Hamazkayin ArtLinks 2018 to Be Held in PA, June 28-July 1

Annual Arts Retreat to Link Armenian Youth and Leading Voices in the Arts

The 2018 Hamazkayin ArtLinks youth workshops will take place in Elverson, PA, June 28 – July 1, and will feature Alexander Dinelaris and Chris Bohjalian (creative process), Vehanoush Tekian (Armenian language and poetry), Nairi Karapetian (Armenian dance), Maral Varjabedyan (daily yoga, optional), and Khatchig Mouradian (public speaking). Mouradian, who is the ArtLinks program director, will moderate the workshops. There will also be a discussion on the recent developments in Armenia.

Alexander Dinelaris Jr.

A North American-Armenian youth program, Hamazkayin ArtLinks links a range of renowned artists with young Armenians interested in their cultural heritage. The ArtLinks workshop environment promotes a dialogue between Armenian youth and internationally recognized figures, with backgrounds in creative literature, music, theater, cinema, journalism, and the social media. During the four-day retreat, workshop leaders will interact with participants aged 21 to 35, to transmit their expertise.

Alexander Dinelaris Jr. is an Oscar-winning screenwriter and producer. He is known for the films Birdman (2014), The Revenant (2015) and Still Life (2018). Dinelaris also wrote the book for the Broadway musical On Your Feet about the life and career of Gloria Estefan. He will be joined by New York Times Best-selling author Chris Bohjalian for a discussion on the creative process in film and writing.

Chris Bohjalian

Chris Bohjalian is the author of 20 books, most of which were New York Times bestsellers.  His work has been translated into over 30 languages and three films were produced based on his novels. His books have been chosen as Best Books of the Year by the Washington Post, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Hartford Courant, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Bookpage, and Salon. His novel, Midwives, was a number one New York Times bestseller, a selection of Oprah’s Book Club, and a New England Booksellers Association Discovery pick. He is a Fellow of the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Vehanoush Tekian

Vehanoush Tekian is an Armenian poet, short story writer, essayist and critic who has won numerous awards. Today, five decades after the publication of her first collection of poems, Tekian has published numerous other books of poems, short stories and essays, as well as literary criticism. In 2012, Vehanoush Tekian was awarded the “Movses Khorenatsi” medal by the President of Armenia. Currently, she is a bibliographer at Columbia University libraries, in charge of the books in Armenian.

Tekian’s career as a published author began in Beirut, where she was born, when she was published at the mere age of thirteen. A few years later, in 1969, her first volume of poetry, Blue April, was highly acclaimed by major Armenian writers throughout the Diaspora and Armenia, where she was invited two years in a row and accepted as a member in the Armenian Writers’ Union.

It should also be noted that in 1976, a selection of her poems edited by renowned poet Vahagn Davtian, was forbidden to come out of the printing house in Yerevan, due to her unwavering attitude for a free Armenia and a free society. She was on the black list till Armenia declared Independence. In 2001, she was reelected as a member of the Writers’ Union of Armenia.

Dr. Khatchig Mouradian

Dr. Khatchig Mouradian is a lecturer in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS) at Columbia University in the City of New York.

In Fall of 2016, Mouradian served as the Henry S. Khanzadian Kazan Visiting Professor at California State University – Fresno. In 2015-2016, he was a visiting assistant professor at the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers University. Mouradian has also taught courses on imperialism, mass violence, urban space, and conflict in the Middle East, the aftermaths of war and mass violence, and human rights at Worcester State University in Massachusetts and Stockton University in New Jersey.

Mouradian is the author of articles on genocide, mass violence, and unarmed resistance, the co-editor of a forthcoming book in late Ottoman history, and the editor of the peer-reviewed journal The Armenian Review.

Nayiri (Birazian) Karapetian

Nayiri (Birazian) Karapetian has been the instructor of the Hamazkayin Arax Dance Group of Detroit for the past 14 years. Nayiri was a member of the Hamazkayin Sardarabad Dance Group of Chicago for 18 years before moving to Detroit. She also teaches Armenian Folk Dance classes for grades K-12 at the AGBU Alex and Marie Manoogian School in Southfield, Michigan. She is a registered nurse, and is married with three children.

Maral Varjabedyan

Maral Varjabedyan shares with fellow yogis the ever-existing bliss and peace one can open up to experience through practicing yoga. Maral’s practice has taken her to teach diverse populations in New Jersey including women undergoing treatment for substance use disorder at Integrity House, adult restorative yoga classes at Bloom Yoga Studio, as well as students at the Hovnanian School. Maral designed, launched and taught the Hovnanian School’s afterschool yoga program for Nursery to First grade students (Mini Yogis) and will soon be leading a Project Time course for middle school students. By sharing the practice with others, Maral aims to empower one’s appreciation for the present moment and cultivate life-long skills of tuning into oneself and finding alignment of the body, mind and spirit. Maral completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training certification in 2017 and is advancing her studies with training programs including a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program and Mindful Yoga for Trauma and Addiction training.

The inaugural Hamazkayin ArtLinks program was held in the Catskills, N.Y., in 2015. In 2016, the program traveled to Quebec, Canada, and in 2017, it was held at the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) camp in Valyermo, California. The success of the first three ArtLinks events, as well as the enthusiastic response of the participants, led the Regional Executives of Hamazkayin USA East, USA West, and Canada to sponsor and organize Hamazkayin ArtLinks 2018, which will take place June 28-July 1, at the scenic St. Mary of Providence Center, 227 Isabella Rd., Elverson, PA.

Participants must be aged 21 to 35, submit two application forms, and pay a participation fee of $100 USD, which includes the three-night lodging and all meals on-site. The deadline for applications is June 20, 2018.

To register, visit http://www.hamazkayin.com/artlinks-2018

For more information or questions, please write to artlinks@hamazkayin.com

Read about ArtLinks 2015 here, ArtLinks 2016 here, and ArtLinks 2017 here.

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