Think of the Alliance Française de la Peninsule de Monterey as a little piece of France. Our mission is to promote the French language and Francophone cultures through fun cultural activities and events. We welcome francophiles and all levels of French speakers from those just beginning their French journey to native speakers.  Join us for monthly opportunities to mix and mingle, share meals and conversation, and celebrate cultural events with French speakers from a variety of countries.     

Origins of the Monterey County Alliance

The first mention of a local chapter of the Alliance Française was in the local newspaper in 1931. The club initially met at the Hotel La Playa in Carmel. However, little else is known about this early beginning of the Alliance Française.

Mme Jehanne Biétry-Salinger Carlson

Later, a club known as “La Causerie Française” was established in the 1950’s.   In the early sixties, Madame Jehanne Biétry-Salinger Carlson, born in France, a celebrated lecturer and journalist whose articles appeared in the San Francisco Examiner and San Mateo Times, was instrumental in transforming this club into a branch of the Fédération des Alliances Françaises aux Etats Unis. She served as president from 1962 to 1964. The first meeting was held in October 1961, at the Carmel Art Association. Twelve years later on December 26, 1973, The Alliance Française de la Péninsule de Monterey was incorporated in the State of California. 

History of the Alliance Française

The Alliance Française France was created in Paris in 1883 to encourage the propagation of the French language and culture and to foster friendly relations between France and the rest of the world. It is a non-governmental, non-profit organization with the largest network of French language and cultural centers in the world. Today, there are 840 Alliance chapters in 135 countries and more than a 100 in the US.

Alliances Françaises in the USA

Our Past Presidents

1961Pierre Messerli
1962-1964Jehanne Bietry-Salinger-Carlson
1964-1966Henri Corbat
1968-1969Joelle Hathaway & Jacqueline Flavin
1969-1970Madeleine Dowdakin & Frances Bradley
1970-1972Jehanne Bietry-Salinger-Carlson
1972-1975Danielle Chavy-Cooper
1975-1976Nicole Longfellow
1976-1982Danielle Chavy-Cooper
1982-1984Lucie Heyman
1984-1989Isabelle Armitage
1989-1991Pauline Cantin
1991-1994Isabelle Armitage
1994-1995Isabelle Armitage & Gisèle Kapuscinski
1995-1996Isabelle Armitage
1996-2003Pauline Cantin
2003-2004Gisèle Kapuscinski
2004-2005Gisèle Kapuscinski & Danièle Vagnini
2005-2006Danièle Vagnini & Michèle Neisess
2006-2007Marie-France de Sibert & Janine Fierro
2008-2011Melissa Olvera
2011-2014Marie-France de Sibert
2014-2016Christian Viollaz
2016-2018Chantal Bailey
2018-Catherine Zahm