Reviving cultural centres in the regions
Out of the 590 cultural centers in Armenia, there are about 331 currently in operation. My Step Foundation and the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure conducted a survey among 226 operating cultural centers, which comprises around 70% of all officially operating centers, to evaluate their conditions and work. The results of the survey are as follows:
● Outdated cultural institutions
● Lack of basic equipment
● Lack of staff training
● Lack of community public space
● Lack of opportunities for youth, including social engagement, networking etc.
● Disproportional development between the regions and the capital city
● Continuous emigration from regions
IMPLEMENTATION ROAD MAP
Beneficiaries will be selected through an open call based on defined criteria. Interventions include two complementary components to be applied based on the identified needs:
“Software”component - human resource capacity enhancement:
1. Training/coaching staff: 4 training sessions, 3 days each.
➢ Community engagement (assessing community needs, involving local and international volunteers)
➢ Event organization/management, PR and Communications
➢ Smart use of space (architecture/design), building a Youth Center
➢ Resource mobilization: state funding, grant writing, social entrepreneurship
2. Study visits - Learning from best practices:
Participants will be exposed to success stories by study visits to cultural, educational and/or youth centers to learn from their experience and build partnerships. 13 sites have been identified for the purpose.
3. Mentorship: 8-month mentorship
After completion of the training, each institution will be assigned a mentor who will mentor them on their further development and localization of the acquired skills and knowledge, such as development of a year-long calendar of events, a communication strategy and an annual fundraising strategy.
We will create an art and culture network of regional institutions and other successful prominent entities and groups based in Armenia and the Diaspora. The members of the network will have regular meetings and exchange opportunities.
“Hardware” component - enhancing the technical capacity of cultural institutions:
1. Partial renovation of selected cultural facilities and enrichment with technical capacities/spaces to enable them to host various cultural events (movie screenings, concerts, performances, exhibitions etc.);
2. Creating “Youth Cultural Hubs” within existing cultural institutions which will serve as a platform/space for local youth to share ideas, design and implement community projects.
● Trained and skilled personnel
● Renovated cultural centers
● One-year calendar of events for each center
● Fundraising and communication strategy for each center
● Established art and cultural network at the regional and state level
● Accessibility to culture and arts in the regions
● Vibrant communities
● More opportunities for youth, including Youth Center
● Development of local tourism and creative economy
● Equal development of the country
● Decreased emigration from the regions
The main guarantee of the sustainability of project results relies on the facts that the project beneficiaries are state funded institutions, so there will be no need to provide further financing for staff salaries and the maintenance cost. Furthermore, thanks to the received training and mentorship, the institutions will be able to identify new sources of income (social business, grant writing), the created network of cultural institutions will provide opportunities for long-term cooperation. Agreements will be signed with the cultural centers as individual entities to ensure their enhanced role and responsibilities related to the due maintenance and operation of the improved facilities.