After Villa Medicis in Rome, Casa Velázquez in Madrid and Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto, France has announced the launch of Villa Albertine, a new residency programme in the USA.
Villa Albertine is an ambitious project in the field of arts and ideas, presented last week by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Gaëtan Bruel, Cultural Counsellor of the French Embassy in the United States and the first director of Villa Albertine. It offers a new formula, different from the model for other artists' residencies in Europe and Asia, launching a new chapter in the history of France's cultural presence in the United States.
Residents will not be hosted in a single location or city, but in a variety of locations across the United States. They can stay at Villa San Francisco, at Villa partners' homes in Los Angeles, or choose the neighbourhood in which they wish to immerse themselves in New York. With a permanent base in ten major cities, Villa Albertine embraces the variety of America's vast landscape.
This model transforms the experience of artistic residencies by advocating the idea that it is now up to the Villa to adapt to its residents, who can satisfy their needs with different types of locations and destinations. While architects will certainly prefer Chicago, musicians will be more inclined towards New Orleans and filmmakers will have their eye on Los Angeles. Wherever they choose, residents will benefit from tailored support for one to three months.
Villa Albertine will also offer an opportunity for artists and creators to discover the United States and interact with the American people. While residencies are generally considered as places cut off from the outside world to reflect and create, Villa Albertine offers a different experience. It aims to shift the centre of gravity from the place of residence to the territory of residence and to invite creators and thinkers to immerse themselves in the realities of a country where the great transformations of the world are taking shape.
Inspired in particular by the Institut français' Fabrique des résidences, the fourth Villa de la France à l'étranger will welcome its first residents in October. In all, no less than 60 artists will be able to benefit from Villa Albertine and its tailor-made support each year.