Leaders of the Armenian Cultural and Technology Communities Come Together to Discuss the Future of Education and Preservation in Armenia and Beyond
Glendale, CA March 25, 2016—On Sunday March 13, the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies and CyArk hosted an important gathering of Armenian Americans committed to fostering innovative education and preservation in the country through digital technology. The collaboration seeks support from the community to preserve and share Armenian Cultural Heritage for education, research and posterity. Those interested in learning more about the project, or wish to contribute to its success, can visit www.armenia3d.org.
“The outpouring of support we have seen today has been incredibly heartwarming,” said TUMO and Armenia3D Board Member, Katherine Sarafian. “It is urgent that we get this technology into the hands of students who can actively document Armenian Heritage throughout the Country and Diaspora.”
The richness of Armenian heritage has developed over centuries. Today, that heritage exists as an irreplaceable resource to the world’s collective history and also as a precious source of identity for millions of Armenians living in the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian diaspora across the globe.
In order to safeguard this heritage, the non-profit CyArk has partnered with the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies to launch the initiative “Armenian Heritage: A Virtual Pilgrimage” in order to digitally document, archive and share Armenian heritage sites. By utilizing state-of-the-art technologies in 3D documentation, this proposed project will not only safeguard the blueprints of these heritage sites for generations to come, but will also provide Armenian and non-Armenian students across the world with the opportunity to go on a virtual pilgrimage which will showcase the documented heritage sites through immersive virtual tours and educational content.
In order to move this project forward, an informational meeting was held on Sunday, March 13th at the Armenian Society of Los Angeles Library which was hosted by the Armenian Engineers and Scientists Association (AESA). The presenters were TUMO board member and Pixar producer, Katherine Sarafian, CyArk Board Member, Michael Evans, and CyArk Field Manager, Ross Davison.
“It was an incredible experience to train and work alongside the TUMO students last January,” said Davison. “The TUMO students are so capable and driven—I know we can look forward to great things from them.”
The presentation showcased the collaboration between TUMO and CyArk. Sarafian discussed the TUMO center and how its innovative program is the perfect partner for CyArk in Armenia due to its focus on state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge skills. The program will result in a robust virtual archive of Armenian Heritage data as well as teach a new generation of students about their history while learning skills to advance their future careers.
The first collaborative project between TUMO and CyArk was completed in January, 2015 at the historic, Monastery of Geghard. Results are available for the public to freely view online at, http://cyark.org/projects/monastery-of-geghard.
Inspired by the success of this pilot, TUMO has decided to expand the program by scanning existing Armenian sites in Armenia and surrounding countries—thereby providing TUMO students with hands-on experiences and the opportunity to become a part of preserving Armenian culture around the world. We need your help to keep this cutting edge program alive and thriving. The goal is to collectively provide the necessary funding to buy a 3d scanner that is necessary for documenting these sites. The resulting data will be freely available to the public and will become a gift for future generations of Armenians and non-Armenians alike. If you would like to learn more about the project, or wish to contribute to its success, please visit www.armenia3d.org.
About TUMO Center
About the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies: The TUMO Center for Creative Technologies (www.tumo.org) is a free of charge after school program that teaches young Armenians the skills they need to succeed in the modern, digital world. The first TUMO center was opened in Yerevan in 2011, with a subsequent center opening in Dilijan in 2013 in partnership with the Central Bank of Armenia. The TUMOxAGBU partnership opened a center in Gyumri along with the Stepanakert location in 2015. www.tumo.org
CyArk is an international nonprofit organization that uses 3D laser scanning, photogrammetry, and traditional survey techniques to create an online, 3D library of the world’s cultural heritage sites before they are lost to natural disasters, destroyed by human aggression, or ravaged by the passage of time. Spurred by the Taliban’s destruction of the 1600 year-old Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan, CyArk was founded in 2003 to ensure that the world’s collective heritage is available to future generations, while also making it uniquely accessible today.www.cyark.org