AIWA Establishes Laurel Karabian Fund for the Arts


LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Affiliate of the Armenian International Women’s Association announces the establishment of the Laurel Karabian Fund for the Arts program. An inaugural luncheon will be held on Sunday, September 27, at 12:30 p.m. at the Four Seasons Hotel, 300 South Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills. The Los Angeles Executive Committee have established this program in memory of their first president, Laurel Karabian. The program is designed to promote and assist young artists and musicians in pursuing their goals and encouraging projects in the fields of art, music and culture.

Silva Katchiguian, president of AIWA-LA, stated, “I am pleased that AIWA has unanimously agreed to bring this initiative to light. The arts and culture held an important place in Laurel’s life. She believed that central to our national identity is our proud history and rich heritage and our cultural pedigree… and how we encourage our young is so important to their future and ours. Funding for students in the arts requires the support of our many friends and I am grateful for the generous contributions that we have already received. It is through such patrons and friends that we can build on the momentum and expand this initiative well into the future. This program will ensure that Laurel’s passion and support for the arts will continue to flourish by distinguishing itself in assisting young, talented visual artists, musicians, performers and writers. The inauguration of the Laurel Karabian Fund for the Arts echoes in some way Laurel’s desire to place the arts at the heart of many of her endeavors, especially when it came to organizing our international conferences.”

The Executive Committee is planning a star-studded program. The mistress of ceremonies will be Araksya Karapetyan, noted television anchor with KTTV Chanel 11 Morning News in Los Angeles. Since joining Fox she has distinguished herself as a talk show host and news analyst. There will be a special guest appearance by Karla Ahmanson, well known community leader and activist.

Entertainment will be provided by Karin Mushegain, mezzo soprano, performing operatic selections. As noted in the New York Times, “Karin has captivated audiences with her exciting, energetic portrayals, dramatic poise and dynamic vocal sounds.” She recently made her Seattle Opera debut in the title role in “La Cenerentola.” She also made her role debut as Carmen with Opera San Luis Obispo to great acclaim. Among her many engagements, for the 2015-16 season, Mushegain is appearing as Cherubino in the “Marriage of Figaro” at the San Jose Opera.

This inaugural luncheon is a tribute to Laurel Karabian who died on October 19, 2014. Born in Beverly Hills, to Archie and Eleanor Dickranian, she attended Beverly Hills High School and graduated Cum Laude from Pomona College. She earned her M.B.A. in Fine Arts Management at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Her love of music took her to San Francisco where she worked as the Associate Director of Development for the San Francisco Symphony. Laurel moved back to Los Angeles to take a position with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as the Director of Development. She was appointed by former Governor George Deukmejian to the California Arts Council; she was a member of the California Arts Commission, served as Board member of the Armenian Library and Museum of America; and was the founding President of the Los Angeles Affiliate of the Armenian International Women’s Association.

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She is survived by her daughter Madeline and her husband Walter Karabian, and her son Benjamin, and her sister Cindy (Ken) Norian.

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