By Didier Allouch, host of Rendez-vous d'Amérique.

My dear francophiles, francovorous and francophageous friends, after almost 30 of my chronicles, you might begin to know me a little better. And you probably are starting to understand that what really drives my curiosity and provokes my admiration can be summed up in one word: passion.

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Passion is a contagious thing, a delicious virus to catch.

It could be passion for movies, literature, bicycle, lasagna, origami, shoelaces, anything… As long as you’re passionate about something, you more than interest me.  These people can talk about what fascinates them with so much passion, so much exaltation that it makes you want to love movies, literature, bicycle, lasagna, origami or even shoelaces. Passion is a contagious thing, a delicious virus to catch.

That’s why I have decided to start a new way to talk about the French-speaking cultural influence in the U.S. in Rendez-Vous d’Amérique. Sometimes, I will stop talking about the event and focus solely on the person.

I will draw the portrait on an influential French-speaking character in the cultural U.S. landscape. People fueled by passion, a passion that drove them to become very influential in America’s culture.

Our first character is a perfect example of what I’d like to do with this new approach. Anne-Lise Desmas has given her life to the arts and to what she seems to love more than anything: sculpture.

For 10 years, she studied art history at the prestigious Ecole du Louvre in Paris, after that she perfected her craft for 8 years in the Villa Medicis in Rome, aka Disneyland for any art aficionado…

And now, she is one of the vital parts of an institution in the world of arts, one of the richest museums in the world, The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. She started there as an intern, she is now Senior Curator in the sculpture and decorative arts department. What drove her to this very prestigious job? Well you guessed: passion.

In the story that you’ll see in our show, you’ll see Anne-Lise give us a tour of some of her favorites works of arts of the Getty Collection. And when she talks about a bronze statuette by Troubetzkoy, a Pope Paul V, mystery cabinet or a Bernini bust, there is a sparkle in her eyes, an emphasis in her description, a unique enthusiasm that makes you love immediately every works of art she describes. That’s what I call passion.

The kind I want you to discover and share with those characters, the kind I will talk about starting with this episode in Rendez-Vous d’Amérique…

And I’m pretty sure after hearing Anne-Lise talk, you will all want to have a bronze statuette by Trubetzkoy, a Pope Paul V mystery cabinet or a Bernini bust in your living room. Yeah, me too, but it’s a bit expensive…

To learn more about COLCOA, and other happenings that define Francophone culture in America, read our blog, and tune in to our episodes of Rendez-vous d’Amérique on TV5MONDE USA. Click here for more information.

Rendez-vous d'Amérique invites you on a journey to discover Francophone culture in America. Your host on this cultural experience is Didier Allouch - reporter, cinephile, and a familiar face at movie premieres. Click here to learn how you can subscribe to TV5MONDE USA and never miss an episode!