Always looking for some official endorsements for my projects (credibility is more important than financial support for these big projects…in the beginning anyway), I reached out to Congressman Maurice Hinchey, who had supported Bridge Music’s inception with a letter of introduction/support, and contacted the US Embassy in France and the French Embassy in Washington. All this was to build a groundswell for Tower Music when I got to the actual people in charge of the monument.
To show respect, I wanted to contact these key people in French so I contacted Peter Leonard at Vassar College, who had facilitated getting me a few interns over the years, to see if he knew a sympathetic person who would translate my complicated letter. He came through again, putting me in touch with Christine Reno, a professor of French, who with two of her friends created a nice letter to send to the Mayor of Paris and the French Ambassador in Washington. I sent the letters in a packet containing info from Bridge Music and waited, hoping for the best.
About a month later I received a letter from David Kessler, one of the Ministers of Culture in the Mayor’s cabinet, saying that they would consider the proposal. This could have been a pro-forma response to my project, but as it turned out they forwarded my materials to the Eiffel Tower Administration (SETE) and I presently received an email from Isabel Esnous, head of Communication & Events, inviting me to present my ideas in more detail.
She didn’t have to ask me twice!