January 30, 2023
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2023 Creative Armenia-AGBU Fellows Announced

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    Creative Armenia x AGBU 2023 Fellows Announced

Artsakh artists are in focus as the organizations collaborate on the Invisible Republic global awareness and education campaign

Creative Armenia and the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) have just announced the ten recipients of the 2023 Creative Armenia-AGBU Fellowships. As always, the fifth wave of the Fellowships will empower powerful new voices in film, music, literature, the visual arts and beyond with funding, mentorship, and career support – but this year with a special emphasis on Artsakh-related projects. 

Among the Fellows are photographer and filmmaker Alexis Pazoumian with his second photography book Black Garden, portraying the strange reality of life in Artsakh (Karabakh), where the marks of war are ever-present; filmmaker Nare Leone Ter-Gabrielyan with Silenced, an immersive project based on survivor testimonies of the displaced people of Artsakh about the 2020 war; and documentary filmmaker Sareen Hairabedian with Swinging Fields, a feature documentary about an eleven-year-old boy as he returns back from displacement into his war-torn home in Artsakh. 

The other 2023 Fellows are: filmmaker Alik Tamar Barsoumian (United States); photographer and filmmaker Diana Markosian (United States); visual artist Gayane Yerkanyan (Netherlands); visual artist Harutyun Tumaghyan (Armenia); jazz vocalist Lusine Yeghiazaryan (United States); writer and creative producer Nyree Abrahamian (Armenia); and saxophonist, educator, and composer Raffi Garabedian (United States). 

"With the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Artsakh, we are proud to support artists who are on the frontline of an important cultural mission,” said AGBU Central Board member Ani Manoukian. “The indifference of the world must be challenged by the creation of new films, works, and images out of Artsakh – a profound and continuing cultural legacy.” 



Earlier this month, Creative Armenia and AGBU announced the launch of their Artsakh awareness and education campaign, marked by the digital release of the award-winning war documentary Invisible Republic, which tells the story of the 2020 Artsakh War through the eyes of writer and photographer Lika Zakaryan. The film can now be watched on virtual cinema here and resources can be found at agbu.org/artsakh

“At this moment of crisis, Lika Zakaryan’s story is more vital than ever,” said Garin Hovannisian, the film’s director and the founder of Creative Armenia. “We are proud to support Lika, as we are proud to support our  Fellows and all artists who are working to make our invisible republic more visible to the world.” 

The 2023 Creative Armenia-AGBU Fellows will receive a $5,000 grant, mentorships with industry leaders (Netflix, Sony Pictures, Match Factory) and award-winning artists (Pulitzer Prize, Academy Awards, Emmy Awards), and diverse promotional opportunities. 

As the new 2023 Fellows take the stage, the previous Fellows — filmmaker and producer Anzhela Frangyan (Artsakh); writer Aram Mrjoian (United States); curator and art historian Armen Yesayants (Armenia); photographer Biayna Mahari (Armenia); filmmaker Christine Haroutounian (United States); composer and audio artist Esmeralda Conde Ruiz (United Kingdom); filmmaker and producer Inna Sahakyan (Armenia); cinematographer and visual artist Suren Tadevosyan (Armenia); composer and musician Van Sarkissian (Armenia); and curator and art historian Vigen Galstyan (Armenia)​ ​— join the growing Creative Armenia-AGBU Fellowships alumni, helping to lead a new generation of artists and becoming the creative ambassadors for Armenia. 

Already in its fifth year, the 2023 Creative Armenia-AGBU Fellowship is a testament to the prolific strategic partnership established between Creative Armenia and AGBU. You can learn more about the new Fellows and the history of the program at creativearmenia.org/fellowships.

Creative Armenia, a global arts foundation for the Armenian people, pursues a mandate to discover, develop, produce, and promote innovative talent. AGBU, a trusted name across the diaspora and Armenia for over a century, has opened many doors for talented Armenians through such offerings as university-level performing arts scholarships, summer internships, and professional programs such as AGBU Musical Armenia Program and AGBU Sayat Nova International Composition Competition—all under the aegis of the AGBU Performing Arts Department, established in the United States in 2012 and in Europe in 2016.