Armenian General Benevolent Union Celebrates Founders Day – Pasadena Now
Armenian Americans from across Southern California gathered at AGBU’s Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Center for the Performing Arts in Pasadena on Sunday to commemorate ‘Founder’s Day’ and the Armenian General Union’s 116 years of service. charity (UGAB) to the Armenian community.
The afternoon presentation, hosted by AGBU Los Angeles Young Professionals Carin Touloumdjian and Tenny Khachatourian, included performances by the AGBU Los Angeles Choir and local Fellows, as well as a groundbreaking ceremony for the Innovation Studios Atrium where a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) curriculum, infusing Armenian cultural themes, will be taught.
AGBU was founded on April 15, 1906 in Cairo, Egypt by Boghos Nubar and other prominent representatives of the Egyptian-Armenian community. Today, it is the largest non-profit organization in the world dedicated to preserving Armenian heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs.
AGBU has played an important role in preserving Armenian traditions and values by adapting to the needs of the global community and the demands of the times.
As ABGU Central Council member Yervant Demirjian pointed out in his address, AGBU’s original mission was to support and preserve Armenia’s nomadic culture through acts of charity.
On Sunday, however, he said: “Today our ‘Mission 2.0’ has shifted from preservation to promotion. Our most comprehensive mission is to ensure that the next generation of Armenians are equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, in their adopted country and at the same time make us proud.
He added: “Our benevolence has gone from just ‘kinder and gentler’ to ‘kinder, gentler, doable and more dynamic’. We look forward to the further partition of our organization and the integration of the organization into your life. »
Following Demirjian and Talin Yacoubian, Western Region Community Affairs Representative, attendees heard performances from Alexandra and Lilia Yaralian on the kanun; fellows Arin Sarkissian on flute, Anoush Pogossian, accompanied by Barry Tan on piano.
AGBU School Manoogian-Demirdjian presented the 9th grade dance group performing “Artashat”, a recitation of a poem by Vahagn Davtyan, by Liana Fanarjian, and “Yerevan Erebuni”, sung by Karin Orunchakjiel.
Introducing the new innovation studio, Education Programs Manager Nare Avagyan said, “As today’s youth enter a world of the unknown, we need to equip them to walk away with a sense of agency that they will be able to develop the skills and mindset needed to meet any challenge that comes their way.
Avagyan also pointed out that the program will also co-exist with a program in New York and possibly one in Boston.
“Our goal is to allow young people from different cities to connect and work together on a project. All of this will enable them to achieve the dual purpose of cutting-edge programs that will improve their skills and change their mindsets, as well as connect them to each other and make them part of the global Armenian reality.
From there, the group gathered in the quad outside the new innovation studio for a ribbon cutting with representatives from AGBU, after State Senator Anthony Portantino introduced representatives from the ‘GAB a proclamation from the state legislature honoring the group’s 116 years of existence and community service.
Portantino was also hailed at the event for helping secure $10 million for the construction of the new Armenian Museum which is slated to open in Glendale in 2025.
Says Portantino, “AGBU is 1,116 years old and is the largest charitable organization for the Armenian community, and it has a great presence in my district, in Glendale and Pasadena, with its philanthropic and scholarly work, it is very important not only for the Armenian community, but also for California.
Portantino credited Governor Newsom’s foresight five years ago, explaining that Newsom sent a team to examine the facility, “and we were able to get the first $10 million, and this year, with the help of reserves sound budgets, the governor saw merit in making this happen, and I’m just happy to be a facilitator and a go-between between his office and the Armenian community.
Since its inception in 1906, AGBU has grown to include 74 districts, chapters and partner groups; 28 groups of young professionals; and 24 day and Saturday schools; as well as dozens of camps, scout groups and athletic programs.