Logo of the Alliance Française

Alliance Française du North Shore


a 501(c)(3) organization

French Culture, Language, History and Literature on Chicago's North Shore




History

In 1911, inspired by Mr. Marc Petiot, a meeting was held at the home of Mrs. John Glenn to discuss the creation of a French club. Despite the participants' enthusiasm, the project was not realized.

Portrait of Mrs. Caro Blymyer Dawes. Photo courtesy of Frank Steinhart.Portrait of Mrs. Caro Blymyer Dawes.
Photo courtesy of Frank Steinhart.

Several months later, in 1912, Professor Baillot of Northwestern University, Dr. Kenneth Barnhart, Mrs. C.H. Bosworth, Miss Mary Fabian, Dr. Charles G. Dawes, Miss Flora Gardner, Mrs. John Glenn, Mrs. William Holabird, Mrs. Lenora Truman Long, Mrs. George Ludlow, Mrs. J.C. Schaffer, Mrs. Frank Starkweather, Mrs. Charles Whitney, and Miss Nina Winans, among others, met at Mrs. Caro Dawes' home (a National Historic Landmark) to organize a French club. Mrs. Walter Primley, new to Evanston, was chosen as president.

On that day, the French Club of Evanston was born.

In 1990, during the presidency of Mrs. Lucy Crowder (which lasted almost 30 years), the club adopted “Alliance Française d'Evanston” as its name to cement its affiliation with the Alliance Française de Paris. In 1999, the club became the “Alliance Française du North Shore.”

In 2015, the Alliance Française du North Shore was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in the State of Illinois; in 2016, our chapter was granted tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. 2016's focus was on expanding our audience with a Meetup site and a Facebook page. For those preferring evening events, we offered two evening programs: a lecture by Lorraine Boissoneault, author of The Last Voyageurs, and singer Claudia Hommel's “Vocal Canvas.”

Charles Gates Dawes House, now the Evanston History Center. Photo courtesy of Frank Steinhart.Charles Gates Dawes House, now the Evanston History Center.
Photo courtesy of Frank Steinhart.

Today, the Alliance Française du North Shore offers opportunities for French speakers to enjoy conversation groups, programs with speakers, a movie club, a conversation course, book groups, an annual trivia night and more, all in a convivial and welcoming ambiance. Laughter usually abounds at many of these events.

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AF du North Shore is important to me because it's a great way to meet others with similar interests as well as to maintain fluency and comprehension. I very much enjoy the activities, too (movies, Panera, lectures, etc.). —Hope F.
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