Uniting volunteers’ power to make culture centers more alive: a view from the inside.

06 August, 2020
The cultural centers of Oshakan, Meghradzor and Mrgashat also are among the ten cultural centers participating in the MY STEP Foundation's Reviving Cultural Centres in the Regions Program.

Meetings and discussions with theemployees, mentors and architects of the cultural centers are ongoing.The program also actively works with volunteers at the centers. These are bright and enthusiastic people very much engaged in their communities development. Volunteers are the driving force for the program’s success, as they are well aware of their communities needs and problems and know their full potential.

The days in Oshakan Cultural Center are busy. The Foundation’s team’s trip is effective: the joint work of employees, volunteers and mentors has given first fruitful results. Oshakan’s Cultural Center was built in 1957 by architect Gevorg Tamanyan, the son of the famous architect Alexander Tamanyan. The building is now in good condition and has a big potential to develop further. Davit Yeghiazaryan, the STEP Foundation’s mentor, assesses the achievements positively, and is hopeful that together it is possible to realize new long-term projects. He is very excited to work with the Oshakan Cultural Center team who, as he puts, are open to cooperation and learning.

“Starting from September we have plans to create a platform for self expression, discussions and exchange of ideas at the Center. With the director we plan to actively involve the youth in the activities of the Center. We will surprise everyone with our new cultural and educational initiatives. It is especially encouraging that the director and the employees are also in active search of opportunities to make the Center a modern and attractive place”, says Davit. The employees of the Oshakan Center believe that they are ready and able to rebrand their community as a famous destination.

“Small paradise”,while talking about Meghradzor, says Gayane Gharagyozyan,one of the mentors of the Program. Meghradzor Cultural Center is surrounded by beautiful nature. There are breath-taking views outside and a dream to have a modern, up-to-date cultural center inside. This idea unites the bright and open minded youth, who will turn this center into a modern one filled with dreams and action.

“The freedom in art is absent in cultural centers. But should not it be a world like a fairytale, where reality is different, where unreal becomes real? This is what we need. Now I will prove that every unreal miracle is possible. There is no water in the Cultural Center, but when we enter the building, we see the paradise of flowers, a lot of flowers. And that garden is watered with “love’’. The employees bring thousands of buckets of water from their homes in order to water those flowers. There are no withered flowers, since each one is treated individually. I want every person who enters their cultural center not to see a workplace but a magical world, where they can live and make the center come alive. This is what we need in cultural centers. The STEP’s Reviving Cultural Centres in the Regions Program will be a cultural revival for the centers and the communities’’, says Armine Atoyan, a volunteer of Meghradzor Cultural Center.

Another volunteer Mary Galsyan says,“Cultural centers were and now are cultural oases. In order to make young people interested in them we need to use new approaches to spark their interest.

Volunteering for me is the noblest work. I can say it with admiration that the future of the center is in good hands, because many residents, despite age and employment, want to support the process of center’s rebirth.’’

There are a lot of things to do in Mrgashat Cultural Center, starting from the renovation of the building and organising engaging activities for the community’s youth. Mrgashat Cultural Center’s Reviving Project made the community's youth united and determined: “ We have each other and we are ready to invest our skills in this work, and success will be ours.’’

STEP Foundation’s mentor Zarine Harutyunyan, who works on the development of the Mrgashat Cultural Center and cooperates with the volunteers says, “There is a huge potential in the regions of Armenia. I started my mentoring with huge motivation. I was expecting that the people of Mrgashat were ready for new cooperation and ideas, but in the beginning the reality was different. The rhythm of life and work in villages is different. I started to pay attention to their everyday life and we started to build our personal and working relationship to discover each other and today our point of view and goals are closer.

One of the most important achievements is that the employees of the Cultural Center have a goal to bring change into their community life. The excitement grew when in one day 30 young people responded to our call for volunteering . Only a month ago the Center’s team was sure that young people were too busy with village work and they were not interested in volunteering.

Mrgashat Cultural Center and the whole community is a hidden box, which can be discovered only with patience.’’

STEP Foundation’s Reviving Cultural Centers Program enters a new stage. In parallel with the mentors’ work, the architects and constructors will start the renovation process. The results of initial research showed that many of the buildings have very serious problems. Today’s task is to solve these main problems to save the buildings and develop human potential that will benefit the cultural centers, communities and the country.

06 August, 2020

date piker 30 December, 2021
The Foundation has provided the equipments of regional Cultural Centers
In the framework of the "Reviving Cultural Centers in the Regions'' program, the MY STEP Foundation has provided the equipment of Cultural Centers.
date piker 30 August, 2021
Youth of Artik and Stepanavan communities went on a study tour to Gyumri
Within the framework of the MY STEP Foundation's "Reviving Cultural Centers in the Regions'' program, the volunteers of Artik and Stepanavan Cultural Centers visited Gyumri.
date piker 27 August, 2021
The directors and employees of 9 Cultural Centers from 8 regions of Armenia participated in a two-day training in Gyumri
The directors and employees of 9 Cultural Centers from 8 regions of Armenia, the beneficiaries of the MY STEP Foundation's “Reviving Cultural Centers in the Regions” project, had a two-day training in Gyumri, August 23-25.