Help CIANA's Immigrant Students on May 23 at a Special Benefit Concert

Concert to benefit immigrant students in CIANA's ESL, Civics Programs. Photo: Karen Smul

Join CIANA on May 23, 2019 at 7 pm for a benefit concert at The National Opera Center. CIANA's very own board member, Vivien Schweitzer, a notable

pianist and author, as well as rising Armenian-American soprano, Anush Avetisyan, will be performing a one-hour program by composers including Mozart, Dvorak, Puccini, Ives, Komitas and Florence Price. The concert will raise money for CIANA's civics and ESL programs for adults.

Schweitzer has been a CIANA board member since 2018 and a volunteer ESL and civics teacher since 2015. Avetisyan is the founder of the recital series, Image of an Immigrant, and a 2018-19 fellow of Turn the Spotlight, a nonprofit whose mission includes “supporting artists who are using their talents and skills to strengthen their communities and pursue social justice.

Armenian-American Soprano Anush Avetisyan is a a gifted singer and interpreter beyond her years.” (German World Magazine).

Avetisyan, a first-generation immigrant, knows the difficulty of finding one's way in the United States.

“I think there is both a great beauty and great difficulty in finding your way in a new country," she says. "I wish my family had known about an organization like CIANA, whose impact is powerful in their community and helps with this transition. I am happy to lend my voice to lift up their mission.”

CIANA's mission is why Schweitzer has been involved as long as she has, with its "friendly and non-judgemental environment."

Vivien Schweitzer, a trained pianist and author, published her first book, A Mad Love: An Introduction to Opera, in September.

“As a regular volunteer, I’ve seen how much effort the students make to learn English and Civics and how eager they are to contribute to American society," she says. "At a time when harshly anti-immigrant rhetoric is prevalent, it’s ever more vital to offer a warm welcome and a helping hand.”

Tickets to the event are $50 each and can be bought at the concert's Eventbrite page. All ticket holders are invited to a post-concert reception at the National Opera Center.

Full Concert Details:

Thursday, May 23rd

7:00 p.m.

Marc. A Scorca Hall

The National Opera Center,

330 Seventh Avenue, 7th floor

New York, NY 10001

More about the performers:

Vivien Schweitzer is a New-York based author and pianist. Her first book, A Mad Love: An Introduction to Opera, was published in September, 2018 and praised by publications including The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, BBC Music and Opera News. As a freelance writer, she has contributed articles to The New York Times, The Economist and the BBC. She trained as a pianist at the Eastman School of Music and performs at venues including Bargemusic. She has been a volunteer ESL and Civics teacher at CIANA since 2014 and a board member since April 2018. Anush Avetisyan is a rising soprano who has “proved to be a gifted singer and interpreter beyond her years.” (German World Magazine) A recent graduate of Yale School of Music, Ms. Avetisyan has twice been a Gerdine Young Artist at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where she received the prestigious Richard Gaddes Career Award. She also trained at UCLA and the Academy of Vocal Arts, where she received her Artist Diploma. Ms. Avetisyan is a First Prize winner of the Inaugural Deborah Voigt International Vocal Competition and has also won prizes from the Mario Lanza Competition, New Century Singers Whittier Vocal Scholarship Competition, Mondavi Center Young Artists Competition, and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

#civics #esl #fundraiser

31-09 Newtown Avenue, Suite 411

Astoria, NY 11102

(718) 545-4040

Mon - Fri 10am - 6pm


  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube