Imagine an academic center in Armenia welcoming artists, policy makers, academics, authors, practitioners, scientists from all over Armenia, Artsakh and the world – giving them time and space to work, learn from each other and turn their ideas into actions.
Twenty-five minutes from Yerevan, Armenia, in the serene village of Maiakovsky, the USC Tacori Center will do just that.
The USC Tacori Center has piloted several programs in anticipation of a grand opening later this year. No longer delayed by COVID-19, the Center has already begun to serve as a hub for international academics, students, artists and journalists, providing a shared space for research, collaboration and creation.
The Tacorian family, founders of Tacori Jewelry, have donated the use of their large two-story house to the university and continue to support the programs there. The house and its adjacent mini orchard are in a beautiful village named after the Russian poet, playwright Vladimir Maiakovsky (1893-1930).
The Institute is grateful to the Tacoran family for their vision at such a crucial time for the future of Armenia and the Diaspora.
Already this year, five different program sessions took place between April and June.
First, there was Dee-Zoom, a program that invited members of the Armenian design community and design specialists from six countries for a discussion on the challenges and shortcomings of the industry. Local and international best practices have been shared to improve the diversity and quality of the design industry in the country.
In May 2021, postgraduate students from Armenia gathered at the USC Tacori Center for a four-day critical social science workshop with Professor Vicken Cheterian from Webster University in Geneva. The students participated in sessions on the geopolitical challenges of Armenia in the context of national expectations and post-Soviet constraints.
In the same month, representatives of the media and academics gathered for three more workshops to define methods of collaboration and begin to define Armenia’s research agenda – what are the pressing questions that need to be addressed? ask and answer?
Future Center programs will invite participants from Gyumri, Vanadzor, Stepanakert and other regions, for art residencies, translation workshops, international student retreats, exhibitions and conferences, all of which will examine certain aspects. social, cultural, educational and political challenges facing Armenia, Karabakh and Armenian communities in the diaspora.