For years the town of Arnaudville has been working to transform itself into a cultural hub and France is taking notice.
The Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy, Bénédicte De Montlaur paid a visit to the town to see it herself.
“What an honor to have here. She could have been anywhere but she came to see the good things that are happening in this community.” said Louisiana State Representative Mike Huval.
Huval says most people only ever see New Orleans
“By promoting the french culture is bringing people with french background to the area.” he added.
The french delegation got to eat cajun food and learn more about Arnaudville’s effort to turn its old hospital into a french immersion school
Montlaur came away very impressed with what she saw
“People are always trying to invent new things but I think the power of this place that they really looked at they have and why they have is the fact that they speak french and that they are very culture oriented and they build on this because there is a level of authenticity that says something right, that speaks to people and attracts people at the end of the day.” Montlaur explained.
She also believes France can learn some lessons here
“I think they are many rural areas in france that can be inspired by this and that we can be influenced by this experience.” she said.
Monique Boulet, the Executive Director of the Acadiana Planning Commission knows that this is only the beginning.
“It makes an impact. They were talking about the potential of bringing groups that they work with here for conferences to have them really experience here. It’s a great experience.” said Boulet
The cultural counselor says Arnaudville may be able to host a french film festival in the future.
The french delegation also pledged to help Arnaudville find teachers for its future french immersion school.