About Us


We are American Romanian Cultural Society (ARCS) Arizona
Here to inspire and connect.

About us
ARCS Arizona wants to be an energizing participant in the vibrant multicultural scene of the Phoenix metropolitan area. One of our major goals is to weave more deeply and substantially the Romanian cultural spirit into the fabric of Greater Phoenix artistic life, by engaging local cultural and educational communities and institutions in collaborative events and programs.
We also aim to serve as a dynamic connection between the Arizona Romanian community and Romania’s contemporary artistic movements, other like-minded diasporic communities, and, more generally, all the people of Arizona.
We are hoping that our work will be especially appealing to those who love to be surprised, those who like to explore fresh perspectives, those who are eager to discover new worlds of meaning and experience, and those who constantly need unique formulas to nourish their minds and souls.

Our history
We started as the Arizona American-Romanian Cultural Collaborative (ARCC), in 2019, from a desire to showcase and promote Romanian culture in the communities where its founders and fellow Romanians live and work. This desire emerged from the strong confidence – reinforced by the worldwide recognition of Romanian artistic productions – that Romania’s culture can be an inspiring and powerful presence in Arizona, one of the most diverse states in the US.
For our first project, the Arizona Romanian Film Festival, we partnered up with the Making Waves festival to introduce you to The Romanians: 30 Years of Cinema Revolution. The retrospective was supposed to invite you to discover and examine the emerging forms of filmic expression that followed the fall of Communism.
Dubbed by the international critics as the New Romanian Wave, the movies created during the last 30 years share a minimalist approach peppered with a quirky black humor that will captivate your imagination. We expect you to experience what the New York Times film critic A. O. Scott did when he noted, “After a while, you feel you are living inside these movies as much as watching them.”

Unfortunately, even as we were ready to go in March 2020, we had to cancel the festival due to the pandemic. In 2020, we partnered with American Romanian Cultural Society (ARCS) from Seattle and the first edition of the Arizona Romanian Film Festival happened entirely online.
With its almost a decade of successful cultural programming, ARCS has become both a role model and a generous collaborator. In addition to the film festival, we worked together on a number of various projects and events.

In May 2022 we became ARCS Arizona. The name change emphasizes our association’s engagement in the ARCS network and its commitment to the collaborative, concerted effort to increase the visibility of the Romanian culture and Romanian diaspora in the US.

The Team


Marie-Louise Paulesc
Marie-Louise was born and raised in Bucharest, Romania, where the 1989 revolution inspired her to become a communicator. After graduating as a journalist, she worked for the Romanian Ministry of Culture, the National Theatre in Cluj, HBO Romania, and Europa FM Radio Station.
Since 2005 she calls Arizona her home and since 2008, she is teaching at Arizona State University, where she got a master’s and a doctorate degree in Communication. Her involvement with Arizona ARCC is a labor of love; she wants the people around her to get richer by experiencing the Romanian art and culture that is such a big part of her soul.


Julie Paulesc
In November 1994, Julie quit her job at the French Cultural Center in the beautiful, vibrant Timisoara, in Western Romania to begin her American journey. Deeply in her heart, packed away, were experiences and memories, along with the sounds and smells of the city. In her suitcase, she carried masterpieces of Romanian literature. She also brought along the desire to share her culture, values and beliefs cross the ocean with the same fervor the French were sharing theirs in her native Romania.
After several years working in bilingual departments at Western Union and IBM, Julie earned her Master’s in French and Comparative Literature and PhD in English (Applied Linguistics) at Arizona State University. Since 2003 she has been teaching Romanian language and culture at ASU. For the past two years, Julie has been also teaching a course on digital storytelling with focus on issues of migration and identity. Her goal for partaking in the creation of AZ ARCC is to facilitate the spread of a love epidemic for Romania and its culture, and the understanding of the experiences and values of the Romanian-American diaspora.

Mircea Goia
Once a miner back in Romania, he became a self-taught web programmer who got to work remotely for a German company. He was also involved in the non-profit organizations scene in Romania for several years in his native small mining town of Lupeni, helping local kids achieve a higher status of knowledge.
In 2005 he immigrated to United States thanks to the Diversity Lottery Visa (which is a US government program). After wandering around in Washington DC and West Virginia he settled in Phoenix-Arizona because the job market was better and a warmer climate.
Here, while still working in the IT industry, he got involved in the local film industry scene helping several productions.
But he didn’t forget his native country and because his involvement in these two industries, IT and filmmaking, he tries to help Romania and Romanians from abroad to get more recognition of their work. That’s why he established RomanianStartups.com (an aggregator of the Romanian tech scene) and helped several Romanian film productions. That’s why he got involved in Arizona Romanian Film Festival too.


Stefan Popescu
Born in the middle of the last century in a wonderful country named Romania, Stefan went to school because he had to, he got his first Master’s Degree because he had to, he got married because he met Her, and he emigrated to Unites States because he wanted to offer his son a better life. For the last twenty something years he worked for the same Fortune 50 company, first on Wall Street and now in the Great Valley of The Sun.
Stefan has an acute and very personal sense of humor, he is a fine observer of the surrounding world, an eternal child at heart, has a lot of fun when he sees people making fools of themselves, and he is the first to laugh at himself when he does stupid things. Stefan likes to try all kind of good foods, drink a good single malt, and listen to good classic rock music. In weekends you can find him hiking the trails together with his wife and their huge mutt.
When Stefan was approached to help with Arizona Romanian Film Festival, he got on board to honor his beloved Mother’s memory who was a huge movie buff: in The Popescu family nobody even tried to remember an actor or a movie title, they had the Amalia Encyclopedia of Films.


Zoia Manolescu
She is a Professor Emeritus of English Linguistics and Translation at UTCB, Romania. She received her B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Bucharest, Romania, the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Education from the University of Lancaster, U.K., and the Certificate of Assessment in Language Learning from the University of Manchester, U.K. Starting with 1995 she served as the Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Communication at UTCB and in 2004, after founding the first non-literary Translation and Interpretation Specialization in Romania (undergraduate and graduate studies), she became the Director of the Department. She remained the promoter and the leader of the department for more than 20 years, commuting between Romania and USA and teaching in both countries.
Zoia Manolescu is an experienced researcher with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry not only in Romania, but also in Europe and USA. She is skilled in nonprofit organizations, Intercultural Communication, ESL, Linguistics, as well as in Translation and Interpreting. She is also a Higher-education Quality Assurance Expert, a Language Editor, and a Grader for the American Translation Association. She is certified as a translator and interpreter by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Justice of Romania (English < > Romanian).
Her passion for movies determined her to join enthusiastically AZ ARCC and lend a helping hand to the creation of a cultural bridge between the Romanians and other communities in Arizona.

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