LOS ANGELES—Homenetmen Western U.S.A. announced a partnership with Glendale Library, Arts & Culture to host an exhibit celebrating its centennial at the Downtown Central Library’s ReflectSpace and PassageWay galleries, entitled Elevate: Homenetmen Centennial Exhibition.
The multi-disciplinary exhibition, co-sponsored by the City of Glendale Arts & Culture, will run from September 16 through September 30. It will feature contemporary art, as well as an array of photographs and unique artifacts from the last 100 years that showcase the riveting past and present contributions of the organization to the community, and in particular the youth, through athletics, scouting, and leadership training. The “Elevate” exhibition committee is comprised of Ara and Anahid Oshagan, Mher Tavidian, Vahagn Thomasian, and Harry Vorperian.
Homenetmen is a pan-Armenian diaspora organization devoted to leadership, sports and scouting, with the motto “Elevate Yourself and Elevate Others with You”.
“Over the years, Homenetmen Western Region has invested so much in our youth and our overall community members across the world, instilling in them qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, respect, and a willingness to help others. We have ingrained in them the principle that it is important to elevate others, along with one’s own self, and the importance of valuing and preserving their Armenian heritage,” said Manuel Marselian, Chair of Homenetmen Western USA. “We would like to thank Glendale Library, Arts & Culture for providing us with the space to celebrate our youth, our accomplishments, and our continued service,” he added.
Based on a theme of elevating the community, the committee has commissioned several local artists to create work exclusively for Homenetmen’s centennial anniversary. Created by Thomasian, one of the featured items includes a high-tech, holographic projection of Homenetmen’s global presence. Photographer Levon Parian will provide a new portrait series of Homenetmen members, while Vorperian and Thomasian collaborated on a sculpture.
“Its message incorporates the idea of ‘elevate’ in multiple ways: emotional, physical and psychological, and not just for the individual, but also the nation as a whole,” Vorperian said. “My work is part art and part gratitude for this amazing organization.”
Thomasian said he is excited to share the organization’s work over the past century through the beautiful art at the exhibition.
“It is critical for us to demonstrate what dedication and service to our youth can accomplish,” he said.
Complementing the art in ReflectSpace, a number of historical artifacts will be on display throughout the library, including a rare, complete Homenetmen scouting uniform from 1929, loaned by Serop Beylerian. In the PassageWay, historical posters developed by Hayk Demoyan, chair of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, will highlight Homenetmen’s origins and its critical role in reviving both the Armenian nation and identity after the Genocide.
The public opening of the exhibition on September 16 coincides with an all-day street festival at 1 p.m. Beginning at noon, a marching band comprised of Homenetmen scouts and athletes, will kickstart the festival from the front of the Glendale Downtown Library down Brand Blvd. to Colorado St., and lead the community into a day full of song and dance with booths and food trucks, all the way up to 7 p.m. at Glendale Central Park, which sits next to the library.
The exhibition and festival are a part of a series of events organized by the Homenetmen Western Region to celebrate its centennial anniversary. A Youth Forum, featuring community activists, leaders, and the Republic of Armenia’s Minister of Diaspora Mkhitar Hayrapetyan, was held on June 21 to kickstart activities. It was closely followed by a Victory Ball on July 1 and the Navasartian Games and Festival from July 3-7. Along with the exhibition and street festival, centennial activities will conclude with the official Centennial Celebration Programs scheduled for October 5 in Northern California and October 28 in Southern California at Glendale High School.
Further information about each Homenetmen centennial event as well as sponsorship opportunities can be found on www.weare100.info. For updates and additional details, follow Homenetmen on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HomenetmenUSAWR and Instagram at @Homenetmen_Western_USA.
The Armenian General Athletic Union and Scouts, referred to as Homenetmen, is a 501 (C)3 non-profit organization founded in 1918, which has to date served over 800,000 youth in five continents. Homenetmen Western Region currently has 19 chapters. It is the largest Armenian athletic and scouting organization in the United States.
ReflectSpace is an inclusive exhibition gallery designed to explore and reflect on major human atrocities, genocides and civil rights violations. Immersive in conception, ReflectSpace is a hybrid space that is both experiential and informative, employing art, technology and interactive media to reflect on the past and present of Glendale’s communal fabric and interrogate current-day global human rights issues.
Glendale’s Library, Arts & Culture Department began in 1907 and includes six neighborhood libraries, as well as the Brand Library & Art Center, housed in the historic 1904 mansion of Glendale pioneer Leslie C. Brand, and the Downtown Central Library, a 93,000 square foot center for studying, learning and gathering. For more information call Library, Arts & Culture at 818-548-2030 or see the website www.GlendaleLAC.org.