State budget vote Thursday will include $3 million toward planned Armenian American Museum in Glendale

California Senator Anthony Portantino, who has been taking Armenian language classes at GCC, does hi
Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) speaks at the city of Glendale’s 16th annual Armenian Genocide commemorative event at the Alex Theatre on Monday, April 24, 2017.
(Tim Berger / Glendale News Press)

As part of a hearing for the 2017-18 state budget, members of the California legislature are expected to vote Thursday to allocate $3 million toward construction of the proposed Armenian American Museum in Glendale and $10 million to implement a curriculum for instructors to teach about the Armenian Genocide.

If the California budget is approved by the legislature Thursday, the total funding for the museum would reach $4 million. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown approved $1 million toward the proposed project.

In May, Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) joined Zaven Kazazian, executive board member of the proposed museum, to present the Glendale project to the Senate Budget Subcommittee, where it was later approved for entry into the Senate version of the budget.

The Budget Conference Committee soon adopted the Senate proposal and allowed the museum fund proposal to enter into the state budget for consideration. Portantino did the same for the implementation of a “genocide curriculum update,” which will create a framework to train California teachers about the Armenian Genocide, according to a statement released by Portantino’s office on Tuesday.


“I am extremely happy that, as a member of the budget committee, I was able to bring these two important proposals to light this year,” Portantino said in the statement. “It was such a pleasure to invite Zaven Kazazian from the Armenian American Museum board to Sacramento to present this significant human-rights project to the attention of the Senate and then into the state budget.”

Kazazian said in a phone interview Tuesday that he appreciates all the help Portantino has been able to give the project, slated to be built in downtown Glendale.

“I think it’s very exciting to see the support we are getting from the community and from the state, and we’re looking forward to building a wonderful, attractive museum in the city of Glendale for all of California,” Kazazian said.

Should the budget pass Thursday, it will then head to Brown for final consideration.


Portantino represents the 25th Senate District, which includes Glendale, Burbank, La Crescenta and La Cañada Flintridge.

Twitter: @JeffLanda