The French Alliance of Oklahoma City had its annual Bastille Day party last week at a residence in the Heritage Hills neighborhood. The attendees included French-speaking people from throughout the Oklahoma City area who dined on Gallic food and wine as an accordion player performed songs from France. Some of the guests were citizens of French-speaking nations while others were Oklahomans who had an interest in French language and culture.
Catherine Webster, who is the president of the alliance and a professor of French at the University of Central Oklahoma, talked about some of the activities that the organization sponsors. They include the recent showing of a series of French language films at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, conversational French courses that are offered after school hours to students in the Oklahoma City area and a French immersion camp during the summer.
The organization also funds cultural events designed to encourage ties between Oklahoma and the French-speaking world.
Webster also reported that the Alliance is partnering with the Les Debris Antiques, Arts, and Consignment store on 10th Street in the Automobile Alley area to host a reception on Aug. 3 to showcase the work of 14 American Indian artists whose work will be shown at the Grand Palaias in Paris, France, later this year.
Russ Tall Chief, who was in attendance at the party, will be accompanying the artists to the French capital, and he said the majority of the artists are from Oklahoma, and that they will be the second delegation of Native American Indian artists to be part of the annual art show at the Grand Palais.
Drue Ridely, an American Indian artist from Edmond, is among the artists whose work will be part of the exhibit. Tall Chief, a graduate of UCO, who is the grand nephew of the Native American Indian ballerinas Maria and Marjorie Tall Chief, reported that the show will be from Nov. 27 through Dec. 2, and it is anticpated more than 40,000 people will attend the event.
WILLIAM F. O’BRIEN is an Oklahoma City attorney.