invites Freestyle Language Center as part of a new “Traditions around the World” immersion series designed to help students (all adults at Freestyle) “keep up and improve your language skills over the holidays and in between sessions.”

Proposed in French (as well as Spanish and Italian), the series starting on Saturday includes:

  • two classes focused on traditions & festivals across multiple countries and continents through art, music, religion, dress/costumes, etc.,
  • and two other ones on week 2 of the session on how countries celebrate and identify culturally through their meals and gatherings,
  • as well as three “Saturday Cafes” for conversation, the last one being Polyglot Potluck Brunch.

The registration Deadline is Friday, Dec. 4th, but you can still call Freestyle Language Center at 512-296-9558 if you read this post afterwards!

Austin songwriter and French indie rock band win first Austin Angers song contest

The winners of the Austin Angers original song contest powered by Austin’s French-American Business Council are:

announced French-American Business council members Dana Koflat and Eli Mercer on Angers Day, last week.

Go to Austin startup Music Meet Video’s website to watch those videos, learn more, and access all 30 submissions from France and Texas.