Annual Arts Retreat to Feature Leading Armenian Voices
VALYERMO, Calif.—The 2017 Hamazkayin ArtLinks youth forum will take place in California June 29 – July 2, and will feature Chris Bohjalian (literature), Ara Dabanjian (music), Nanore Barsoumian (conflict resolution), Vahe Berberian (culture and identity), and Taleen Mardirossian (dance). The workshops will be moderated by ArtLinks Program Director Khatchig Mouradian.
Hamazkayin ArtLinks is the first North American-Armenian youth forum to link a range of renowned artists with young Armenians interested in their cultural heritage. The ArtLinks workshop environment promotes a dialogue between Armenian youth and internationally recognized figures, with backgrounds in creative literature, music, theater, cinema, journalism, and the social media. During the four-day retreat, workshop leaders will interact with participants aged 21 to 35, to transmit their expertise.
Chris Bohjalian is the author of 19 books, most of which were New York Times bestsellers. His work has been translated into over 30 languages and three times become movies. His books have been chosen as Best Books of the Year by the Washington Post, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Hartford Courant, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Bookpage, and Salon. His novel, Midwives, was a number one New York Times bestseller, a selection of Oprah’s Book Club, and a New England Booksellers Association Discovery pick. He is a Fellow of the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Best known for founding the popular, Los Angeles based, folk ensemble Element Band, Ara Dabandjian’s compositions and musical arrangements have garnered multiple awards. Dabandjian’s compositions deliver unique expression of folk-fusion by incorporating deft instrumentation, lush vocal harmonies, and rich multi-ethnic musical styles that have landed him at prominent stages around the globe. His compositions are credited in several theatrical productions, including Tim Robbins’ “Actors’ Gang,” Academy Award winner Alex Dinelaris’s “Red Dog Howls,” Dr. J. Michael Hagopian’s “The River Ran Red,” and multiple scores for motion pictures and documentaries.
Nanore Barsoumian is a graduate student in the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance at the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMB). She was the editor of the Armenian Weekly from 2014 to 2016. Prior to that, she served as assistant editor from 2010 to 2014. She has reported from Armenia, Artsakh, Javakhk, and Turkey. Barsoumian holds a graduate certificate in Conflict Resolution, and a BA in English and Political Science from UMB. She serves on the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society’s U.S. Eastern Region Executive Board.
Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Vahe Berberian has been living in the United States for 40 years. With his five one-man shows Berberian has established himself as the leading Armenian monologist. His material is funny, witty and rich with observations on the Armenian condition. Berberian is the author of numerous plays, including “Pink Elephant” and “Gyank,” two novels which have been published in three different languages, and over a dozen movie scripts. He is also a prolific painter and has had numerous exhibitions all over the United States and abroad.
Taleen Mardirossian is an attorney from Los Angeles, currently pursuing an MFA in creative writing at Columbia University. A descendant of Sassoun, the land of those whose dances exude the kind of passion that could move mountains, she is a proud inheritor of “yarkhushta” and “msho khr.”
Khatchig Mouradian is the Nikit and Eleanora Ordjanian Visiting Professor at Columbia University. Since 2014, Mouradian has taught courses on imperialism, mass violence, human rights, concentration camps, urban space and conflict in the Middle East, and collective memory in the History and Sociology departments at Rutgers University, California State University – Fresno, and Worcester State University.
The inaugural Hamazkayin ArtLinks program was held in the Catskills, N.Y., in 2015. In 2016, the program traveled to Quebec, Canada. The enthusiastic participation of Armenian youth in the first two ArtLinks events has led the Regional Executives of Hamazkayin USA East, USA West, and Canada to sponsor and organize Hamazkayin ArtLinks 2017, which will take place June 29-July 2, at the AYF Camp, 22214 Big Pines Highway, Valyermo, California.
Participants must be aged 21 to 35, submit two application forms, and pay a participation fee of $100 USD, which includes the three-night lodging and all meals on-site. The deadline for applications is May 31, 2017. To register, visit hamazkayin.com/en/artlinks-2017.
For more information or questions, please write to [email protected]
Read about ArtLinks 2015 here, and ArtLinks 2016 here.