June 24, 2014

Coming Soon at WICE: Fall Courses Preview

With this great weather, everyone’s gearing up for their summertime vacations.  But it’s never too early to start thinking about and planning exciting activities for the Fall.  The WICE Program Directors are pleased to bring you an impressive Fall Course selection that will make you look forward to the Rentrée, all summer long. 


But first, kick off the new season with WICE’s Open House on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at the American Church in Paris, where you can:   
  • Meet the Instructors
  • Participate in Workshops and Demonstrations
  • Learn more about WICE and its Courses and Events

See photos of last year’s Open House on WICE's Facebook page.

Fall Courses

Get the Ink Flowing with Creative Writing's:

  • Short Stories
  • How to Write a Novel
  • Fairy Tales & Myths
  • Paris Vignettes - How to Capture, Revealing moments, Encounters, and Events in 1500 words or less
  • Flash Fiction - Narrative, Voice and Imagery under 1000 words  
  • Getting Published Part I
  • Getting Published Part II

June 20, 2014

Strutting in the Parc de Bagatelle

Parc de Bagatelle
Photo © Masina Hunnicutt
The WICE Photo Exploring classes travel to all corners of Paris to discover—and rediscover—the most captivating places the city has to offer.

For the last journey of the spring course, the adventurous photographers traveled to the Bois de Boulogne to wander in the lush Parc de Bagatelle.

How many photographers does it take to capture "essence of peacock"?
Photo © Meredith Mullins
The chateau and gardens were built in the late 18th century by Marie Antoinette's brother-in-law in just 64 days, because she bet him it couldn't be done. He won the bet.

The odds are in our favor.
Photo © Meredith Mullins
The gardens now boast the summer rose competition, as well as irises, waterlilies, vegetables, pagodas, and a very vocal pride of peacocks (also called a "muster" or, even more aptly, an "ostentation").

Amelia Vargas . . . stalking the wild peacock
Photo © Meredith  Mullins
One of the class assignments was to capture the essence of peacock. Our group proved to be excellent peacock stalkers.

The subjects seemed to relish the attention and put on quite a show for our cameras. They strutted, ostentatiously, and flaunted their beautifully designed feathers and jewel toned bodies.

There were so many creative peacock shots that a friendly competition was born, and a prize was awarded by instructor Meredith Mullins for the best peacock photo. The photos were judged by the curator of the Yousuf Karsh photography estate, Jerry Fielder.

Bob Levy faces off with one of the "muster."
Photo © Meredith Mullins
Congratulations to the peacock prizewinners . . . and all the WICE photographers. The peacocks never looked so good! Which are your favorites?

1st: Marike Vermeer
2nd: Elizabeth Rand
3rd: Margot Hanley
4th: Bob Levy

1st Award: Marike Vermeer
2nd Award: Elizabeth Rand
3rd Award: Margot Hanley
(And Winner of the Class Popular Vote)
4th Award: Bob Levy

Posted by Photography Instructor Meredith Mullins, with thanks to the WICE Exploring photographers and to Jerry Fielder for his peacock judging expertise.

The Fall Photo Exploring Class begins on September 23. Join us!

June 10, 2014

WICE Members: Spotlight on Evelyne Picard

WICE presents its Up Close and Personal series to give you an insider view of the fascinating members and staff who make up this remarkable association.  This week's focus is on Evelyne Picard, WICE member and artist who recently sold some of her artwork at the WICE Member Gallery exposition. 



art class Paris
Artist Evelyne Picard
1)   What brought you to Paris? 
 After living in San Francisco California for four years I moved to Paris in September 2013 where my husband was offered a new job assignment. In San Francisco I was working as a primary school substitute teacher as well as a teaching artist at the French American International School. I was also taking art classes at City College of San Francisco where I had the chance to study with excellent professors. Although it was very hard to leave San Francisco I believe that Paris is the perfect destination. It is a beautiful multifaceted city that has so much to offer and people are very nice here. I am currently dedicating most of my time to my artwork  www.evelynepicard.com
I am working on commissions and just finished participating in a show under invitation of Le Cercle des artistes de Paris at the Parc Floral de Paris in May.


2)  How did you become a WICE member? 

On my arrival to Paris I wanted to stay in touch with a community of permanent residents who enjoyed bicultural lives. One of my San Francisco friends introduced me to a friend of hers who moved to Paris from New York. She invited me to WICE's annual open house event. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that WICE had something to offer for each and every one of us: courses, friendships, visits, community support. I joined right away!
 
art class Paris
Un peu beaucoup
Evelyne Picard

May 21, 2014

Don’t Leave Your Holidays Back Home: Memorial Day Activities In France

Memorial Day weekend:  That time of the year when people are busy enjoying great-weather picnics, adventure-filled camping trips, and lively family gatherings.  But really, that’s not what this American holiday is actually about.  Three-day weekend aside, Memorial Day (observed on the last Monday in May) was created to honor all of the men and women who have died fighting for our freedom and democracy while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  

Lorraine American Cemetery
photo courtesy of AODMA
From WWI and WWII, there are thousands of American soldiers buried in cemeteries throughout France. Celebrate Memorial Day in France by paying your respects at the following events.

The American Overseas Memorial Day Association (AOMDA) website lists all of the ceremonies taking place in France this year.  The American Battle Monuments Commission lists all of the Memorial Day events and also the ceremonies to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.  


