French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)

FIAF is the home of francophone cultures and French language: a beacon from New York to the world.

Celebrating 125 Years!

This year, we mark an incredible milestone: the 125th anniversary of the Alliance Française de New York, which in 1898 became the foundation for the French Institute Alliance Française that we love today. Throughout the year, we will be celebrating this important moment in our history—which also coincides with the 140th anniversary of the Fondation des Alliances Françaises.

Our Mission

As an independent, not-for-profit organization, FIAF is committed to providing our audience and students with engaging French language classes and audacious multi-disciplinary programming that celebrates the diversity of francophone cultures and creativity around the world.

We are a welcoming and inclusive community for all ages and all backgrounds, where people can meet, learn, and explore the richness of our heritages and share discoveries.

We strive to amplify voices and build bridges from the entire francophone world to New York and beyond.

Our History

FIAF’s history begins in 1898, when the Alliance Française established a chapter here in New York City. In 1911, the Museum of French Art, French Institute was founded by francophile New Yorker MacDougal Hawkes, and in 1925 opened its space in a beautiful Beaux-Arts building at 22 East 60th Street, where FIAF still resides. In 1971, the two institutions joined together to create the French Institute Alliance Française.

As a product of their union, FIAF is infused with the spirit of the original French Institute. Designed to be a museum, library, intellectual and social club for New York’s francophone community, the French Institute is a place where all are welcome—a place of community, culture, support, and festivity.

FIAF is also part of the Alliance Française community created in Paris in 1883, and shares its values of freedom, education, and intellectual innovation. It is committed to carrying out its founders’ humanist mission of teaching the French language, organizing cultural events and activities, bringing together friends of the French-speaking world, and promoting French and francophone cultures. Alliance Française is apolitical and non-sectarian, and we believe that inclusion and openness are core values to our institution.

Our Activities

For 125 years, FIAF has been the destination for starting, continuing, and perfecting French language skills in a supportive, immersive, and culturally rich setting. Browse and register for classes here or learn more about our preschool here.

Through an unparalleled range of cultural events including live performances, film screenings, panel discussions, wine tastings, and gallery exhibitions, FIAF invites New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds to engage with the best of French and francophone cultures. View upcoming events here.

FIAF is home to one of the largest private French library in the US. Discover the library’s collection and programs here.

FIAF members enjoy enriching experiences celebrating French languages and francophone cultures that you won’t find anywhere else, including free tickets to weekly films and discounted tickets to nearly all cultural programs. Sign up for a membership here.

Housed in a beautiful and historic Beaux-Arts building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, FIAF offers versatile, state-of-the-art event and reception spaces that can accommodate a wide variety of special occasions. View our venues here.

We also offer unique access to French language and culture at our center in Montclair, New Jersey. Learn more here.

FIAF is a private, American 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization incorporated in the state of New York and is not an agency of the French government. FIAF’s IRS Form 990 is available at

FIAF does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or age in admission, treatment, or participation in its programs, services, and activities, or in employment.