Toronto-born Nyree Abrahamian among 2023 Creative Armenia-AGBU fellows

Toronto-born, Yerevan-based writer and creative producer Nyree Abrahamian is among the ten recipients of the 2023 Creative Armenia-AGBU Fellowship. The arts foundation and the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) announced the fifth class of Creative Armenia-AGBU fellows in a statement yesterday. 

“As always, the fifth wave of the Fellowships will empower powerful new voices in film, music, literature, the visual arts, and beyond with funding, mentorship, and career support—but this year with a special emphasis on Artsakh-related projects,” reads a part of the statement. 

Abrahamian is currently producing a podcast featuring stories of people living in Armenia during this critical time for the country. “Country of Dust”’s first season is slated to premiere in the near future. She has worked on several innovative educational programs and written for humanitarian organizations such as UNICEF and the HALO Trust. Abrahamian is a former adjunct instructor at the American University of Armenia (AUA), where she taught a foundational communications and civics course. In 2021, she was selected as a mentee in the International Armenian Literary Alliance’s (IALA) mentorship program’s inaugural session. 

Abrahamian, who holds a B.A. in English from York University and an Ed.M. in International Educational Policy from Harvard University, is also one of the organizers of the Tumanyan International Storytelling Festival. Born and raised in Toronto, she lives in Yerevan with her husband and two children.

Among the other 2023 fellows are photographer and filmmaker Alexis Pazoumian (France); filmmaker Nare Leone Ter-Gabrielyan (Armenia); documentary filmmaker Sareen Hairabedian (United States/Armenia/Jordan); filmmaker Alik Tamar Barsoumian (United States); photographer and filmmaker Diana Markosian (United States); visual artist Gayane Yerkanyan (Netherlands); visual artist Harutyun Tumaghyan (Armenia); jazz vocalist Lusine Yeghiazaryan (United States); and saxophonist, educator, and composer Raffi Garabedian (United States). 

“With the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Artsakh, we are proud to support artists who are on the frontline of an important cultural mission,” said AGBU Central Board member Ani Manoukian. “The indifference of the world must be challenged by the creation of new films, works, and images out of Artsakh—a profound and continuing cultural legacy.” 

Last month, Creative Armenia and AGBU announced the launch of their Artsakh awareness and education campaign, marked by the digital release of the award-winning war documentary “Invisible Republic,” which tells the story of the 2020 Artsakh War through the eyes of writer and photographer Lika Zakaryan. The film is available on virtual cinema here

“At this moment of crisis, Lika Zakaryan’s story is more vital than ever,” said Garin Hovannisian, the film’s director and Creative Armenia’s founder. “We are proud to support Lika, as we are proud to support our Fellows and all artists working to make our invisible republic more visible to the world.” 

The 2023 Creative Armenia-AGBU Fellows will receive a $5,000 grant, mentorships with industry leaders and award-winning artists, and diverse promotional opportunities.