Art of Learning
The project ’Preservation of Cultural Heritage through Art and Craft’ has been implemented by the ‘Bridge of Hope Dilijan’ NGO in Dilijan community
This project is unique amongst many community initiatives taking place in Dilijan. It has a number of added values: among the beneficiaries of the project are children with disabilities and children who represent national minorities who live in Dilijan. Most importantly, the restoration of cultural dialogue between the national minorities and Armenians of the community cannot be undermined as a great achievement.
The goal of the project was to contribute to the preservation and enrichment of national cultural values.
Soon after the first few prearrangement activities were started, the community’s Children’s Art School became a home of art and craft classes. It acquired new equipment and supplies ready to host children and adults for pottery and wood carving classes. These branches of art have long been neglected and there was a need for art education amongst younger generation to preserve the cultural heritage.
Over a 100 children and adults of diverse groups and ranges of society have gained pottery and wood curving skills through the project. If not all the students, at least majority of them have learned to revalue the importance of these art branches as a part of city’s culture. They have also learned that craft can serve a means of improving their economic sustainability and independence in future.
One of the parents stated: “My child has learned craft skills and doing so he ensured his future, which is a great achievement for a disabled person.”
Not only the project had long-term results but it also ensured short-term results such as the interaction of diverse
Another output has been the educational organization of leisure time of children while the parents have been working. Many of the representatives of the national minorities worked in the construction of the international school of Dilijan and they have been taking their children with them to work think of it as a chance to provide children learning experience. Due to the project children have learned that work and mastery are essential parts of life and they can use it in future individually and they can advance their skills and knowledge in the field.
The community overall has benefited from the project as it has recovered some of its traditional craft culture. Dilijan has always been a cradle of traditional arts and crafts. The increase of number of people skilled in pottery and wood carving in the city will boost the creativity and can be used as a resource for tourism development.
The publication has been produced within the project ‘Equal Opportunities for National Minorities and Disadvantaged Groups in Realizing Cultural Rights: Richness in Diversity’ funded by the European Union under Eastern Partnership Culture Programme and implemented by GURT Resource Centre (Ukraine) in partnership with the Civil Society Partnership Foundation (Republic of Armenia) and Center for NGOs Development (Republic of Armenia) and aimed at developing cultural diversity and support the culture of national minorities through strengthening capacity of local self-government bodies, public authorities, civil society organizations, local culture institutions in communities in Ukraine and Armenia.