The Greek-American Historical Museum of Washington State has completed its fourth year of operation. What began in 2009 with a few interested persons has evolved into a very successful virtual museum that has been recognized not only within the State of Washington, but around the world. Regular communication by e-mail is transmitted to a growing list of over 400 supporters and interested parties.
Following are the achievements of 2013
- During the year 18 additional video interviews were conducted bringing the total to over 100. From those interviews over 85 online “exhibits” containing narrative, photos and video clips have been posted. The goal in 2014 is to conduct one interview per week. Inquiries from around the world have been received from families with similar names with requests to be contacted. One can “Google” a family name (i.e., Papadopoulos-Washington) and the Museum web site will appear among the first listings elicited from the search.
- In February, PowerPoint presentations were given during the social hour at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Tacoma. Over 100 were in attendance and several video interview appointments were arranged following the presentation. Refreshments were provided by board member JoAnn Tryfon (Photo left, JoAnn Tryfon, John Nicon and Joann Nicon)
- The first Greek History Competition resulted in seven creative entries from young Greek-Americans who documented the experiences of their ancestors. Recognition of their efforts was made at the March 25th Greek Independence Day celebration in Seattle. First place went to Olivia Eugenia Grosvenor who published a book about her two grandfathers, second place to Stephanie Semandiris Sampson who wrote a short story based on her grandparents’ flight from their village during the Greek civil war, and third place to Themio Pallis who submitted a PowerPoint presentation and narrative about his great grandfather. Four more young people: Abby Gray, Andrew Manos, Alexandros Skoulis and Evan Skandalis also submitted entries. (Photo right, Themio Pallis, Olivia Eugenia Grosvernor and Shawn Carkonen, Competition Coordinator)
- In April the Museum was awarded the Charles Payton Heritage Advocacy Award by the Association of King County Historical Organizations (AKCHO). This award is for innovation, initiation, development or presentation of a plan by an organization or individual which has led to the advancement of funding for heritage projects, protection of heritage resources, or development of advocacy tools such as posters, videos, newsletters or websites. (Photo left, Ted Maroutsos, web administrator, Helen Georges, editor and John Nicon)
- A second award was received in June from the Washington Museum Association (WMA). This Award of Project Excellence is for a project such as education, collections management, public programming or a web site. (Photo right, list of WMA award recipients)
- Several Greek-American alumni of Seattle’s Lincoln High School attended the school’s annual alumni luncheon. Lincoln was one of the schools serving the largest cluster of Greek families in Seattle during the 1940s and 50s. (Photo left, Peter Chakos, Mel Geokezas, Steve Sourapas, John Nicon, Joann Nicon, Theodora Geokezas, Pat Larson, Helen Georges)
- In June, nestled among the classics at Seattle’s annual Greenwood Car Show were GREEKS ON THE STREETS, a newly-formed car club sponsored by the AHEPA Chapter #177 Juan De Fuca, District 22. Two members of the club were awarded trophies. (Photo right, Dean Lentgis, Louie Valaoras, John Nicon, Spyridon Nicon, George Apostolou, Spiro Xenos, Chris Benis, Jim Pappas)
- On October 13 at the Church of the Assumption community hall in Seattle an attentive audience of almost 60 heard Dr. Taso Lagos give an insightful and emotional lecture about Alexander Pantages, the Greek theater mogul. Refreshments were provided by descendants of Mr. Pantages. Dr. Lagos’ extensive research into the life of Pantages continues to provide an important historical segment of Greeks in Washington. The full video may be viewed on the web site www.greeksinwashington.org under THE COLLECTION in Film, Video and DVDs. (Photo left, Taso Lagos and John Nicon)
- In November the Museum moved its collection of over 300 donations into an archive and storage space at the Church of the Assumption in Seattle. With built-in shelving, a cool, dry atmosphere and an excellent central location, this space promises to provide an excellent repository for the collection, a work space and a space for research and visitation. While not a display area, visitors are welcome to visit by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 206 325 8554 for an appointment.
- Cooperation with the Hellenic-American Cultural Center & Museum of Oregon and Southwest Washington (HACCM) in Portland, Oregon, is underway to explore means of sharing resources and experiences. In December a meeting was held with staff from HACCM. This visit also included three video interviews with residents of the area whose roots are in Washington State.
- The MUSEUM ended the year with a treasury balance of $7004.00 thanks mostly to the support of a number of individuals. Thanks to those 2013 contributors listed below:
John and Karrie Gormanos
Angelina and Hank Larson
Everett Daughters of Penelope – Amphion Chapter
Pantages presentation attendees, October 2013
St.Nicholas coffee hour contributors, February 2013
- The Museum also recognizes those who contributed to the growing COLLECTION during 2013:
Petro and Colleen Farmasonis
Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption, Seattle
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Seattle
We look forward with anticipation to continued success in 2014.
John Nicon, President