The University of Maine will host its sixth annual gathering — Rassemblement — of Franco-American writers, artists and creatives, April 28–30, at the Franco-American Centre on campus.
The annual event, organized by UMaine’s Franco American Programs, aims to create a culturally supportive space in which members of the Franco-American creative community can share their work. This year’s gathering includes several anchor events that are free and open to the public.
At 7 p.m. April 28, the Franco-American Centre in Crossland Hall will screen “Les Magasins,” a 48-minute documentary that explores the history of small, family-owned grocery stores on Sand Hill, the Franco-American neighborhood in Augusta, Maine. A potluck will precede the screening, followed by a Q&A with the film’s director, Norm Rodrigue.
A screening of “Un Américain: A Portrait of Raymond Luc Levasseur” will take place at 7 p.m. April 29 in Soderberg Lecture Hall in Jenness Hall. The documentary, directed by Montreal-based Pierre Marier, explores the life of Sanford native Raymond Luc Levasseur, who became radicalized by his tour in Vietnam and came to be listed on the FBI Ten Most Wanted List in 1977. The film’s director and Levasseur will be in attendance to introduce the documentary and participate in a Q&A after the screening.
On May 1, the Rassemblement concludes with a series of genealogical workshops led by George Findlen. The Franco-American Centre, in collaboration with the Penobscot County Genealogical Society, will host four free workshops: Using Standard Histories to Find Elusive Relatives, 2–3 p.m.; How to Tell If Your French-Canadian Ancestors Include Acadians, 3:15–4:15 p.m.; Finding What Can’t Be Found: A Case Study in Whole Family Research, 6–7 p.m.; and Using the 1917 Code of Canon Law to Understand Odd Entries in Catholic Parish Registers, 7:15–8:15 p.m.
Findlen is a certified genealogist and lecturer who has published articles on Acadian and French-Canadian families in U.S. and Canadian journals, and spoken at state, regional and national venues. Findlen serves on the National Genealogical Society board and on the editorial board of the “NGS Quarterly.”
The events are made possible with support from Franco American Programs, The Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series Fund, and several donors.