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Welcome to AIWA-LA of Southern California

Current President: Nicole Barsom Nishanian

The AIWA-LA Affiliate was founded in 1995 by five dedicated women (Elizabeth Agbabian, Flora Dunaians, Hermine Janoyan, Jasmine Mgrdichian, and Savey Tufenkian) who had the vision to bring AIWA to Los Angeles. AIWA-LA of Southern California has enjoyed tremendous progress with community activities, speaking programs, scholarships for women and support for the arts and culture.  AIWA-LA of Southern California continues to provide programs and assistance to women to encourage leadership and problem solving and become positive influences in the lives of women in their community and Armenia.

Members of AIWA-LA of Southern California organize productive events contributing time and effort to promote our mission statement, issues of concern for the community and bring cultural awareness among members. Here are some of the AIWA-LA initiatives in progress:


  • The Women’s Support Center in Armenia with annual contributions through advocacy and fundraising activities.
  • The Women’s Entrepreneurship Program with annual contributions through fundraising efforts.


Laurel Karabian Fund for the Arts:  In memory of AIWA-LA’s first president, Laurel Karabian, AIWA-LA initiated the Fund For The Arts to assist and promote young artists and musicians in pursuing their goals and encouraging projects in all art disciplines within a symphony, opera, theater, and screen among an appreciative Armenian American community. Applications for project funding is available.


  • AUA Scholarship: AIWA-LA continues to provide annual scholarships to students
  • Hasmik Mgrdichian Scholarship: Through the benevolence of the Mgrdichian Trustee Lysa Grigorian, AIWA-LA continues to award five students annually with a scholarship of $5000 each based on merit and financial need. We continue to believe that education is the key to empowerment. Applications for scholarship are available.
  • Glendale Community College Scholarship: AIWA-LA continues to provide scholarship to students at the Glendale Community College. Applications are made through the GCC offices.


  • Friends of AIWA Young Professionals and AIWA Youth
  • Abril Bookstore & Roslin Gallery (promoting artists and authors)
  • UCLA Armenian Studies and Women Studies Departments.
  • USC Institute of Armenian Studies
  • Ararat Eskijian Museum
  • Tekeyan Cultural Association (evening with Seran Seza)  
You can reach AIWA LA of Southern California at:      

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About Us Laurel Karabian Fund for the ArtsLos Angeles Scholarship LA Events

$5000 Hasmik Mgrdichian Scholarship

Thanks to the continued generosity of Hasmik Mgrdichian Foundation, each year $5,000 scholarships are awarded to five university students. Applications are now available on line and are open to all California women residents of Armenian descent who are applying for education in an accredited college or university.  Scholarship is made available for graduate and undergraduate studies.  You can download the application and criteria here.