Marie Antoinette: Behind the Scenes with The NOLA Project

September 8, 2015


On this episode of Radio NOLA, we get a behind the scenes look at The NOLA Project's season opener, Marie Antoinette, by the American playwright David Adjmi. We had the great pleasure of welcoming the stars of the show Cecile Monteyne, playing Marie Antoinette, and A.J. Allegra, playing Louis XVI, to the Alliance Française last week for a meet and greet. Today’s episode includes highlights from our conversation. If you like what you hear, be sure to get your tickets to the play, running through September 20th at!


Rendez-Vous Interview with Françoise McHugh, author of Le Butin du Reich

August 21, 2015

Today on the show, we’ll be speaking with Francoise McHugh ,whom some of you in the New Orleans community may know as a library media specialist and grant writer at Ben Franklin high school during the day. She’s also the author of 4 books, and will be speaking with us here about her latest piece of historical fiction, just released this summer, The Spoils of the Third Reich.

Aujourd’hui on vous présentera un rendez-vous interview avec Francoise McHugh, peut être connu entre vous comme bibliothécaire au lycée Ben Franklin, mais aussi reconnu pour ses œuvres de littérature. On a la plaisir de l’accueillir sur l’antenne de Radio Nola pour parler de son dernier roman qui vient de sortir, Le Butin du Reich.

How could men, cultured or not, have consented to Nazi depravity, and also, another crucial question, how could these men have become, for the love of art, thieves and murderers? How could they have sentenced to exile or worse, sent to death, Jewish art lovers as well as so many others? 

These fundamental questions plague Karl’s reading of letters that his parents have left him. He discovers a system of looting put into place by the Nazi elite, very effective although somewhat disorganized. Simultaneously, a new light is shed on his childhood through the family history that is revealed to him. 

The ambiguous, rich and contrasting figures of the two brothers, Walter and Ludwig, are progressively unveiled: the twists and turns of their professional lives, their personal involvement in the looting, their dangerous liaisons, their convictions, their doubts and their daily worries. Between them, one can hear echoes of their sweet sister Erika and her unsympathetic husband Ewald.

The book is available in digital version on in english heredigital version on in french here, and the paper back version in french at here.The kindle sample is also available in the Alliance Française of New Orleans library. Happy reading! Bonne lecture! 


RadioNOLA Juin 2015: Bastille Day Fête Preview

June 22, 2015


Join us for a preview of Bastille Day Fête! Hear a taste of the great francophone acts who will be playing on the French National Day in New Orleans, including Bruce Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots and T'Monde. Then, come out to the festival for the real live thing on Saturday July 11th at the Riverwalk's Spanish Plaza. In addition to live music, we'll have the annual Concours de chien, Dog Costume Contest, tours of a fireboat on the river, A French Bread and Butter Hour for kids, French wine and beer, and great francophone food vendors, including Crepes à la carte, Café Dégas, Antoine's, Petit Rouge French Coffee Truck, and more! Details at

In honor of Bastille Day, during which we celebrate our French heritage, we'll revisit our March episode, in which we explored what it means to be Francophone in Louisiana. We take a look at the state of our local Francophone culture and identity. We ask the questions, « What is francophone identity? », « Why is it important? » and « Where can we find it in New Orleans »?

To get some answers, we first attend a lecture organized by the Algiers Historical Society « The Evolution of Francophone to Anglophone Language Identity in Louisiana. » After the conference, Radio NOLA host, Mary Matthews, sits down with the speaker, Joseph Dunn (former director of the state agency CODOFIL), to learn more about the process by which we lost our Francophone identity, and how it is being rebuilt today.

Joseph says it’s a choice to speak French, so our host tries it out, speaking French with the New Orleanians around her, first at the Crescent City Farmer’s Market, then at an Apéro Francophone at Bacchanal. We also get to hear from the musician on stage for the evening, singer-songwriter Eric John Kaiser, who was on tour promoting his latest French/english bilingual album in Louisiana. We’ll get to hear some of his music too!

RadioNOLA Mai 2015

May 23, 2015
bourbon and toulouse then and now (1)
Rendez-Vous Interview: Our first guest this month is Richard Campanella, geographer at the Tulane School of Architecture, and author of Bourbon Street: A History. Professor Campanella discusses the francophone era on Bourbon Street and in the surrounding French Quarter–the days when you could hear opéra music and French in the streets–and the ensuing process of Americanization.
French Corner: Over the last few months, The Aliance Française has had the great pleasure of partnering with a French service learning class at Tulane University through Tulane’s Center for Public Service. Students in the class volunteered with RadioNOLA to produce several French Corner & Rendez-vous interviews. Each student recorded one French corner at an Alliance Française event with a partner, and one interview with a francophone in New Orleans on their own. This month, we welcome hosts Jesse Coren and Joe DiTrapini to the French Corner segment with a visit to the Alliance Francaise ciné-club.

