WATERTOWN — The Power of Love Fundraiser and Art Show, dedicated to the mothers of war, the unsung heroes of the April 2016 War in Artsakh, will take place Saturday, April 4 at the Armenian Museum of America from 7 to 10 p.m.
The evening will include an art exhibition by renowned photographer Zaven Khachikyan, with some of his most iconic photographs, and performances by distinguished artists Victoria Avetisyan, mezzo-soprano, and Anna Avetisyan, piano. All proceeds will go to children who lost their fathers during the April War of 2016 as part of an ongoing effort to support these families since 2016. The event was conceptualized by Nerses Zurabyan and Yelena Bisharyan and is hosted by Diaspora for Frontline Family Fund (DFFF) and the Knights and Daughters of Vartan (Ararat Lodge and Arpi Otyag).
Khachikyan is highly regarded as Armenia’s top documentary and artistic photographer. Considered one of the most influential photographers of his generation in Armenia, he has produced a prolific collection of photographs that document both the strife and victories of the Armenian people, between 1980s and the present, including the collapse of Soviet Union and the Nagorno Karabakh war in the 1990s. In addition to collaborating with many of Armenia’s most respected newspapers and magazines, Khachikyan has worked as a freelancer with AP, TASS, Time, Paris Match, and other international media organizations. Khachikyan’s photography has appeared in nearly a dozen books, with publishers ranging from the British Library and Paris-Musées to Somogy and Indiana University Press.
DFFF was founded by Knights of Vartan Ararat Lodge members after the April 2016 War in Artsakh. The April War resulted in around 100 Armenian casualties. Many of these heroes were fathers and often the only breadwinners of their families. The Knights who founded DFFF sought to offset the financial burden that was suddenly thrust upon these families. Their mission is to provide an ongoing, transparent, and overhead free mechanism for raising and distributing donated funds to the children of our fallen heroes. DFFF’s first order of business was to compile a full and accurate list of those impacted. The next priority was to identify a reliable and trusted resource for delivering donated funds directly to the families. Once these mechanisms were in place, DFFF turned its attention to fundraising and has raised nearly $100,000 to date.
DFFF partnered with Children of Armenia Sponsorship Program (CASP) of the Eastern Armenian Diocese’s Fund for Armenian Relief. CASP distributes funds raised in the United States by DFFF directly to the families. The Knights of Vartan provides tax-deductible receipts for donors. 62 children lost their father during the April War and all have received annual financial aid. DFFF is proud to report that donated funds are delivered to the families without overhead expense. DFFF intends to provide annual assistance to each child until they are 18 years old. 59 children remain in the program ranging in age from 4 – 17.
For more information, see the following “Talking Vartan” podcast interview of DFFF founder, Nerses Zurabyan, hosted by David Medzorian: https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/talking-vartan/talking-vartan-a-knights-and-i8r56gBxacv/).