Source: Farhang Foundation (photos by Vafa Khatami)
LOS ANGELES, CA, November 6, 2013 - Farhang Foundation is spearheading a cultural and educational initiative in Southern California, aimed at teaching our community and students about the significance of Cyrus the Great and the Cyrus Cylinder. This clay artifact from ancient Persia has been called the first declaration of human rights and is currently on display at the Getty Villa until December 2, 2013 in an exhibition entitled The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New Beginning.
Farhang's newly launched Community and Education Outreach (CEO) committee is overseeing the foundation's efforts to promote this exhibition and offer educational programs in close collaboration with the J. Paul Getty Museum. These programs will use the Cyrus Cylinder as a doorway to bringing ancient Persian history to life and connecting it to the freedoms we take for granted as Americans today, while allowing students the historic opportunity to see an object that has become an enduring symbol of universal human rights, religious diversity and freedom.
"The significance of the Cyrus Cylinder, is beyond measure," said Dar Gabbay, Farhang Foundation trustee and chair of the CEO committee. "Nearly 2,600 years old, it stands today as a reminder of Cyrus the Great's reverence for the cultural diversity within his empire. At Farhang Foundation, we believe this symbol to be a dynamic learning tool that should be shared with students and discussed in classrooms within our community, for it shows that our current values of freedom and religious diversity have deep and longstanding roots."
Working in collaboration with various institutions in Southern California, such as the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission, Los Angeles Unified School District Office of Human Relations, Diversity & Equity, as well as the Beverly Hills Unified School District, as well as private schools, Farhang Foundation has kicked off an outreach campaign to local middle and high schools in order to provide classrooms with learning materials, opportunities for field trips to the Getty Villa, and to organize portable Cyrus workshops at schools. The workshops are offered on a first-come first-served basis to interested schools, based on availability. Additionally, close to 100 field trips to the Getty Villa during the The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New Beginning exhibit have been scheduled directly by various schools throughout Southern California.
In addition to helping students, Farhang Foundation has also sponsored the University of California, Irvine History Project to host a learning opportunity for teachers. This project, called Ancient Kingship and the Cyrus Cylinder will provide teachers with more information on the artifact and show how to include it within their standards-aligned curriculum. To learn more about this sold out program, please visit the UCI History Project website.
The Cyrus Cylinder exhibition at the Getty has been made possible by the generous contributions of Farhang Foundation members and community leaders who believe in the mission of promoting and sharing Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large. To learn more about the exhibition or Farhang Foundation please visit, www.farhang.org/cyruscylinder.
About Farhang Foundation
Farhang Foundation is a non-religious, non-political and not-for-profit foundation established in 2008 to celebrate and promote Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large. The foundation supports a broad range of academic activities in Southern California by funding university programs, publications and conferences. The foundation also supports diverse cultural programs such as the celebration of Nowruz and Mehregan, theater, dance performances, film screenings and poetry reading in Southern California. And, in cooperation with various cultural and academic institutions, Farhang Foundation funds major programs and exhibitions about Iran and its culture. However, the content, viewpoints or biases expressed by individual artists, academics, institutions or events supported by the foundation belong solely to each individual party and do not necessarily reflect the views of Farhang Foundation. For more info visit www.farhang.org
About The Cyrus Cylinder US Tour 2013:
The Cyrus Cylinder touring exhibition (2013, United States) is organized by the British Museum in partnership with the Iran Heritage Foundation (IHF) America and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
In the case of each city, we have had different sponsors, and in the case of Los Angeles, Farhang Foundation has generously provided financial support and local programming. You can find more information about the Los Angeles display of the exhibition here.
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