On July 17, 2018, Voskeporik Artistic Development Center launched Art Opens Doors, a special project implemented by Artissimo NGO and UMCOR Armenia. The project’s goal is the integration of children with special needs into society through the most honest and effective tool – art. Many children with and without special needs participate in the studio days.

The first studio day was well-attended, and led by members of the Beacons. The Beacons and their peers, children with and without special needs, described instruments used in folk and classical music, shared their knowledge, and had a lively and happy master class.

During one of these studio days, Voskeporik was able to welcome the kind and big-hearted Gata Band’s amazing musicians Garegin Arakelyan and Andranik Sarkavag Manukyan, who imparted great excitement to the children of Martuni. Mimos Puppet Theater and the painter Lilit Vardumyan, who spoke about art with the children participating in the program, brought the most attractive and fun branch of art – puppetry and the making of puppets. Through the children’s collaboration, unlimited imaginations, and helping each other, the heroes of Hovhannes Tumanyan’s famous fable “The Tailless Fox” were born.

Through Art Opens Doors, children with and without special needs were invited to the Small Theater Folk Art Center in Yerevan, where a studio was run by the theater’s artistic director, Vahan Badalyan and the theater’s actors. At the ASP Riding Club in Martuni, children participated in hippotherapy, the first program of its kind in Gegharkunik marz. Art Opens Doors took place until December, and will continue in the following year (2019).