Memorial Day Ceremonies

Saturday, May 24, 2014:
  • Memorial de l'Escadrille Lafayette at Marnes-la-Coquette :  11h00.
Sunday, May 25, 2014:
  1. American Legion Mausoleum - New Cemetery of Neuilly 10h00
  2. The American Church of Paris  - Annual Memorial Day Service  10h00
  3. Arc de Triomphe, Paris – American Legion & AOMDA 18h30

Ceremonies in American Military Cemeteries:
  1. Aisne-Marne, Belleau, (3,000 individuals buried)   – 9h45
  2. Epinal, (6,000 individuals buried)   – 15h00
  3. Lorraine, Saint Avold, (11,000 individuals buried)   – 11h00
  4. Meuse-Argonne, Romagne sur Montfaucon, (15,000 individuals buried)   - 11h00
  5. Normandy, Colleville sur Mer, (11,000 individuals buried)   – 10h30
  6. Oise-Aine, Seringes et Nesle, (6,000 individuals buried)  - 15h00
  7. Rhone, Draguignan, (1,000 individuals buried)   -  10h00
  8. Saint Mihiel, Thiaucourt, (4,000 individuals buried)   - 16h00
  9. Suresnes, (2,500 individuals buried)   - 14h30
  10. Somme, Bony, (2,000 individuals buried)  – 15h00)     

Monday, May 26, 2014:
  • Brittany American Cemetery, Saint James, (5,000 individuals buried)  – 15h00

photo courtesy of AODMA

D-Day Commemoration
June 6, 2014 marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.  The following list of information about the ceremonies to commemorate this event.

  1. The 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Normandy (info & events) www.le70e-normandie.fr
  2. The American Chamber of Commerce in France and The American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union are organizing the Freedom and SolidarityForum on June 4-5, 2014.  www.freedomsolidarityforum.amchamfrance.org
  3. Normandy American Cemetery, bi-national ceremony, June 6, 2014. www.abmc.gov
    • American wishing to attend the ceremony must email the US Embassy to register.

May 14, 2014

The Guarantees You Need to Rent an Apartment in Paris

When in the process of renting an apartment in Paris, and France in general, one of the main rules of thumb is to have patience. Another is to provide the proper guarantees to the landlord. France reserves additional rights for tenants, and so landlords are more stringent in this respect. Here is a breakdown of all the types of guarantees and documents that may be required:


1.     Proof of employment:
This usually requires copies of the tenant’s last three pay slips (fiches de paie). S/he will need to prove that his or her monthly income is at least 3 times the monthly rent, and s/he must also provide a copy of his or her employment contract to show that s/he is not employed in a temporary position or still on a trial basis (période d’essai).

2.     Guarantee from an employer:
Many of our clients are covered by a guarantee of rent payment from their employer (who often in this case also pays their rent). AND/OR:

May 7, 2014

WICE Members: Spotlight on Henrietta Richer

WICE presents its Up Close and Personal series to give you an insider view of the fascinating members and staff who make up this remarkable association.  This week's focus is on Henrietta Richer, longtime WICE member. 

Photo by Henrietta Richer

1)  Why did you move to Paris and what do you do  here?   

I moved to Paris in 1986, having completed my university degree, to be with my future husband. I taught English language, culture and translating for many years and free-lanced articles providing both the text and the photographs. Now that my daughters are grown up and financially we are more comfortable, I devote all my time to writing short fiction, photography and my blog. This past year I’ve been improving my photography thanks to WICE courses, with a view to selling my work in the future, probably on a print on demand site, although I’ve no idea which one to choose. 
 
Henrietta Richer
2)  How did you find out about WICE and why did you join?   

When I first lived in Paris I read FUSAC to look for jobs and saw the WICE ads. The first courses I took were with Jennifer Dick, who has since moved on, about developing creativity in our writing. I was on maternity leave at the time and it was such a pleasure to be me again and not only la maman de... Jennifer encouraged me to continue writing.  

 3)  Which WICE courses have you taken and what did you gain from them? 

I’ve taken lots of WICE courses over the years, many of the fiction courses, a meeting with a publisher during the Paris Writing Workshop, and more recently photography and art. WICE courses are always great value and I’ve never been disappointed by the instructors, quite the contrary. All the instructors I’ve had through WICE have helped me move forward creatively and along with working alongside other participants.   

April 29, 2014

WICE Volunteers: Spotlight on Jill Bourdais

For the WICE Blog’s Up Close and Personal series, long term Member and Volunteer, Jill Bourdais, discusses the origins of WICE and shares her experiences  as the organization has evolved over the years.

Jill receiving flowers at a Gala from Carol Allen, a former WICE President.
Originally, WICE was formed in the late 1970’s with a mission of expanding career opportunities for women.  As the women’s rights movement made strides and gains in the US, many of the English speaking women in Paris were trailing spouses, who remained isolated from these progressive changes.   WICE grew out of this need for women in Paris to join the battle for equal rights and to learn the steps and tools that they needed to get into the work force.

A WICE member painted the mural pictured 
in the former WICE Office's inner courtyard
Before today’s conveniences of the internet, home computers and printers, and smart phones, WICE offered a goldmine of career information and support for its members.   Women could easily go to the WICE office with its resource center and learn resume writing, interviewing skills, French, getting working papers, job hunting, and other skills such as starting a business.  Jill began volunteering for WICE during these early years because she really wanted to help other women learn what they needed to improve their lives in Paris.

Over the years, WICE’s purpose and mission gradually changed.  As WICE grew more successful, culture-based courses, such as Art History, French History, and Creative Writing, were added to the career-based curriculum.   As these courses grew in popularity, WICE opened up to men and began to serve the entire Anglophone expat community in Paris.    Simultaneously, the world changed too.  With the proliferation of personal computers and widespread internet access, it was no longer necessary for people to seek out a resource center for information.   Information that had been previously difficult to obtain, now became available at a click of the mouse.   As it also became easier for women to find jobs and pursue their careers, WICE’s focus on career development for women was no longer a priority.
 
Today, WICE’s mission has evolved to providing cultural education and social events to its members.