Tekeyan Armenia LA

Tekeyan Cultural Association Director Visits Los Angeles

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By Kevork Keushkerian

LOS ANGELES — Aram Arkun, the executive director of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of the United States and Canada (TCA), was in Los Angeles for a working visit of the West Coast earlier in December.

Arkun is a scholar with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Princeton University, a Master of Arts Degree in international relations from the University of Pennsylvania and a C. Phil. from the University of California in Los Angeles.

On Wednesday afternoon, December 7, Arkun met with the extended TCA Feasibility Committee to explore the options of continuing the mission of the TCA Arshag Dickranian School, which was closed a year ago.

It was an informative session, as the Committee members brainstormed on how best to come up with a solution which meets the expectations of the stakeholders and the public at large. Several viable options were discussed as part of the agenda. The Committee was excited and decided to continue meeting, after contacting a few educational professionals, as suggested by a prominent Committee member.

On Thursday evening, Arkun was invited to attend the Armenian American Museum fundraising kickoff reception, held at the Brandview Ballroom in Glendale. An overview of the proposed project was shown and a call for contributions was made.

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The highlight of Arkun’s visit to the West Coast was his lecture on the activities of Tekeyan Cultural Association in the Diaspora and Armenia. This was delivered on Friday, December 9, at the TCA Beshgeturian Center in Altadena. He was introduced by Kevork Keushkerian.

Mr. Arkun’s presentation was augmented with a slide show, depicting a picture of the founding members of the Tekeyan Cultural Association, and pictures of Tekeyan schools and centers throughout the Diaspora and Armenia. He especially dwelled upon the projects undertaken by Tekeyan Cultural Association in Armenia and Artsakh.

Among these projects, Arkun mentioned first and foremost the Sponsor a Teacher Program, according to which a once-a-year monetary gift is paid to every teacher and worker in the schools, sponsored by the Tekeyan Cultural Association. These are the Tekeyan Schools in Yerevan, Gyumri, Stepanavan, Garbi and Artsakh. More than $300,000 has been raised and allocated since the inception of the program.

Another project which has recently been created is a monetary gift paid to the families of the soldiers who died defending Artsakh in April of this year.

Arkun pointed out that these gifts are distributed by Gayane Muradyan, Tekeyan’s representative in Armenia, along with members of the TCA Central Board of Trustees, when they are present in Armenia.

A short question-and-answer session was held at the conclusion of the presentation.

The next morning, on December 11, Arkun left for Vancouver, Canada (see article in this week’s issue).

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