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Celebrate La Francophonie Day at the Polk Museum of Art

March 23, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Vive la France! Inspired by its Edgar Degas exhibition, the Polk Museum of Art will celebrate French language and Francophone culture with its La Francophonie Day Celebration from noon to 4 p.m. on March 23.

The celebration pays tribute to the 300 million French speakers living on five continents, and offers a variety of themed activities, including an opportunity to create impressionist art.

Children and adults will get to create landscapes of Paris, Montreal and Port-au-Prince using chalk pastels. An instructor will be on hand to offer guidance on techniques and offer one-on-one help.

“This will be a drop-in art opportunity good for all ages and skill levels, and it will be offered throughout the event,” said Education Manager Ellen Chastain. “This is a popular Impressionist medium used by Degas and other Impressionists, so it will be fun for guests to try their hand at pastel drawing.”

Also occurring during the celebration is a curator talk and tour of the exhibition, “Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist” with Dr. Alex Rich, PMA’s curator and director of galleries and exhibitions.

The celebration also includes instrumental, vocal, poetry and dance performances from Florida Southern College, Polk State College, Florida Dance Theatre and the Pearl of Nation Creole Dance and Singing Troupe.

The event will be attended by many dignitaries representing various French speaking countries, such as the Consul General of Canada in Miami Susan Harper, Consul General of France in Miami Clément Leclerc, Consul General of the Republic of Haiti in Miami Stéphane Gilles, and Honorary Consul of Belgium Manuel Molina, said Suzanne Grossberg, PMA’s director of arts advancement. Mayor Bill Mutz has declared March 23 as La Francophonie Day in Lakeland and will present proclamations to the honored guests at noon.

Several museum business partners, nationwide foundations, and French liaisons have helped make this event possible: the Fishman Family Foundation of New York City; France Florida Foundation for the Arts of Miami; A-C-T Environmental & Infrastructure of Bartow; The Mahoney Group of Lakeland; and the Consulate General of Canada in Miami.

You can learn more about this half-day celebration by visiting polkmuseumofart.org.


12:00 pm Florida Southern College Woodwind Quintet Performance

12:15 pm Opening Ceremony & Proclamation Presentation to French Dignitaries

12:40 pm Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist Curator Tour

1:40 pm Polk State College Pearl of Nation Haitian Creole Dance & Poetry Performance

2:10 pm Florida Southern Symphony Orchestra Performance

2:30 pm Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist Curator Tour

2:40 pm Polk State College French Literary & Poetry Performance

3:10 pm Florida Southern Voice/Opera Program & Music Department Performances

3:30 pm Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist Curator Tour

3:40 pm Florida Dance Theatre Performance


Hands-on Art Activities for All Ages and Abilities – Participants will create an observational pastel painting of a 3-D Eiffel Tower or a 2-D landscape image of France, Canada, Haiti, Belgium, Switzerland, or Monaco.

French Cuisine/Beverages available to purchase outdoors

For more information on the international La Francophonie Day, CLICK HERE.


March 23, 2019
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College
800 E Palmetto St
Lakeland, FL 33801 United States
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Polk Arts Alliance

PO Box 727 Bartow, FL 33831-0727 director@polkarts.org (863) 804-0494