ACOM's Genocide Commemoration was held on April 24th 2019 at the Merriam Park Library in St. Paul. The event included a moderated panel of Armenians that were descendents of Genocide survivors. Tom Keljik moderated the discussion. The event started off with the attendees being asked to locate on a map where their ancestors were from in Historic Armenia.
Armenians were present at this years Festival of Nations with the Armenian Cultural Organization of Minnesota (ACOM) presenting Dance on the World Stage (see Dance Ensemble) and in the demonstration area of the Bazaar. Janet Rith-Najarian brought the arts and crafts of Armenia to life with her engaging demonstration of felting and Hat making this year. Her [resentations have grown over the years from beginning as Silk Work artistry, then to incorporate wool fabric making and natural dyeing techniques, and now to felting and hatmaking. She has put together an impressive and colorful exhibit explaining the rich heritage that Armenians bring to the world. Browse through the picture gallery for examples of this years booth and the people involved.
On March 24th, ACOM presented the 11th session in the series "What was it like growing up Armenian in ....". The panelisyts for this session were; Darla Kashian (Milwaukee,WI), Marty Meketarian (Cleveland, OH) and Margarita Aroutiunian (Yerevan,Armenia). A capsule report of the session will be coming soon, stay tuned.
ACOM's annual Gaghant Party was again held at Midpointe Event Center - on Friday January 11, 2019. Over 100 people were registered and provided with dinner catered by Mim's Restaurant, a Silent Auction, a Kids Game room, and dancing to Music Mundial.
INAUGURAL SESSION - WHAT IS IT LIKE BEING MARRIED TO AN ARMENIAN
ACOM presented the first in a new series of interesting and informative panel sessions, at the Merriam Park Library on September 30th 2018. The new series is entitled "What is it like being married to an Armenian" and was moderated by John Parker der-Boghossian. Topics covered by the panelists during the session dealt with - how long married, the panelists own ethnicity and experience in it, prior knowlege of Armenia and Armenians, involvement in the Armenian community since becoming married, what new things have they learned about Armenians, what are their likes (and dislikes,If any) of "Armenian ways". The following article by Bradley Erickson gives a capsule take on the session:
ACOM Cinema Saturday in August featured parts 3 and 4 of the Russian produced TV comedy - My Big Armenian Wedding.
Tigran, a popular plastic surgeon in Moscow with roots in Armenia, and Lena, a well-educated and beautiful Russian woman, are in love. Families on both sides are mostly against the prospect of a "mixed marriage" and therefore devise various schemes to derail the impending engagement. Absurd and delightful situations develop. Comments on the series were, in general, positive. Although it was a bit over-the-top in some aspects, the filming taking place in Armenia was particularily interesting. Many familiar sights were presented. The major characters portrayed for the Armenian family were said to be quite accurate especially the Grandmother. The series got off to a slow start but as the plot developed it became more interesting and funny. Since the production was Russian, the dialog was mostly in Russian with some Armenian thrown in. The series was subtitled in English for those of us who are not conversant with either Armenian or Russian.
Thanks to Natasha Vaubel for her knowledge and diligence in rounding up these Armenian films.
The annual ACOM Summer Picnic was held this year at Como Park in St. Paul. We had reserved the West Picnic Shelter for this event. This is a new location for us but provided lots of opportunities for the attendees. The Shelter was near the Como Mini-Golf course, just across the street from Como Town (rides for kids). A short walk took people to the Cafesjian Carousel, Marjorie McNeely Conservatory and the Como Zoo. There was a kids' play area near the shelter also.
The picnic started at 3:30 pm on Sunday afternoon, July 29, 2018. There was a grill nearby and many people brought their own meat to grill. The weather was extremely accommodating, even though there was a slight chance of rain (which didn't happen!!). More than 50 Armenians and their families and friends joined us for the afternoon with food, music, conversation, fellowship, games and simply a marvelous time for all. Comments we heard about the venue were very positive and people would like to return to the same location next year.
The ACOM Pool party for 2018 was graciously hosted by Leroy and Cynthia Erickson at their home on Sunday June 24th 2018. The day was perfect for the event and the 24+ people who attended had a wonderful tine. Leroy, as usual, cooked up hamburgers and brats amid some clouds of smoke. There was a lot of good food provided by those who attended, with beverages provided by the Ericksons. This event has been another more intimate summer gathering for ACOM members for a number of years. Stay tuned for our ACOM summer picnic to be held at St. Paul's Como Park on Sunday July 29th (Details)
Taner Akҫam honored by World Without Genocide
at the WWG Gala held at the Minneapolis Women's Club
on May 14th 2018
Dr. Akçam (right) with Executive Director Dr. Ellen Kennedy (center) and Sarah Erickson, J.D. (left),
recipient of the Alice Musabende Outstanding Citizen Award.
Chair of the Board of Directors Jack Rendler (left) presenting the award to Dr. Akçam (right).
For the complete text of Dr. Akҫam's remarks Click Here
The 2018 Festival of Nations held in St. Paul at the beginning of May is now history. The Festival has been running since 1932 and the Armenians were one of the twenty nationalities represented from the beginning. the Festival of Nations has inspired people throughout the region to discover more about our world and embrace the rich cultural diversity brought to us by immigrants from around the globe.
ACOM Held a Talk on April 24th 2018 commemorating the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
Tom Keljik was the featured speaker and his topic was:
"Why did it happen? What were the events leading up to the Genocide".
The event was held in the auditorium of the St. Anthony Park Library in St. Paul. The event was well attended (43 at one count). Before the start of the event, Buttons calling for a remembrance of the Genocide were passed out to attendees. Tom also gave selected members of the audience colored cards with various pieces of information about times, places, and actions of historical significance leading up to the time of the Genocide. He used these during his talk, further involving the audience in the presentation.
An audio recording is currently available for the presentation. The talk was a bit under 1 hour in length. Click on the link below to hear the audio.
The link below is to a copy of Speakers Notes and Background Data in the Handout:
ACOM Cinema Saturday was held in the home of Terry and Nairy. Starting at 6:30 PM with a Social "Half-Hour" the 13 attendees viewed the Movie "You don't know Jack". The movie was about Dr. Jack Kevorkian and starred Al Pacino as Jack, Brenda Vacarro as Jack's sister Margo, and Susan Sarrandon as Janet the Hemlock society's president. Thirteen of us viewed the movie and then Aram led the group in a spirited discussion of the movie. Snacks and beverages were provide pot-luck style. Everyone had a pleasant and stimulating evening.
ACOM's annual Gaghant Party was held at a new venue - Midpointe Event Center - on Friday January 12, 2018. Over 100 people were registered and provided with dinner catered by Mim's Restaurant, a Silent Auction, a Kids Game room (new this year), and dancing to Music Mundial. The new event space was spectacluar with lots of room, separate areas for auction and games, wonderful decorations and special lighting effects on the windows with the Armenian Flag Colors.
A brief program was given by Francis Bulbulian, ACOM current President, that introduced the newly elected board, congratulated board members that are leaving, and gave a presentation recap on ACOM's acheivements over the last year (2017). (You can dowload a copy of the 2017 Recap in the attachment)
Dancing then followed with Armenian Music by Music Mundial. We did get a lot of people up to dance, especially the younger generation. All-in-all a magical evening with very special people in a fabulous setting. A wonderful way to end 2017 and start the new year of 2018 - our 38th year. Hooray!!!