Moving to a foreign country is an ideal time to pursue an artistic interest or creative hobby. Not only can you reshape your daily routine to find the time, but you’ll also meet a new group of international friends that share the same interest. France is well known for embracing the world of art and culture – from museums and galleries to dance ‘spectacles’.
If you are creative and artistically inclined, we’ve listed a few of the community and ‘hobby’ groups available in the Languedoc area.
Drawing & Painting on Location
Urban Sketchers is a global community of people that share the love for drawing and painting on location. There is no membership fee. One of the objectives of the group is to share sketches online of where members live, work and travel. Urban Sketchers Languedoc organize meetings in different locations around the region open to all nationalities and abilities. You’ll find more about meeting dates here: http://facebook.com/groups/sketchlanguedoc
Peintres dans la rue, Puissalicon – an annual competition in June to paint on location in a small town north of Béziers – further details from the Foyer Rural (04.67.36.63.08).
Singing & Performance Art
If stretching your vocal chords makes you happy, there are a number of choirs that give performances in the area, these include:
- La Chorale Internationale de Capestang: https://capestangchoir.weebly.com
- Les Cigalous Cruzy: http://cigalousdecruzy.canalblog.com
- Nostalgie Chorale Internationale: http://nostalgie-chorale-internationale.com
- Orchestre Symphonique Universitaire de Montpellier: https://osumweb.wordpress.com
If singing for fun is more your thing, join Minervoix based in Puicheric. They meet every Tuesday evening and welcome singers of any ability. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
The association Les Troubadours Britanniques de Limoux organise annual pantomime performances such as “Aladdin”, “Mother Goose” and “Treasure Island” – terrific fun if you enjoy traditional musical theater: https://lestroubadoursbrit.wixsite.com
Crafts & Writing
You’ll find a number of organisations offering creative writing, painting, patchwork, crochet, knitting and other handicrafts.
- American Women’s Group of Languedoc-Roussillon (in Montpellier): http://www.awglr.org
- BritsNimes (in Nîmes): http://www.britsnimes.com
- English Speaking Christian Fellowship, (in Homps, on Thursday mornings): http://www.christiansinaude.org
- Hobby Lobby (in Pepieux, on Thursday afternoons): https://www.facebook.com/HobbyLobby-1740698555972756
- Lou Recantou (in Paulhan): http://lourecantou-paulhan.fr
- Lou Recantou (in Bize-Minervois): http://recantou-bize.pagesperso-orange.fr
- MJC (in Gruissan): https://www.mjc-gruissan.com
- Stammstisch and Tricot (in Montpellier, on 1st Tuesday of every month): https://www.facebook.com/groups/911235172264255
- Women’s International Club (in Florensac and St Chinian): http://www.wic-lr.com / http://wicmediterranee.org
Where to find more information
Foyer Rural & Médiathèque
Most towns and villages will have a foyer rural – it’s a ‘go to’ option when it comes to local activities where you live. Ask at your local mairie for details – everything will probably be published in French but that’s all part of the adventure! Larger towns will have a médiathèque, another great source of events if you are culturally and linguistically open to new encounters!
Meet-Up & On Va Sortir
Meet-Up and On Va Sortir are online platforms where you can find advertisements for groups and events in larger towns and cities. These events will often be organised privately and have a small charge to cover expenses.
Facebook is an essential resource for many English speakers in France. There are hundreds of groups where you can find communities of enthusiasts that may or may not also meet in real life, for example:
- Crafting in France Together: https://www.facebook.com/groups/craftinginfrancetogether
- Languedoc Photography Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1567803260151912
Do you belong to a creative group that should be added to this list? Please let us know in the comments!
Annette is Renestance’s 'go to' girl for all things marketing and social media. Bilingual and originally from Surrey in the UK, Annette has lived in France since 2008. In addition to her web design and marketing consultancy, Annette is the founder of Languedoc Jelly (a network of free events across the region for anyone working from home) and also Urban Sketchers Languedoc (part of a global community of people that like to draw or paint on location). A fan of all things French and Franglaise, she also has a Citroen 2CV called Beryl.
All articles by: Annette Morris