By: Jessica Schieder, National Iranian American Council (NIAC)
In collaboration with the office of California State Senator Sam Blakeslee, Senses Magazine LLC/ Senses Cultural, an organization dedicated to creating a more peaceful environment by fostering understanding through sharing arts and ideas across the globe, is hosting a series of Iranian cultural events in Sacramento, CA this June and after. The purpose of this project is to promote a greater understanding of Iranians and Iranian-Americans, by using art and dialogue to promote humanity and an understanding of the Persian culture.
Outside of Iran, the largest number of Iranians reside in the United States, and many of those individuals call California home. California State Senator Blakeslee will graciously host a series of Iranian cultural events, in what will hopefully become a yearly festival of Iranian culture.
The festivities will feature an exhibition highlighting Iranian artists and their work on the first floor of the State Capitol from June 17th through June 23rd, 2012. HeART of Iran will focus on interpretations of the meaning of peace and human rights for artists in the Iranian-American community. The exhibition seeks to break through stereotypes of Iranians as “extremists” or a nation of “mullahs,” established by the depictions of Iranians in the popular press and political cartoons. By focusing on the importance of these universal values to the multifaceted Iranian diaspora and the hundreds of thousands of Americans with Iranian heritage, the exhibit intends to educate and share the richness and diversity of the Persian culture with all Californians.
Additionally, a Persian cultural celebration, complete with music, art, and food is planned to take place on the steps of the Capitol building and in Capitol Park. Americans are unfortunately often limited in their exposure to Persian culture, and this event will be an invitation to the Sacramento community at large to experience first hand the wonders of the Persian kitchen, the sweetness of traditional Persian music, and introduce them to the prominence of art in Persian culture.
Finally, the Iranian-American festivities will be brought to a close with a forum to be held in the State Capitol Building. Members of the Legislature, their staff, and officials in the Governor’s administration will be invited to take part in a discussion with respected experts to discuss the significance of the Iranian culture.
Those interested in contributing to this unique celebration of Iranian American culture are encouraged to make donations to the HeART of Iran exhibition. Individual donors and corporations who donate $500 (the approximate cost of one of the 10 to 15 dramatic panels comprising “HeART of Iran”) or more will be honored for their contribution with a mention in the Capitol display.
Never before has an event of this scale and duration honored this culture. With the success of this series of cultural festivities, it is the hope of Senses Magazine LLC/ Senses Cultural that this precedent will initiate efforts in other states to continue to promote the culture and heritage of Iranian Americans.
For more information, including how you can support this initiative, contact Tata Monfared via email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (insert number).
Senses Cultural, Inc. is a registered California nonprofit organization, and will soon have federal 501(c)3 tax-deductible status.
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