Hub Artsakh welcomes Shoonch Art Center, A center providing art therapy for Artsakh children.

Hub Artsakh welcomes Shoonch Art Center, A center providing art therapy for Artsakh children

Hub Artsakh Blog

We are honored to have been chosen by the NGO Shoonch Art Center to host their activities for the children of Artsakh, within the premises of Hub Artsakh.

Promoting Artsakh cultural life

Founded in Stepanakert in 2019, Shoonch Art Center had the vocation to deliver courses and masterclasses for a public wishing to develop their skills in singing, oratory art or music, in order to promote and develop cultural life in Artsakh. 

Gurgen Baghdasaryan, Head of the vocal department of Sayat-Nova College of Music in Stepanakert and a well-known musician in Artsakh for his passion for transmission, organized masterclasses, workshops and singing competitions for adolescents and young adults from Artsakh. Several students were awarded during national competitions and had the opportunity to benefit from the recording studio also founded by Gurgen to share their creations.

Artistic creation as a therapeutic tool

When the second war in Artsakh was declared in 2020, some students were forced to interrupt the courses at Shoonch Art Center. That’s when Gurgen sought a way for his organization to pursue its support for the young people of Artsakh in this new difficult context

The first art therapy workshop was held in January 2021, with the aim of providing a space for people affected by the war to express their emotions and to overcome the psychological traumas in the post-war period through art. “Art therapy is a branch of psychology”, explained Gurgen in an interview with Step1.am. “It is a popular, experimented method across the world. After the first Artsakh liberation war, it was not applied and the results were visible for decades. Based on these observations, we will start rehabilitation works in Artsakh”, he wrote on the Center’s Facebook page to announce the first art therapy cycle.

Since then, the Shoonch Art Center is closely collaborating with the German NGO “Miassin”.

In parallel supported by a cultural Swiss foundation, the NGO resumed its activities by providing three 2-month cycles, made of drawing and music therapy workshops, to several groups of children and young adults. It’s within this program that Gurgen and six of his students also founded the first post-war band in Artsakh, “Kings Band”, and produced themselves all around Artsakh between 2020 and 2022.

The NGO was again forced to stop its activities from the beginning of the blockade in December 2022 until September 2023 when the population was forced to leave the territory. 

It is during this laps of time that Gurgen made the decision to participate in Hub Artsakh’s Idea to Impact program, which was initiated in March 2023. His goal was to tailor his project to the current living conditions of the people in Artsakh, specifically focusing on offering relief through art workshops.

A safe space for Artsakhtsi children in Yerevan

After a period of adaptation, Gurgen then decided to relaunch the activities of his NGO in Yerevan, thanks to the generous support of Eurasia Partnership Foundation.

“The newly provoked war brought us to Yerevan, and after a break for some time, we decided to reshape Shoonch and expand its field of activity”. The Shoonch Art Center reunites specialists and psychologists to provide art therapy workshops to children of Artsakh, aimed at easing their post-war experiences and contributing to facilitating the adaptation period in their new contexts.

The workshops will be completed by visits to various art schools and development centers in Yerevan. 

We are happy to welcome Gurgen and his students to our premises and hope to create wonderful souvenirs of joy and hope in the workshops of the Shoonch Art Center.

For more information, follow the Shoonch Art Center on their social media:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shoonchartcentre2023/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shoonch.kentron/

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