LOS ANGELES–Armenia Fund’s 10th International Telethon is set to air on Thanksgiving Day, November 22 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. PST. This year’s program will once again reach millions of households in the United States, as well as international viewers across all continents via satellite and cable. The 12-hour live program will stream on the internet at http://www.armeniafund.org/.
Armenia Fund’s Telethon, a Thanksgiving Day tradition since Armenia declared its independence, will once again unite Armenia’s across the globe around one goal–helping the Armenian homeland stand strong on its feet. Every year for the past 10 years, this gargantuan effort brings together more than 50 professionals and 200 volunteers.
"It takes about 6 months to put the show together," said Armenia Fund U.S. Western Region Executive Director, Sarkis Kotanjian. "The Telethon is a collaboration of video production teams in Yerevan and Los Angeles. Television is a unique medium to visually report back to the community on the projects that have been accomplished or are currently underway thanks to donations from the previous year’s Telethon. It is also a great way of letting people see for themselves today’s needs of Armenia and Artsakh and let them know how they can become a part of the solution of many problems,"added Kotanjian.
This year, for the first time, the Telethon will air from the studios of the Los Angeles affiliate of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), KCET in Hollywood. The program will go on live on KSCI-LA Ch. 18 in the Greater Los Angeles area. The state of the art facility has decades of experience in hosting live telethons, including the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, Chabad Telethon and various PBS telethons. The studio, which is a non-profit organization itself, utilizes cutting edge technology and is equipped to produce programs in high-definition format.
"We got telethons down to a science, but that’s technical. The most important task is to create the emotional attachment of the viewer to the program. I want our audience to think with their hearts, not their minds. What comes from the heart goes to the heart," said Telethon 2007 Executive Producer Michael Levin. Levin and his production team draw years of experience in producing nation-wide telethons at KCET. "I traveled extensively through almost every region in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. I saw the direct positive impact that Armenia Fund’s projects had on people’s lives. The rebuilding of an independent Armenian nation is an important cause and I am honored and proud to be part of the effort," added Levin.
The Telethon will feature special guests from Armenia and Artsakh. Newly elected President of Artsakh, Bako Sahakyan and Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian will appear live during the program.
The musical program has been developed under the meticulous attention of Stepan Partamian, the Telethon’s Music Producer, who also led the production of the "Spirit of Armenia," a first-ever Armenian concert at the Hollywood Bowl in July drawing international acclaim. "The concert at the Hollywood Bowl presented a quality display of the global reach of the Armenian culture. Music has a universal appeal and Armenian music is so rich, colorful and emotional. On the day of the Telethon it will add to the spirit of unity, when every Armenian around the world is pitching in to create a better future for the Homeland," said Partamian.
The telethon will feature close to 40 musical performances, drawing an all-star lineup of Armenian performers from Armenia and the United States. The participation of music stars from Armenia was made possible through Armenia Fund’s partnership with the Eyeflash Entertainment Company, the organizers of this year’s Annual Armenian Music Awards. The program is set to take place at the Gibson Amphitheater on Friday, November 23, following the Telethon. "We are grateful to the Armenian Music Awards’ team and personally to Grant Chorliyan for the opportunity to feature the biggest stars on Armenia’s music horizon during Telethon 2007," said Kotanjian.
The Telethon’s centric theme will focus on human’stories in the context of responding to the urgent needs of rural Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. Proceeds from the Telethon will benefit Armenia Fund’s Village Development Program. The newly adopted program will focus on revitalizing a cluster of villages in the Tavush Region of Armenia, and the Martuni Region of Artsakh. To ensure long-term sustainability and generate income for the villagers, the multilevel infrastructure development program will incorporate an economic component as well. The implementation of the Village Development Program will be coordinated with the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corp., the World Bank, and the UNDP.
The 10th International Armenia Fund Telethon will air in all major Armenian-American communities in the U.S., as well as internationally on H1-Armenian Public Television (http://www.armtv.com/) across all continents. Horizon 24 Hour Armenian TV, the largest Armenian Diaspora TV network (http://www.horizonarmeniantv.com/), will also air the Telethon in its entirety, on its cable and satellite networks. For more information, please log on to http://www.armeniafund.org/.
Armenia Fund, Inc., is a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation established in 1994 to facilitate large-scale humanitarian and infrastructure development assistance to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. Since 1991, Armenia Fund has rendered more than $160 million in development aid to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. Armenia Fund, Inc. is the U.S. Western Region affiliate of "Hayastan" All-Armenian Fund. Tax ID# 95-4485698