First published in the September 18 print issue of the Glendale News Press.
State Senator Anthony Portantino announced this week that $ 1.8 million for the Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center has been approved by lawmakers in Sacramento, responding to his latest budget request to the legislature.
The high-profile project, which began in July at the former Central Park site, has now raised nearly $ 10 million in state funding. It has also collected millions more in donations from local governments, businesses and individuals.
Portantino, a Democrat from La Cañada Flintridge who represents Glendale, had previously worked to secure public funding for the project.
“I am delighted to secure additional funding to maintain the museum’s positive momentum for this important cultural center in Glendale,” Portantino, whose district office is located in Glendale, said in a statement. “The historical museum will have an impact and inspire generations to come. This is an investment that represents our shared vision with the Armenian-American community. I am happy to be able to help make this a reality and I am so grateful to our Senate leadership and the Governor for supporting this educational investment that will benefit California for decades to come.
The groundbreaking ceremony in July drew more than 1,000 people to the park site, where they braved the heat for hours as officials and donors touted what building the museum would mean to them and the diaspora. Armenian in California and around the world. The institution will feature a permanent exhibit as well as rotating exhibits, in addition to various other programs and research efforts with the aim of promoting the story of the contribution of American Armenians to the history of the nation. Ten Armenian-American cultural, philanthropic and religious nonprofit institutions are represented on the museum’s board.
“We are incredibly grateful to Senator Anthony Portantino for his unwavering support of the Armenian American Museum,” Berdj Karapetian, executive chairman of the Armenian American Museum, said in a statement. “This is an exciting time for the project as we celebrated the historic inauguration with the whole community and have now started construction on the future museum site. Senator Portantino’s efforts to secure additional funding, along with the State of California’s continued commitment and partnership, will help achieve a historic center that will be the pride of our Jewel City and Golden State.
Prior to the inauguration, Portantino helped raise $ 8 million in public funds to support the project. After a $ 1 million grant approved by the legislature in 2016-2017, Portantino secured an additional $ 3 million for the museum in 2017-2018. This latest addition brings the state’s total investment in the museum to $ 9.8 million.