This Saturday, mingle with fellow art enthusiasts and take in the different collections of paintings and murals, all while feeling charitable.
The Armenian Students’ Association at USC, which serves to promote and preserve Armenian culture, is collaborating with All-ASA to host “Artivism.” All-ASA is an organization that links ASAs from different California campuses. The event will take place in the upstairs showroom of Downtown French restaurant Les Noces Du Figaro.
Artivism aims to combine art and activism, a concept that recent graduate Ani Tatintsyan came up with last year when she was still a student at USC and served as the school’s representative for ASA.
“I came up with this idea of combining art with philanthropy, and having an art show where we can showcase local artists and also raise money for a cause,” Tatintsyan said. “I wanted to do a philanthropy that was different … something fresh.”
Last year, the on-campus group chose to work with One Armenia, a nonprofit organization based in Armenia which undertakes various humanitarian projects each month. The project they were working on at the time was spreading awareness of an abuse shelter in Armenia. ASA’s fundraising efforts raised almost $4,000, which they were able to contribute to the shelter. Tatintsyan estimates that more than 350 people were in attendance.
Tatintsyan said that the organization spreads the word by taking advantage of social media, and that the reason that they are doing the event again this year is, in part, because of the positive result from last year.
“Even though I graduated, I basically kept in touch with everyone and wanted to do it again for this year, and we came together again because it was so successful,” Tatintsyan said. “We were like, ‘Wow, this works, so we can probably keep it going.’”
This year, however, ASA chose to partner with someone different — Free Arts for Abused Children, a Malibu, Calif.-based organization which works with and provides art classes for abused or impoverished children.
“We wanted to do a more local [organization], so we could go there beforehand and see what everything was about,” Tatintsyan said. “We also wanted something to do with the arts. Because we were going to have an art exhibition, we wanted to see how we could incorporate that even more, to be a little bit more combined, so that was an organization that we found that does that on a local level.”
Despite the organization hailing from the area, the artists who are contributing their work are international and come from places ranging from London to the U.S. to even Armenia. Tatintsyan said that they received more than 40 art submissions, proving that it wasn’t too difficult to attract attention to the project.
“Artists are always trying to find outlets to showcase their work,” she said.
In addition to tickets to the event being sold for $10, the proceeds come from the sale of the artists’ work at the show, in which 25 percent of the sale goes to the cause.
Tatintsyan said that a wide variety of people attended last year.
“The demographic has such a range,” Tatintsyan said. “Last year, we were asking obviously younger people to attend, which they did, but so did older people … It was really interesting how art and philanthropy bring people together.”
But students play an even bigger role than just that of attendees.
“Most of the artists that are contributing are students from all around,” Tatintsyan said. “So I think students are the most important because they are kind of the background of the whole show.”
As for how the fundraising event will pan out in the future, Tatintsyan said she hopes to see it expand in its philanthropic efforts without being limited to a particular race or culture.
“I was talking about it being its own entity in the sense that obviously we’re the Armenian Students Association, but this year we’re working with an organization that is not affiliated with being Armenian at all,” Tatintsyan said. “I really want us … to go beyond that. I just want it to be successful in raising money for different causes, and raise awareness for issues and money for them.”