French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) is an American private, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization. Its mission is to promote and enhance the knowledge and appreciation of French and Francophone culture, to increase the knowledge of the French language, and to encourage interaction among French, Francophone and American people through programs in education and the arts.
Founded at the turn of 20th century, the French Institute and the Alliance Française de New York operated as two separate organizations, the first promoting French arts, the second teaching French. In 1971 they merged to form what has become one of the largest and most respected centers of French-American activities in the United States: the French Institute Alliance Française.
Today, FIAF has three major sectors of activity:
A language center teaching French from beginners to business French to over 7,000 students a year, by more than 60 teachers. FIAF also offers a variety of workshops that make the learning experience more fun (French through music, theater, travel...) as well as special programs for youngsters, from toddlers to teenagers. The language center also offers translation services.
A state-of-the-art library offering more than 35,000 volumes, 2,000 books for children, over 1,000 multimedia volumes (video and audio tapes, DVDs, CDs); computer stations and video monitors; as well as a self-learning center and a children's reading room. The library hosts children's story-hours and other interactive literacy programs for children, a monthly Café Philosophique and a monthly book club, all in French.
A wide-ranging performing arts program presenting a unique mix of theater, music, visual arts and dance. A weekly cine-club, French Film @ FIAF, features classic and contemporary films which makes FIAF unique in New York City with its presentation of all French movies year-round. FIAF also offers a variety of social programs available to members and non-members, such as Rendez-vous (bi-monthly French conversation gatherings with a French moderator), and A la carte (a series of culinary and art interest programs presented either on-site or as outings to galleries, museums and restaurants).
FIAF is housed in a beautiful building reminiscent of the architecture of Haussmann Paris, and which holds two theaters available for rental, Florence Gould Hall and Tinker Auditorium.