First published in the April 2 print issue of the Glendale News Press.
The Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center of California announced that the landmark center has surpassed the historic $31 million fundraising milestone at the sold-out Legacy Gala on Sunday.
More than 1,100 donors, supporters, public officials and guests attended the museum’s signature event at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE. The gala comes as museum construction has completed site excavation and is well into the foundation and concrete phase at Central Park in Glendale.
“We have come together this evening on a historic occasion to celebrate a world class institution that was once an idea and is now under construction and becoming a reality in the heart of the Armenian Diaspora and Southern California,” Executive Director Shant Sahakian said Sunday.
Gala co-chair Aleen Baran Oruncakciel remarked on the significance of the cultural and educational center for the next generation and recognized the sponsors who contributed to the success of the event.
“The Armenian American Museum will be a guarantor for the study, appreciation and preservation of Armenian culture and heritage for future generations,” she said.
Gala co-chair Alexia Kevonian remarked on the opportunity for the landmark center to build bridges between diverse communities and recognized the members of the Legacy Gala Committee.
“Our vision for the Armenian American Museum is about sharing our culture with our neighbors and in so doing discovering our similarities while delighting in our differences,” Kevonian said.
Sahakian on Sunday announced that the museum’s Naming Opportunities program had generated a number of “legacy gift” donations to the project, in exchange for naming rights.
The museum’s gift shop will be named the Kevonian Gift Shop. The main entrance plaza will be named the Arakelian Plaza. The archives center will be named the Mgrublian Archives Center. The museum’s alphabet wall will be named the GASKA Alliance Foundation Alphabet Wall in honor of the foundation’s generous gift in the memory of Gagik and Knarik Galstian. The auditorium will be named Kalaydjian Auditorium.
Dignitaries at the gala included Congressman Adam Schiff, who helped secure $950,000 in federal funding; Mayor Paula Devine and Councilmembers Vrej Agajanian, Dan Brotman, Ardy Kassakhian and Ara Najarian; state Sen. Anthony Portantino, who along with along elected officials lobbied for $9.8 million in state funding; and state Attorney General Rob Bonta.
The Armenian American Museum will include a wide range of public programming through its permanent and temporary exhibitions, auditorium, learning center, demonstration kitchen, archives center and other amenities. For more information, visit ArmenianAmericanMuseum.org.