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Armenian American Museum Casts Gaze on Horizon

The Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center of California hosted its recent Horizon Gala, an annual event which supports the developing institution at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown.
Emcee Talin Yacoubian, who serves as the board of trustees co-treasurer for the museum representing Armenian General Benevolent Union Western Region, kicked off the evening on May 11 with welcoming remarks.
“Let’s raise a glass to how far we have come and the glorious future that is waiting for us,” Yacoubian said. “Together, let’s keep fueling this dream and watching it blossom into something truly extraordinary — a beacon of inspiration for generations to come. Cheers to our museum in the making.”
Amid the night’s festivities, the board of trustees representatives, Zaven Khanjian, Vicky Marashlian, Garo Kupelian and Krikor Moloyan, joined together on the stage to present the Horizon Award to honoree Michael Goorjian.
An accomplished Armenian American director, writer and Emmy-winning actor, Goorjian has starred in many films and television series with notable roles in “Leaving Las Vegas,” “SLC Punk,” “Party of Five,” “Illusion” and more. Most recently, Goorjian earned widespread acclaim as the director, writer and lead actor of “Amerikatsi,” a film of spirit and hope, which was recognized on the Oscars shortlist for Best International Feature Film.
“Michael A. Goorjian has beautifully captured the spirit of the Armenian people and homeland in “Amerikatsi” and helped the community reach new heights through his contributions in film and television,” said Khanjian during his introduction of the honoree.
Upon accepting the award, Goorjian discussed the impact museums have had on his own life.
“You are building the Armenian American Museum for that kid that is going to show up in the museum struggling to find their story and they are going to be able to find it in the space that you have created for them,” Goorjian said.
The museum also presented the world premiere of a special music and dance video project featuring an original musical score written for the museum called “Hope Rising.” Following the video premiere, Gevorkian Dance Academy made a grand entrance into the ballroom and delivered a live dance performance.
Additionally, the program featured a comedy performance by internationally acclaimed and award-winning entertainer Kev Orkian, who traveled from London to support the Armenian American Museum.
Mayor Elen Asatryan also delivered remarks reaffirming the city of Glendale’s commitment to the museum project and expressing her excitement for the future museum campus at Glendale Central Park that will feature a new central lawn, outdoor amphitheater and children’s park to serve museum patrons and the general public.
As the night drew to an end, executive chairman Berdj Karapetian announced that an anonymous donor made a transformative commitment to the museum with an $8 million gift, resulting in roaring applause from the crowd.
The highly anticipated cultural and educational center is currently under construction in the museum campus at Glendale Central Park. The first phase of construction, featuring the museum parking garage and building foundation, has been completed. The second phase, featuring the two-level museum building superstructure, is currently underway.
The museum’s mission is to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Armenian American experience. The museum will offer a wide range of public programming through the permanent exhibition, temporary exhibitions, auditorium, learning center, demonstration kitchen, archives center and more.
Major sponsors included The GASKA Alliance Foundation, Jack & Maro Kalaydjian, Arakelian Family, Bank of America, Dickranian Foundation, Berdj & Mary Karapetian, Ara & Nina Ohanian, Isaac & Frieda Vartanian, William McMorrow, Armenian Missionary Association of America, Artists for Kids, Avedisian Family Foundation, Gevik & Paola Baghdassarian, Peter and Ruby Baghdassarian, Banc of California, Nabil & Hanan Karabetian, David & Margaret Mgrublian, Sepetjian Family Foundation, and Kosti & Marian Shirvanian.

Mayor Elen Asatryan attends the Horizon Gala and shares her excitement for the museum’s future and its significance for the Glendale community.
Audience members enjoyed a number of performances at the Armenian American Museum’s Horizon Gala, including one from the Gevorkian Dance Academy.

First published in the May 25 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

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