Rendez-Vous Interview: Guest host Kelsey Willis sits down with Domna Stanton, a professor at City University of New York, to discuss the dynamics of gender in early modern France and feminism today.

Let’s Get Lexical: This month we’ll hear the first installment of short stories from a Creative Writing class held at the Alliance Francaise, taught by French-Martinican author-in-residence Fabienne Kanor. This month « La sorciere est morte » by Katrinna Cherie.


RadioNOLA Avril 2015

April 25, 2015


This episode we bring to you a very special rendez-vous with francophone mayors from around the world who came together recently in New Orleans. Next, we’ll visit the Fête Française festival held at École Bilingue last month in Uptown New Orleans, we’ll hear from a French tourist, and we’ll get previews of great francophone acts playing at Jazzfest & Festival International this year.

Cette épisode on a rendez-vous avec l’association internationale des maires francophones à la Nouvelle-Orléans. Ensuite, nous allons visiter la fête française à Ecole bilingue, avant de recontrer une touriste française et entendre un aperçu des groups francohpones qui jouent aux festivales ce weekend.


RadioNOLA Mars 2015

March 28, 2015

photo (1)

This episode, in honor of the International Month of Francophonie, or Mois de la francophonie, which celebrates the French language and Francophone cultures around the world every year in March, we take a look at the state of our local Francophone culture and identity. We ask the questions, « What is francophone identity? », « Why is it important? » and « Where can we find it in New Orleans »? C’est le mois de la francophonie- nous regardons l’état de lieu de la francophonie à la Nouvelle-Orléans, en on pose les questions: « Quelle est l’identité francophone? » « Pour quoi est-elle importante? » « Où peut on la trouver? »

To get some answers, we first attend a lecture organized by the Algiers Historical Society « The Evolution of Francophone to Anglophone Language Identity in Louisiana. » After the conference, Radio NOLA host, Mary Matthews, sits down with the speaker, Joseph Dunn (former director of the state agency CODOFIL), to learn more about the process by which we lost our Francophone identity, and how it is being rebuilt today. Nous commençons à une conférence avec Joseph Dunn, ancien directeur du CODOFIL, organisé par le Algiers Historical Society sur le sujet de l’évolution de l’identité francophone en Louisiane à l’identité anglophone en Louisiane. »

Joseph says it’s a choice to speak French, so our host tries it out, speaking French with the New Orleanians around her, first at the Crescent City Farmer’s Market, then at an Apéro Francophone at Bacchanal. We also get to hear from the musician on stage for the evening, singer-songwriter Eric John Kaiser, who was on tour promoting his latest French/english bilingual album in Louisiana. We’ll get to hear some of his music too! Joseph nous dit qu’il est un choix de parler français, du coup, notre animatrice l’essai. Elle parle français avec les Nouvelle-Orléanais autour d’elle, au marché des fermiers, et ensuite pendant an un concert/apéro francophone à Bacchanal. Pour bien finir, nous aurons un goût du nouveau album de Eric John Kaiser, Idaho. 


RadioNOLA Février 2015

February 28, 2015
radio event cover 2.28.15
Rendez-Vous Interview: Our first guest, francophone photographer and video producer, Claire Bangser, reflects on the one year anniversary of her project  NOLABeings, a photo story-telling project inspired by Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York. We’ll hear about her journey talking to strangers across the city and her hope that this project empowers us all to learn a bit more about our fellow New Orleanians. Claire Bangser, photographe à la Nouvelle-Orléans s’est mis au défi il y a un an de parler aux inconnus dans la rue pour son projet NOLA Beings. 

French Corner: We’ll visit the Alliance Française Dégustation de vin, to learn about wines from the Southeast region of France-  Rhône, Languedoc, Provence. Our tastings take place quarterly at the Alliance Française- they’re casual, seated, fun, peppered with a bit of French, and informative. Une visite à la Dégustation de vin avec l’Alliance Française- allons-y!

Rendez-Vous Interview: Our second interview this month will feature local francophone artist Mary Grace Cathryn Bernard. Mary Grace’s art displays both a constant reminder of someone living with cystic fibrosis, and a vibrant perspective on the world. Since her diagnosis with cystic fibrosis when she was 5 years old, she has reinvented herself through art. This February, Mary Grace has embarked on a challenge to create a sixty-five rose piece every day in order to raise awareness and money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. See her roses and purchase your own here. On discute le défis de sixty-five roses avec l’artiste francophone, Mary Grace.

Let’s Get Lexical: We’ll hear the next installment of Fabienne Kanor’s reading from « La Vielle », an excerpt of her novel Humus. You can see an adaptation of Humus on stage, translated to English, on Sunday March 8th at Café Istanbul. Check the AFNO website for more details to come! Écoutez la continuation de « La Vielle » ici sur RadioNOLA!

