LITTLE ARMENIA—On Saturday, March 8, the Armenian Youth Federation Hollywood “Musa Dagh” Chapter held the 10th Annual Little Armenia Beautification Project (LABP), in conjunction with the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Hollywood Chapter.
The event was sponsored by Congressman Adam Schiff (CA-D), the Office of California State Senator Kevin De León, Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, East Hollywood Neighborhood Council, Hollywood Beautification Team, the Rotary Club of Thai Town, and the Thai Community Development Center.
“The LABP is a wonderful way to mobilize the youth and unite them for a cause that is meant to give back to the community. This year, we had the pleasure of working with different organizations such as East Hollywood Neighborhood Council, the Rotary Club of Thai Town and the Thai Community Development Center. In addition, there was also representation from Beads for Battle and the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry. We had hundreds of volunteers partake in beautifying the streets of Little Armenia, and it is comforting to know that the youth and other organizations teamed up to make the 10th annual cleanup a success,” said Azniv Khararjian of the Mousa Dagh chapter.
Approximately 200 volunteers from various community organizations gathered in the courtyard of Rose and Alex Pilibos High School in the morning to hear opening remarks by various community leaders, including Congressman Adam Schiff, Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, and ANCA-WR Government Affairs Director Tereza Yerimyan. The volunteers then took to the streets with brooms and shovels in hand, excited to take ownership of Little Armenia by removing hundreds of pounds of trash and cleaning graffiti from the streets of Hollywood.
In addition to the cleanup, this year also featured a festival aimed at celebrating the volunteers’ and community’s work, where various local artists performed. Artists included Hoy Lari, Noushig Sarkissian, Shiraz Yeghiazarian, Haig Garabedian, Vartan Taymazian, Apo Mahserejian, and more. Additionally, a portion of the festival was dedicated to International Women’s Day, which also falls on March 8.
“The festival following the LABP was a great way to interact with the local community and learn about different organizations from cities all of Los Angeles. Beads for Battle was very happy to be part of the event and had the opportunity to raise awareness about cancer with the Armenian and Thai communities. We hope to collectively work with the LABP committee in the upcoming years,” said Cynthia Keyllian of Beads For Battle.
Since 2004, the AYF has been working with then Councilmember, now Mayor, Eric Garcetti to organize the neighborhood beautification project, which, according to the Los Angeles Sanitation Department, has resulted in the collection of over 40,000 pounds of trash.
It was especially symbolic that the center for the Los Angeles Beautification Project was held at Pilibos, the hub of Little Armenia. Being an Armenian school, Little Armenia truly begins there, the center of where children grow, flourish, and discover who they are as Armenian-Americans, in a safe and nurturing environment.
Pilibos students enthusiastically participated in the Project. Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell congratulated those volunteers and also presented a certificate of appreciation to Dr. Dorian, Principal of Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School for the School’s continuous efforts to better the school, community, and its surroundings.
The event was a unique opportunity for different groups to come together as one, ultimately representing Little Armenia and showing how dedicated they are to their community.