Founded in 1897, with the mandate to promote French culture in Chicago, the Alliance Française is among the oldest of cultural institutions in the city. Prominent Chicagoans on the founding Board of Trustees were James Deering, Z.P. Briosseau, Charles Henrotin, William Burry, H. Chatfield-Taylor, Charles R. Crante (the first American minister to Russia and China), William R. Harper (first president of the University of Chicago), Herbert S. Stone and James Gamble Rogers. Today, the Alliance Française de Chicago hosts an impressive array of events. The organization continues its long tradition of bringing notable lecturers to Chicago: authors, filmmakers and directors, winemakers, chefs, designers, historians, actors and performing artists. Virtually every aspect of French speaking culture throughout the world is included in the Alliance’s broad range of programming, with the Alliance frequently partnership with local, national and international institutions. Classes are offered for all ages and levels of French, leading to certifications in French for professional purposes or simply for the fun of learning and experiencing another language and its various cultures. On any given day, hundreds of our members and students cross the threshold at 810 North Dearborn, and we currently count nearly 2,000 members and over 3,500 enrollments throughout the year.