CAM’s latest exhibitions explore local Armenian Traditions and NU Theatre’s rich history

In Announcements, by , on February 14th, 2023

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. (Feb. 8, 2023)––Castellani Art Museum (CAM) of Niagara University celebrates two powerful exhibition launches. Survive, Remember Thrive, Armenian Traditions in Western New York is on view from Feb. 2 to May 7, and a closing reception will be held on its final day. Imaginary Worlds: Behind the Scenes with Niagara University Theatre is on view from Feb. 9 to Aug. 13, and a reception will be held on Feb. 23 from 4:30–7 p.m.

Survive Remember Thrive: Armenian Traditions in Western New York is an interactive exhibition highlighting the resiliency of community and culture in the face of conflict, genocide, and displacement. This exhibition features a short documentary of the same title filmed by the Buffalo Documentary Project and a 13-video short documentary series produced by the CAM featuring members of the local Armenian community.

Historical images and artwork are also on display, including CAM Volunteer and Survive, Remember, Thrive Assistant Project Director Dawn Sakalian’s family heirloom, a Niagara Gazette article titled, “Sister, brother united in Falls” published in 1973. It details the reunion of her grandfather and great-aunt in Niagara Falls, N.Y., 59 years after being separated during the Armenian genocide.

“I am third generation Armenian genocide survivor,” said Sakalian. “My ethnic culture was meant to be destroyed, but it has survived. I’d like for you to attend this multifaceted exhibition and learn about my culture and the spirited Armenians of Western New York.”

On Saturday, Mar. 4, from 1–2 p.m., the CAM will host a pay-what-you-wish exhibition tour of Survive, Remember, Thrive. Guests may RSVP at On Wednesday, Mar. 8, from 11 a.m.–1 p.m., Sakalian will host CAM Meets, “Community Perspectives: Preserving Armenian Heritage,” a lecture about local Armenian cultural practices and her involvement in Survive, Remember, Thrive. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP at

Imaginary Worlds: Behind the Scenes with Niagara University Theatre is a visual and tactile representation of artistic theatre creation. NU Theatre Technical Director Primo Thomas explained how Imaginary Worlds allows viewers to appreciate theatrical art’s hands-on processes, experiences, and management.

“It’s an immersive showcase of what we do at NU Theatre,” Thomas said. “From the process of creating scenery, costumes, lighting, and sound in a collaborative framework and a celebration of NU Theatre’s rich 59-year legacy.”

Featured in the gallery are compelling scenic elements and costumes from past NU Theatre productions, including “Chicago,” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” “Curtains,” “Cabaret,” “Sweeney Todd,” and others.

Reservations for the Feb. 23 opening reception can be made at On April 1, from 1–2 p.m., the CAM will host an exhibition tour of Imaginary Worlds. Guests may RSVP at