Skip to main content

Bringing the vision of theatre on wheels to life with the EU-supported Artbox Initiative

Creating a travelling theatre to reach children aged 3-10 living in all corners of Armenia was the dream of Bebook theatre’s founders, Ani Yeremyan and Ruzanna Petrosyan. However, more than a dream is needed to start a creative business. It was necessary to organise the work process effectively, acquire practical knowledge of marketing and management, and secure financing to purchase a bus and make the dream a reality. All of this became possible through the EU-funded Artbox Incubator programme. By participating in the programme, the founders of “Bebook” immediately acquired the necessary knowledge, skills and financing.

Fostering cultural development and empowering creative individuals are key priorities for the European Union in Armenia. Through various initiatives, the EU aims to promote creativity, preserve cultural heritage, and foster innovative projects in the field of culture. The European Union strives to encourage creativity, protect cultural heritage, and nurture innovative cultural projects through a variety of efforts. The Artbox programme exemplifies one of these initiatives.

Designed and developed by Creative Armenia, Artbox is funded by the European Union in Armenia and launched in partnership with AGBU Armenia within the framework of the KATAPULT Creative Accelerator Programme․ Artbox is a creative incubator and accelerator programme that advances the boundaries of the Armenian creative economy by providing practical, strategic, and long-term support to artists and creators across art fields through its signature, deliverable-driven methodology. It is particularly aimed at cultivating business mindset and skills among creators and guiding them to create projects and products that can be commercially viable and investable. Artbox Incubator, Artbox Accelerator, Artbox Hub, Artbox Entrepreneur – each of the 4 Artbox programmes is designed to equip its pool of creators with the vital skills necessary to build successful and sustainable businesses. “Applying to the Artbox programme grant was not hard for us, because the programme mentors provided us with extensive assistance and preparation during the 12 weeks, leaving us only to finalise our project and present ourselves,” says Ani Yeremyan, Bebook Theater’s founder.

The success of Bebook Theater within this programme is highly encouraging. Thanks to the grant they received, they purchased a bus and had their first performance on-the-go at the Zoo on June 1, 2023.

“We had a highly successful year. Apart from acquiring the bus, we independently purchased additional decorations, equipment, and essential accessories. The programme has played a significant role in these achievements. With the knowledge gained, we are now capable of autonomously obtaining financing and managing our operations.” says Ani Yeremyan.

Bebook represents just one of the many success stories of the Artbox project. Throughout its existence, this EU-funded initiative has involved over 190 individual creators, supported more than 130 projects, and allocated grants exceeding €500,000.

“Usually, inexperienced entrepreneurs aren’t trusted, and that’s understandable, but Artbox believed in our abilities more than we did, and thanks to that great trust, today we are quietly continuing to work and create,” shares Ani Yeremyan.

Today, Bebook aims to organise performances in rural areas of Armenia and make theatre and culture accessible to all Armenian children. Additionally, they will soon add two new performances to their repertoire.

Artbox aims to become the definitive structure for the development of artistically powerful and commercially viable creative products, projects, and businesses in Armenia and the world.