Armenian Culture, Science and Education Development Foundation

The Ministry of Diaspora’s ”long-term partnership” with Nune Yesayan


It is certainly important for our compatriots in other countries to be aware of Armenian culture; that is out of any doubts. Besides,in some cases Diaspora Armenians are more devoted to our cultural values that those in Armenia. Of course, Armenians should not lose their identity by merging to other nations. For this reason it’s contributable for the child to be nurtured with such feeling as the same for going to various Armenian events, performances and concerts organised in Diaspora communities.

These days honoured artist of the Republic of Armenia Nune Yesayan concerts in USA. The songstress earlier performed in Nicosia, Athens, Vienna, Munich, Hamburg, and Marseille. The North America performances are scheduled in Los Angeles (September), San Francisco, Washington, Philadelphia, New Jersey then Toronto and Ottawa in Canada (October). According to the promo commercial, the concerts are being sponsored by the Ministry of Diaspora and therefore we contacted their public relations division to clarify the details of this sponsorship.

In response to our written inquiry we’ve been informed that during the held concert and the other upcoming ones, accommodation costs are kindly covered by some pan-Armenian institutions and businessmen.

To our question about reasons of sponsoring so many Nune Yesayan’s  concerts by the Ministry, we got the an answer saying that Nune Yesayan showed her own initiative introducing the concert program dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide «We are, we will be and continue to grow», which doesn’t seek any profit and is charitable. This program has been then introduced to the Diaspora communities and only positive responses were received. Another, perhaps better artist didn’t expressed such willingness. 7 planned concerts for 13 communities in USA and Europe (at the time of our inquiry the 8th one has not been held) have already taken place, with other 6 to come.

In addition, they explain the main reason behind sponsoring Nune Yesayan’s concerts for the length of 6 months was that Armenian communities choose artists and apply to the Ministry of Diaspora to organize the concert tour.

13 concerts in total,  is there no other singer deserving sponsorship of at least one concert instead of 7 already held ones for this single artist? The answer of the Ministry was that Nune Yesayan is honored artist of the Republic of Armenia and therefore it’s not up to the Ministry to make any assessments on this. In a same time, they said, there are lot of other worthy artists who do not want to perform for charity cause and require remuneration. Besides there were no requests from our communities for other artists.

We inquired about the criterion on which decision is to be made for sponsoring the concert. The representative of the Ministry explained that such considerations are based on the requests received from different Armenian communities, commonality of Ministry’s agenda with the presented concert program, as well as the decision made by the advisory board reporting to the Minister of Diaspora of RA. Advisory Board consists of prominent and distinguished scholars, artists such as Hovhannes Chekijyan.

It sounds though somewhat peculiar. On the one hand the Diaspora Ministry says that Nune Yesayan’s concert program was introduced to the Armenian communities abroad and got positive responses, on the other hand it turns out that communities themselves expressed their will to invite the very singer. So who decides here, communities or the Ministry? Moreover, according to the Ministry the financial side is covered by sponsors, some pan-Armenian agencies, donors, host parties, which means there is incorrect information in promo commercials and on posters, as the Ministry in this case responsible solely for the organizational part, supporting the initiative, but not being the event’s sponsor.

Our question about the charitable nature of this concert remained unanswered by the Ministry, but in any case let’s not forget what the charity cause persuades and the meaning of it. According to the Ministry these are charity concerts and Nune Yesayan does not receive any royalties, but if so, where the money paid for the tickets will go then? (ticket costs for the concert on 7th October varied between $50 to $150). The promo commercials and posters should have included the information about the charitable cause and how the revenue from the sold tickets will be spent. It hasn’t be done unfortunately.

Also, one might question the fairness towards other established artists not to be considered by the Diaspora Ministry that has taken the approach of sponsoring only one singer with her 13 concerts (as mentioned in official release) for 6 consecutive months.

In response to our suggestion to route this charitable funds to Armenian families that suffered from the military operations in Syria, they said that such support is provided within the framework of Integration of the Diaspora. A lot of work has been carried out to get aids from charitable organizations and private donors, and the management of these aids is vested exclusively to the “Coordination center of Armenians in Syria” NGO. The members of this organization are only Syrian Armenians.

As it appears from this statement by the Ministry of Diaspora, funds which are spent for organizing Nune Yesayan’s concerts won’t be of any help for above mentioned families.

From our part we can just describe the situation but the rest is left to the conscience of the Ministry.

Syuzanna Gareginyan (Culture.AM)
Photo is taken from Nune Yesayan’s Facebook page
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