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Armory Center for the Arts Selected To Create California’s Ornaments For The 2011 National Christmas Tree Display

Posted by Calvin Phelps on 1 November 2011

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Ornaments from all 56 U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia to be displayed at the 2011 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Pasadena, CA (November 1, 2011) – The Armory Center for the Arts has been chosen to design and create the ornaments for California’s tree for the 2011 National Christmas Tree display in President’s Park in Washington, D.C., the National Park Foundation announced today.

A local artist and local youth were selected from each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia to design and create 24 ornaments.  Twenty-three of the ornaments will be hung from the state or territory tree as part of the National Christmas Tree display in President’s Park.  One of the ornaments will decorate the White House Visitor Center Christmas tree, which showcases one ornament from all 56 states, territories and the District of Columbia.

“The decorating of the state and territory trees in President’s Park is a highly anticipated holiday tradition,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation.  “We look forward to including the creations of the Armory, representing California during the 89th annual celebration.”

As one of America’s oldest holiday traditions, the National Christmas Tree Lighting began on Christmas Eve in 1923, when President Calvin Coolidge lit a Christmas tree in front of 3,000 spectators on the Ellipse in President’s Park.  Since 1923, each succeeding President has carried on the tradition of what now has become a month-long event presented by the National Park Foundation and National Park Service.  In addition to the National Christmas Tree display, President’s Park hosts a variety of family-oriented holiday attractions, such as the Santa’s Workshop, nightly holiday performances, a Yule log, nativity scene, and model train display. 

The ornaments for the California tree were created by students from artWORKS, where teens are encouraged to express themselves through visual and performing arts. The students were led by Armory Teaching Artists Melissa Manfull and Sergio Hernandez. artWORKS is a collaboration of Learning Works Charter School, Armory Center for the Arts, Project Connect and Flintridge Center. artWORKS strives to provide positive alternatives to destructive behavior for the region’s most at-risk teens, as well as engage any middle or high school student in a passion for the arts.

Four weeks of holiday events in President’s Park will kick off with the 89th National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony hosted by the National Park Service and National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, on Thursday, December 1, 2011, at 5:00 p.m. EST. This year’s talent line up for the lighting ceremony will be announced in November.  Talent announcements, as well as other event details and a live web stream of the ceremony will be available at www.thenationaltree.org.  

Tickets for the event will be awarded via an online lottery system, providing the general public a chance to obtain free tickets to the ceremony.  The online lottery will be available beginning at 10:00 a.m. EST on Thursday, November 3 (or 9:00 a.m. CST, 8:00 a.m. MST and 7:00 a.m. PST).   The ticket lottery remains open through 9:59 a.m. EST on Monday, November 7 (or 8:59 a.m. CST, 7:59 a.m. MST and 6:59 a.m. PST). Visit www.thenationaltree.org for more information.


The Armory Center for the Arts, in Pasadena, California, believes that an understanding and appreciation of the arts is essential for a well-rounded human experience and a civil community. Founded in 1989, the Armory builds on the power of art to transform lives and communities through presenting, creating, teaching, and discussing contemporary visual art. The organization’s department of exhibitions mounts over 25 visual arts exhibitions each year at its main facility and in locations throughout the City of Pasadena. In addition, the Armory offers studio art classes and a variety of educational outreach programs to more than fifty schools and community sites.

The Armory Center for the Arts is located at 145 North Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, California, 91103. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Sunday, noon-5 p.m. Admission is free with a $5 suggested donation. Armory members, students, and seniors are free. The Armory is easily accessible from the Gold Line Memorial Park Station in Pasadena. For information about Armory exhibitions and events, the public may call 626.792.5101 x122 or visit the Armory online at armoryarts.org or facebook.com/armoryarts.

The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System and its 395 National Park sites for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.  The National Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.  For more information, visitwww.nps.gov.     


You are the owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured landscapes, ecosystems, and historic sites -- all protected in America’s nearly 400 national parks.  Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks.  We work hand in hand with the National Park Service to connect you and all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow.  


Calvin Phelps, Communications Manager, Armory Center for the Arts
[email protected]
(626) 792-5105 x 130

Alanna Sobel, National Park Foundation
[email protected],
(202) 354-6466

Click here for a PDF version of the press release