RadioNOLA Janvier 2015

January 24, 2015

book ladyRendez-vous Interview:
Our first guest this month is « the book lady » of the lower 9th  ward, Laurence Copel, a French woman living in New Orleans, who operates The Lower Ninth Street Library out of her home. We’ll hear from Laurence about her volunteer work spreading literacy in her community through weekly reading sessions, book distribution via her pedal-powered book mobile and an annual book parade. Notre première invitée est Laurence Copel, une française ici à la Nouvelle-Orléans qui a fondé une bibliothèque dans sa propre maison dans le quartier Lower Ninth Ward. Elle nous expliquera son travail et les évènements qu’elle fait pour augmenter le taux d’alphabétisation chez les enfants.


French Corner:
In this month’s French Corner, our all-French segment, we pass the microphone to the French members of our New Orleans community to hear their reflections on the recent attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. We join our French community members during a vigil organized on January 8th by parents from the local immersion school École Bilingue at the Irish House, following a speech by the Consul General of France and the singing of the Marseillaise. Dans cet épisode de « French Corner », on donne la parôle aux français qui s’expriment à la suite des attentants contre Charlie Hebdo. 

Rendez-vous Interview:
The Alliance Française has recently launched a new partnership with French media classes at Tulane University through the university’s Center for Public Service. Our second rendez-vous interview segment this month will feature a guest interview by a Tulane student! Bienvenu a notre premier hôte d’invité de Tulane, Valentina Gyarfas!

Let’s Get Lexical:
This month we’ll hear the 3rd installment of Fabienne Kanor’s fiction piece from her novel Humus. If you like what you hear, you can check out Fabienne’s book from the Alliance Française library (free for members) and/or join her creative writing class, which takes place Saturday mornings 10:30-12:00. On accueille de nouveau Fabienne Kanor qui continue la lecture d’un extrait de son roman Humus.


RadioNOLA Décembre 2014

December 26, 2014
Though our two guests this month practice different trades, one a fiction writer, the other an artisan baker, they have quite a lot in common, particularly their ability to make our history accessible, into something we can experience every day, whether it be by reading about plantation life in the Tremé or by eating Acadian Miche bread purchased from a stall in the French Market.
Rendez-vous Interview/ Let’s Get Lexical:

Fabienne Kanor is a French/Martinican author in residence in New Orleans. In today’s Let’s Get Lexical segment we’ll continue with the second piece of a series in which Fabienne reads an extract called « La vielle » from Humus, her historical novel about slavery in the 18th century, inspired by the true event of 14 women who rebelled. Fabienne in now in New Orleans, researching and writing her next novel based in the history of planation life in New Orleans and its environs. In January, Fabienne will begin teaching a creative writing course at the Alliance Française. She sat down with our host Mary Matthews to introduce us to her beautiful fiction.
Durant cet épisode nous continuons une série de lectures par Fabienne de son roman Humus. Dans un entretien avec notre animatrice de radio, Mary Matthews, elle nous présente ses oeuvres de fiction.
 Rendez-vous Interview/French Corner: 

First we’ll sit down with Graison Gill, the baker and proprietor behind Bellegarde Bakery, whose bread is inspired by the original Bellegarde’s Bakery founded in 1722, which once sat at the corner of St Anne and Chartres in the French Corner. We’ll learn about what it means to be a baker in New Orleans, and particularly one who starts by producing in house his own flour with a traditional stone mill. After we sit down with Graison, we’ll get to dive a bit into the history of bread in New Orleans with a visit to Bellegarde Bakery’s Bread Class, exploring the history of New Orleans’ bakeries and the bakers behind the institutions, from the original Bellegarde to today’s contemporaries.
Notre deuxième invité ce mois de Décembre est le boulanger et propriétaire de la boulangerie Bellegarde, inspiré par une boulangerie du 18ième siècle, qui se situait sur les rues St. Ann et Chartres.  Nous allons apprendre non seulement ce que ça veut dire être boulanger à la Nouvelle-Orleans, mais aussi comment l’histoire influence notre expérience du pain aujourd’hui.

RadioNOLA Novembre 2014

November 22, 2014
Rendez-vous Interview: We’ll speak with Liz Williams, President of the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, which recently opened its new doors on O.C.Haley Boulevard. Liz will talk about the museum and the upcoming Concours de croissant (see below) organized in partnership with the Alliance Française, to be held on Saturday, December 6thLiz Williams nous parlera du Southern Food & Beverage Museum, ses exhibitions, et un nouvel évenement, Le Concours de croissant.
French Corner: This month we visited the Alliance Française‘ Cine-Club, during a special screening and discussion of the film Des Etoiles with director Dyane Gaye at Cafe Istanbul in the Marigny. Venez nous rejoindre pour une visite du ciné-club de l’Alliance Française!