2008 Annual Report
Cultural development and heritage
In Nantes, live shows take to the streets for the benefit of inhabitants and are also exported further afield. In 2008, the company Royal de Luxe presented its “La révolte des mannequins” (The dummies’ revolt) in the city centre shop windows, while the summer programme Aux heures d’été (In summer time) offered 31 shows in 11 different places, with the help of the city and the ever more important participation of the people of Nantes, through to the Rendez-Vous de l’Erdre, (Rendezvous on the Erdre), an annual event held in late summer involving jazz and pleasure boats, which is always well attended and appreciated by residents and visitors.
Thanks to cooperation with Cultures France and the French Ministry of Culture, support has been developed for exporting artistic projects, marked in particular by the operation Nantes – Tucson, Arizona, which enabled musicians from Nantes to broadcast to the United States. In parallel the city provides premises for rehearsals and residences, takes part in organising the music festival, and supports the Festival Committee, which organises the carnival.
Contemporary music was honoured in 2008 with “Nantes au Zenith”; while the interest shown by the people of Nantes in Baroque music was confirmed by “Printemps des Art” – Arts in Spring – and “Scènes baroques” – Baroque Scenes.
The creation in July 2008 of the Heritage and Archaeology department within the general culture department marks the first step in the new heritage policy which the City of Nantes intends to implement.
Nantes is bringing its past and its present together with the “ Musée pour tous” (Museum for everybody) prize awarded by the Ministry of Culture to the history museum in the Château des Ducs de Bretagne for its accessibility to people with handicaps. The commemoration of the abolition of slavery is also an event remembered by all the residents of Nantes, and celebrated on 10 May in front of the court building in the “village of commemoration”.
The richness of the history of Nantes still shapes its culture today, and for this reason the conservation and presentation of the municipal archives are essential. In 2008 this took the form of the production of a film and an exhibition on La Pilotière, the issuing of the first bulletin on the history of Nantes-Sud, which gave specific examples of the works undertaken in the different districts on the basis of the municipal archives, and by the digitisation of 134 restored posters, which illustrated in particular the 1914 War.
The City makes a joint contribution to artistic creation and dissemination of works together with its Ecole Régionale des Beaux-arts (Regional School of Fine Arts) and the numerous local organisations it supports. Everyday initiatives for the people of Nantes are also equally numerous due to the activities and exhibitions organised by ERBAN, the School of Fine Arts, such as the “Belles chaises” (Beautiful chairs) which are still just as popular!
For its part, the Musée des Beaux-arts de Nantes (Nantes Museum of Fine Arts) offered 12 exhibitions in 2008, including «”Simon Vouet, les années italiennes 1613-1627” (Simon Vouet, the Italian years 1613-1627) which was awarded the label of “national interest” by the Ministry of Culture and forms part of the European culture season. “L’Atelier” (The Studio) also opened its doors to house exhibitions of regional artists with the aim of presenting modern and contemporary artistic movements. The “Festival des 3 Continents” (3 Continents Festival) is the figurehead of artistic and experimental cinema on an international scale. Other subsidised organisations also work to make French and foreign films known in the nearby cinemas, such as the Cinématographe, or in the various districts, such as the open-air cinema showings organised by the summer cultural organisation.
The policy of discovering literature and encouraging reading is the point where a number of issues meet: cultural, educational, social, for young people or the elderly. The Floresca Guépin Media Library, which is quite intentionally open to all, including people with handicaps, enjoyed its first full year of operation in 2008, while the Library of Manufacturing has started to undergo restructuring so as to improve the relationship with users. Numerous events around reading characterised the year, such as:
- The exhibition “Ecritures (extra)ordinaries” ((Extra)ordinary writings) at the Chapelle de l’Oratoire;
- MidiMinuit 2008 organised by the Maison de la Poésie poetry centre;
- - the Biennale “writing day” on the theme of “Resistances”.
Admirers of Jules Verne enabled the number of visitors to the museum dedicated to the writer to be increased by 21% in 2008, in particular due to the effects of the presentation of a collection of “extraordinary vehicles” imagined by the author and created by an enthusiast.
The zoology gallery of the Museum of natural history reopened to the public, with the 1st stage in the full renovation of the permanent exhibition rooms and the new presentation of the collections: and the people of Nantes were there! The public was also able to admire quality exhibitions of different artists. As with the other participating museums in Nantes, the “night of the museums” was a success for the Museum, which also enabled children and parents to talk about scientific subjects in the context of the “Square des Sciences” (Science Square).
At the planetarium, 850 shows took place simulating the mechanisms of the planets and the stars, as well as 17 decentralised cultural activities which took place aimed at publics far removed from the cultural and scientific offerings.
The residents of Nantes were there!
94 cultural sites managed by the city, including 47 sites made available to 79 cultural organisations for open use in the various districts
173,000 people visited the museum at the Château des Ducs de Bretagne
1,319,048 loans were recorded in 2008 across all the libraries, including 232,296 loans from the Floresca Guépin Media Library
Nearly 600,000 consultations of the website of the municipal archives. Around130,000 people took part in the Rendez-Vous de l’Erdre (Rendezvous at the Erdre) in 2008
112,000 visitors to the Musée des Beaux-arts (31,000 schoolchildren visited)
27,000 spectators took part in Aux heures d’été, a summer cultural programme offered free of charge
15,000 visitors for the 4th edition of “Belles Chaises” (Beautiful chairs) (850 artists registered)
83,385 entries to the Museum of natural history including 1,500 during the night of the museums and 11,000 schoolchildren visited during the year.