FRESNO—After much anticipation, the William Saroyan House-Museum will open to the public on August 31, the 110th anniversary of the writer’s birthday. To celebrate this occasion, a grand opening celebration will be held at the Satellite Student Union of the Fresno State campus on August 31 at 7 p.m.
In 2016, Arthur Janibekyan, founder of the Renaissance Cultural and Intellectual Foundation, purchased William Saroyan’s house, saving it from foreclosure. The foundation transformed the house — where Sayoran spent the last 17 years of his life — into a museum that reproduces the atmosphere that existed when Saroyan inhabited the space.
The museum will feature a large digital archive of Saroyan’s works as well as collected books, photos, videos, paintings, souvenirs that describe Saroyan’s character. Additionally, the space will include video and digital effects that depict a hologram of William Saroyan sitting and talking with his guests. In accordance with William Saroyan’s will, a research area will be created within the house, which will serve as a center for Saroyan studies. Students, scholars and other interested individuals will thus be able to benefit from the vast heritage which the writer left behind.
Saroyan was a novelist, playwright and short story writer. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1940, New York Drama Critics’ Circle award, and in 1943 won the Academy Award for Best Story for the film adaptation of his novel “The Human Comedy.” Additionally, Saroyan was an accomplished visual artist who created hundreds of paintings and drawings during his lifetime. The popular song, “Come On-A My House” by Rosemary Clooney was written by Saroyan and his cousin, Ross Bagdasarian.
The Renaissance Cultural and Intellectual Foundation aims to preserve and develop the country’s cultural and intellectual heritage sites, as well as to publicize them in Armenia and abroad.
Doors to the Satellite Student Union will open at 6:30 p.m. with an exhibition devoted to Saroyan’s life. At 7 p.m., the formal program will begin with a movie about the Saroyan House-Museum project, speakers and several musical performances. The event will conclude with a reception. The grand opening event is free and open to the public, but prior registration is required by visiting the Saroyan House website and clicking on the “subscribe” button.