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Experience France

Signature Event

Event Details

Get in on our sixth annual celebration of French music and culture! Enjoy live musical performances and hands-on activities, shop for French merchandise at the Museum Store, and indulge in a French-inspired menu at our café. Vive la France!

Gifts Available for Purchase
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Celebrate France and “The City of Light” at the Museum Store, featuring a selection of imported gifts, décor, music, stationery, and books about French culture.

Photo Booth
9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Have your picture taken with costumes and props at MIM’s custom photo booth, and instantly get your own copy to take home.

French Accordion Craft
9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Make your own French accordéon! Capture the essence of French folk music from Auvergne with this unique instrument. Craft one yourself using nontraditional materials and take away a piece of France’s musical heritage.

Toe-Tap Pianos
9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Play a tune with your toes! Try your skill on our eight-foot piano mats.

Musical Story Time: Anatole
10:00–10:30 a.m., 11:15–11:45 a.m., 12:15–12:45 p.m., and 2:00–2:30 p.m.
Stop by to listen to an exciting story about a “mouse magnifique” named Anatole and his cheese-tasting adventures, accompanied by MIM’s Story Time Band. This talented group of MIM volunteer team members will present the family-friendly tale by author Eve Titus set to live music, along with excerpts from Camille Saint-Saëns’s famous work Carnival of the Animals.

ZAZU Musical Performance
10:30–11:15 a.m. (Saturday)
1:15–2:00 p.m. (Sunday)
Call it what you will—gypsy jazz, manouche jazz, Django jazz, gypsy swing―it has the same unforgettable ingredients: infectious swing, dark and moody highlights, and improvisation with reckless abandon. Back by popular demand, be sure to catch the Arizona band ZAZU for a performance worthy of a 1930s Parisian nightclub.

Face Painting
11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Add a touch of color and whimsy to your look! Have your face painted with a custom design by the artists of Hello Face Paint.

Curator Talk: “The French Roots of a Global Phenomenon
11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
David Wegehaupt, MIM’s new associate curator for United States / Canada and Europe, will explain the history and development of the saxophone, from inventor Adolphe Sax’s early struggles in Paris to ongoing French influence on contemporary saxophone music around the world. A saxophonist himself, Wegehaupt will demonstrate sounds of various saxophones, including excerpts by French composers.

Special Lunch Menu Available for Purchase
11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Visit the café for a taste of French food-and-wine culture. A delicious menu of French-inspired cuisine and French wines, carefully selected just for this weekend, will be available for purchase.

French Songwriting Workshop
12:30–1:00 and 2:30–3:00 p.m.
Join Phoenix-based French singer-songwriter Cécile Hortensia as she shares her creative process and exposes the mystery of songwriting. Come learn about the differences between writing in French and in English, various structures of songs, and, for your inner songwriter, a quick little “recipe” to start to construct your own song.

Paris Chansons Performance
1:15–2:00 p.m. (Saturday)
10:30–11:15 a.m. (Sunday)
Discover the timeless songs of artists from the 1940s to today, ranging from Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Charles Aznavour, Joe Dassin, and Enrico Macias to contemporary artists such as Zaz! Learn about these singers through renditions by Los Angeles–based band Paris Chansons as they take you on a journey through France without ever leaving your seat (except, of course, to dance!).

Paradise Winds Performance
3:15–4:00 p.m.
Don’t miss the energy of this Phoenix-based chamber ensemble as it gives a special performance of distinctively French music. Since 2005, Paradise Winds has performed as a quintet in Arizona and around the nation. In this performance, three members of this impressive wind group—Joseph Kluesener (bassoon), Tiffany Pan (oboe), and Patrick Murphy (saxophone)—will display their talent with a selection of works by some of France’s most notable composers.

Café Allegro Lunch Menu Highlights

Bourride Fish Stew with Garlic and Lemon Aioli

Cream of Onion and Fennel Soup with Sherry

French Lentil Salad with Blue Goat’s Cheese, Charentais Melons, Roast Chicken, Summer Squash, Fire-Roasted Heirloom Pepper, and Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

Trout Meunière Amandine (Trout with Brown Butter and Almonds) served with Pommes Frites

Chocolate Mousse and Macaroons

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