Since 2014, we have been working with partner organizations on the My Armenia Cultural Heritage Tourism Program. The program is a pilot funded by USAID and implemented by the Smithsonian, using the Folklife Festival’s research-based methodology to develop inclusive, community-based tourism experiences in Armenia. This month, My Armenia celebrated two significant events.
On October 14, My Armenia hosted the second annual My Handmade Armenia Festival in the capital city of Yerevan. Presented in partnership with the Teryan Cultural Center, the event featured demonstrations and craft sales from seventy-seven artisans representing five regions of the country. It was the culmination of six months of collaboration between Folklife staff, the My Armenia local team, and Teryan Cultural Center staff to document, train, and mentor artisans in developing new product collections, exchanging with other artisans to learn new skills, and creating brands for their enterprises. See photos from the festival.
Then on October 15, My Armenia celebrated the official launch of FestivAr Association of Armenian Festivals. Over the past two years, we worked with local festival organizers in Armenia to establish the association and provide organizational development support, document all member festivals during the 2018 season, and create FestivAr’s new website, which brings together information about Armenian festivals in one place for organizers and the public.
Following the Armenia: Creating Home program at the 2018 Folklife Festival, we hope you continue to explore Armenian cultural through this new resource and ongoing project.
Halle Butvin is the director of special projects at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and leads the research, artisan, and local festival components of the My Armenia program.