Project SAVE to Celebrate ‘40 Years and Beyond’ on Nov. 21

–WATERTOWN, Mass.—Throughout its prolific 40 years, Project SAVE Armenian Photograph Archives has undertaken the important task of keeping Armenian social history in the public eye through photos and their stories.

Under the leadership of founder and CEO Ruth Thomasian, Project SAVE Archives has established its unique niche in the Armenian community and beyond through the use of family photograph collections and the production of finely crafted calendars, photo exhibits, and educational resources. Researchers of all kinds—from academics to the general public—connect with Project SAVE material.

“Our purpose has always been to make our resources available not only to the greater Armenian community and academic circles, but to the general public, worldwide, as well,” said Thomasian. “Photographs are witnesses of our past that capture and define our identity. They are an important link between the past and the future.”

Founded by Thomasian in 1975 in New York City, Project SAVE has extensive and diverse collections of more than 45,000 documented photographs dating back to 1860. Oral history audio tapes from 720 photo donors give voice to all aspects of life in the homeland and the diaspora.

Project SAVE’s mission has been and still is to collect, document, preserve, and present the historic and modern photographic record of Armenians and their rich heritage. “It’s a work in progress,” continued Thomasian. “Over the decades, we have worked together with our photo donors and sponsors for the archival preservation of our heritage and collective memory.”

At the “40 Years and Beyond” anniversary event on Nov. 21 in Lexington, Mass., noted photographers Nubar Alexanian and Scout Tufankjian will share the stage as masters of ceremony.

Photographer Nubar Alexanian (Photo: Rebecca Koch)

Nubar Alexanian, a longtime member of Project SAVE’s Photographers Advisory Council, is a prominent documentary photographer and filmmaker featured in magazines worldwide. For the past 35 years, he has traveled to more than 30 countries focusing on long-term personal projects. He has five books in print, including Stones in the Road: Photographs of Peru; Jazz with Wynton Marsalis, with photos by Nubar and words by Wynton; and ‘Nonfiction’ Photographs by Nubar Alexanian from the Film Sets of Errol Morris, based on their 20-year collaboration. Together with daughter Abby, he has been working for five years on a documentary feature film, “Scars of Silence,” which reveals the powerful legacy of genocide on his Armenian family. Alexanian has also produced a short documentary film about Project SAVE, which will premiere at the event.

Scout Tufankjian, newly appointed to Project SAVE’s Board of Directors, is an award-winning independent

Honoree Scout Tufankjian

photojournalist and author. She is well known for her work covering news events, and especially Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns with her book, Yes We Can: Barack Obama’s History-Making Presidential Campaign. Born in Boston to an Armenian-American father and Irish-American mother, her Armenian ancestors escaped from Musa Dagh. She tells of first taking photography seriously when she did her junior year abroad in Northern Ireland. Her recent book, There Is Only the Earth: Images from the Armenian Diaspora Project, took her to Armenian communities worldwide to commemorate the Armenian Genocide Centennial. Tufankjian will sign this book at the event and donate part of the sale proceeds to Project SAVE.

Honoree Tom Vartabedian

Honored at the event will be two people who are also actively involved in preserving and promoting Armenian heritage and culture: veteran writer/photographer and Project SAVE Board member Tom Vartabedian, and Maggie Mangassarian-Goschin, director of the Ararat-Eskijian Museum in Mission Hills, Calif. Vartabedian has spent more than 50 years writing his bylined articles with photographs, gratis, promoting Armenian people, events, and organizations. Mangassarian-Goschin has built the Ararat-Eskijian Museum into a community treasure in every sense of the word, connecting people and organizations around the world, including Project SAVE.

The event will also include a wine pull—a fun twist on a wine sale—to benefit Project SAVE.

Guests will receive a copy of the 2016 calendar “Armenians Beyond the 100th…Our Children Carry the Light” to take home as a memento of this very special event.

Honoree Maggie Mangassarian-Goschin

The 40th anniversary event organizing committee is chaired by Nicole Babikian Hajjar and includes Rita Bejakian, Ari Bekian, Nairi Havan, Nancy Kalajian, Lorky Libaridian, Lalig Musserian, Vartus Varadian, and Tom Vartabedian, along with Thomasian and her new associate director Tsoleen Sarian.

“We have planned the format of the evening to create a fun and convivial gathering in a relaxed and engaging atmosphere,” Hajjar said. “I am amazed at the outstanding quality and amount of work Project SAVE has produced, considering its available resources. Ultimately, we want to pay homage to this organization and make sure it grows into a vibrant future to serve the next generations,” she added.

The event “Project SAVE 40 Years and Beyond” takes place on Sat., Nov. 21, at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library (previously National Heritage Museum), a wheelchair accessible facility, at 33 Marrett Rd. in Lexington. A cocktail reception begins at 6 p.m., the program at 8 p.m., followed by dessert and coffee. A book signing and wine sale will benefit Project SAVE. Tickets are $125 per person and may be purchased by e-mailing or by mailing a check or money order to Project SAVE Archives, P.O. Box 236, Watertown, MA 02471-0236.

For more information call (617) 923-4542.

Source: Armenian Weekly
Link: Project SAVE to Celebrate ‘40 Years and Beyond’ on Nov. 21

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