Today, Villa Albertine, a French cultural institution headquartered in New York City, announced the launch and expansion of several federal arts initiatives and cultural programs across the United States that span music, visual art, philosophy, and dance.
To advance its mission to foster the exchange of ideas on key contemporary issues and deepen cultural connections between the United States and the French-speaking world, Villa Albertine will:
- produce a series of talks between French and American women museum leaders that explores the future of our cultural institutions;
- launch a year-long exploration of the art of dance from inception to performance, that includes:
- multi-city performances from French choreographers and companies,
- artistic residencies for up-and-coming choreographers, and
- a culminating dance-themed symposium featuring leaders in the field; and
- forge connections between US and French ‘sister’ cities through City/Cité, a program that pairs Chicago x Paris, Atlanta x Marseille, and Oakland x Saint-Denis, and uses the arts to facilitate dialogue on urban issues.
The new 2023 programs are anchored by Villa Albertine’s annual programming and initiatives that span across four organizational pillars: exploratory, bespoke artist residencies, the third cohort of which will be announced in May 2023; public events across the country headlined by Night of Ideas, an annual marathon of ideas and performances that this year expands to 20 cities across the US; grants and professional programs; and magazine entitled States, launching January 19, which complements the organization’s work as a platform for global creators to engage with key contemporary questions and share ideas. Villa Albertine’s programs reach national audiences through the institution’s headquarters in New York City and its network of offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, and San Francisco.
“As Villa Albertine continues to expand its role as a new kind of ‘cultural think tank,’ we are launching each program–and growing existing ones–to create the conditions for renewed creative exploration, nourishing a modern cultural exchange that builds and strengthens ties between American and French communities by tackling common questions,” said Villa Albertine Director Gaëtan Bruel. “We look forward to supporting a broad range of creatives over the course of the year, with programming that meets their individualized needs and opens up space for creation without restriction as they develop new perspectives and approaches to today’s big challenges.”
Villa Albertine was established in 2021 in recognition of the important role the US plays in contemporary cultural production. It is the fourth major institution of its kind, joining institutions in Spain (Casa de Velázquez), Japan (Villa Kujoyama), and the original 350-year-old villa in Italy (Villa Medici) that all aim to bring contemporary French culture to a new audience.
Villa Albertine’s commitment to providing a platform for French-American cultural exchange will be manifested in its new “Museum Series” of curated conversations between leading women working at some of the world’s premier cultural institutions. The thought leaders will discuss the future of museums around issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and more, as institutions work to reinvent themselves in the face of today’s societal and technological shifts. The museum conversation series will be held monthly from March to June and September to November in New York City. Participants include Christine Macel (Musée des Arts Décoratifs), Amélie Simier (Musée Rodin), and Laurence des Cars (Musée du Louvre).
Villa Albertine will also focus on amplifying France’s diverse dance scene over the course of the year with a 360-degree program that caters to each stage of the artistic process from the development of new work to performance to continuing professional development and learning in the industry. The organization is curating performances of new works from emerging and established French choreographers and companies including Nacera Belaza, Compagnie Käfig, Emmanuelle Huynh, and Jérôme Bel in cities across the country. Villa Albertine will also provide 12 contemporary choreographers and dance professionals bespoke, exploratory residencies across 12 major US cities as part of their annual artist resident program. Choreographers in residence include Wanjiru Kamuyu, Marlène Saldana and Jonathan Drillet, Nelisiwe Xaba, and Sarah Fila-Bakabadio.
The dance program will be capped by two events in the fall: Van Cleef & Arpels’ annual ‘Dance Reflections,’ which Villa Albertine will for the first time ever partner to produce, and a convening of 12 leading French and American dance professionals for a symposium contemplating the contemporary challenges faced by choreographers, producers, and dancers on both sides of the Atlantic, offering forward-looking solutions. Fall 2023 performers, speakers, and event dates will be announced this summer.
Additionally in the fall of 2023, Villa Albertine will expand and unify an ambitious program in the US, City/Cité, which uses the arts to connect American cultural hubs with French sister cities, pairing Atlanta, GA, with Marseille; Chicago, IL, with Clichy-Monfermeil, Paris; and Oakland, CA, with Saint-Denis, Île-de-France. The program creates space for artists, architects, urban planners, community organizers, political leaders, and others to hold important conversations and creative exchanges that examine urban issues and salient similarities in both transatlantic communities.
