Presenting the Arts Center Gyumri at the Armenian Embassy in Moscow

The project presentation of the Arts Center in Gyumri was held in the Art Space of the Cultural Center of the Armenian Embassy in Moscow during which Embassy Adviser Karina Danielyan delivered a welcome speech.
The founder of the center and people’s artist of Armenia Roudolf Kharatian spoke about the ideas laid down in the project, his goals and objectives, while the project architect Azad Chichmanian from NEUF architect(e)s presented the design concept of the building. The executive director Lilit Petrosyan presented the achievements and strategic planning of the project.

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My Step for Shirak Province

“My step for Shirak Province” investment-business forum and local production exhibition was held in Gyumri on July 20 with the participation PM Pashinyan and Shirak Governor Tigran Petrosyan and other governmental representatives. “My step for Shirak Province” business forum was initiated by the Government of the Republic of Armenia and aims to create a platform that will promote economic development in the Shirak communities through multilateral collaborations among local and foreign businesses.

The forum created an opportunity to present the economic potential and development prospectives of the region, as well as ready-made investment and value-added projects, including the “Kharatian Experiential Center for the Performing Arts” project. PM Pashinyan emphasized the importance of the project. He also stopped to discuss the further steps necessary for securing State support for the realization of the project with founder Roudolf Kharatian and director Lilit Petrosyan.

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Getting started

In April 2018, the “Kharatian Experiential Center for the Performing Arts, Gyumri” project received an Innovation for Social Impact grant, implemented within the Bridge4CSOs project led by AGBU in partnership with EPF and funded by the European Union for Piloting the Program, to develop Capital Planning, initiate Institutional Marketing and start Capital Campaign Planning.

We envision the Kharatian Experiential Centre for the Performing Arts as an immersive learning center for the arts in which communities can collaborate to explore the creative process together. Visitors may come with friends to watch a simulcast then linger to take pictures of an outdoor art installation. Parents may bring their children to attend an art camp and stop by a dance rehearsal they notice in a bright studio on the way. The Kharatian Experiential Centre for the Performing Arts acts as a creative incubator where artists can realize their visions and visitors from all walks of life will not always need a ticket to experience art.

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Cooperation with Caritas Armenia

One of the core components of the center will be the DanceAbility program, designed for children with multiple disabilities. The aim of the program is to foster their integration into social life, discover their physical and mental potential, and encourage tolerance among the general community.

In May 2018, Ballet2021 had a meeting with the Emili Aregak (Caritas Armenia) team to discuss the integration of the children with multiple disabilities into the dance training program which will be realized on the regular base and will end up in a yearly performance.
Taking into consideration the health and mental condition of the children a specialist will be invited to work with the children based on a specially crafted methodology. The training will be held at Emili Aregak center.

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Collaboration with Lead Architect

A project this ambitious requires a suitable home. This is why we are collaborating with award-winning Montreal architect Azad Chichmanian to create a building that will turn any regular Gyumri Saturday into an experience that breaks boundaries between art and audience and make Gyumri a sought-after destination.

Architectural plans include a performance house, three studios with nine dressing rooms, multi-functional conference room, library, gallery space, and café-gift shop. With all these elements, we see the Center quickly becoming an inspirational place sure to revitalize Gyumri and reawaken a modern, innovative passion for world-class performing arts.

Azad Chichmanian’s first visit took place in June 2018. During this time, he visited the building site numerous times, had a number of meetings and discussions with Municipality and community members. The architect designed a presentation document of the present state of the building and best practice samples to be followed when developing the architectural design.
After meeting a number of architectural studios Azad Chichmanian selected Storaket studio as a local partner.

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Brainstorming with Gyumri Community Members

The first phase of the planning process consisted of conducting a series of interviews with Gyumri’s Municipality staff, City Council members; artists; potential donors, residents, and other constituencies to understand the various points of view and issues associated with the project and to determine the core issues facing the Arts Center.

The most notable aspect of the planning process has been Gyumri community members’ commitment to becoming the best while capitalizing on what makes Gyumri unique within the region. Members of the community have conceptualized an Arts Center that includes arts education, performing arts, research, artistic and international advancement within a welcoming facility that will provide a compelling visitor experience.

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Public Hearings at the Gyumri Municipality on January 29  

On January 29 Gyumri municipality announced a public hearing, followed by A&Q of projects aiming at restoring the building of the former Railway Culture Cente. and discussions were held on the topic of rr in Gyumri. Discussion took place at Gyumri municipality administrative building. The majority of those present at the public debate supported the program proposal suggested by Ballet 2021.

Signing the Memorandum of Understanding

Based on the unanimous decision by the Gyumri Community Elders’ Commission, a memorandum of understanding between Gyumri Municipality and Ballet 2021 was signed for the transfer of the property rights of the former cultural center building and surrounding area to Ballet 2021 for use as the Kharatian Experiential Center for the Performing Arts for gratuitous use for a 99-year period.

Project Official Presentation

On 25 March 2019 Ballet 2021 Foundation made the official presentation of The Kharatian Experiential Center for the Performing Arts, Gymri project, which was preceded by a press briefing with the founder Roudolf Kharatian and Lead Architect Azad Chichmanian.


H.E. Mr. Piotr A. Świtalski, Ambassador, Head of European Union Delegation to Armenia, and Mr. Tigran Petrosyan, Governor of Shirak Marz, made welcoming remarks. Among the guest were Ambassadors of EU countries, Deputy minister of Education and Science, Deputy minister of Culture, representatives and head of organizations of the World Bank, GIZ, Amber Capital, “My Step” foundation, Head of Urban Development, Gyumri community members and others.

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