Second Shoushi Festival Opens in September

NEW YORK (Armenpress)–In an open letter to Nagorno Karabakh Arts Founder and Executive Director Neery Melkonian–President of Nagorno Karabakh Republic Arkady Ghoukassian welcomes everyone to the Second International Festival of Shushi to take place September 11-15 and urges Armenia’s to unite and support the project.

"We feel honored and are very excited by this news," said Neery Melkonian–"The Nagorno Karabakh Arts production team members have already begun to plan the event. Our goal is to raise $200,000 in the coming months–mainly through mail and phone solicitations. A portion of this sum is needed to produce this year’s festival; the rest will be invested in permanent infrastructure development of Shushi. We are looking for twenty $10,000 contributors to help us realize the festival."

California-based urban planner Bedros Enfiedjian and architect Massis Megerdoomian–who have been working with the Yerevan/Nagorno Karabakh based architectural team Hyenakhakidz–are in charge of the festival site’s infrastructure development.

The four-day festival will feature a rich program of music–dance–film and visual arts. Artists and performers from Armenia–Karabakh and the Diaspora are being considered to participate. Last year’s festival–which was called "Local is Global," attracted more than 2,000 attendees. This year’s festival will be devoted to promoting peace and stability in the region. Since the festival will open on the first anniversary of the attack on the United States World Trade Center–participating artists will be invited to compose an original piece to mark this special occasion and to transform the tragic experiences of Shushi and the WTC into a celebration of new beginnings–hope and renewal.

Nagorno Karabakh Arts is a non-profit organization dedicated to placing Karabakh on the cultural map by establishing a tradition of producing an international arts and music festival in the historic town of Shushi. Nagorno Karabakh Arts also establishes Artisan Cottage industries in Karabakh villages–as well as provides training for their youth so that one day they can produce such festivals themselves and be economically self-reliant.

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