For the tenth consecutive year running, the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) is mobilizing youth throughout California for a massive one-day effort to beautify the streets of Little Armenia in Hollywood.
On March 8, the 10th Annual Little Armenia Beatification Project (LABP) will kick off in the courtyard of the Rose and Alex Pilibos High School on Saturday morning, where there will be a festival. Hundreds of volunteers are expected to partake in this year’s project.
The event, organized by the AYF Hollywood “Musa Dagh” Chapter and the Hollywood chapter of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), helps revitalize the streets of this densely populated district of East Los Angeles. The AYF took on the project after the official designation of “Little Armenia,” as it is home to more Armenian-Americans than any other city in America.
“Many of us, whether we live in Hollywood or not, view this area as our home away from home,” says Lori Tashdjian, a member of the Hollywood chapter. “We organize this event each year because it is our responsibility to make sure it is a clean and beautiful place to live.”
For many years, former Los Angeles City Councilmember and current Mayor Eric Garcetti and California State Senator Kevin de Leon have been avid supporters of LABP. Over the past 10 years, according to Los Angeles Sanitation Department estimates, the Project has resulted in the collection of more than 40,000 pounds of trash. This year, through the office of L.A. City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the city will once again be donating supplies including rakes, brooms, shovels and garbage bags.
As this is the 10th anniversary of the project, organizers are looking to increase its magnitude and aim to attracting hundreds of members of the Hollywood community. “We wanted to expand the project this year, as it is the tenth anniversary of LABP,” said “Musa Dagh” Chairperson Maria Maadanian. “For the first time ever, there will be a festival held in the courtyard for the entire Hollywood community featuring tasty foods, fun games for children and various musical and cultural performances.”
In an effort to continue to growth and reach of LABP, the AYF has also teamed up with the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council, the Rotary Club of Thai Town and the Thai Community Development Center. In addition, the AYF has chosen to make the official color of the event purple in solidarity with International Women’s Day, which also falls on March 8.
Founded in 1933, the Armenian Youth Federation is the largest and most influential Armenian American youth organization in the United States, working to advance the social, political, educational and cultural awareness of Armenian-American youth.