Armenian American Museum Launches Elevate Campaign at Sold Out Elevate Gala


Sahakian, Executive Director

American Museum and Cultural Center of California


[email protected]






Glendale, CA () – The Armenian American Museum and
Cultural Center of California announced the launch of the new Elevate Campaign at
the sold out Elevate Gala on Sunday, March 19, 2023. The signature event of the
year welcomed a capacity audience of donors, supporters, public officials, and
guests at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles. The Elevate Gala raised $7
million in support of the Armenian American Museum through sponsorships, ticket
sales, donations, and gift announcements.


The Elevate Gala kicked off with heartwarming and comedic welcoming
remarks from the internationally acclaimed and award-winning entertainer Kev
Orkian who served as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening.


The National Anthems were performed by the renowned Soprano Mariné


The Invocation was conducted by Primate of the Western Diocese of
the Armenian Church of North America Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Prelate of
the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church Bishop Torkom Donoyan,
Minister of the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America Reverend Hendrik
Shanazarian, and Representative of the Armenian Catholic Eparchy of the United
States and Canada Monsignor Parsegh Baghdassarian.


“The vision of the Armenian American Museum has infused in our
spiritual and national life a most precious milestone which has unified us to
justify the legacy of the Martyred Saints of the first Genocide of the 20th
Century,” stated Board of Trustees Co-Chair Archbishop Hovnan Derderian in his
remarks on behalf of the Board of Trustees. “Tonight’s Gala is another step
forward to mobilize our efforts and send to the community a new level of hope,
resilience, and commitment to serve this country and our ancestral land of


Elevate Gala Chair Diana Timuryan thanked the sponsors who
generously supported the event and the Elevate Gala Committee members who contributed
their time to help organize the event with the museum team.


Major Sponsors included Rima & Donnell Cameron, Armen &
Gloria Hampar Family Foundation, Avadis & Nancy Tevanian, Jack & Zarig
Youredjian, Ayvazian Family Foundation, The GASKA Alliance Foundation,
Anonymous, Dr. Vicken & Sossy Aharonian, Ron & Kourtni Arakelian, Bank
of America, Gregory & Gina Felikian, Steve & Sandi Hampar, Nabil &
Hanan Karabetian, Berdj & Mary Karapetian, Matthew & Audrey Matoesian,
William McMorrow, Nora Tertzag Hampar Charitable Trust Ara & Nina Ohanian,
Sarkis & Nune Sepetjian, and Isaac & Frieda Vartanian.


The Elevate Gala Committee members included Mayda Altounian,
Alvard Barseghian, Angela Bedoyan, Ani Bekarian, Araxie Boyamian, Garine
Depoyan, Hilda Fidanian, Aida Gharakhani, Marie Jeanne Harmandayan, Natalie
Hariri, Christine Hovnanian, Tanya Kalaydjian, Maro Kasparian, Dr. Alexia
Kevonian, Erika Toriz-Kurkjian, Carmen Libaridian, Margaret Mgrublian, Narine
Mouradian, Aleen Orucakciel, Dzovig Zetlian, and Elizabeth Zoryan.


Senator Anthony J. Portantino delivered remarks on behalf of the
State of California, who has invested $19.6 million to support the historic
project including a new $9.8 million grant in the 2022-2023 State Budget that
was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom.


Executive Director Shant Sahakian celebrated the Groundbreaking
Campaign that helped the museum reach the historic groundbreaking of the cultural
and educational center in Summer 2021 and successfully complete the first phase
of construction featuring the museum parking garage and building foundation in
November 2022. He announced the launch of the Elevate Campaign to set sights on
the next major milestone of the project as the landmark center is elevated to
the horizon as a destination for education, enrichment, and inspiration for
generations to come.


