Effective June 15th, within the framework of the YMCA Europe “Generation Next” project an Embroidery Summer School is launched in Yerevan, Armenia. It is facilitated by 5 Syrian-Armenian masters actively involved in the YMCA Europe “Rootsmade” initiative, and with rich know-how in various traditional styles of embroidery. The aim of this initiative is to transfer meaningful life skills from generation to generation and thus preserve and enrich the national heritage and traditions.
On June 1st an open call for participants was published on the “Rootsmade” online platforms. The interest towards the Summer School was unprecedentedly high. During the first day of the announcement around 100 applications were already received. The organic reach for the announcement post on the “Rootsmade” Facebook page was more than 22 000. Resultant out of the 250 applications received 30 young people were selected. YMCA Scholarship holders from the American University of Armenia assisted in the applicants’ shortlisting, interviewing, and selection process.
The Summer school is planned to last two months, until August 15th. Each of the masters will work with a dedicated group of 6 participants. Each group will be taught one identical style of embroidery, those being of Urfa, Ayntap, Marash, Svaz and Van. In each group, 2-hour-long lessons are scheduled twice a week, with a total of 16 to complete the curriculum.
Within the framework of the Summer School study visits to similar projects are planned. There will be an official closing ceremony combined with an exhibition of the items made by the graduates. Based on the assessment of this pilot Summer School and on the apparent high demand for it there may be more initiatives alike in future.
A vivid proof of the relevance of this “Generation Next” initiative, is its coverage by the Public Television of Armenia.