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Free Getty Family Festival on October 20 Features Multicultural Music, Dance, and Art Activities Inspired by Armenian Culture

October 5, 2001

What: Getty Family Festival
When: Saturday, October 20, 2001 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: 1200 Getty Center Drive; exit on Getty Center Drive off the 405 Freeway.
Admission: Admission is free, and parking is just $5. For public information
call 310-440-7300.

Parking: No reservations required. Parking is based on availability.
Press info: Pre-registration is required for all media.
Press contact: Lisa Brown, Getty Communications, 310-440-6439;
Fax: 310-440-7722; e-mail:

LOS ANGELES--The J. Paul Getty Museum will host its last Family Festival of the year on Saturday, October 20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The day-long, free celebration, voted 2001 "Favorite Family Festival" by L.A. Parent Magazine, features dance and musical performances, storytelling, art-making workshops, and gallery activities. (A complete schedule of events follows.) Picnic areas are available and a range of food options is offered throughout the day at various Getty dining locations. The Getty Center is now open until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and families are welcome to continue to enjoy the galleries and grounds throughout the evening.

Family Festivals are held quarterly and are produced for the Getty by Community Arts Resources, Inc. The next Family Festival after the October 20 event will be held in spring 2002.

Inspired by the Getty's current exhibition The Armenian Gospels of Gladzor, a rare masterpiece of 14th-century Armenian illumination, the October Family Festival celebrates diversity with an exciting lineup of multicultural performers that appeal to all ages. The museum's courtyard stage will be filled with the sights and sounds of traditional Armenian song and dance performed by the international talents of John Bilezikjean Dantz Ensemble, as well as the Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble, whose classical, folkloric, and troubadour show has thrilled audiences everywhere. Bucovina Klezmer, the well-known entertainer, will also perform traditional Russian folk and Eastern European Jewish music along with Irish, Romanian, and Czechoslovakian selections. Families will enjoy the multilingual, animated medieval fables of Armenia performed by Alidz Agbabian, as well as Karen Golden's magical stories and songs of hope and inspiration from around world. The festival also offers a variety of hands-on art-making activities and demonstrations, including how to make a headdress using traditional Armenian motifs, led by Elmira Adamian; poetry lessons led by Tina Demirdjian, published poet and teacher; Armenian calligraphy with Seeroon Yeretzin of Roslin Art Gallery; and illuminated manuscripts with Aram Vartonov.

Internationally acclaimed "musical dazzler" John Bilezikjian brings to the Getty a unique style of rhythm, dynamics, and harmony with traditional instruments and multilingual melodies that need no translation. He is a soloist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, a teacher and lecturer, and his diverse academic background combined with his well-honed musical talents culminate in an exciting feast of Armenian-flavored entertainment.

The Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble also brings alive the essence of culture with performances of troubadour songs and dance that earned them the "National Gold Medal Award" from the Armenian government. Their members are professionally trained musicians with a flare for folklore and classical melodies. Bucovina Klezmer adds to this exciting performance lineup with treats of traditional Russian, Irish, Romanian, and Czechoslovakian folk music, as well as Eastern European Jewish music.

Alidz Agbabian will delight children and parents alike with her "Fox Tales," fables from medieval Armenia that include festive songs and dhol drums. Agbabian is well known for her use of colorful imagery and the lessons of wisdom and insight woven into her stories.

Children will also have the chance to experience artists' creativity and pride when they participate in one of the many art-making activities inspired by the Gospels of Gladzor exhibition, whether it's crafting a traditional headdress, writing poetry, creating a frame or making a postcard that the Getty will mail free of charge. Fascinating demonstrations in Armenian calligraphy and illuminated manuscripts add to the fun. The festival also includes Michelle Berne's mystical 12-foot tall Ensor Puppets.

Getty Family Festival
Schedule of Events
Saturday, October 20, 2001
10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Live Music on the Plaza Stage in the Museum Courtyard

11:15 a.m.-Noon
Bucovina Klezmer - traditional Russian folk and Eastern European Jewish music

12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m.
Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble - traditional classical, folkloric, and troubadour songs and dances of Eastern and Western Armenia

2:15 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
Bucovina Klezmer - a variety of traditional Irish, Romanian, and Czechoslovakian folk music

4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
John Bilezikjian Dantz Ensemble - traditional Armenian song and dance

Storytelling in the Museum Lecture Hall

10:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Alidz Agbabian - Fox Tales: Fables from medieval Armenia with songs and dhol drums

12:30 p.m.-1:15 p.m.
Karen Golden - Tales and tunes of hope and inspiration

2:00 p.m.-2:45 p.m.
Alidz Agbabian - Fox Tales: Fables from medieval Armenia with songs and dhol drums

3:15 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Karen Golden - Tales and tunes of hope and inspiration

Giant Puppets seen Getty-wide are inspired by James Ensor's painting Christ's Entry into Brussels in 1889 from the J. Paul Getty Museum collection.

11:00 a.m. -12:30 a.m.
Michelle Berne's Ensor Puppets

2:15 a.m.-3:45 p.m.
Michelle Berne's Ensor Puppets

Workshops offering hands-on art-making activities in the Museum Courtyard

10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Create and Send a Postcard

10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Create a Frame

11:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Elmira Adamian - Make a headdress using traditional Armenian motifs

12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m.
Poetry workshop with Tina Demirdjian using the art of The Armenian Gospels of Gladzor as inspiration

1:45 p.m.-2:45 p.m.
Poetry workshop with Tina Demirdjian using the art of The Armenian Gospels of Gladzor as inspiration (repeat)

3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Poetry workshop with Tina Demirdjian using the art of The Armenian Gospels of Gladzor as inspiration (repeat)


Noon -4:00 p.m.
Armenian Calligraphy with Seeroon Yeretzian of Roslin Art Gallery

Noon-4:00 p.m.
Illuminated Manuscripts with Aram Vartonov

The Getty Family Festival is produced by Community Arts Resources, Inc.


In addition to the Family Festival, the Getty Center offers ongoing daily activities for families (in English and Spanish) that are available in the Museum:

Family Room - Visit the Family Room to experience "Picture Yourself," a playful view of portraits, along with game boxes, puzzles, picture books, computers, and other resources to make the most of a visit with children. Investigate techniques that artists use to make a portrait. Try on a costume similar to one in a painting--smile behind the marquesa's fan or pose on stage as the ambassador. Read a story or simply relax.

Gallery Games -"Perplexing Paintings" and "The Getty Art Detective" are games that help you explore the Museum through an art treasure hunt. Go at your own pace and get to know works of art. Game boxes can be checked out in the Family Room.

Family Audioguide
- Hear the "moo" when you view the painting A Maid Milking a Cow in a Barn. Listen to the sound of sculpture coming to life as a dragon's jaw cracks open. Hear stories and fun facts about intriguing works of art in the Audioguide's 24 family stops, which help generate discussion between children and adults. For rental ($3.00) in the Museum's entrance hall.

Art Information Rooms - In four rooms throughout the Museum, you can examine how art is made, touch real parchment and gold leaf, or page through books. Also available is Art Access, an interactive multimedia computer system with information about works of art in the Getty collection. Knowledgeable docents are there to answer your questions.

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About the Getty:

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

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