LOS ANGELES—City Councilmembers Eric Garcetti and Paul Krekorian commemorated Armenian Heritage Month at the October 23 meeting of the Los Angeles City Council by honoring members of Los Angeles’s Armenian-American community.
“I’m proud to stand with the community to celebrate Armenian Heritage Month in Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Garcetti, whose district includes Little Armenia. “Los Angeles is home to the largest Armenian diaspora in the world and we are a stronger city for it. Throughout the centuries, Armenians have left a legacy of literature, music, art, science, architecture, and more. The same spirit and tradition continues today in Los Angeles and I’m proud to honor some of the Armenian Americans who are leading the way.”
“For more than a century, Armenian-Americans have helped to weave the fabric of our city and country through the richness of their cultural heritage,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian, the first Armenian-American elected to the Los Angeles City Council. “Today, I am proud to honor that heritage and the extraordinary contributions of our honorees to the great wealth of cultural diversity that makes Los Angeles unique. Beyond recognizing these honorees, through today’s celebration we also offer tribute to the countless Armenian-American Angelenos who share with all of us the depth of their ancient culture and the vibrancy of its modern manifestations, and who contribute so much to our city through their hard work, creativity, values, civic pride and patriotism.”
This year’s honorees are:
Parseghian Records. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Parseghian Records is Little Armenia’s oldest operating Armenian-owned small business. The company pioneered the production and distribution of Armenian music and film in the Diaspora and in Los Angeles.
Arpa Foundation for Film, Music, and Art (AFFMA). Founded in 1995 by Sylvia Minassian, AFFMA supports emerging artists and produces the annual Arpa International Film Festival in Hollywood to showcase work that seeks to bridge the cultural divide.
Karoun Dairies. Antranik Baghdassarian began making handmade cheese from a small storefront in Hollywood in 1990 and quickly found a market in ethnic stores across Southern California. Since that time, Karoun Dairies has produced award-winning cheeses and yogurts that are distributed in Armenian and other ethnic markets as well as large retailers such as Costco and Ralph’s.
Krikor Satamian. Satamian is responsible for founding Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) theater companies in Boston, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. As Artistic Director of the AGBU theater company in Los Angeles, he has directed or acted in more than 80 plays during a career that spans half a century. Satamian has been credited for introducing the art of stand-up comedy in Armenian and has appeared in numerous films and television shows.
Lark Musical Society. For more than 20 years, the Lark Musical Society has educated hundreds of students who are preserving Armenian heritage and culture through music. The Lark Musical Society offers both a research facility and conservatory where hundreds of concerts, lectures, and symposiums have taken place.
Vahik Pirhamzei. Vahik Pirhamzei is a writer, actor, and director best known for creating the beloved stage character Rafael. His recent film — My Uncle Rafael – is based on his stage character and has been played to sold out audiences in theaters across the United States.
Armenian-American JPL Mars Rover Curiosity Team Members. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Mars Rover Curiosity Team included 16 Armenian Americans whose work is expanding our knowledge of the red planet.