“ON THE WAYS OF DIASPORA”

 

For the last ten years, Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) has financed the “On the Ways of Diaspora” and “Meronk” TV programs, which are aired on H1 Public Television of the Republic of Armenia. The program has reached Armenian communities in more than 60 countries around the world. Rafayel Hovanissian's program has won a number of awards and critical acclaim.

GENOCIDE MUSEUM

 

AGBU’s donation of computers, scanners, printers and other important research tools to the Armenian Genocide Museum, with the goal of furthering research and education about this historical tragedy, digitizing museum resources to be available to online visitors from around the world. AGBU also contributes to the enrichment of the Museum’s scientific collection with unique materials. In 2009, with the financial support of the AGBU Young Professionals of Los Angeles the museum obtained over 150 valuable historic items, including 75 volumes of rare books, which are primary sources for Armenian genocide studies, of which 30 are of unique importance. AGBU also made a significant contribution to the establishment of the Genocide Museum-Institute in 1995.

ARMENIAN LITERATURE DEVELOPMENT

 

In 2007, AGBU, which has long supported the publication of books in Armenia, sponsored various publications by the Matenadaran, the leading repository of Armenian classical and medieval manuscripts in the world. These publications include the third volume of the “General Catalogue of Armenian Manuscripts of the Mashtots Matenadaran,” as well as the “Matenadaran Herald” periodical. Recognizing the importance of Matenadaran’s activities, as well as the preparation of highly qualified young scientists, in 2014 the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) began providing scholarships to Matenadaran’s researchers. As part of this project, considered to be of high priority for the Institute, eight young researchers in Historiography, Historical Source Research, Art History and Theory as well as World History were awarded AGBU scholarships. These young researchers work in the Digitization, Art History and Writing, Research of Arabic Manuscripts, International Relations, Archive Documents Preservation and Scientific Development Departments of the Matenadaran. AGBU also funded the 13th General Conference of the International Association for Armenian Studies (AIEA) held at the Matenadaran in 2014. AGBU has also financed the publication of the English translation of contemporary Armenian poetry, prose and drama in three volumes. Financed by AGBU and in cooperation with RA Academy of Sciences’ Manuk Abeghian Institute of Literature, the Armenian translation of renowned Armenian-American writer Levon Zaven Surmelian's “98.6°” and “Techniques of Prose: Measure and Madness”, the translation of historian Eduard Melkonian's “AGBU History” into Russian and the second scholarly volume of Avetik Isahakian's literary works were recently published. Continuing its strong support of cultural programs, particularly its contribution to the development of Armenian literature and publishing both in Armenia and Diaspora, in 2009 the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) established a new printing house at the Writers’ Union of Armenia, which carries the name of prominent Armenian-American writer Levon Zaven Surmelian. Funds have been provided by the AGBU “Levon Zaven Surmelian” Fund to purchase modern printing equipment. AGBU also supports the annual pan-Armenian conferences of Armenian writers and the conference of Armenian writers composing in foreign languages. The Union also finances the publication of “Contemporary Armenian Prose” in English. In September 2012, the presentation of the Armenian translation of prominent historian, professor George Bournoutian’s “A Concise History of the Armenian People”, financed by AGBU, took place in Yerevan.

GYUMRI ART ACADEMY

 

Among the many humanitarian and construction projects that AGBU carried out in Gyumri after the devastating earthquake was the establishment of the Gyumri Art Academy in 1997. It houses the Film and Theater State Institute and the Gyumri branches of the Yerevan State Komitas Conservatory and the Yerevan Academy of Fine Arts. For years the AGBU has provided scholarships to the students of the academy and continues its support of the Gyumri Art Academy. AGBU is also among the patrons of the “Renaissance” international festival-contest of musician-performers organized annually by the Gyumri Art Academy. For the sixth consecutive year this festival turns Gyumri – the cultural capital of Armenia – into an international cultural center hosting musicians and performers from around the world.

 
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