Chers ami(e)s de l’Alliance Française d’El Paso:
Bonne et heureuse année 2020! The AFEP Board joins me to wish you all a wonderful new year with the hope that it will bring you happiness, success, prosperity but especially good health and peace in your lives. The 2019 year got away from us in a flash but I would like to take a few moments to reflect on the accomplishments of our Alliance Française during 2019.
The Board worked diligently to provide activities to celebrate our 55th anniversary, starting with applying for a cultural development grant from the Federation des Alliances Françaises. Their hard work was recognized with a $1,000 award from the the Federation to go towards cultural events. So, in March 2019, Fred Pichon, Historian and Artist, came to El Paso to present on Eugene Delacroix and Claude Monet. Thanks to the grant, this event was entirely free to the Alliance members, as well as to the El Paso community. The goal is to continue such events in the future, should the funding be available. On May 10, we were honored by the visit of Mr. Alexis Andrés, Consul Général de France à Houston, for the AFEP 55th Anniversary Gala. He was also joined by Mr. Jean-Francois Remond, Consul Honoraire de France à El Paso. Thank you to all of you who supported the Alliance during this event. Through the Silent Auction, the Alliance raised over $1,000 to support its annual activities.
In June, the Alliance hosted the second annual Fête de La Musique with the ongoing support of the Take 4 Jazz Quartet who graciously donated their time to be part of this international Festival wildly celebrated in France and Francophone parts of the World. Aside from celebrating the traditional French holidays such as the Galette des Rois, Mardi Gras, the Fête de La Bastille and the Beaujolais Nouveau, the Alliance partners with the El Paso International Museum of Arts to feature movies during the Festinema Junior and International Film Festivals. Again these events are entirely open and free to the public and go a long way in promoting the French language and culture.
Although the Alliance is financially stable, it runs on a very tight budget and is very much dependent on membership fees and student tuition for its financial stability. As you know, we are a teaching Alliance and therefore depend on students to provide a revenue stream to support our teaching mission. Although enrollment has decreased since 2018, we are actively working on reaching out to our previous students, and certainly appreciate our returning and new students. Thank you to Ms. Connie Hardy-Aguilar and Mr. Jérôme Dumeusois for their dedication to the Alliance students in 2019. In addition to tuition income, the Alliance budget also depends on its members to provide a source of income by paying their annual membership. We invite everyone to renew their membership for 2020 so they can continue participating in the AFEP activities at a discounted price, or at no cost for some of the cultural activities. Also by renewing your membership and/or becoming a member, you significantly contribute to the sustainability of the Alliance française d’El Paso for the years to come. This organization would not have existed for the last 55 years without our loyal members and ongoing commitment from those individuals who are dedicated to the promotion of the French language and culture in the El Paso community. We invite anyone to join us by serving either on the Board or on committees, so your various talents contribute to the growth of this organization and the continued legacy built by all volunteers in the 55 years.
We cordially invite you to join us for the Mardi Gras celebration that will take place this year on Friday February 21 at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center on Fort Bliss. If you are a current or previous member of the Alliance, you should have received notification of this event that promises to be fun for all. Please join us for an evening of good company and good food to the music of Jazz Unlimited, and help support the Alliance Française d’El Paso. If you would like to donate items for our silent auction, please email us at email@example.com, or call 915-585-1789.
On behalf of the Board, thank you again for your ongoing support of the Alliance and we hope to see you on February 21.
Maud Snell, Présidente
Alliance Française d’El Paso