With topics ranging from social justice to artistic innovation, this year’s programming in each city explores the complexity of urban development and empowers artists as changemakers using a bi-cultural lens. In partnership with the City of Atlanta, the Elevate Festival, and Atlanta Design Festival, City/Cité Atlanta x Marseille will take place from September to October 2023 and will focus on urban ecology and culture, with special attention given to the relationship between residents and dance/hip-hop culture. In Chicago x Paris, programming will center on reinventing the city planning model, with a series of conferences and exhibitions taking place from September to December 2023 in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The next iteration of programming in Oakland and Saint-Denis, with events from May to September 2023, will revolve around conversations with elected leaders, citizen advocates, and more, centered on climate change in urban areas and moving towards a more sustainable cultural events model.
City/Cité is an outgrowth of preexisting regional Villa Albertine programs based in Chicago x Clichy and San Francisco (Oakland) x Saint-Denis that organized lecture series and public art exhibitions exploring solutions to the challenges of inequity and accelerated urban development in communities literally and figuratively peripheral to large city centers.
Groundbreaking “Artist” Residency Program Enters Its Second Season
Beginning in January, a group of 80 French and Francophone creatives—from artists to authors, historians to astronomers, and video game creators to journalists (and more)—will undertake projects across the United States for the second annual Villa Albertine artist residency program. Reinventing the model for residencies, the program offers bespoke experiences for global creators, thinkers, and cultural professionals to engage in creative exploration, with no obligation to produce a final product, in order to facilitate cross-cultural learning and exchange.
Season two residents include Palme d’Or winning film director Julia Ducournau (Titane), who will explore New York City’s skin modification scene and the art of tattooing to inform her next project; visual artist Sara Ouhaddou, who will spend her residency in Houston and Los Angeles carrying out a comparative study on the meaning of the star symbol in the Arab and US spheres; and award-winning architects Frédéric Chartier and Pascale Dalix, who will explore greener ways to construct, maintain and rehabilitate high-rise buildings.
To capture the vastness and diversity of the “American experience,” the residency program allows creatives to work in the city of their choice, drawing inspiration from the unique communities and cultural landscapes surrounding them as they tackle global sociopolitical issues. Each resident is paired with a local cultural partner institution and supported by Villa Albertine, which, in addition to covering living expenses, facilitates the creation of itineraries and community connections to advance each residency project. Past notable Villa Albertine residents include conductress Stephanie Childress, musician Sélène Saint-Aimé, filmmaker Alice Diop (Saint Omer), and artist Nicolas Floc’h.
Residents are chosen annually through a multi-round review process guided by groups of local and international cultural leaders. In August 2022, Villa Albertine, in partnership with the Ford Foundation, expanded its residency program to launch custom-designed experiences for five leading creators from the African continent. A new African residency cohort will be announced this year, along with the entire list of creatives selected for Villa Albertine’s 2024 residency spots, in May 2023.
Additionally, in April 2023, Villa Albertine is unveiling a new space in their NYC headquarters where its artists-in-residence can meet, work, and gather. Currently undergoing restoration and renovation, the top-floor atelier of Villa Albertine’s Payne Whitney Mansion, previously used as a writing studio by Helen Hay Whitney in the early 1900s, will become a collaborative studio or “hub” for French and francophone creatives to engage in cross-cultural learning and exchange.
More information on the residency program can be found here.
A producer of more than 50 cultural events across the US annually, Villa Albertine’s returning programs for 2023 is Films of the Green, a free, multi-city series of outdoor summer French film screenings, and Night of Ideas, the institution’s flagship nocturnal marathon of philosophical debates, performances, readings, and more. This year, Night of Ideas will take place February 25 – March 4 in 25 cities across the US. The event invites thought leaders, activists, performers, authors, and academics to engage the public in discussion around a central question that addresses major, contemporary global issues.
