WORCESTER, Mass.—Members of the Worcester Armenian community came together and established 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 USA 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,” said Caprielian, adding, “What better way to celebrate the jubilee than to add a new chapter to Hamazkayin’s world-wide 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 through 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,” she added.
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 US 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 DC.
Local chapter initiatives may include arts workshops and classes, literary and cultural events, dance, singing, theater, film, and crafts, as well as participating in regional activities spearheaded by the Hamazkayin Eastern Region and the Hamazkayin Central Executive that include youth and arts retreats, dance festivals, and gatherings.
If you live in or near Worcester and are interested in joining the newly formed Worcester Hamazkayin chapter, or would like to find out more about it, email firstname.lastname@example.org.