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Exhibition of 18 local artists in Berkeley, California to support Peraian Center auction benefit

10/9/03 Fundraising Event at Persian Center on Oct. 12, to raise $350,000

Persian Center ( will be hosting an Auction Benefit, featuring 18 Iranian-American artists from the Bay Area, on Sunday, October 12, 2003, from 3-6 p.m. at 2029 Durant Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704.  The afternoon will include an auction featuring precious Persian Carpets and Jewelry, while enjoying Persian hors d'oeuvres and cocktails.  Tickets, which are $150 per person, can be purchased by calling 510-848-0264 or sending email to  The art exhibition featuring Taraneh Hemami's "Hall of Reflections" project, will be open to public from 7-9 on the same day.  Other artists include

Seyed Alavi: Conceptual Art 
Koorosh Angali: Painting
Kourosh Bahar: Painting,
Rana Bastabi: Sculpture,
Ali Dadgar: Silkscreen painting
 Mehdi Fallah: Calligraphy
Iranshid Ghadimi: Painting
Azar Golara: Painting,
Mohammad Hourian: Persian Miniature Painting 
Sara Iravani: Paintings 
Mokhtar Paki: Painting  
Azra Safai: Decoupage,
Sid Sarshar: Photography
Mona Shomali: Painting
Soufi: Persian Calligraphy,
Hadi Tabatabai: Painting
Termeh Yeghiazarian: Painting
Avideh Zahedi: Ceramic
    (, Zaman
Zamani: Painting 

Taraneh, who spearheaded the assemblage (, shared that "the artists have collectively joined ands in support of their community and fellow artists, and plan to donate a portion of the proceeds to the Persian Center, which in turn has supported art initiatives to bring art to our community."

The goal of the event is to raise $350,000 to pay-off the remaining loan balance on the three-story Victorian building the organization purchased in 2000.  In the past couple of weeks, thousands of dollars have poured in and $25,000 of the loan has already been paid down.  The event chair, eleven-year old Sheila Malek Tabrizi, who has generously donated $10,000 to Persian Center, plans to rally all generations into donating to the community's only educational/cultural home.  Born and raised in the United States, Sheila who has never visited her parents' homeland admits that, "for me, going to the Center is the closest thing to visiting Iran."

In the past three years, having a community center has provided numerous benefits to the Iranian-American community, from a 2000-person annual "Chahrshanbeh Souri" street parade on the last Tuesday eve of Winter, to monthly art, music, and language classes, to providing a non-political non-religious atmosphere to host newsmakers such as Poupeh Mahdavinader--the first Iranian woman to be bicycling around the world for peace.   It has organized the community around public advocacy issues, such as on-site voter registration, and has allowed Persian Center to form strategic alliances with many other non-profit organizations, such as the Wheelchair Foundation, in an effort to deliver 1680 wheelchairs to Iran.  As a result of having a physical location, unique art initiatives, such as collection of immigration stories in the "Hall of Reflection" project, became possible in collaboration with California Arts Council for the Humanities, San Francisco Art Commission, Cultural Equity Grant, and the Creative Work Fund, Haas Foundation. 

"We would like to expand our activities, to be able to contribute to the community far more extensively, from summer camps for children, to outreach programs for senior citizens, to greater promotion of Persian art, music, and cultural activities, to extended public advocacy efforts and presence of the Iranian-American population on a state level.  In order to have the resources-both human and financial-to implement these programs, we need to pay off the loan balance of $350,000," stated Mandana A. Baradar, founder, board member, and event organizer.  All community members are encouraged to participate in this historic event.

The Persian Center is a non-profit organization with a mission to create an environment in which to conduct social, cultural, educational, and recreational activities designed to strengthen the sense of identity and integrity of all Iranians and Iranian descendants, and to engage individuals interested in or related to Persian community and culture.

Contact: Niloofar M. Nouri, 510-848-0264

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