April 24 concert to raise awareness about Genocide prevention and education
LOS ANGELES—As the Armenian Diaspora and human rights activists from around the world prepare for the annual commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, Angelinos will join community artists to raise awareness about genocide prevention and education through the 5th annual Silence the Lies, Rock the Truth concert.
Silence the Lies, Rock the Truth is a social justice concert dedicated to raising awareness of the Armenian Genocide. For the past four years, socially conscious artists in the Los Angeles area have come together to work with the community through music, activism and commemoration. Viza, Hotel Sleep, Blackmore, The Dirty Diamond, Hooshere, Ayline, Heibert, String Harmonies and Bei Ru will take the stage on April 24, 2011 at the El Rey Theatre as the arts will inspire the need for recognition and contribution through a uniquely powerful performance that will indeed Silence the Lies and Rock the Truth.
“This is a really special concert,” stated Viza and String Harmonies oud-player Andrew Kzirian, who is also a long-tenured AYF alumnus the AYF Eastern USA. “Over the past several years, we’ve really worked hard to bring the community and a host of organizations together with artists to create a positive atmosphere of commemoration and celebration. Through this unity and solidarity we spread a message about the importance of ending denial of the Armenian Genocide, while contributing to needy charities.”
Various community organizations, such as the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region, Armenian Youth Federation – Western Region, AGBU GenNEXT and Alpha Gamma Alpha, are teaming up with these artists in order to set the stage for a high-impact show. “As youth of the diaspora, and as active members of a modern and forward-thinking global society, we regard Silence The Lies as a strong means of engaging our cause–the cause of all people who believe in human rights–and bringing it to life for the community at large to witness and take part in,” stated AYF-WR Executive Director Stepan Keshishian. ANCA-WR Executive Director, William Bairamian, describes the event as “a one-of-a-kind show, combining art, activism, and commemoration into a concert which brings together people of all stripes to remember the Armenian Genocide and celebrate the rebirth of the Armenian nation after it.”
This year, proceeds from the concert will be donated to the AYF Youth Corps Program, and to the Orran Charity. AYF Youth Corps is a program through which Diasporan Armenian youth volunteers are able to have a lasting impact on the development of Armenia, through teaching and engaging its youth, many of whom are underprivileged and devoid of such learning opportunities. Over the last century, Armenians have experienced near-extinction through genocide, a devastating earthquake, a full-scale war for the liberation of Armenian territories and peoples, a current economic blockade on the east and west, and countless other hardships. In a climate of such immense difficulty and need, AYF Youth Corps has proven to be a means through which we can all help rebuild the shattered lives and ancient heritage of the global Armenian community. The Orran Charity provides vital support and assistance to needy Armenian children in Yerevan. Established in 2000, Orran, which means “haven” in Armenian, works to decrease the disparity between the needs of at-risk groups and the availability of essential services. Orran provides food services, academic assistance, cultural enrichment opportunities and medical, psychological and social services for vulnerable communities in central Yerevan.
Silence the Lies, Rock the Truth will be co-hosted by community activists, Vache Thomassian and Arek Santikian. Thomassian is an AYF alumnus, a lawyer, and a student at Columbia University. Santikian is the current chairperson of the Hollywood AYF chapter, and a UCLA ASA alumnus. Both have an extensive portfolio of community involvement, and are excited to host this year’s event.
The artists and organizations involved with this special concert would like to encourage everyone in the community to participate in an event that will provide incredible talent and entertainment, but will also benefit those in need. For more information and tickets please visit www.silencethelies.com.
Founded in 1933, the Armenian Youth Federation is the largest and most influential Armenian American youth organization in the United States, working to advance the social, political, educational and cultural awareness of Armenian-American youth.