ACOSS (Art Center of Social Studies) artist-in-residence program, established in 2006, needs more space to continue to develop its international artistic network and an alternative art school for the community. ACOSS serves as a platform for national and international artists interested in a studio exchange to practice their art and become immersed in our collaborative community art-related initiatives, which highlight the concept of creativity without borders towards social change.
The aim of ACOSS is to support the development of contemporary creativity and to assist local Armenian and international artists and scholars to organize exhibitions, conferences, research projects, seminars, and workshops concerning local art and current political and social situations. Our artist-in-residence program is a platform/meeting point where local and international artists and art professionals connect, develop links, and initiate cross border cultural exchange projects. Since 2006, ACOSS AIR has welcomed over 200 international artists and guests from 40 countries. The ACOSS artist residency program is a long term social practice for me, a piece of my art, where my friends, the community where I am based, and my family are all involved. We meet at an intersection of Armenian hospitality and contemporary art. Here, we regularly collaborate with organizations, internationally to provide cultural exchange opportunities, and locally to develop socially engaged projects supporting social change, particularly in the peripheries and war affected zones of Armenia.
Our plan to grow
After 11 amazing years, we are now ready to take the next step in the development of the ACOSS artist residency program. Our current studio is a small space, 38 m/sq, and we want to grow! Finally, after years of trying, last year we were able to purchase a piece of land next to the studio and receive permission from the Yerevan city council to start renovation and expansion of our live/work studios to 200 m/sq – nearly five times more space. We started construction last year and built the shell of the new building. However, all funds have been exhausted. With Stage 1 successfully completed, we are now fundraising for Stage 2 to finish all the building work for the permit deadline of May 2018.
What we want to achieve
This is a big project and in my country there is no literarily way to get funding or any kind of sponsorship. We are looking to our international communities to support this initiative and help us reach our goals. Armenia is an isolated, mono ethnic country with a lack of funding support for the arts. We believe Armenia needs a truly international art center to welcome guest to our wonderful country.
By increasing the space for our art center we will be able to achieve so much more:
- Host up to 6-8 visitors at the same time, creating a real international and interdisciplinary atmosphere for creativity;
- Establish an exchange studio, in the ‘microresidency’ model, available for studio exchange programs with other countries;
- Host YOU as a contributor who would like to join our network, visit our art space and experience Armenian culture;
- One of the rooms will be open also as a rental space for visitors; friends or relative of our visiting artist, or for those who wish to get to know Armenian culture alongside artists in a creative space;
- The creativity we encourage doesn’t have boarders. We host artists from around the world to undertake research, production and exhibitions in Armenia;
- Develop an educational dimension of ACOSS introducing socially engaged practices as a form of art to our emerging Armenian artists;
- Continue to develop our ethos and mission as an international art center based in the community, with strong social impact towards social change;
- Develop a self-funding model to keep our independent art institution thriving.
Our window to the world
We are developing an international art space and our door is always open. ACOSS already appears on the map of the contemporary art landscape, proof that with motivation but limited sources you still can do valuable and noticeable things with great impact. Contributors who join our campaign will also join our network where they can keep supporting creativity and have a space to stay and enjoy art in Armenia any time they visit.
Perks of Donating…
You could recieve one of our beautiful perks including artworks by Armenian and former resident artists. Perks became a sort of fun part of our campaign. When our neighbors learnt about this perks system and how it is going to work, we keep receiving many, many different things from them to offer to our contributors.
How else can you help us?
Join us in our mission to develop an international cultural exchange space and art center for our local community. Help us with promotion our campaign and follow our progress…