National Hellenic Museum Gala Raises Funds to Digitize Greek American History

Happy gala-goers dance at National Hellenic Museum fundraiser

The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) has brought the curtain down on its biggest and best Annual Gala yet — a top-notch evening of music, entertainment and culture held in Chicago.

The NHM Gala is also an opportunity for hundreds of Greek Americans and friends from across the U.S. to gather for a night of festivities and philanthropy.

Speaking to Greek Reporter was Dr. Calamos Nasir, president of the Hellenic Museum, who said their collections reflected some of the “hard, deep” stories of Greek immigrants’ lives in the U.S.

“We are the largest collection in the world for Greek-American stories,” she said.

National Hellenic Museum President Dr. Laura Calamos Nasir with Museum Chairman John Calamos Sr. (center) plus museum trustees and benefactors.

Explaining how the museum was in a unique position to reach across different regional groups — from Crete to the Ionian islands — the NHM could also bring together Church records and all kinds of other oral histories from Greek communities.

“Going, forward our plan is to digitize that in such a way that you can search through the website to find that information,” Nasir added.

Saturday’s event at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile was MCed by WGN-TV’s Emmy Award-winning entertainment reporter and critic Dean Richards.

Among the musical treats for the hundreds of attendees were the sounds of the Chris Sarlas Orchestra featuring George Dimas and Voula Karahaliou.

National Hellenic Museum Vice Chairman Aristotle Halikias (2nd left) with his wife Lisa plus National Hellenic Society Chairman Drake Behrakis (2nd right) with the organization’s director Arthur Dimopoulos (right).
Also playing was The Levendes featuring Nikos Koutras, who treated gala-goers with traditional and contemporary Greek music amid a repertoire of dimotika, nisiotika, rebetika, and modern laika.

Philanthropic support from NHM Gala will benefit the tens of thousands of people — children and adults — who visit the National Hellenic Museum every year through field trips, tours and dynamic cultural and historical programs.