On May 25, the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies, 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, opened a new location in Gyumri. The center is the product of a partnership between AGBU and the Simonian Educational Foundation. In the fall of 2014, a telethon to raise funds to launch the center was organized by Shant TV president Arthur Yezekyan.
In September 2015, TUMO x AGBU begins its free, afterschool program focusing on animation, game development, web design and filmmaking for Gyumri youth ages 12 to 18. TUMO x AGBU Gyumri will accommodate 500 to 1,000 students, who will attend classes at the center twice a week for two hours.
As part of AGBU’s commitment to education and innovation in Armenia, the Simonian Educational Foundation and AGBU are also launching a second center in Stepanakert this year. In November 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. 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 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 and mentorship as well as specialized training.