Life Before and After SMART for the Grigoryan Sisters of Alaverdi

Eleanora and Maria’s “tour de SMART” began six years ago. In the years since, both sisters have completed over nine programs, participated in different workshops and summer programs, played important roles in the realization of a slew of projects, and had their creations win in an art competition.

The sisters dabbled in the arts before, but Maria’s dream of mastering a new instrument came true at SMART.

“I remember it like it was today; I picked up the guitar for the first time during the musical instruments program and tried to play the first notes. I said to one of my friends sitting next to me, ‘My dream has come true,’ ” recalls Maria, who only played violin and piano before that moment.

The sisters confess that thanks to SMART, they have gained many friends (including programmers) and skills—a willingness to try new things and dream bigger.

Eleanora and Maria at the “Modernization of Armenian Culture” art competition.

Maria studying a new technique during Gevorg Murad’s workshop.

The course taught by VOMA (the art of staying alive) and organized within SMART’s summer program revealed that Eleanora hits her mark with great skill.

Maria has four programs left to complete the entire SMART curriculum.

A family duet. Music remains solely a hobby for the sisters. Eleanora is a future doctor, and Maria is going to become an architect.

Eleonora is confident that the skills she acquired at SMART, even the ones that are not directly related to her future profession, will one day be very useful.

Maria can’t imagine her life without the arts, although she thinks every program at SMART is a good opportunity for self-discover.

Maria presents her creation at the “Modernization of Armenian Culture” art competition organized by COAF and the Vahe & Lucie Foundation.

One of the girls’ biggest dreams is to get an education abroad. They believe that they will have an opportunity to use their newly acquired knowledge and experience back in Armenia.

Author: Knar Babayan

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