Monday, April 16, 2012

N = Nuit Blanche, Paris - A to Z Blog Challenge

Nuit Blanche = White Night, All-nighter, Sleepless Night

Nuit Blanche, Midnight 2010 on the rue de Rivoli - by Green Eye


Nuit Blanche, an all-night or night-time arts festival, first began in Paris on October 5, 2002.  Since then, this trek through the streets of cultural Paris and its contemporary art scene has come back every year, usually in October.

Museums, private and public art galleries, and other cultural institutions are open and free of charge.  Movies range from new and experimental to retro and are shown on the sides of buildings.  Folding chairs are set up at intervals and art events are staged in the small side streets and behind buildings, with temporary lighting to keep the  streets bright.  This is the 'White Night'. 


Les Halles Carousel - Paris, France by DG Hudson


The Nuit Blanche idea originated with Jean Blaise, who founded the Research Center for Cultural Development in Nantes in 1984.  In 2001, when Bertrand Delanoë became Mayor of Paris, his deputy, Christophe Girard, invited Blaise to create an event there, and the Paris Nuit Blanche was born on October 5, 2002.

Bringing art within everyone’s reach, using it to cast a new light on the city, and generally treating everyone to a fun time. Christophe Girard, Paris Deputy for Culture, Paris Nuit Blanche, 2002. ( See links below)


A number of European cities have emulated this open, free-of-charge event. So have the Canadian cities of Montreal and Toronto. At last count, there were planned events in over 120 cities.  I hope this trend continues.  The idea of art and culture that is more accessible for students, seniors and families is appealing. 

We happened to be in Paris for the Nuit Blanche Party in October 2010 out of pure chance, but it provided a fitting finale to our trip.

DG's Theme:  Paris, Etc. (Art, Film, Places, and People)

Should cities require their museums and galleries to be open and free, one day a month?  Would this be successful in your city?   Please share in the comments. 


References:  Nuit Blanche in Paris

Nuit Blanche Info from the City of Paris