Armstrong International Cultural Foundation
The Armstrong International Cultural Foundation is a non-profit, humanitarian organization sponsored by the Philadelphia Church of God with executive offices on the Herbert W. Armstrong College campus in Edmond, Oklahoma.
The mission of the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation’s performing arts series is to champion Oklahoma as a world-class center for the arts by bringing monumental cultural experiences to the heartland of America.
The foundation's mission is based on a two-pronged philosophy: 1) that man is a unique being, possessing vast mental, physical and spiritual potentials—the development of which should be aided and encouraged, and 2) that it is the responsibility of all men to attend to and care for the needs of their fellow men, a precept professed by the vast majority of religions of the world—appropriately summed up in three biblical words: “Love thy neighbor.”
The Armstrong International Cultural Foundation's activities center around cultural enrichment at home in Oklahoma and abroad. Currently, the foundation's goals are achieved through a series of performing arts concerts in Edmond and archaeological excavations in Israel.
Performing Arts Series
The foundation began sponsoring a small performing arts series in 1998 in Edmond, Oklahoma. Since then, the series has grown significantly, attracting tens of thousands of guests to the Herbert W. Armstrong College campus. Featured artists include the Vienna Choir Boys, the Eroica Trio, the Canadian Brass, the Romeros Guitar Quartet, the Berlin Philharmonic Winds, Peter Schickele, Jubilant Sykes, the King’s Singers and other world-renowned performers.
The foundation’s concert series has deep historical roots. It is patterned after the famed Ambassador International Cultural Foundation’s series, hosted in the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, California. Under Herbert Armstrong, the auditorium, known as the “Carnegie Hall of the West Coast,” hosted greats such as Luciano Pavarotti, Vladimir Horowitz, Joan Sutherland, the Vienna Philharmonic and other musical legends. Beyond Pasadena, the foundation stretched from Bombay to Brussels, Tokyo to Cairo, Jerusalem to London, Nepal to Okinawa, and the Netherlands to the Philippines.
When Herbert Armstrong’s successors axed the foundation after his death, the Armstrong Foundation (then named the Philadelphia Foundation) took up the fallen baton. Though it began in the smallest of ways, the foundation continues to grow.
In 2004, the foundation obtained some of the very treasures that were considered the crown jewels of the Ambassador Auditorium: a 9-foot Hamburg Steinway concert grand piano and two Baccarat crystal candelabra commissioned by the Shah of Iran. To house these artifacts and provide a spectacular concert venue for central Oklahoma, the foundation began constructing its own auditorium on the AC campus in 2008. Armstrong Auditorium opened September 5, 2010.
The foundation sponsors several activities in Israel. In 2006, the foundation began supplying volunteers and aid to Dr. Eilat Mazar’s ground-breaking in Jerusalem. It has also helped refurbish Liberty Bell Park in the heart of the city, a project Herbert W. Armstrong had started.
The foundation began in 1996 as the Philadelphia Foundation. Early that year, it took over a project the defunct Ambassador International Cultural Foundation had left behind: collaboration with the Al-Hussein Society in Amman, Jordan. The organization sent volunteers to work with physically and mentally handicapped Jordanian children and to revive the cultural tradition of Herbert W. Armstrong. The foundation also lent support to the Petra National Trust.
Armstrong Auditorium is located on the campus of Herbert W. Armstrong College in north Edmond, near the intersection of Bryant and Waterloo.