Fundraiser Benefiting Pink Armenia

Pasadena, CA. On Saturday, December 2, Equality Armenia held its inaugural fundraiser to sponsor PINK Armenia’s LGBTQ community center in Yerevan. The event was a star-studded affair, a celebration of sorts in the Armenian community. Artists, community leaders, elected officials, LGBTQ activists and supporters were standing in solidarity with the Armenian LGBTQ movement here and in Armenia. Amongst them were California Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian and his wife Diana; Tulare County Supervisor Amy Shuklian and her partner Mary; San Gabriel Valley LGBTQ Center President, Aaron Saenz, controversial TV host Stepan Partamian; KPFK radio hosts Cary Harrison and Ankine Antaram; local artists Mari Mansourian, Rouzanna Berberian and Anna Kostanian. The upcoming holidays, the anticipation for good laughter by an impressive lineup of 8 comedians had conjured a festive sentiment. Giving for a good cause while having a jolly time was a win-win.

Before the evening’s entertainment, Equality Armenia director of communications, Vic Gerami, made some announcements and introduced Equality Armenia’s executive director, Armen Abelyan. Abelyan welcomed the attendees. He spoke about the need for visibility for the Armenian LGBTQ movement and the need to support projects accomplishing that goal. Abelyan congratulated fellow board member Karen Mikaelian for producing an Armenian-LGBTQ themed film I Promised Her Life by award-winning director Robert Nazar Arjoyan for which Abelyan himself raised funds through Gay And Lesbian Armenian Society. Arjoyan had won Best Documentary at the Arpa International Film Festival for his previous film about theremin virtuoso Armen Ra. “But before anything else”, Abelyan stated, “…we must address the physical needs of the LGBTQ community in Armenia.” Abelyan stated that Pink Armenia’s LGBTQ center is in bad shape, yet it is a safe space for the LGBTQ and houses psychotherapy services, attorney services and social workers. The proposed plan by Pink Armenia is to renovate the center and add a LGBTQ overnight shelter for at-risk youth, the most venerable in the community. Encouraging the attendees to commit to a better future for the LGBTQ movement in Armenia, Abelyan pledged continued support for Pink Armenia and other NGOs in Armenia that support Equality Armenia’s mission.

The comedy portion of the fundraiser was a hilarious medley of comics, styles and languages. Equality Armenia’s Community Outreach Director and a comedian himself, Movses Shakarian emceed the event. Comedians Mary Basmadjian (Equality Armenia board member), Pete Zias, Jan Davidson, Jacqueline Primrose Monahan, Brad Loekle with contributions from Stepan Partamian and Amy Shuklian, brought the crowd to guffaws and tears. The evening’s special guest, Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian spoke to the gathered. Nazarian reminded us about the importance of standing up and being heard as an ally of a community in need. He encouraged all Armenians, especially in leadership positions, to speak up and express support for the LGBTQ. Nazarian presented California Legislature Assembly Certificate of Recognition to all Equality Armenia board members including one to Father Vazken Movsesian declaring that his “…support for marriage equality as part of the Armenian Church is an inspiration to us all and invaluable in building a united Armenia”. On Wednesday, December 6, Equality Armenia’s board will reconvene to finalize tallies of the event. Equality Armenia thanks all sponsors for their generous contributions. Michael Aram Burke Williams Day Spa and Massage Center Casamigos Tequila Nutrition Journey Le Papillon Exclusive Gifts and Jewelry Celebration Theatre Ara the Rat @Dj NuMeli @CRMC Cosmetic Rejuvenation Panas Photography Reval Production and Films Lucy Demirdjian

 

Pasadena, CA. On Saturday, December 2, Equality Armenia held its inaugural fundraiser to sponsor PINK Armenia’s LGBTQ community center in Yerevan. The event was a star-studded affair, a celebration of sorts in the Armenian community. Artists, community leaders, elected officials, LGBTQ activists and supporters were standing in solidarity with the Armenian LGBTQ movement here and in Armenia. Amongst them were California Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian and his wife Diana; Tulare County Supervisor Amy Shuklian and her partner Mary; San Gabriel Valley LGBTQ Center President, Aaron Saenz, controversial TV host Stepan Partamian; KPFK radio hosts Cary Harrison and Ankine Antaram; local artists Mari Mansourian, Rouzanna Berberian and Anna Kostanian. The upcoming holidays, the anticipation for good laughter by an impressive lineup of 8 comedians had conjured a festive sentiment. Giving for a good cause while having a jolly time was a win-win.

Before the evening’s entertainment, Equality Armenia director of communications, Vic Gerami, made some announcements and introduced Equality Armenia’s executive director, Armen Abelyan. Abelyan welcomed the attendees. He spoke about the need for visibility for the Armenian LGBTQ movement and the need to support projects accomplishing that goal. Abelyan congratulated fellow board member Karen Mikaelian for producing an Armenian-LGBTQ themed film I Promised Her Life by award-winning director Robert Nazar Arjoyan for which Abelyan himself raised funds through Gay And Lesbian Armenian Society. Arjoyan had won Best Documentary at the Arpa International Film Festival for his previous film about theremin virtuoso Armen Ra. “But before anything else”, Abelyan stated, “…we must address the physical needs of the LGBTQ community in Armenia.” Abelyan stated that Pink Armenia’s LGBTQ center is in bad shape, yet it is a safe space for the LGBTQ and houses psychotherapy services, attorney services and social workers. The proposed plan by Pink Armenia is to renovate the center and add a LGBTQ overnight shelter for at-risk youth, the most vulnerable in the community. Encouraging the attendees to commit to a better future for the LGBTQ movement in Armenia, Abelyan pledged continued support for Pink Armenia and other NGOs in Armenia that support Equality Armenia’s mission.

The comedy portion of the fundraiser was a hilarious medley of comics, styles and languages. Equality Armenia’s Community Outreach Director and a comedian himself, Movses Shakarian emceed the event. Comedians Mary Basmadjian (Equality Armenia board member), Pete Zias, Jan Davidson, Jacqueline Primrose Monahan, Brad Loekle with contributions from Stepan Partamian and Amy Shuklian, brought the crowd to guffaws and tears. The evening’s special guest, Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian spoke to the gathered. Nazarian reminded us about the importance of standing up and being heard as an ally of a community in need. He encouraged all Armenians, especially in leadership positions, to speak up and express support for the LGBTQ. Nazarian presented California Legislature Assembly Certificate of Recognition to all Equality Armenia board members including one to Father Vazken Movsesian declaring that his “…support for marriage equality as part of the Armenian Church is an inspiration to us all and invaluable in building a united Armenia”. On Wednesday, December 6, Equality Armenia’s board will reconvene to finalize tallies of the event. Equality Armenia thanks all sponsors for their generous contributions. Michael Aram Burke Williams Day Spa and Massage Center Casamigos Tequila Nutrition Journey Le Papillon Exclusive Gifts and Jewelry Celebration Theatre Ara the Rat @Dj NuMeli @CRMC Cosmetic Rejuvenation Panas Photography Reval Production and Films Lucy Demirdjian