A university center will host a Franco-American meeting

The Franco-American Center at the University of Maine plans to host a 2022 Rassemblement (gathering) of French-American artists, writers, and other cultural workers with events Friday through Sunday, April 22-24 , according to a press release from the university.

Attendees can choose from the following virtual, in-person and hybrid events which are free and open to the public. Online registration is mandatory (those who have already registered will need to register again).

• Virtual screening of the film “Le Carrefour” (The Intersection)
A virtual screening of this documentary in short format. Set in Lewiston, the film explores the blossoming relationship between descendants of French-Canadian immigrants and newcomers from Francophone Africa, and uncovers the unexpected ways in which their experiences intersect. Attendees must register, and the link will be sent to registrants one week before the Gathering and can be viewed any time before the hybrid chat on Saturday, April 23.

• Friday, April 22, hybrid conference, reading and Q&A with author Tyler Leblanc, 7-9 p.m.
Leblanc, author of “Acadian Driftwood: One Family and the Great Expulsion,” will speak in person. Growing up on the south shore of Nova Scotia, LeBlanc was not fully aware of his family’s Acadian roots until a chance encounter with an Acadian historian prompted him to delve into his family’s history. family. LeBlanc’s discovery that he could trace his family back to the time of the Acadian expulsion and beyond forms the basis of this account of the Grand Dérangement. The lecture and in-person discussion will take place at the Franco-American Center, 110 Crossland Hall in Orono, and will be simulcast on Zoom. To attend this event virtually, register at maine.zoom.us.

• Saturday, April 23, informal face-to-face meeting, 10 a.m. to noon
Join the other Rassemblement participants for an informal meeting at the Franco-American Center. Participants who cannot attend in person can register at maine.zoom.us for this Virtual Gathering on Saturday morning, which will resemble last year’s virtual event. Virtual presentations and discussions will be moderated by Patrick Lacroix, Director of the Acadian Archives at the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

Afternoon of hybrid discussion moderated by Jacob Albert, project manager of the Franco-American Portal, 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Virtually join the leaders of the “Carrefour” for a discussion on its manufacture. Those from Orono will gather at the Franco-American Center to join the Zoom-based discussion. Registration is required at maine.zoom.us.

Closing event in person, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Bring instruments for a jam at the Franco-American Center. Ellsworth-based violinist Gus La Casse will perform.

• Sunday, April 24, in-person debriefing and coffee break, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Optional informal discussion to conclude the weekend, make comments and say goodbye to the Franco-American Center.
A block of rooms has been reserved at the Black Bear Inn in Orono as part of the “Franco-American programs” for in-person participants who wish to stay on Friday and/or Saturday. For groups of participants outside of Orono, the Franco-American Center will help organize in-person satellite gatherings, as well as a Zoom channel for those who wish to gather virtually.

To request a reasonable accommodation or more information, contact Lisa Michaud at [email protected] or 207-581-3789.


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