On May 18th, the Paros Chamber Choir performed a well attended concert organized at the Cafesjian Center for the Arts. Among the capacity crowd were several representatives of the Republic of Armenia government including the Chairman of National Assembly, Minister and Vice-Minister of Culture, Vice-Minister of Labor and Social Issues and several Members of Parliament. Prior to the concert, the Vice-Minister of Culture made a special presentation of a Gold Medal to Mr. Armen Alaverdyan, Executive Director of Unison, NGO and Director of the Paros Chamber Choir, “for great contribution in spreading choral art throughout Armenia and effective public activities.” Alaverdyan graciously accepted this award and encouraged the Chairman of the National Assembly Hovik Abrahamian to consider granting the Paros Choir with official State status. Abrahamian positively responded to this request and invited the choir to perform at the National Assembly Park a month later. The concert and award presentation was covered by all major Armenian media.
At three major performances around Yerevan, The Paros Chamber Choir and the Yerevan Komitas Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, both conducted by Maestro Raffi Mikaelian, impressed audiences with an inspiring performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria.
The May 18th Concert at the Cafesjian Center for the Arts was “standing room only” and the enthusiastic audience was treated to beautiful music in an incredibly beautiful gallery of world renowned glass art. The concert was organized as part of the International Day of Museums.
On May 24th, Maestro Raffi Mikaelian impressed the audience of more than 1,200 people at the Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall, conducting both Choir and Orchestra in this combination Gala Concert and Graduation Ceremony. Mikaelian led the Orchestra through Beethoven’s Coriolan, then led both the Paros Choir and the Orchestra through Vivaldi’s Gloria and concluded the second part of the Concert with Beethoven’s 7th Symphony.
On June 21st, the grounds of the National Assembly provided a beautiful setting for another performance by the Choir and Orchestra. Hovik Abrahamian, Chairman of the National Assembly again thanked the Choir and upheld his pledge to grant State status to the Choir. The Concert was well attended by both members of the Parliament, staff members and the public at large.
For the last six months, the students at the Ghoghanj Children’s Center have benefited from the volunteer efforts of several volunteers that were connected with the Center through Paros Foundation efforts. During the school year, husband and wife team, Mathew and Annie Ash volunteered regularly working with the children on design, English and computer classes. In July, Corey and Stephanie Dolik and Jennifer Tosoian volunteered working with the students in theater and design class. The children truly benefited from this experience and are looking forward to return visits.
The Paros Foundation stands ready to assist other individuals who are searching for a meaning volunteer experience working with one of the six Paros supported projects in Armenia.
Thanks to a generous donation by the Goshtigian Family from Los Angeles, Ghoghanj successfully launched an introductory computer class for students this spring. This inaugural class consisted of seven students ages 12 to 16, and was taught by Dn. Matthew Ash, a seminarian of the Gevorkian Seminary and former IT specialist. The students have covered topics beginning with introductory computer concepts and reached Internet communication and research tools. It is continuing with a review of online learning resources and an introduction to Microsoft Office.
“It’s amazing how much information we can find on the Internet,” said Anahid Ghalumyan (Age 15), “this is going to change the way I learn.”
Ghoghanj’s computer classes are giving students an important advantage that will increase their opportunities for success and provide them with valuable skills.
Special Note: The Ghoghanj computer class is in need of good quality new or used laptop computers. If you would like to donate one, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to the Government of Norway and Mr. Timothy Straight, the Honorary Consul of the Royal Norwegian Consulate, projects from the Manana Youth Center and Unison NGOs have received needed funding for their implementation.
The Manana Youth Films studio received a grant to go to Turkey and film on the Turkish side of the border for its work on the “Neighbor’s” film project. The film is being produced with the support of Royal Norwegian Embassy, the Armenia Turkey Cinema Platform organized by Golden Apricot International Film Festival and Anadolu Kultur. The Manana Youth Center also received funding to help operate its film studio classes for students.
The Unison, NGO, which advocates for the rights of people with disabilities in Armenia, won a grant to organize a regional conference on disabilities. The Conference will include partner organizations in Iran and Georgia. The Virtual Conference will take place via the internet and link the three conference locations together providing access and maximizing participation. The conference goals are to begin developing regional relationships to address, compare and contrast the situation of people with disabilities in these neighboring countries. As part of the project grant, relevant conference materials will be translated and posted to a common website accessible by all.
In an unexpected and frustrating twist to the production of the “Neighbors” film project, the Manana Youth Film Crew was prohibited from filming in the Turkish Border area despite already having received relevant permissions from the Turkish authorities. “Neighbors” is focused on two border villages—one on the Armenian side and one on the Turkish side of the border. Filming has progressed well in the Armenian village, and the film and its premise has already won accolades. Thanks to recent funding for the film (see previous story) the four member crew departed with permissions in hand to Turkey only to arrive and be told that the permissions they were issued were not the required ones. After a couple of days of trying to obtain the final permission to film, the crew decided to return to Yerevan and return to film at a later date.
The Paros Foundation works with six organizations in Armenia involving the arts, children and people with disabilities. These organizations are recognized as leaders in their respective fields. Our support comes in the form of organizational operating funds, office space and operational resources and mentoring.
The mission is help these modest size projects manage their growth and attract more financial, human, and physical resources to their respective causes.
We have built a staff of travelling and in-country resources that other individuals or organizations may choose to utilize to implement their project and support their efforts to improve the quality of life and culture in Armenia.
The Foundation welcomes the involvement of our friends around the world.
Donations to The Paros Foundation, a 501(c)3 private foundation are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.