Countries are not just about buildings, mountains, seasides bars and restaurants. In order to have the picture complete, you have to meet people, explore its history and get familiar with the cultural side of the country. Today I’m going to tell you about Narekatsi Art Institute, that gives you an opportunity to know more about culture & art life in Armenia, as well as I'll tell you about Saint Gregory of Narek after whom the institute is named.
Narekatsi Art Institute carries the name of Saint Gregory of Narek. He was an Armenian monk, poet, mystical philosopher, theologian, composer and saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church and Catholic Church. The prayers of St. Gregory of Narek have long been recognized as gems of Christian literature. St. Gregory called his book an “encyclopedia of prayer for all nations”, that is internationally known as "Book of Lamentations". The book is written in Armenian and has been translated into many languages. What’s interesting: it was scientifically proved that if one repeats the prayers without understanding the words written in the book, his body becomes subject to genetic changes. The book has a healing and curing power. In 2015 saint Gregory of Narek was declared as a Doctor of the Church by Pope Francis. You can find his statue in Vatican gardens, Italy.
Narekatsi Art Institute (NAI) was established in Yerevan in 2000. It is a platform that brings together artists from Armenia and from abroad as well as people who like art and people who want to have a closer look at Armenia's cultural life.
NAI is a very active union that always hosts interesting cultural events. The events include but are not limited to different exhibitions; meeting with local and international artists (painters; actors & actresses and etc.); film screening in Armenian and in other languages; concerts (jazz, classical, folk and etc.); evenings titled as “We and our Dances” where the attendees can not only enjoy the dances but also learn and join the team; “We and our songs” events during which traditional songs are taught; literary evenings, cultural talks and many more. The good thing is that events are open to everyone and the entrance is free. So what you need to do is just registering in advance. The list of the upcoming events is available on their website and on their Facebook page.
Narekatsi Art Institute is home to Naregatsi Orchestra, The Nova Children’s Ensemble that presents concerts locally and internationally as well as The Njdeh Folk Dance Group and The Painting Class after Sevan Naccashian.
Besides, Naregatsi Art Institute website’s new section called “Naregatsi Library” offers the readers electronic and audio versions of the NAI publications, as well as other popular books. With the support of the Institute, books, CD’s and publications have been produced that explore different facets of the rich Armenian cultural heritage.
I hope you will find some time to visit Narekatsi Art Institute. And - last but not the least- those who are interested in buying the Prayers book of the Saint Gregory of Narek can find it not only in the bookstores but also in Vernissage, Yerevan.
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