Join Woonsocket Arts Researchers in exploring the French speaking Blackstone Valley
In many countries from throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, French is among the primary languages spoken. In many of these, French is also a leading language in business, education and international affairs. For centuries, people have been migrating to the Blackstone Valley from nations where French was spoken by choice or by necessity, and these migrations continue today. Many cities and towns in the Blackstone Valley are home to “Francophone” populations from such places as Quebec, Cambodia, Syria and Senegal, to name a few.
To better understand how French language and culture historically and currently are a part of life in the Blackstone Valley, interviewees from across the globe are requested to share their stories and reflections in one-on-one interviews with a local writer. Interviewees will conversationally respond to questions in their own words, at a time and place convenient to them. Their recorded stories will then be combined with those of others as the basis for new dramatic and video works to be created, performed and exhibited as part of Woonsocket’s renaissance at the Neighborworks Blackstone River Valley Art-Tech Complex. At the premier of these new works in the fall, in conjunction with the Museum of Work and Culture, people and groups involved in the project are invited to share and/or perform their favorite Francophone foods, music, crafts and costumes.
This Community Arts Research project is brought to Woonsocket and the Blackstone Valley through the generosity of Local Initiatives Support Corporation. The purpose of the project is to draw on the strong French Canadian heritage, and more recent expansion of groups from French and Patois speaking and/or influenced post-colonial nations to engage from 15 to 30 interviewees in sharing opinions, experiences, reflections, histories and habits as related to French Language and culture. Through a systematic storytelling process, researchers hope to uncover repeating tropes and vocabulary, points of connection and commonality, and distinctive elements within groups, toward a robust shared experience of place.
For more information on this project, to volunteer and to inquire about setting up an interview, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 401.338.4126.