2010 Annual Report
The exhibition "La Soie et le Canon" takes over the Château
With over one million visitors a year, the Château des Ducs de Bretagne has become one of the most visited historical sites of Western France. In 2010, a major exhibition entitled "La Soie et le Canon" (silk and the canon) was presented in partnership with Musée Guimet, the national museum of Asian arts, to illustrate our relations with China since the 18th century (40,950 visitors).
In 2010, there was an overall rise of 10% in the number of visitors to the museum (188,675 visitors versus 170,000 in 2009), for temporary exhibitions as well as permanent ones. A peak rise of 20% was even recorded over the summer period.
Performing arts (very) alive in Nantes
In 2010, grants for performing arts amounted to over €6.1 M. Through financial aid, the loan of premises, or shared creation, the City of Nantes is committed alongside local performing arts organisations. And Nantes residents are present: 7,500 people took part in the festivity organised at the Cité des Congrès Events Center by the non-profit organisation Tissé Métisse; 40,000 spectators showed up for "Aux heures d'été", a summer programme of free cultural events comprising 31 shows including the festivities of 14th July; 150,000 spectators were recorded at the international jazz festival Les Rendez vous de l'Erdre, etc.
Moreover, the City has deployed a policy in favour of young audiences by investing €22,000 in the financing of creation and show facilities on its territory. The City also provided support of €175,000 for the organising of an event which will be taking place for the first time in April 2011.
Promoting artist mobility
In 2010, the agreement signed with the French Institute has enabled some one hundred artists to export themselves worldwide, like "La Machine" in Yokohama, "La Folle Journée" in Warsaw, Jerez Le Cam in Buenos Aires, Marie Drouet in Japan and Olga Boldireff and Carole Douillard in Russia.
In the same goal, the cultural policy also aims to develop the City's relations with Africa and the Caribbean, as well as town twinning. In 2010, numerous artists and professionals thus travelled to a number of cities across the world (Recife in Brazil, Rufisque, a partner-city of Nantes, Jacksonville in the USA, Niigata in Japan and Tbilissi in Georgia, twinned with Nantes).
The City also contributed to the European policy for the Metropolis of Nantes by taking part in a Eurocities working group on artist mobility and establishing links with major European cities (Bologna, Antwerp, Saragossa, etc.).
Theatre: big and small
Small venues as well as small audiences: With the 2nd staging of the children's event "Y'a pas que les grands !", the young audience now also has its theatre festival. The twelve shows presented in 2010 to 3-15 year olds were relatively short and focused on the topics of puppets, dance and Europe.
La Fabrique under construction
Next to the Machines de l'Ile, the premises of La Fabrique Laboratoire(s) Artistique(s) are still under construction. La Fabrique – the future space dedicated to experimentation, training, dissemination and resources for emerging practices, contemporary music and multimedia – is due to open in the autumn 2011. It will notably provide a base for the local organisations which have been contributing to the project since its very beginning: Songo and Trempolino (in a permanent way), Mire, Apo 33 and Microfaune (for projects). At La Fabrique, the audience will be able to attend concerts, conferences, workshops, etc. They will also be able to use the library and attend rehearsals.
In the prospect of creating a genuine network of creative sites, the "Fabrique Dervallières" emerged in 2010 in a former district school. It serves as a base for several artistic structures.
The Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Nantes Métropole takes on a new dimension
In 2010, the Ecole Régionale des Beaux-Arts de Nantes was replaced by a new public art college focused on cultural cooperation: the Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Nantes Métropole (ESBANM).
Preparing students for careers in contemporary art and visual creation, the new institution has a national and international scope; it also develops amateur artistic practices for all audiences (adults and secondary school students). Its role also includes introducing very young pupils from the City's primary schools to art, through the Calder workshop.
Nantes art museum
Out of the 850 contemporary works of the Musée des Beaux-Arts, only 3% are presented to the public. Consequently, in order to allow Nantes residents to take full advantage of the collections, the Municipal Council voted to carry out extension and renovation work in 2010.
The operation covers 9,300 square metres. The first phase of the work will provide total access to all parts of the museum, extend museographical areas, create a documentation centre and bring all employees together in new offices.
The museum will be closing to the public in September 2011 for two years of work.
A website has been operational since 25 August. This site, which ensures the visibility of the museum and publishes its news, should be upgraded in 2011: English version, theme-based features, newsletter, presence on social networks, etc.
Tribute to Jacques Demy
The tribute to Nantes film producer Jacques Demy, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the release of his film Lola and the 20th anniversary of his death, was organised by the municipal library. The exhibition presented in the media library bearing his name included numerous events: conferences and meetings, film screenings, concerts and shows, which attracted some 10,000 visitors and spectators.
A key year for the natural history museum
In 2010, the exhibition "Mouches" (Flies) was a great hit with the residents of Nantes. Despite its seemingly unappealing topic, this exhibition managed to attract wide interest through its scientific rigour and humour.
Moreover, the year was marked by the celebration of the museum's bicentennial, through shows (theatre, concerts), entertainment (children's night at the museum), guided tours ("Des Serpents dans la Pénombre" (snakes in the darkness) and "Visite en Redingote" (visit in a frock coat) as well as the installation of the "Vitrine Mécanique" (mechanical showcase) to relate the history of the Museum all year round.
Furthermore, in 2010, the museum reinforced its cultural action programme, in particular for young audiences. The measures initiated in 2009 (renewal of the programme, set-up of day workshops during half-term holidays) bore fruit in 2010: the attendance of individually registered children increased 75% in the space of one year. An effort was also made to attract adolescents through the event "Deux Nuits au Muséum" (two nights at the museum), organised for 24 adolescents aged 11-13. In addition, groups from leisure centres were also the focus of greater attention, notably the 12-17 age group.