The HayArt Cultural Center, Yerevan, Armenia, was founded in 1997 as a cultural institution under the jurisdiction of the Yerevan Municipality. This status has left its profound impact on the centre's activities. It turned out that this circumstance led to the uncertainty of the centre's activities due to the political processes taking place in the country. With coming to power of this or that political force, it has undergone drastic changes leading to changes in the goals pursued by the centre, the policies implemented, and even the circle of artists.
During the first seven years after its establishment, the centre had professionals involved in the art having weight in that field. Projects were implemented that had a serious impact on the processes taking place in contemporary art in Armenia. Deep cooperation was established with international, especially European art circles. As a result, the institution became one of the two leading platforms for the exhibition of contemporary art in Yerevan.
However, in the middle of the 2000s, the new city authorities decided to renew Hayart's staff. This change turned the history of HayArt upside down. Most of the halls were rented out the centre stopped serving art. And although the name of the institution was preserved, nothing was kept from the goals and principles of the centre's activities. It lost its former reputation and weight. With no basic professional skills and ability to put forward projects, this staff did not even care to create the centre's website presenting and archiving previous exciting projects. The unpromising nature of such a style of work became especially evident with the spread of the epidemic.
The first wave of the pandemic was extreme in Armenia. For months, the country was firmly in the top ten countries with the highest prevalence of the epidemic. The severe isolation of spring and summer and the war that broke out in autumn completely paralyzed the weak activities of the centre. The inactivity of more than a year led to a situation when HayArt found itself in an extremely severe financial crisis and was near to be closed.
It was in such a state of things that another change of staff took place in 2021. The staff of newly formed, skilled professionals has come up with ideas based on a long-term development strategy of the centre. The team realize that to keep pace with the changing socio-economic circumstances and the dynamic development of contemporary art and culture, it is necessary to update and recreate the models of an art organization, business, agile, rapid response.
The strategic development plan for HAYART suggests that it should become a creative hub, a modern platform for developing and implementing non-profit and for-profit projects with a solid plan to promote the creative industry in Armenia.