Free Family Day At Getty

LOS ANGELES–The J. Paul Getty Museum will host its last family festival of the year on Saturday October 20–from 10 am. to 5 p.m. The day-long–free celebration–voted 2001 "Favorite Family Festival" by LA Parent Magazine–features dance and musical performances–storytelling–art-making workshops–and gallery activities. Picnic areas are available and a range of food options is offered throughout the day at various Getty dining locations. The Getty Center is now open until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays–and families are welcome to continue to enjoy the galleries and grounds throughout the evening.

Family Festivals are held quarterly and are produced for the Getty by Community Arts Resources–Inc. The next Family Festival after the October 20 event will be in the spring of 2002.

Inspired by the Getty’s current "The Armenian Gospels of Gladzor," a rare masterpiece of 14th century Armenian Illumination–the October Family Festival celebrates diversity with an exciting lineup of multicultural performers that appeal to all ages. The Museum courtyard stage will be filled with the sights and sounds of traditional Armenian song and dance performed by the international talents of John Bilezikjian Dantz Ensemble–as well as the Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble–whose classical–folkloric–and troubadour show has thrilled audiences everywhere. Bucovina Klezmar–the well-known entertainer–will also perform traditional Russian folk and Eastern European Jewish music along with Irish Romanian–and Czechoslovakian selections (11:15-Noon and 2:15pm-3:00pm). Families will enjoy the multilingual–animated medieval fables of Armenia performed by Alidz Agbabian–as well as Karen Golden’s magical stories and songs of hope and inspiration from around the world. The festival also offers a variety of hands on art-making activities and demonstrations–including how to make a headdress using traditional Armenian motifs–led by Elmira Adamian (11:00am-4:30pm); poetry lessons led by Tina Demirdjian–published poet and teacher (12:15pm-1:15pm–1:45pm-2:45pm–and 3:30pm-4:30pm); Armenian calligraphy with Seeroon Yeretzian of Roslin Art Gallery (Noon-4:00pm); and illuminated man’scripts with Aram Vartonov (Noon-4:00pm).

Internationally acclaimed "musical dazzler" John Bilezikjian brings to the Getty a unique style of rhythm–dynamics–and harmony–with traditional instrumen’s and multilingual melodies that need no translation(4:00pm-5:00pm). He is a soloist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic–a teacher and lecturer–and his diverse academic background combined with his well-honed musical talents culminate in an exciting feast of Armenian-flavored entertainment.

The Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble also brings alive the essence of culture with performances of troubadour songs and dances that earned them the "National Gold Medal Award" from the Armenian government (12:45pm-1:45pm). Their members are professionally trained musicians with a flare for folklore and classical melodies. Bucovina Klezmer adds to this exciting performance lineup with treats of traditional Russian–Irish Romanian–and Czechoslovakian folk music–as well as Eastern European Jewish music.

Alidz Agbabian will delight children and parents alike with her "Fox Tales" fables from medieval Armenia that include festive songs and "dhol" drums (10:45am-11:30am). Agbabian is well known for her use of colorful imagery and the lessons of wisdom and insight woven into her stories.

Children will also have the chance to experience artists’ creativity and pride when they participate in one of the many art-making activities inspired by the "Gospels of Gladzor" exhibition–whether its crafting a traditional headdress–writing poetry–creating a frame–or making a postcard that the Getty will mail free of charge. Fascinating demonstrations in Armenian calligraphy and illuminated man’scripts add to the fun. The festival also includes Michelle Berne’s mystical 12-foot tall Ensor Puppets (11:00am-12:30pm and 2:15pm-3:45pm).

Admission to the Getty is always free. Parking is $5 per car. No parking reservations needed on Saturdays and Sundays or after 4 pm on weekdays. Visit www.getty.edu for reservations or information. The TTY line for callers who are hearing impaired or deaf is (310) 440-7305.

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