MONTEBELLO—Los Angeles-based writer Ani Minasian led a free community workshop last month called “Healing History” at the Armenian Center in Montebello. The workshop was offered by local non-profit DSTL Arts as part of their “Community Bridges: A Reflection on Civil Rights” series of Creative Impact workshops related to the Civil Rights Era.
Honoring her Armenian heritage, Minasian designed a civil rights-themed workshop that incorporated the Armenian Genocide and the Armenian community’s quest for justice. In support of making the event available to the local Armenian community, the venue was sponsored by Montebello’s ARF “Dro” Gomideh.
During the workshop, attendees heard poems by Armenian writers on the subjects of social injustice and the Armenian Genocide. Each reading led to a lively and inspiring discussion among participants who represented a wide range of racial and ethnic backgrounds, including members of the Armenian community.
Minasian presented a side-by-side history of Armenian activism and the civil rights movement, citing similarities and differences. After illustrating a writing tool utilized in the sample poems, Minasian guided attendees through the process of drafting their own poems. The initial poems created in the workshop showed great promise even in their early drafts.
Participants in the workshop will have the opportunity to submit their work to be included in an anthology of writing produced by the workshop series, which will be published in the fall. A version of the workshop was pre-recorded prior to the in-person event and will be made available on DSTL Arts’ YouTube channel.
A descendant of Armenian immigrants and survivors of the Armenian genocide, Ani Minasian is an LA-based writer, singer and producer exploring themes related to tolerance, ethnic history and cultural preservation, self-empowerment and her own struggle for artistic expression. She has written plays, songs, poetry and short prose in Armenian and English, often blending languages to create bilingual works, and is currently working on a book of poetry honoring her ancestors.
DSTL Arts is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit arts mentorship organization that inspires, teaches, and hires emerging artists from underserved communities. More information about the “Community Bridges” workshop series and other programs can be found on their website.