FRESNO — The Armenian Studies Program will hold a special event, “Armenian-American Musical Heritage of the San Joaquin Valley,” on Saturday, February 29, 1-5 p.m., in the University Business Center on the Fresno State campus.
The Armenian Studies Program was recently awarded a California Humanities grant of nearly $5,000 for “Amplifying Community: Recording the History of the San Joaquin Valley Armenian Music Production,” which is dedicated to recovering the history of Armenian-American music production in the San Joaquin Valley during the first half of the 20th century. Drawing upon the reminiscences and expertise of local musicians, “Armenian-American Musical Heritage of the San Joaquin Valley” will provide a forum for the community to contribute their own recollections, contextualizing and bringing to life the little-studied early musicians, recording labels, and venues in California’s San Joaquin Valley.
The event will have two segments; the first, from 1-3 p.m., where participants will bring historic photographs, sheet music, promotional materials and ephemera relating to Armenian music production for scanning. The digitized files will be added to the Armenian Studies Program Music Archive which will eventually be available to the public.
From 3:30-5 p.m., oud master Richard Hagopian and Dr. Yektan Türkyilmaz will have a discussion about the Armenian Music of the San Joaquin Valley, which will include a performance of traditional Armenian music by Hagopian.
This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
After a highly competitive process, California Humanities announced that $397,496 in awards to 37 new projects through the final round of 2019 and Humanities for All Quick Grant and Humanities for All Project Grant programs. The 20 Humanities for All Quick Grants, totaling $98,239, include a range of locally-initiated public humanities projects, from a teen-focused writing workshop series that will share speculative writing and reading techniques and help catalyze supportive and creative teen communities in the San Diego area, to a month-long presentation of multimedia arts celebrating Black empowerment and possibility in San Luis Obispo for Black History Month.