This is Creative Armenia in 2023
Eyes on 2024, we revisit our 8 most significant accomplishments of the past year
Dec 28, 2023 | by Creative Armenia
For Armenians everywhere, 2023 had been a challenging year. We grieved for Artsakh, imagined new futures, and learned – once again – how to persevere and advance despite it all.
As the year is coming to an end, we want to take the time to celebrate the projects, creative businesses, institutions, and cultural leadership that our community has brought about through our programs and beyond.
Supported 10 Artists with Fellowships
For the past five years, Creative Armenia in partnership with AGBU, has been nurturing a generation of new artists and creative ambassadors for Armenia through Creative Armenia-AGBU Fellowships. A comprehensive program that provides $5,000 in funding, mentorships with global leaders, and extensive career support, the fellowship has already helped 38 artists thrive.
This year, 10 artists spent their year creating, making meaningful industry connections, and bringing global attention to Artsakh and Armenia. These creators have been: photographer and filmmaker Alexis Pazoumian (France), filmmaker Alik Tamar Barsoumian (United States); photographer and filmmaker Diana Markosian (United States); visual artist Gayane Yerkanyan (Netherlands); visual artist Harutyun Tumaghyan (Armenia); jazz vocalist Lusine Yeghiazaryan (United States); filmmaker Nare Leone Ter-Gabrielyan (Armenia); writer and creative producer Nyree Abrahamian (Armenia); saxophonist and composer Raffi Garabedian (United States), and filmmaker Sareen Hairabedian (United States, Jordan).
Want to get a better insight into their minds? Read the interviews with the fellows to learn more about their creative careers, inspirations, and new projects they are excited about.
Provided 34 Mentorships
In 2023, Creative Armenia and Artbox artists had a chance to connect with impressive mentors, including award-winning Hollywood filmmakers, podcast pioneers, and successful business leaders.
Our 2023 Creative Armenia-AGBU Fellow, writer, and producer Nyree Abrahamian bounced off her ideas with Ira Glass, the host and producer of the radio and television series “This American Life.” Filmmaker Alik Tamar Barsoumian asked for advice from Yorgos Mavropsaridis, the editor of Lobster (2015) and The Favourite (2018). Saxophonist and composer Raffi Garabedian reflected on his journey with Sonny Rollins, an American jazz tenor saxophonist and one of the most important and influential jazz musicians. And many more.
Awarded 3 Artists with a Residency
During the year, we also awarded 3 promising artists from Armenia with a creative residency in Brussels, Belgium. The 2023 East-West Residents are visual artist Narek Barseghyan, comics artist Shamiram Khachatryan, and photographer Vahan Stepanyan.
Realized in partnership with the Boghossian Foundation, the program allows cutting-edge creators from Armenia to immerse themselves in the vibrant culture of Belgium and introduce Armenian art into European discourse. As part of their journey, the artists will spend a month at the breathtaking Villa Empain, networking with their international peers and creating in the heart of Europe.
Granted €500,000+ to Institutions, Creative Businesses, and Artists
We take investing in talent and the cultural future of Armenia extremely seriously. The €500,000 granted just during this year is a testament to our mission.
With the support of our partners, Artbox and Creative Armenia-AGBU Fellowships awarded grants to over 50 influential and innovative artists, institutions, and businesses in Armenia. Among them are cultural giants like Matenadaran Institute of Ancient Manuscript, Gyumri Technology Center, and Gabriel Sundukyan National Academic Theatre.
Explore all Artbox artists, hubs, and businesses.
Realized 4 Artbox Programs
While grants and funding have been an important part of Artbox, the scope of our creative incubator and accelerator moves far beyond that.
In 2023, Artbox realized all four of its signature programs, including Incubator, Entrepreneur, Hub, and Accelerator. The programs, specifically tailored to meet the needs of different creative sectors, focus on boosting the creative economy in Armenia by providing the right tools and training to artists, businesses, and institutions.
With over 190 participants, a 100% retention rate, and 72 events and workshops led by mentors from LEGO®, Tate Modern, The Centre Pompidou, and beyond, Artbox has been defining the trajectory of arts and culture in Armenia.
The best part? More programs are coming in 2024. Stay tuned for the new open calls at artbox.am.
Artbox is developed by Creative Armenia, funded by the European Union in Armenia, and launched in partnership with AGBU Armenia within the framework of the KATAPULT Creative Accelerator Program.
Launched the Artbox Website and Platform
This year marked an important milestone for Artbox. Not only did we bring to life the pilot editions of all four Artbox programs and awarded substantial grants, but we also launched the cutting-edge platform that made the digital incubator possible.
Both the Artbox website and platform are customized to the unique needs of a creative incubator. Via the platform Artbox participants and mentors track their progress, facilitate workshops, and review assignments, all digitally and neatly organized in one place.
While currently the platform side of the website is only available to the selected participants, you can explore the website, the four programs, our community of artists, and more. Subscribe to Artbox’s newsletter for updates.
Hosted Discussions with Legendary Filmmakers in Armenia
In 2023, our yearly Creative Armenia Week took an interesting shape. This summer, we partnered with GAIFF Pro to host panel discussions with legendary filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, and Lav Diaz in Armenia.
While in Yerevan, the award-winning filmmakers shared insights into their creative careers, answered questions from the local creative community, and inspired them for more.
Enjoy the conversations on our YouTube channel.
Brought Artsakh to the Foreground of the Arts
Armenians worldwide gasped in horror when Artsakh was occupied on September 20. A national tragedy, it left everyone wondering, “What happens to Artsakh now?” While we don't have an answer to that question, this year, we continued shedding light on important stories from and about Artsakh that remain as alive as ever.
As part of this initiative, we launched an awareness campaign “Watch, Learn, Share,” accompanied by a digital release of Invisible Republic, a documentary based on the diary of our Artists for Artsakh grant recipient Lika Zakaryan.
Following the devastating news of Artsakh’s fall, we also brought to life a social media campaign bringing attention to the important films, visual art, photographs, music, and books created for Artsakh by Creative Armenia artists.
We will continue to immortalize Artsakh and imagine its future by supporting the people of Artsakh together with our artists.
Thank you for 2023!
And on this note, we complete our “wrapped.”
In anticipation of the New Year, we want to extend our gratitude to Creative Armenia's community at large – our partners, donors, and artists. All the projects, mentorships, and opportunities would not be possible without you and your generous support.
Thank you for being part of our 2023. We look forward to shaping the Armenian arts and culture together in 2024.
Happy New Year and Merry Christmas!