Territory of Hospitality

FRENCH-AMERICAN AND INTERNATIONAL: TERRITORY OF HOSPITALITY 
Exploring diversity & community through the prism of “Hospitality”

April 15-22

During the week of April 15-22, our school will become a territory of hospitality -  in which stories, memoires, experiences and reflections related to this theme will resonate in classes, meetings, workshops and other gatherings.  We will reflect on Hospitality within the school, and in relationship to our neighbors and city. 

Explorations are led by international artist, Moïse Touré of the company Les Inachevés (based in Grenoble, France). He is joined by the company’s  co-director Fani Carenco and by acclaimed dancer/choreographer Ange Aoussou,  from the Ivory Coast.

Sign below for community events open to all. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2024 at 6 p.m.- Screening of film & Sharing with Moïse & Fani

Screening of the film Les Orphelins de la Pluie (“The Orphans of the Rain”, about Moïse’s work on hospitality & long collaboration with a school in Grenoble, 4o minutes - in French, subtitled) followed by sharing and discussion with Moïse Touré and Fani Caruco about their work with school communities and  young people in France and internationally. 6-7:30pm in the Arts Pavilion. Event is free with RSVP. Sign up here.

Friday, April 19, 2024 at 6 p.m. - a Salon / Celebration of Hospitality in the Arts Pavilion. 

In the spirit of our community salons, an  evening of sharing & conversation with Moïse Touré, Fani Carenco, and Ange Aoussou, as well as local community leaders, including our own Head of School, Dr. Melinda Bihn and Director of the San Francisco International Arts Festival, Andrew Wood and Dr. Martina Ayala, Director of the Mission Cultural Center. Event is free with RSVP. Sign up here.

Join us to connect with others in the community and engage in table  discussions over food and drink. The event is free (and we will have  food & drink as well!). In the spirit of a “pot luck”, guests are also welcome to bring a drink, snack or favorite dish to share with others. (Indeed, special dishes or treats that reflect your own traditions of hospitality are especially welcome!)

Saturday, April 20, 2024 - Artistic Workshops (movement, theater). Open to all in the community (students, parents, alumni, etc.).

Come work with the artists of Les Inachevés, and experience the work side by side with other community members. There are two sessions, 10am-12:30 p.m. or 3-5 p.m. Free sign up here.

PORTRAIT PROJECT ON THE THEME OF HOSPITALITY & OUR DREAM OF THE SCHOOL

Moïse Touré also invites community members to participate in 15 minute one-on-one sessions for sharing, on theme of hospitality and the dream of the school. This is in the spirit of  the Portrait Project, from 2017 and we encourage any who took part in that process (and of course anyone who is interested!) to sign up. You can come solo, or with a friend and family member(s). If you are interested in signing up for this aspect of the project you can sign up here.

THE THEME OF “HOSPITALITY: TERRITORY OF HUMANITY”   

The value of hospitality – of welcoming in a stranger (perhaps a neighbor you do not know, or perhaps a traveler who has come from afar) and thus meeting the “other” with grace and generosity – cuts across time and space. All cultures have traditions, practices, rituals and gestures related to “hospitality.” It engages opportunities to cultivate, generosity, curiosity, exchange and friendship. This project allows us to reflect on and nurture our own individual connections with hospitality (When and how have we offered it? How have we received it? What does it mean to us? When do we feel most welcome? How do we make others feel welcome?)  It allows us to ask also, as a school community, how do we create spaces of “hospitality”? Indeed, how do we welcome in each individual, greeting them where they are at, and welcoming in also their questions, their needs, their hopes, their dreams… the full expanse of their humanity?  

In 2022, during her leave in France, Michelle Haner interviewed Moïse Touré about his work on this theme for HowlAround. You can read that interview (in French and English) here.

In 2023, 18 students joined Michelle Haner and Dereke Clements to travel and observe Moïse’s work in the city of Annecy. For three days they took workshops on the theme, met artists and student-artists and reflected on the theme. Several of these students are now integral to the project leadership. 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE PROJECT and PROJECT LEADERSHIP  

Our school has nurtured a long relationship with Moïse Touré and Les Inachevés, with past collaborating artists including Jacques Prunair, Francis Viet and Jessica Henou. Current Head of the Arts Department, Michelle Haner, has been a key liaison, serving as Lead Producer on this and previous collaborations with Les Inachevés. For questions or more information about the project, she can be reached at michelleh@frenchamericansf.org .

This project has been led by a Project Parliament, a horizontally-organized group of teachers and students who have discussed, debated, planned and organized together. Its members include teachers François Bonnaz, Josephine Hill and Scott Paton as well as students Aiyanna ‘25, Ari ‘25, Juniper ‘26, Nafi ‘26, Natalie ‘24  and Rowan ‘26.  The school’s Student Diversity Council and Director of DEI, Dereke Clements, have been key supporters and thought partners. Of course, many other staff and faculty have contributed to the project - including school leaders Susan Lovell, Allegra Molineaux, Fabrice Urrizalqui and Patrick Kochyan. Above all, Head of School, Melinda Bihn (with former CFO Aaron Levine) has offered foundational support throughout the process. The Parliament would like to recognize her above-and-beyond support for this kind of collaboration with partner organizations, without which this kind of unique project would not be possible. 

LINKS TO READ MORE ABOUT THE VISITING ARTISTS, PAST COLLABORATIONS AND THE THEME OF HOSPITALITY. 

In 2014, Moïse’s company led a year-long exploration of the connections between Art, Education and Democracy - Awaiting Dawn. You can read the La Lettre Article on that project here

In 2017, the company undertook an interdisciplinary portrait of the school, with interview of staff, faculty, parents, students and alumni. You can read the La Lettre Article on that project here.

This short video about the Portrait Project and this short video from the opening reception, give a sense of that work, as does this 7-minute video in which community members dance within the spaces within and around the school. 

More about how this project relates to the full range of Moïse Touré and Les Inachevés work in France, African other countries can be found on the company website, http://www.lesinacheves.com/