From September 28 to 30, AGBU Southern California District Committee (SCDC) will be hosting an art exhibition entitled “Nine Contemporary Artists from Armenia” at the AGBU Alex Manoogian Center in Pasadena, CA.

SCDC member and Art Committee co-chairman Haig Messerlian explains the goal:

“The goal is to create awareness of the tremendous talent that exists in Armenia, and to give the opportunity to people here in Southern California to have one or more of these unique, breathtaking pieces adorn their walls or be displayed in their homes, To have the work of nine artists—several of who will be present at this extraordinary exhibition—is a show of force of Armenian talent.”

The Art Exhibition committee, co-chaired by Hermine Janoyan and Haig Messerlian, comprises: Ani Aivazian, Tomik Alexanyan, Ara Arzoumanian, Sonia Babayan, Ara Babayan, Raffi Elmajian, Sam Ekizian, Aleen Khanjian, Jenny Kiljian, Silva Nazaretian, Aline Patatian, Krikor Satamian, and Seeroon Yeretzian.

The Artists: Gagik Ghazanchyan, Mayis Mkhitaryan, Garegin Davtyan, Marine Dilanyan, Lilit Soghomonyan, Ashot Avagyan, Albert Hakobian, Khachik Abrahamyan, and Hermine Demirtshyan. (Artist bios)

The Organizer: Kevork Zakoyan is a vice president and regular contributor for the Mediamax News Agency in Yerevan, Armenia since 2002, where he has covered artistic events and activities.

One of the beautiful things about Armenia in the summer is that it is a crossroads for Armenians from around the world. This summer was no different and on Saturday, August 25, 2007 almost a hundred AGBU members came together for a small gathering to meet and socialize with fellow Armenians.

Some of the groups represented at this informal gathering were:

  • 20 youth from AGBU France who arrived in Armenia to volunteer and tour the country;
  • participants in the Pan-Armenian games, including members of the AGBU Beirut Basketball team;
  • members of AGBU Toronto who were in Armenia for a two-week sightseeing tour;
  • 6 members of the AGBU Young Professionals; and
  • various members from Nice, Montreal, Argentina, Germany and elsewhere.


On Saturday, August 4th in downtown Palo Alto, CA, the Young Professionals of Northern California organized a progressive dinner…here are some pictures from that successful culinary tour.

PHOTO CAPTION: YPNC members who participated in the August 4 event were…Top Row (L to R): Sossik Tarverdian, Vahan Indjeian, Rostom Zenountian, Ara Kullukian, Phil Lovalenti, Harmik Vartanian; Middle Row: Alison Ekizian, Annette Stepanian, Sevan Palanjian, Deb Berberian, Aline Urkumyan, Aline Ekmekji; Bottom Row: Arek Arabian, Lara Palanjian, Robert Stepanian, Aline Kurkjian, George Kelechian.

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ypgnyretreat01.jpgThis past weekend, the Young Professionals of Greater New York (YPGNY) ventured to the scenic paradise of the Hudson Valley in upstate New York. Thirty-six YPs joined in on the fun and took advantage of AGBU Camp Nubar‘s peaceful 4.5 acres, spring fed lake (Lake Arax), modern cabins and state-of-the-art amentities.

A perfect weekend getaway, YPs enjoyed (among other things) a winetasting event, lakeside yoga, swimming, tennis, hiking, basketball, canoing and nighttime campfires.

In addition to YPs from New York, YPs from Boston, Philadelphia & D.C. took time to mix and mingle with fellow Armenians from across the east coast. Here are some photos from the friendship-filled weekend.

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AGBU.org has published the recent press release on FOCUS 2007. A summary of a weekend that has raised awareness and funds can be found here.

Some highlights & notable quotes:

  • FOCUS 2007 was sold out two weeks in advance;
  • the weekend also raised over $85,000 in pre-event fundraising, which includes a generous pledge of $30,000 announced by Vartkess Balian at the Gala evening;
  • Over 200 guests attended the Thursday panel discussion on the topic of “Active Citizenship: Duty & Responsibility Toward Your Armenian & Non-Armenian Communities”;
  • club night attracted some 600 Armenians to the Upper West Side’s LOFT nightclub;
  • a special Friday reunion luncheon for NYSIP alumni was attended by close to 80 alumni representing almost every intern class through the years;
  • “FOCUS on Art” raised thousands for the NYSIP Scholarship Endowment. Close to two hundred guests attended and the sale included artworks from the AGBU Sarian Art Academy (Aleppo, Syria) and the AGBU-supported Yerevan Fine Arts Academy (Yerevan, Armenia);
  • Saturday night’s gala hosted 540 guests;
  • “I can honestly say that one of their biggest ideas was that, from the first day, they believed in the possibility of you. They established the internship program because they have tremendous faith in you and expect great things from you. By their example, my parents have taught the value of giving unselfishly, of working diligently, of persevering relentlessly, and of loving wholeheartedly. I have always said that if I am half the person that my father and mother are, then I will have succeeded in life.” Raffi Balian, son of Vartkess and Rita Balian, at Saturday night’s gala event;
  • “Your presence here tonight really exceeds our expectations. You don’t know how happy you make us and Mr. and Mrs. Alex Manoogian [AGBU Life President and his wife], who are watching us from the heavens. This is their dream come true.” Rita Balian at Saturday night’s gala event; and
  • close to 250 guests came together for the gourmet brunch at Josephina Restaurant near Lincoln Center.

To view photos and video from the weekend, visit www.agbu.org/focus.