YEREVAN—April 24, 1915. A date every Armenian associates with one word (genocide) and the injustices of mass-murder and denial. Every year, it’s a day spent mourning the dark past that links all Armenians to each other. An overwhelming heaviness 98 years and counting.
But non-profit funding platform ONEArmenia is pointing out that Armenians and Armenia are still here. While there is that dark past–and an ongoing quest for justice–there are a present and future taking place right now, in real-time. Reasons for brightness abound. So why not look to the light, even on April 24?
Enter the SHIFT Initiative: your chance to seize opportunities for innovation in Armenia. It’s based on the global ONEArmenia community’s conviction that Armenia’s potential for educational, humanitarian, environmental and cultural dynamism is limitless–and it’s about time you took it into your own hands.
In spring 2013, ONEArmenia is calling for anyone in the world over the age of 16 to pitch a project under $10,000 that transforms an element of Armenian culture–be it ancient or contemporary–into a fresh, 21st century creation. There are no rules as to process or form; applicants should just want to shift Armenia’s culture out of its traditional and historic space and make it the basis for an active, modern-day aesthetic. The winning project will be chosen by the online community in a single round of open voting via Facebook.
This initiative builds on ONEArmenia’s output since it first launched in September 2012, which was based entirely on large-scale projects that were marketed and crowd-funded by the non-profit’s creative team for the Tufenkian foundation, its first member organization. SHIFT projects are pitched and executed entirely by unaffiliated individuals.
Once selected, the SHIFT project of the summer 2013 season will immediately enter its development phase, nurtured by ONEArmenia’s creative staff. Video, photo and written material will be put out by their team to spread the word about the project and report its progress to the world. All projects (and the labor associated with them) must be implemented in Armenia, with proposals indicating awareness of ONEArmenia’s commitment to transparency. None of the award money can go toward the applicant’s salary.
The SHIFT Initiative was launched on April 24, 2013. Applications will be accepted until May 25, 2013.
Non-profit funding platform ONEArmenia was founded in September 2012 to stand side-by-side with the change-making individuals and the organizations they represent, using social media and crowd-funding to involve anyone with an Internet connection in boosting projects that are geared toward making tangible change in Armenia now. With Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram dominating the marketing world, ONEArmenia has tailored its approach to maximize the influence these massively-trafficked sites have on raising awareness on pertinent issues and bringing people together.
The non-profit is based on its three-pillar commitment to global collaboration, efficiency and transparency. This means that the ONEArmenia network makes it possible to not only raise money for a project based in Armenia as a worldwide community, but to also track the progress of said project with complete access to financial information. ONEArmenia only accepts project proposals from other non-profits with a proven track record, fundraises for approved projects via crowd-funding site IndieGoGo, and then continuously reports on project implementation, process and completion using video, photo and written documentation that is posted publicly online.