About the My Armenia Program
The My Armenia Program (My Armenia) works to increase and share knowledge about Armenian cultural heritage and build capacity to support the long-term vitality of Armenian cultural sites and practices.
My Armenia is a collaborative program of the people of Armenia, USAID, and the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian works around the world to preserve biodiversity, engage teachers and students of all ages, and sustain global cultural diversity. Through the My Armenia program, the Smithsonian seeks to support global cultural sustainability by documenting Armenia’s historic and living cultural traditions, sharing this knowledge with global audiences, and supporting the development of local resources and capacity to safeguard this cultural heritage for future generations. My Armenia is managed through the Smithsonian Office of International Relations, with technical expertise from the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
My Armenia works with historians, anthropologists, ethnographers, community experts, and others to document cultural expressions—architecture, artisan craft, cuisine, dance, dress, music, and traditional knowledge—through a collaborative process based on tools developed by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. The Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences in Armenia is a key partner in this work. Whether carpet motifs that reflect centuries-old traditions, winemaking practices harnessing the latest technologies, or the many different ways to bake lavash or carve a stone khachkar, through this collaborative research My Armenia seeks to expand existing scholarship and increase knowledge of contemporary cultural expression, historic sites, and living traditions in Armenia.
The project’s name reflects the important role that storytelling plays in this work. Through digital, print, and interactive media, My Armenia shares stories about Armenia’s cultural heritage, bringing to life the diversity and complex histories of Armenia’s cultural traditions. Working with communities to document stories about their cultural traditions, this research informs collaborative work to build capacity in community-based cultural experiences that share and support Armenia’s cultural vitality.
Visit the Learn section to experience a selection of these stories.
Each My Armenia experience reflects the voices of Armenian communities and the complex stories surrounding Armenian cultural heritage. With museums, artists, artisans, and sites, My Armenia seeks to build local capacity to safeguard these cultural experiences for many years to come and share them with global audiences. By building capacity and increasing knowledge of Armenia’s rich cultural traditions – past and present – My Armenia harnesses the tools of community-based cultural tourism to support this globally-significant cultural heritage.
To learn more about My Armenia at the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, visit folklife.si.edu/myarmenia.
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The My Armenia Program is funded by USAID and implemented by the Smithsonian Institution.