Photo by W K via Unsplash

After eight years of planning, Glendale’s Armenian American Museum and Heritage Center held a ceremony on July 11 to celebrate its groundbreaking with an excited crowd. The museum is set to open in 2024 and will include permanent Armmenian galleries, temporary installations celebrating other cultures, a demonstration kitchen, classrooms and an auditorium. 

The Armenian American Museum’s Groundbreaking Ceremony was held at the exact site the museum will be constructed upon, a lush green section of Glendale Central Park. Speakers both in person and via pre recorded message spoke from an outdoor event stage, flanked by large TV screens and purple banners. The master of ceremony was an Armenian American TV reporter, Araksya Karapetyan. 

“So many Armenians migrated here [the United States] after the genocide and they have bocome part of this community… It’ll be something useful for the community and for the schools. Think of all the schools that you will visit,” Karapetyan told Good Day LA.

The ceremony also featured many other prominent Armenians ranging from diplomats, executives and everything in between. Chairs and representatives took turns giving speeches to over 1,000 attendees.

At one point, the Armenian American Museum noted “Glendale Mayor Paula Devine and City Councilmembers Ara Najarian, Vrej Agajanian, Ardy Kassakhian, and Daniel Brotman delivered remarks on behalf of the City of Glendale which has dedicated a premier location for the landmark center in the heart of the city and has served as a valued partner for the cultural and educational center.”

The ceremony concluded with key members lining up at the front of the stage, shovels in hand. Together, they broke ground on the first strip of sod that would become the museum’s foundation. 

The U.S., particularly Southern California, has the second largest Armenian community outside of Armenia, right after Russia. Some of the most prominent Armenian Americans includes Cher, Ross Bagdasarian (creator of Alvin and the Chipmunks), Kim Kardashian, Dita von Tesse, Ben Bagdikian (former editor-in-chief of the Washington Post), Raymond V. Damadian (inventor of MRI) and many more. 

The city of Glendale is excited to see years of planning come to fruition. Public Information Officer Eliza Papazian forwarded a statement by Mayor Paula Devine to Scriberr News regarding the event: 

“The City of Glendale is honored to welcome the developing Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center of California to our vibrant and thriving community, nestled in the nucleus of our city’s Arts and Entertainment District. With a mission to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Armenian American experience, the Museum will serve as a cultural campus that enriches the community, educates the public on the Armenian American story, and empowers individuals to embrace cultural diversity and speak out against prejudice. A mission that is important now more than ever.”

Written ByCynthia Zelaya

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