This year’s unifying theme is “More…?” Each city is invited to approach the challenge of building a more sustainable and equitable society from the vantage of local issues, debates, and opportunities. Participants will include philosopher Baptiste Morizot, as well as various other high-profile speakers and Villa Albertine residents. Past Night of Ideas events featured speakers and performers such as musician/poet Patti Smith, public-interest attorney and co-founder of the Center for Reproductive Rights Kathryn Kolbert, artist Ai Weiwei, and philosopher and author of The New York Times “The Ethicist” column Dr. Kwame Anthony Appiah.
In addition to amplifying the voices of creators and thinkers with public-facing events, Villa Albertine recognizes and supports the development of new cross-disciplinary work through numerous professional events, grants, and awards. Among the most prestigious awards organized by the institution is the Choix Goncourt des Etats-Unis chosen by American students pursuing degrees in French at eight prestigious American universities, which will be announced this year in April. In 2022, writer Anne Berest won the first edition with her novel La Carte Postale. Additional awards include the Albertine Translation Fund and Prizes, the Prix Étant Donnés, the FACE Contemporary Theater grant, the FUSED Grant for dance, and more. A full list of Villa Albertine’s professional programs can be found here.
Villa Albertine 2023 Programming Highlights
Villa Albertine Museum Series
March – November, 2023
The Museum Series brings together women leaders from premier cultural institutions in France and the US for timely conversations on how museums must reinvent themselves to meet the challenges of the present. Participants include Christine Macel (Musée des Arts Décoratifs), Amélie Simier (Musée Rodin), and Laurence des Cars (Musée du Louvre). Presented in collaboration with the Center for Curatorial Leadership.
Night of Ideas, Villa Albertine’s flagship nocturnal marathon of philosophical debates, performances, readings and more is returning to more than 20 cities in 2023 from February 25 through March 4, 2023.
Returning to New York City on March 3, Villa Albertine’s landmark event Night of Ideas is an annual nocturnal marathon featuring philosophical debates, performances, readings, and more.
Choix Goncourt des Etats-Unis
April 29, 2023
This April, a jury of American students pursuing degrees in French will announce their selection for the United States’ winner of France’s most prestigious literary award, the 2023 Choix Goncourt.
2024 Residents Announcement
Villa Albertine will announce their new cohort of artists, thinkers, and cultural professionals for the third year of its residency program, beginning in 2024.
May – December 2023
Artists, architects, urban planners, community organizers, political leaders, and other creatives will hold important conversations and engage in creative exchanges as part of the program that connects American cultural hubs with French sister cities, with pairings that include Atlanta, GA, with Marseille; Chicago, IL, with Clichy-Monfermeil, Paris; and Oakland, CA, with Saint-Denis, Île-de-France.
Films on the Green
The free outdoor French film series returns to parks and other green spaces in major US cities including New York; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; and Boston.
Dance Reflections Festival by Van Cleef & Arpels
This fall, for the first time ever, Villa Albertine will partner with Van Cleef & Arpels for the inaugural Dance Reflections festival in New York City dedicated to supporting dance companies and institutions globally. The full program will be released in June.
Let’s Talk Villa Albertine 2023 Dance Season: A Professional Symposium
Villa Albertine’s 2023 dance season, featuring national performances by French companies and choreographers, will culminate with a symposium headlined by French and American performers, choreographers, directors, and educators, who will discuss pressing issues in today’s dance landscape.
Prix Etant Donnés
Villa Albertine and the French Professional Committee of Art Galleries (CPGA) will announce the 2023 winner of the Prix Etant Donnés, a $20,000 prize supporting excellence in contemporary creation in December. The award, which fosters international visibility for the French art scene, has previously been conferred upon Julien Creuzet and Kapwani Kiwanga.
Villa Albertine is a new kind of cultural institution whose mission is to create a community that links France and the United States in a shared exploration of arts and ideas. With a team of 80 people deployed in 10 major cities—Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.—Villa Albertine presents its innovative programming nationwide. This includes 70 customized residencies for artists, thinkers, and cultural professionals; a series of cultural and humanities initiatives and events; a magazine; and resources and convenings for professionals in the cultural sphere. Villa Albertine is an institution of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, with support from the French Ministry of Culture.