heART of Iran


The culture and heritage of Iranian-Americans is being celebrated this month in an exhibit at the state Capitol.

Senses Cultural—an organization dedicated to creating a more peaceful environment by fostering understanding through the arts—is hosting a series of Iranian cultural events in Sacramento in collaboration with the office of state Sen. Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo. He will unveil the exhibit on Monday, June 18, at 11 a.m. in the Governor’s Hallway.

The festivities will unfold over the coming months and will begin with the art exhibition highlighting Iranian artists and their work. “HeART of Iran” will focus on interpretations of the meaning of peace and human rights for artists in the Iranian-American community. The exhibit will close on June 23.

“This project is designed 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,” said Tata Monfared, president of the nonprofit Senses Cultural. “We hope to make this festival an annual event,” she added.

Outside Iran, the largest number of Iranians lives in the United States, and many of those individuals call California home.

The “HeART of Iran” seeks to break through negative stereotypes of Iranians as extremists or a nation of mullahs, established by depictions of Iranians in the popular press and political cartoons. By focusing on the importance of the universal values of peace and human rights to the multifaceted Iranian diaspora and the hundreds of thousands of Americans with Iranian heritage, the exhibit will educate and enrich all who see it. “Persian culture is rich and diverse,” said Monfared. A Persian cultural celebration complete with music and food is planned to take place on the Capitol steps and in Capitol Park at a date to be announced.

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