Armenia’s premiere media education center, which has been sponsored by the Tufenkian Foundation for ten years, is hosting a summer program for Diaspora youth.
Manana Youth Center to Hold Summer Program for Diasporan Youth
YEREVAN—The award-winning Manana Youth Center will host its first annual summer program this year, providing Diasporan teens and pre-teens the opportunity to learn photography and documentary filmmaking in the heart of Armenia’s capital.
The program will be led by noted filmmakers and photojournalists, who will teach classes alongside leading fieldtrips and other workshops. The fieldtrips will take students into both Yerevan and the surrounding countryside, teaching them to engage with Armenian culture in new and unique ways, largely through immersion. At the same time, they will help youth to hone their verbal and visual communications skills in order to become the next generation’s opinion-makers and culture-shapers.
Manana’s aim is to making top-flight education in critical thinking, communications, and creative communications, available to a wide range of Armenian youth. This fills an important vacuum, as many youth had been left with no after-school opportunities following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The few enrichment centers that were left were prohibitively costly for all but the wealthiest of Armenians. Since then, Manana’s goal has been to provide opportunities that will help ensure the advancement of all strata of society throughout the coming generation.
Through Manana, more than 100 students learn from prominent professional journalists, photographers, graphic designers, animators and filmmakers each year; the summer program is an effort to unite these youth with young members of the global Diaspora who have similar potential, and to help the latter discover, embrace and understand Armenia and its people.
Manana’s students have won scores of awards at festivals and competitions throughout the Caucasus, Europe and the Americas. The Tufenkian Foundation has served as a primary sponsor of Manana during the past 10 years, and since 2007 has been joined by the California-based Paros Foundation.