“In the education world, we talk a great deal about the concept of
windows and mirrors,” stated Executive Director Shant Sahakian in his message on
behalf of the Armenian American Museum. “That if we want our children and our
young people to thrive – they need mirrors. They need to be able to see
themselves in the books they read, in the films they watch, in the stories they
hear, and yes – in the museums they visit. They also need windows – that allow
them to peek into the past to discover their roots, transport themselves into
places that they have never been before, learn about cultures that are not
their own, and in doing so, learn more about themselves and everyone around


Ara Dance Studio delivered an uplifting dance performance
dedicated to the Armenian American Museum.


Master of Ceremonies Kev Orkian delivered a powerful musical
performance on the piano with a self-written piece called “Freedom.”


Mayor Ardy Kassakhian delivered remarks on behalf of the City of
Glendale, who has dedicated a premier location for the historic project in
Central Park, where the museum campus will be going through a major expansion
with the creation of a new central lawn, outdoor amphitheater, children’s park,
and much more.


Board of Trustees Member Dr. Nazareth Darakjian representing the
Armenian Missionary Association of America and Board of Trustees Member Vicky
Marashlian representing the Armenian Relief Society Western USA presented the
Park Entrance Plaza recognition. The Park Entrance Plaza will serve as the main
entrance for visitors through Central Park, greeting patrons as they are
welcomed to an immersive and impactful experience at the Armenian American
Museum. The presenters announced that the Park Entrance Plaza will be sponsored
by the Armen and Gloria Hampar Family Foundation in honor of the foundation’s
generous gift to the museum.


Board of Trustees Co-Treasurer Avedik Izmirlian representing the
Armenian Cultural Foundation and Board of Trustees Representative Dr. Raffi
Balian representing the Nor Or Charitable Foundation presented the Grand
Elevator recognition. The Grand Elevator will elevate guests between the first
level and upper levels of the museum with an unfettered view of the inspiring
Grand Lobby on the first level and the beautiful Hazarashen Skylight rising to
the sky. The presenters announced that the Grand Elevator will be sponsored by
Rima and Donnell Cameron in honor of the family’s generous gift in the beloved
memory of Rouzas and Janet Khoylian.


Board of Trustees Co-Treasurer Talin Yacoubian representing
Armenian General Benevolent Union Western Region and Board of Trustees Member
Garbiel Moloyan representing Nor Serount Cultural Association presented the
Demonstration Kitchen recognition. The Demonstration Kitchen will provide a
one-of-a-kind learning experience for patrons with a wide array of culinary
opportunities including cooking presentations, cooking courses, and food-centered
social events. The presenters announced that the Demonstration Kitchen will be
sponsored by Avie and Nancy Tevanian in honor of the family’s generous gift to
the museum.


Executive Chairman Berdj Karapetian presented Master of Ceremonies
Kev Orkian with a special Armenian American Museum Golden Pin in recognition of
his impactful support of the Armenian American Museum and the Elevate Gala.


Executive Vice Chairman Zaven Kazazian introduced the Honorable
Michael Amerian, Trustee with the George Ignatius Foundation, to make a special
surprise announcement at the grand finale of the event. Joined by fellow
Trustees George Phillips, Sr. and Honorable Walter J. Karabian, he announced
that the George Ignatius Foundation will be contributing $1 million in support of the Armenian American Museum, an announcement that was greeted with a roaring
applause by the capacity audience. The George Ignatius Foundation is a
non-profit organization which has generously supported several charitable
causes promoting Armenian history, culture, and religion since 1976.


“Together, we are going to elevate the Armenian American Museum,
we are going to elevate the community, and we are going to elevate the future,”
stated Executive Chairman Berdj Karapetian in his closing remarks for the successful


The Armenian American Museum is a world class educational and
cultural institution that is currently under construction in the museum campus
at Glendale Central Park. 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.


Contribute to the Elevate Campaign at



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Arsine Sina Torosyan
Communications Director
Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center of California
116 North Artsakh Avenue, Suite 205, Glendale, CA 91206
Office: (818) 351-3554, Ext. 706
Direct: (818) 644-2215
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