BY LISA KRADJIAN
After profitable careers in actual property and finance, Victor Zarougian and Judy Saryan of Boston have championed Armenian philanthropy in some ways. Their newest effort combines their ardour for sustainable agriculture, with the International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education (ICARE), and for artwork, with the Armenian Artists Project. In doing so they’re elevating consciousness for each organizations and creating new alternatives to maintain Armenian enterprise.
Victor Zarougian was born in Cairo, Egypt and immigrated to the United States in 1962. After attaining his BA at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, he pursued a profession in city actual property administration and growth. He has a robust curiosity in geography and developmental economics which he has put to wonderful use in his philanthropic efforts, notably in Armenia, with organizations reminiscent of the Tufenkian Foundation, Children of Armenia Fund, ICARE, TUMO, and others.
Judy Saryan was born in Delaware and graduated from Wellesley College in Massachusetts with a serious in economics. She spent her profession in the monetary business, most not too long ago at Eaton Vance Management, the place she was vp and portfolio supervisor. She has offered monetary commentary for a number of media retailers. After retirement, Saryan determined to pursue her ardour for literature and historical past, and in partnership with the Armenian International Women’s Association, printed translations of Zabel Yessayan and others. She additionally has labored on philanthropic initiatives with the AIWA, National Association for Armenian Studies and Research, COAF, Christians In Need Foundation, Armenian General Benevolent Union, TUMO, and ICARE.
Victor’s and Judy’s ardour for supporting Armenia took a brand new flip in latest years, as they determined to pursue two main objectives concurrently: to assist sustainable agriculture in Armenia, and to assist Armenian artists — each areas which have lengthy been a part of Armenia’s historical past and accomplishments.
In 2005, Texas A&M University, Armenian National Agrarian University, and the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service based ICARE — a non-governmental and non-commercial group in Yerevan. It gives levels in agribusiness training to realize sustainable entrepreneurial actions in the meals and agriculture sector in Armenia. ICARE is an umbrella establishment for the Agribusiness Teaching Center (ATC, the flagship unit of ICARE), the Agribusiness Research Center, and the EVN Wine Academy. It additionally prepares agribusiness specialists at undergraduate and graduate ranges, armed with broad financial, advertising, and managerial expertise, up-to-date communication skills, and wonderful data of English. These expertise make ATC graduates aggressive in the rising regional agribusiness sector.
Because they noticed the immense advantages of renewable vitality in Armenia, Victor and Judy first partnered with ICARE in 2014 on their photo voltaic panel challenge, the largest photo voltaic challenge in Armenia at the time. They continued their involvement with a donation for the growth of the EVN Wine Academy. Judy and Victor appreciated the sensible and high-quality training that ICARE provides. Most not too long ago they’re working with ICARE to determine its EcoFarm, an incubation heart selling environmentally aware agriculture, agribusiness analysis and startups, and responding to the challenges of local weather change. They did so in response to the socio-economic situation of Armenia and to the alternative to develop a modern establishment.
Around the identical time, via colleagues, Victor and Judy got here in contact with the Armenian Artists Project, which helps Armenian artists and financial system by promoting their works on-line round the world, with proceeds going to the artist and to charitable efforts in Armenia. AAP has already offered greater than $150,000 value of art work by 35 Armenian artists and contributing roughly $65,000 to Armenia’s financial system and charities supporting Armenia.
Victor and Judy noticed a possibility for a really distinctive synergy between ICARE and AAP. They made a donation to AAP artist and sculptor Nune Tumanyan to create a sculpture of Zabel Yessayan, a brave Armenian girl (1878-1943) who was a famend author, political activist, editor, and trainer, to be put in in entrance of the ICARE EcoFarm. They felt it was necessary to focus on the influence of Yessayan on Armenian literature, historical past, and training and to additionally assist a feminine Armenian artist. In doing so, they’ve raised consciousness of each organizations in their efforts to assist and maintain the homeland.
Titled «Անվհեր Զապէլ,» or “Intrepid Zabel,” the larger-than-life sized sculpture displays her braveness and devotion as a pacesetter and advocate for human rights. In some ways it displays the spirit captured in a well-known quote of the creator, Yessayan: “You must raise your gaze higher; you must sharpen your mind in order to undertake useful and wide-reaching work.”
The work additionally displays the ardour of its sculptor, Nune Tumanyan, for her homeland and its ladies. Born in Yerevan, Nune has held positions as a Professor of the Academy of Fine Arts in Armenia and as the Head of the Department of Sculpture and Artists’ Union of Armenia. She can also be Author and Curator of the Project “Urban Sculpture,” aimed toward bettering the inventive look of Yerevan via the artistic works of the sculptors of Armenia. She has received quite a few awards at the Ravenna Biennale in Italy and has had work exhibited at the National Art Gallery of Armenia, and round the world. Her sculptures are additionally held in each non-public and company collections in Armenia, and worldwide.
The sculpture is scheduled to be put in at a proper ceremony at ICARE in Fall 2022.
Although the pandemic resulted in some delays for these concurrent initiatives, Victor and Judy and their companions are shifting ahead. “As Armenians from the Diaspora, we recognize the debt we have to our history and culture,” they stated. “By supporting the creative efforts of Armenian educators and artists, we help to continue our cultural tradition and to work towards the future growth and innovation of strong institutions in the homeland.”