By Shoghere Ourlian
The Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society of Detroit was busy planning events and preparing for the start of its new dance season for the Hamazkayin Arax Dance Ensemble when COVID-19 put everything on hold. Suddenly we were informing parents that we would not be able to start our dance practices until further notice. At first, we assumed it was going to be a two to three week delay. But as COVID-19 took an aggressive attack on our communities, the Hamazkayin Detroit Executive Board sensed the need to connect with the community and started to think outside the box.
On March 7, we organized a story time dedicated to March reading month. From this idea, we developed virtual story time, but then we thought, “Why stop there?” There’s so much more we can offer to our communities; we can also meet the need for Western Armenian material online.
Hamazkayin Detroit is fighting this pandemic in our own way, staying active while educating our youth with the launch of our brand new YouTube channel. This week, we posted our first video—a reading of Նապաստակը/The Rabbit. On this platform, we will be broadcasting children’s stories, poetry, dance tutorials and other topics. We also would like to explore the talents of those amongst us. We kindly invite children and adults in the community to send us videos of them singing, dancing, reciting poetry and acting to be posted on the Hamazkayin YouTube channel and social media. Videos of children will also be featured on the Lalan ou Aran Facebook and Instagram pages.
For more information, please contact Hamazkayin Detroit at HamazkayinDetroit@gmail.com or send us a message on Facebook.