2016 France on Campus Awards
French and francophone culture is thriving on U.S. university campuses with the help of the new, nation-wide France on Campus Award launched in 2016.
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy, in partnership with Kickstarter, with support from NAFSA and APLU, have launched the second edition of the France on Campus Award under the patronage of film director Wes Anderson. This award aims at discovering, celebrating and supporting initiatives that explore France in new and creative ways.
The France on Campus Award is intended to help student organizations eager to launch or continue a major France-related project on campus by providing a unique package of funding, mentoring and networking. With this support, awardees will expose new audiences to France and French culture on their campus and beyond.
Following a call for applications from September 28th until November 6th 2016, 10 projects showcasing various aspects of French culture in the fields of Technology, Film, Food, Music or Performance were selected.
The two grand prizes of $2,000 and $1,000 were respectively presented to the “Study Abroad Club” of University of California at Davis and the “Music Only” student organization of the University of Georgia.
The following 10 projects were distinguished by the selection committee:
-University of California, Davis, “Connections Abroad: Exploring France through Virtual Reality”: recording of 360° videos by students in France to enable UCD students to explore France in virtual reality and inspire them to study abroad in France.
-University of Georgia, Athens, “Pourquoi pas? Inspiring Students to Be There Best”: using the composition and production of an original hip-hop song in French to give disenfranchised young high school students a purpose to stay in school and an interest to learn French.
-Sam Houston University “Black Artists in Paris (Black History Month)”: bringing light to the work of black artists inspired by the City of Light, through the organization of various activities in music, literature, film and art.
-New York University, “Francophone Community Exchange Expansion”: The Francophone Community Exchange (FCE) is a program, sponsored by the NYU Department of French, in which NYU undergraduates studying French tutor elementary school students at the New York French American Charter School (NYFACS) in Harlem twice a week.
-University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, “Film Capsules: Hecho en Europe and French Culture in Puerto Rico”: making a series of 30-second film capsules on topics related to the Hecho En Europa Film Festival and to French culture in Puerto Rico. The videos will be converted for a projection on the big screen.
-University of California, Berkeley, “Politically Engaged Parisian Café”: The project is a set of debates with faculty, French exchange students and students in the EU club to discuss the state of France and its future governance in the upcoming elections.
-Lehman College, CUNY, “French Context”: organization of an event in which participants are immersed in new perspectives on French and Francophone culture, history, language, and art, while in dialogue with the guest speaker Jan J. Dominique, a francophone journalist and novelist. She will also assess the club members’ art projects.
-Texas Tech University “Paris Fashion Week Live Runway Show”: organization of a live runaway show based on the Paris Fashion Week, with discussions on the impact of French fashion around the world.
-The Catholic University of America, Washington, “Literatures in Dialogue: Creative-Critical Literary Performances”: presentation by students of a Francophone literary text in an artistic performance (readings, recordings, sounds, video montage, etc.) to communicate the text content to an audience that doesn’t necessarily understand French.
-Transylvania University, Chicago, “L'Usine de la Cuisine”: creating a French cooking workshop and food diary to expand the ideas the students of Transylvania University and the Lexington, KY, inhabitants have about healthy eating, based on the French way of eating.
All ten teams have been invited to participate in a mentorship program organized by Kickstarter before launching a crowdfunding campaign on the global platform. They are also assigned a mentor from the Cultural Services who is assisting and advising them at each step of the project’s development. Each team will also receive an award certificate signed by the Ambassador of France to the United States upon completion of the project.
This program presents an excellent opportunity for university students to work hand in hand with the Cultural Services and its partners to develop and enhance French culture on campus. Francophile filmmaker Wes Anderson, a great supporter of the program, inspired students to participate with the following words: “Bring the spirit of French culture to your school! The France on Campus Award is an invitation to explore your creativity and to take on ambitious and original projects. Now is your chance! Seize this opportunity!”