The Armenian Rugs Society is proud to announce its new eco-friendly, digital newsletter (part of our effort towards paperless operations) and the opening of our new website at armenianrugssociety.org which went live in late April/early May of this year, as did so many things in the world of Armenian arts, culture, and social life.
Changes in the Homeland were followed by great new activities and events here in the US with our three-week long participation in the Smithsonian's Folklife Festival and its associated activities in Washington DC, a rugs exhibit and lecture during Armenia's first Independence Centennial celebration in Detroit, and continued work with our amazing colleagues in Armenia at the Folk Arts Hub Foundation, and so much more...
The Festival brought together Armenian woven arts and cultural artisans and performers from all over, especially from all parts of the Republic of Armenia, which included weavers, sculptors, stone carvers, culinary experts, singers, dancers, and Armenian heritage performers. I was honored to curate the Armenian woven arts/carpets portion of the festival which included master weavers from Armenia's Folk Arts Hub Foundation and Tufenkian Carpets, among others. We were able to interact with countless individuals (some estimates say close to one million...!) over the span of the festival's activities, bringing the rich culture of Armenian woven arts to a greater and very interested audience.
Prior to the festival's incredible outpouring of emotion and celebration, we also dealt with some challenges one of which is sadly ever-present in Armenian life, but reared its ugly head more audaciously, once again, in April. The Azeri government and allies began an international campaign, within the world press and international art circles, claiming age-old Armenian woven arts traditions and carpets were Azeri and part of so-called "Azeri culture." The Armenian Rugs Society rose to face this unmitigated criminal act head-on and, with the aid of a seasoned writer from within our community, issued a press release which echoed the truth throughout the Armenian and non-Armenian press, here and abroad.
Our age-old and, yet, so vibrant woven arts traditions continued to gain steam this year, not only here at the renowned Smithsonian, but in the Homeland where it matters most. New generations of Armenian artists and artisans, academics and experts have taken up both the cause of Armenian woven arts, as well as the weaver's loom. The Armenian Folk Arts Hub Foundation in Yerevan, in conjunction with the Armenian Rugs Society, continues to raise the bar when it comes to transmitting our cultural traditions to new generations of artisans via our well-known (and well-received) Adopt-a-Loom initiative throughout rural Armenia.
In accordance with our commitment to transmitting our heritage to a new generation and serving our community in the cause of our culture, the Armenian Rugs Society is now initiating an internship program wherein interested individuals--high school, college and university students, as well as others--will have an opportunity to help a registered non-profit in its daily endeavors and, most importantly, work and learn in an environment of ever growing beauty and historical significance. Besides the unparalleled experience of working with the Armenian Rugs Society, all interns will also be earning volunteer, work experience, and community service credits.
Please contact us via our email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our CONTACT page with #intership in the subject line or comment area.
More new projects are in the offing including new collaborations and partnerships with universities, research centers, and museums as well as cultural groups both here and abroad, which we look forward to sharing with all our members, supporters and friends around the world and in Armenia and Artsakh.
Thank you for all your support and your generous donations both financial and in kind.
Yours Respectfully and Sincerely,
Armenian Rugs Society