Joseph Oughourlian announces his pledge of $150,000 towards TUMO Karabakh
On Tuesday, November 18, 2014, artist Michael Aram hosted a holiday shopping event at his flagship store in New York to announce a new partnership between AGBU and the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies, bringing the TUMO Centers to additional locations throughout Armenia, starting with a center in Nagorno-Karabakh. TUMOxAGBU is a state-of-the-art facility that offers Armenian youth access to learning resources, digital media and leading professionals in the fields of media and technology. Michael Aram kicked off the fundraising efforts by contributing 30% of sales that day to this project.
Initiating this large scale effort, Joseph Oughourlian, AGBU Central Board member and co-founder of Amber Capital Investment Management, pledged $150,000 to support the TUMO Center in Nagorno-Karabakh. Oughourlian has been closely involved with development in Nagorno-Karabakh, both personally and professionally, for many years.
“Seeing firsthand how critical it is to invest in Nagorno-Karabakh for its success and strength, I am sure that the center will have an outstanding impact on thousands of children who would not have had these opportunities otherwise,” says Oughourlian.
Through its partnership with AGBU, the TUMO Center plans to expand its reach throughout Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh and touch the lives of thousands more in the years to come.
To date, over 10,000 children and young adults have experienced the center’s high-quality, hands-on program, which includes workshops, teamwork and mentorship as well as training in animation, digital media, web design and game development.
The event featured a meet and greet with Michael Aram, TUMO founder and AGBU vice-president Sam Simonian and managing director of TUMO Marie Lou Papazian, during which Aram announced that he will design a special edition houseware item which will include a collaboration of students participating in TUMO classes in Armenia along with interns from AGBU’s New York Summer Internship Program. This item will be inspired by the hundredth anniversary of the Armenian genocide with 100% of proceeds from sales benefitting the TUMOxAGBU Nagorno-Karabagh Center.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to TUMO’s pioneering vision for Armenian education. I know the critical role education can play in transforming a society and TUMO is very much at the forefront of this effort. We’re excited to collaborate with students and the Internship Program to create something very special for the public,” says Aram.
Michael Aram is an American-born artist who works primarily in metal. Aram’s pieces, ranging from tableware to furniture, are entirely handmade and are made using age-old traditional techniques. The handmade quality of his work allows it to shift between the realms of fine and decorative art. Aram is also a member of the TUMO Center’s board of advisors.
“We at TUMO are honored to have the backing of people like Michael Aram and Joseph Oughourlian. Their commitment to equipping Armenian youth with the skills they need to become the next generation of critical thinkers and creators is really overwhelming,” says Sam Simonian, the founder of the TUMO Center.
To learn more about the TUMO Center, please visit: http://www.tumo.org/en/
For more information on Michael Aram’s work, please visit: http://www.michaelaram.com/
Established in 1906, AGBU (www.agbu.org) is the world's largest non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City, AGBU preserves and promotes the Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs, annually touching the lives of some 500,000 Armenians around the world.
For more information about AGBU and its worldwide programs, please visit www.agbu.org