GLENDALE—Representatives from more than 60 Armenian American organizations active in Southern California met on June 8, 2016, at the Brand Library and Art Center in Glendale to learn about the current status of the project and provide input on the development and vision for the Armenian American Museum (AAM).
The AAM Executive Committee chairman Berdj Karapetian greeted guests by giving an overview of the project initiated by the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of Western United States in 2014 and introducing the representatives of the 9 regional institutions and organizations responsible for the construction and operation of the museum complex at Central Park in Glendale.
“The mission of the Armenian American Museum is to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Armenian American experience,” remarked Karapetian, who has been serving on the Committee for more than 2 years.
Zaven Kazazian, who has also served on the project since its inception, explained that the vision for the museum is “a cultural campus that enriches the community, educates the public on the Armenian American story, and empowers individuals to embrace cultural diversity and speak out against prejudice.” The mission and vision is articulated in the museum’s Concept Development Plan prepared by the leading global museum consulting firm Lord Cultural Resources.
According to Governing Board Co-Chairs Archbishop Hovnan Derderian and Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, the organization is currently working diligently on the environmental assessments and studies required for the negotiation of a long term ground lease with the City of Glendale.
Although the museum was initially slated to be located next to the Civic Auditorium and across from Glendale Community College, the feedback from Glendale residents and homeowner associations led the City Council to suggest placing the museum in the Arts and Entertainment District across from the Central Library and within walking distance of the Americana at Brand.
The architect for the museum selected from 26 firms evaluated by the Governing Board was introduced to the attendees and invited to present the plans for the museum campus and plaza at Central Park.
Aram Alajajian of Alajajian-Marcossi Architects described the impact and potential of the new location in light of creating an interactive space which shares the Armenian American experience and provides ongoing opportunities for cross-cultural exchanges among the Armenian diaspora and all community members in the heart of downtown Glendale. Alajajian highlighted several of the key features of the Museum which include both permanent and temporary exhibition spaces; an educational center; a performing art theatre; and outdoor plaza.
In his closing remarks, Karapetian stated the Governing Board has initiated a fundraising drive to raise the funds for the environmental and economic studies as well as the master planning process essential to the success of the museum. He also announced that a proposal to receive funding from the State of California introduced by Assembly Member Adrin Nazarian and Senator Carol Liu was being considered by the Budget Conference Committee of the State Legislature.
The AAM Governing Board and Executive Committee members expressed their willingness to provide presentations to the boards of community organizations and invited each organization to consider making a financial contribution and be part of this unprecedented community wide project in Southern California.
For more information about the Armenian American Museum visit ArmenianAmericanMuseum.org or call (844) 586-4626.
About the Armenian American Museum
The Armenian American Museum is a developing project in Glendale, CA, with a mission to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Armenian American experience. When completed, it will serve as a cultural campus that enriches the community, educates the public on the Armenian American story, and empowers individuals to embrace cultural diversity and speak out against prejudice.
The governing board of the Armenian American Museum consists of representatives from the following nine regional Armenian American institutions and organizations: Armenian Catholic Eparchy, Armenian Cultural Foundation, Armenian Evangelical Union of North America, Armenian General Benevolent Union – Western District, Armenian Relief Society – Western USA, Nor Or Charitable Foundation, Nor Serount Cultural Association, Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, and Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church.