interview Zulal: The floating triangle From performances at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and the MET’s upcoming exhibition on Armenia, to concerts in churches, museums, and universities, it seems as though the Zulal a cappella trio is really after only one thing: to immortalize the essence of Armenian folk songs. But they are not mere archivists or preservationists. On the contrary, their joy in breathing new life into ancient tunes and narratives, the sweet nuances of their voices, the graceful choreography of their movements, all come together to reveal a cornucopia of songs that defy age and language. They feed the soul with intricate rhythms celebrating love and our relationship with nature, evoking an appreciation for the beauty of a simpler and slower life. How do they do this? My in-depth interview with the trio, conducted on the morning of their last concert in Beirut, reveals the secrets behind their meticulously refined performances and the wealth of their shared perspectives.
collaboration ANCA x h-pem | Stitching through history While traversing the booths of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival this summer, Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) intern, Lucine Mikhanjian, came across a Syrian-Armenian needleworker, whose story of preserving the craft of her ancestors in Armenia inspired her.
collaboration ANCA x h-pem | Bringing Armenia’s religious heritage to the American capital From vishapakars (dragon stones) to khachkars (cross-stones), the Armenian people’s fascination with carving beautifully intricate designs in stone is one of our most defining cultural and artistic legacies. Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) intern, Christopher Khachadour, takes a stroll around sculptor Bogdan Hovhannisyan’s booth at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, to learn more about this ancient craft and the importance of safeguarding it for future generations.
collaboration ANCA x h-pem | Kataro Winery at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival This year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival highlighted some of Armenia’s oldest and coolest productions. Among them is our rich legacy of winemaking. Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) summer intern, Adrienne Tazian Schwartz, describes one such family-owned business, located in one of the region’s most turbulent areas.
collaboration ANCA x h-pem | ArmAs: Celebrating 'something old, something new, something inspiring' Ancient Armenians were known to like a good drink. Today, several Armenian companies are trying to bring back this ancient winemaking tradition. ArmAs Winery is one such example. Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) intern, Megan Vandre, spoke with their CEO, Victoria Aslanian, at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival about Armenia’s recent “wine renaissance” and what ArmAs is doing to propel Armenian winemaking into the 21st century.
collaboration ANCA x h-pem | My Armenia: Creating a brighter future Thousands flocked to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival this year to take in all that Armenian art and culture has to offer. However, not many were aware that the Smithsonian Institution itself has been involved in boosting Armenia’s tourism for many years before the festival. Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) intern, Antranig Kechejian, spoke with a representative of this amazing project and shared some thoughts of his own.
feature Celebrating Armenian culture at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2018 has been the year to be Armenian. From a political revolution in April/May to a full Armenian village in the middle of the U.S. capital in June/July, to the upcoming Metropolitan Museum of Art’s (Met) exhibition on Armenian art in September, Armenianness has never been more in the spotlight. As the political discussion around immigrants grows increasingly hostile here, at home, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s decision to shine a light on Armenian heritage and culture this summer in our nation’s capital is a proud occasion for our community to showcase, as the President of Armenia calls it, “the cradle of civilization—after Africa.”