AMAA Reimagines Traditional Fundraising with Innovative Event at New York’s MoMA

Posted on May. 22. 2023

By Lori Youmshajekian

Paramus, NJ – Over two sold-out days in April, the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) NY/NJ Orphan and Child Care Committee brought 100 guests to the Museum of Modern Art for an introduction to one of America’s most acclaimed modern artists.
Breaking the mold of traditional fundraising, the “Rendezvous at the MoMA” took guests on a guided tour of Georgia O’Keeffe’s retrospective – rated as one of the best exhibitions of 2023 by the auction house Christie’s. The tour was followed by lunch at the Museum’s in-house restaurant, The Modern.
It was a fitting venue to play host to the latest event from a reinvigorated NY/NJ Orphan and Child Care Committee. The exhibition, “To see takes time,” encouraged guests to witness the evolution of O’Keeffe’s work and appreciate each incremental improvement that underpins the technical rigor of her famous floral masterpieces.
Behind each elaborate orchid is her painstaking process of trial, error, and transformation – with the 120 works on display revealing just how much discipline the flowers required to come to life. The guests were asked to reflect on how these slow but deliberate improvements helped her achieve an ambitious artistic vision.
This innovative fundraising effort was the vision of Committee Chair Vicki Shoghag Hovanessian, a lifelong collector and Chair of the Collectors of Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. She ended her welcome to the guests by quoting Georgia O’Keeffe’s exhibition title, “To see takes time,” adding, “To make friends takes time. Thus, with this exhibit we have all become friends and hopefully will enhance future AMAA Orphan and Child Care projects.”
The proceeds will assist children and families in Armenia and Artsakh to provide for their basic nutritional, financial, educational, and spiritual needs.
This was the first ‘Rendezvous’ in a series of uniquely artistic events the Committee is diligently planning. Each will aspire to build relationships among supporters while introducing the AMAA’s mission to new faces.
Seta Nalbandian, Co-Chair of the Committee, described the MoMA experience as “enlightening, enriching and enticing” for the attendees. “Another ‘Rendezvous’ in the arts is definitely on the horizon for the Committee,” said Mrs. Nalbandian.
The successful event was executed by the reinvigorated NY/NJ Orphan and Child Care Committee, which includes Lucienne Aynilian, Anita Buchakjian, Dr. Celeste Helvacian, Vicki Shoghag Hovanessian, Seta Nalbandian, Jennifer Telfeyan-LaRoe, and Kathy Voskian, and was assisted by AMAA staff members Christine Kutlu and Magda Poulos.
“AMAA salutes the innovative spirit of the Committee co-chairs and the diligence of its members in planning this elating experience benefitting the children of Armenia,” said Zaven Khanjian, AMAA Executive Director/CEO.

Founded in 1918, the Armenian Missionary Association of America serves the spiritual, educational, and social needs of Armenian communities in 24 countries around the world including Armenia and Artsakh. For additional information, you may visit

  • Lori Youmshajekian is an AMAA Scholarship Recipient studying at New York University

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *