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


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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'. 


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Les Halles Carousel - Paris, France by DG Hudson


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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)

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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)

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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. 
 

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References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuit_Blanche  Nuit Blanche in Paris

Nuit Blanche Info from the City of Paris
http://www.paris.fr/english/visit/highlights/nuitblanche/rub_8208_stand_34123_port_18969

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15 comments:

  1. What a great idea. How lucky you were to have caught it. When I lived back home in RI, Providence used to have First Night on New Years Eve, which had arts and fun stuff, but it became too commercial. Too big. It lost its meaning.

    I like this idea of cultural exhibitions and art galleries opening, museums, etc. And yes, I wish museums would be free of charge once a month, or even once every two months.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Anne. Glad you agree about the museums

      If the generations following us are to appreciate the art culture they inherit, they need to be exposed to it. One free day a month might be a step toward that goal.

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  2. Here in Columbus, OH we have an area between downtown and the OSU campus called the Short North, which is abundant with galleries (and bars, restaurants, coffee houses, etc.). They have a Gallery Hop once a month, which is great for businesses in the area and fun to browse.

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    1. Sounds like an inviting place, Rick, which usually do seem to be near the university or college campuses.

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  3. yes a wonderful idea--our central art museum is free--accepting donations and charges for short term exhibits---i love that carousel

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    1. That carousel was beautiful, Lynn, with fantastic attention to detail. There's another carousel near the Eiffel Tower and the Trocadero. I'm not sure how old they are.

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  4. Sounds like a fun event. I know in our area, most cities have a "First Friday" every month where local art galleries are open to the public for free.

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    1. That's just what we need more of, Alex. I'm glad some communities are generous with their art museums.

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  5. I think they were wise to create an event like this. Freebies draw people. It gets people out and about. When people are out - regardless what is free - they'll typically spend or dump more $ back into the economy.

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    1. You're right about how that works. Isn't that called bait and hook in advertising terms?

      Most people want food and drink, so the cafes (that participate)come out ahead, I suppose.

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  6. Hi DG .. I'm sure some of our museums are free - not all granted. I think we should pay - but would more go if it was free .. would more take advantage of the freedom .. I love it as some are free - and consider myself very lucky to visit both free and paying ones ..

    Love this idea of Nuit Blanches - I'm sure we have something similar in London ..

    Cheers - and what a great ending to your tour and trip to Paris .. amazing luck - enjoy the memories .. Hilary

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  7. I love these types of events! The only problem with freebies, however, is that they can draw too many people.

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  8. Can someone tell me if 2012's White Night in Paris begins the night of Oct 5 into the morning of Oct 6, or does it begin the night of Oct 6 into the morning of Oct 7? Thank you!

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    1. The night of Oct 6, according to the official info from the city of Paris. Refer to the site below.

      Link:
      http://www.paris.fr/loisirs/les-grands-rendez-vous/nuits-blanches/p6806

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