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Farhang Foundation Announces the Winners of the 2016 Nowruz Competitions


Source: Farhang Foundation

Preparations for Farhang's 8th Annual Nowruz (the Iranian New Year) Celebrations at LACMA are underway as the Foundation selects the winning submissions from this year's Nowruz Multimedia Program and Nowruz Street Banner Competitions.

2016 Nowruz Banner Winning Design by Maryam Ghanbarian

LOS ANGELES, February 1, 2016 - Farhang Foundation is thrilled to announce the winners of its annual Nowruz Multimedia Program and Nowruz Street Banner Competitions.

"Each year, Farhang's Nowruz Multimedia Program and Street Banner Competitions are met with overwhelming enthusiasm by artists worldwide, and this year has been no exception!  We are certainly thrilled by the quality and record-breaking number of submissions for 2016.  Once again this year our beautiful banners and groundbreaking program promise to capture the heart and soul of Nowruz," said Hormoz Ameri, Farhang Foundation Trustee & Chair of Nowruz Committee.

The winner of this year's centerpiece Nowruz Multimedia Program is awarded to Mamak Khadem, named "one of the wonders of world trance music." by The Los Angeles Times.  Her program, entitled Whispers of Spring, will make its world premiere during Farhang's 8th Annual Nowruz Celebration at LACMA on March 13. Whispers of Spring will be an engaging, multimedia theatrical performance that celebrates the arrival of Spring through a blend of music, dance, and film.

Mamak Khadem

"As an Iranian immigrant, for years I have dreamt of going back to my native country where Nowruz is embedded in culture and tradition. After more than 30 years, and finally being able to call Los Angeles home, I realize that the most meaningful celebration takes place in one's heart..." said Mamak Khadem. "Over the years, I've come to personally re-discover that Nowruz it is about new birth, new life, and new beginnings, pushing boundaries, striving for full potentials, and connecting to your inner power. For these reasons, I am producing this event for Farhang Foundation. Farhang has most diligently conveyed these meanings of Nowruz to the community at large, and this March, I am honored to be part of the celebrations and to do my part in expressing what I feel is the true essence of Nowruz."

Maryam Ghanbarian, an Iranian Graphic Designer from Tehran, has been selected as this year's Nowruz Banner competition winner. In March 2016, Maryam Ghanbarian's submission -- a stunning design representing elements of Nowruz, such as sabzeh (wheatgrass) and goldfish -- will be featured on street banners along prominent boulevards in Los Angeles, announcing Farhang's forthcoming 8th Annual Nowruz celebration at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) taking place on March 13, 2016.

"Nowruz is the celebration of life and its renewal rooted in a tradition that has a unique place in Iranian culture." Said Maryam Ghanbarian. "Inspired and moved by my own feelings during Nowruz, I chose the symbols that I see as the most representative elements of Nowruz for my design. Nowruz starts with the growing the wheatgrass (sabzeh) that announces the arrival of the New Year and to me the goldfish represent purity, freshness and vitality.  I am happy and proud that my design has been selected by Farhang Foundation as the winner of this year's competition, and I hope that with this work I have made a contribution to introducing the beauty and richness of the Iranian culture to the world!"

Farhang Foundation's annual Nowruz Banner and Nowruz Multimedia Program Competitions were launched back in 2010 and 2011 respectively, as a prelude to Farhang's signature event, its annual Nowruz celebration at the LACMA.

Each year, Farhang Foundation, through its Nowruz Banner Competition, reaches out to a global community of artists, illustrators, and graphic designers, enlisting their talents to create and submit original designs that capture the essence of Nowruz. During the weeks leading to Farhang's annual Nowruz celebration, the winning design is featured on large street banners in prominent areas of Los Angeles announcing the event.

Likewise, through its annual Nowruz Multimedia Program competition, Farhang Foundation calls upon performers, musicians, actors, playwrights, and other talented individuals to submit proposals for performing arts pieces that epitomize the meaning of Nowruz. Every year, Farhang selects one proposal and works with the artist to produce the piece into a dynamic and immersive theatrical experience that is then performed before a live audience at LACMA's Bing Theater during Farhang's annual Nowruz event.

For a list of Nowruz banners and programs from past years, please visit Farhang.

About Mamak Khadem
Mamak Khadem captivates audiences by blending her roots in the ancient poetry and music of the Persian masters with a bold and revolutionary new sound. In music, she is open to cultural influences, but she has chosen the classical Persian style as her base. Formerly of the sensational cross-cultural fusion ensemble AXIOM OF CHOICE, Mamak weaves a canopy, both simple and rich, for a stunningly emotional and spiritual musical experience that inspires new listeners to embrace cultural diversity and an awareness and appreciation of Persian arts and culture through a blending of old and new. "The Road", Mamak's newest project, continues a journey started with her celebrated first solo album Jostojoo.  Following her passion for new influences, Mamak has crossed borders from northern Iran to Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Morocco and Indonesia. Her search for common threads and powerful traditional melodies remains a driving force behind her music using elements from her Iranian heritage such as the poetry of Rumi to re-imagine a song from another culture, time and place..  For more info please

About Maryam Ghanbarian
Maryam Ghanbarian was born in Tehran in 1987. She received her Master's degree in Graphic Design from the Department of Fine Arts, University of Tehran.  Maryam is interested in combining Persian calligraphic forms and elements of nature to show the similarity and universality of both in her paintings. She has participated in several Solo and Group exhibitions including: Illuminating the Word, Kashya Hildebrand Gallery, London,2015. Grand Opening of Shirazi Art Gallery, Melbourne 2015, Opera Gallery, London 2013. Les Mots Devoiles, Geneva, 2012. Solo Exhibition in Shirin Gallery Tehran, 2013 and ProArt Gallery, Dubai 2015. Her work is displayed in IAMM Museum, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She has won the award for poster design in first international festival of ECO in 2012. For more info visit and follow her on Instagram.

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

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