WORCESTER, Mass.—Members of the Worcester Armenian community recently came together to establish the Worcester chapter of the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society. The chapter’s founding meeting was held at the Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church, on June 14.
Welcoming the step, Hamazkayin Eastern Region U.S. Executive Committee Chair Arevik Caprielian stressed the role of Hamazkayin in preserving and nurturing Armenian cultural heritage.
“The remarkably prescient founders of Hamazkayin foresaw the danger of cultural assimilation of Armenians in Diaspora as early as in 1928. The establishment of a new chapter in Worcester is both a confirmation of the necessity of Hamazkayin’s activities within the Armenian community and a befitting occurrence in this year of Hamazkayin’s 90th anniversary,” Caprielian said. “What better way to celebrate the jubilee than to add a new chapter to Hamazkayin’s worldwide network. All members of the Eastern Regional Executive Committee are delighted to welcome the Worcester chapter into our family.”
Hamazkayin aims to nurture and promote Armenian arts and culture by supporting educational and cultural initiatives in Armenian communities worldwide.
“Now is a great time for us to start a Hamazkayin chapter here in Worcester. In many different ways, it will engage our youth members, whether through dance, music, or other cultural means,” said filmmaker Talin Avakian, who is a local community member and one of the founding members of the chapter. “I know a lot of us have been craving a cultural revival in our community, and we haven’t always known how to go about it. This chapter will allow for future generations to have a place to celebrate, learn, and have a better understanding of who we are as a people.”
The Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishyan was present at the founding meeting. Hamazkayin Eastern Region Executive Committee member Nanore Barsoumian represented the Regional Executive board at the meeting.
“The Armenian presence in Worcester has a long history, and the new Hamazkayin chapter will play a leading role in expanding the offering of diverse Armenian cultural events,” said George Aghjayan, who, in addition to being an active member of the Worcester community and a founding member of the Hamazkayin chapter, also serves as the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Eastern U.S. Central Committee chair.
Worcester is the 9th chapter of the organization on the East Coast, joining sister chapters in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Providence, and Washington D.C.
Local chapter initiatives may include arts workshops and classes, literary and cultural events, dance, singing, theater, film, and crafts, as well as participation in regional activities spearheaded by the Hamazkayin Eastern Region and the Hamazkayin Central Executive, including youth and arts retreats, dance festivals, and gatherings.
If you live in or near Worcester and you are interested in joining the newly formed Worcester Hamazkayin chapter, or to find out more about it, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about the Hamazkayin Eastern Region, visit hamazkayin-usa.org.