The Freedom Sculpture, a Monumental Gift to Religious Freedom, Cultural Diversity and Inclusiveness is Unveiled on July 4th to a Record Crowd of Over 75,000

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Freedom Festival Crowd

More than 75,000 People Show up for the L.A. Freedom Festival

LOS ANGELES, July 10th, 2017 - The inaugural L.A. Freedom Festival on July 4th, 2017, became one of the most significant cultural events in U.S. history, when an estimated crowd of 75,000 people showed up for the official unveiling of the Freedom Sculpture, a monument to religious freedom, cultural diversity and inclusiveness.

The Freedom Sculpture Unveiling

The Freedom Sculpture had already broken records as the most widely crowd-supported monumental gift in U.S. History by gathering support from over a million people from across America and over 50 countries around the world. Now, with 75,000 people showing up to welcome the Freedom Sculpture, and the reception it received from state and city officials, we are likely looking at a national landmark.

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Master of Ceremonies, Max Amini

The festivities began around 7:00 pm with Master of Ceremonies Max Amini warming the crowd, before international sensation Arash performed a mini-concert that drove the audience into a frenzy.

Freedom Festival Arash

International Sensation Arash drives the crowd into a frenzy at the L.A. Freedom Festival

From there the official unveiling ceremony began with Farhang Vice Chairman Farhad Mohit speaking about the significance of this monumental gift to Los Angeles and to California, which ended with this refrain: "From this Independence Day forth, let the Freedom Sculpture be a reminder that we hold these truths to be self-evident that religious freedom, cultural diversity, and inclusiveness are the universally shared humanitarian values that we embody in Los Angeles, uphold in California, and that truly make America great in the eyes of the whole world!"

Freedom Festival Farhad Mohit

Farhad Mohit, Farhang Foundation Vice Chairman

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Cecil Balmond O.B.E. discussing the design of the Freedom Sculpture

Sculpture artist Cecil Balmond spoke about the timeless message of the human rights that Cyrus the Great had etched into a clay cylinder some 2,500 years ago that had inspired the double cylindrical design of the Freedom Sculpture, telling the audience that his public artwork was a large-scale modern interpretation of that Cyrus Cylinder, widely known as the first declaration of human rights.

Freedom Festival Farhang Foundation Trustees

 Governor Jerry Brown's Proclamation is read

State and city officials sent messages of acceptance and support. California Governor Jerry Brown was first with a proclamation that read in part, "the Freedom Sculpture is the ideal monument to represent what California embodies, a state which actively embraces and values diversity. I thank the Iranian-American community for leading the diverse group of supporters who have come together to make this monumental gift a reality."

Freedom Festival City Councilman Paul Koretz

5th District Councilman Paul Koretz Addressing the Audience

Then came 5th District Councilmen, Paul Koretz, in whose district the Freedom Sculpture will stand forever more. He spoke about his support of the project and ended with his own proclamation, signed by all 15 Los Angeles City Councilmen, that read in part: "This monumental sculpture is a historic gift to the City of Los Angeles symbolizing freedom, multicultural coexistence, and respect for diversity, highlighting American values embodied by the kaleidoscope of people and cultures who live harmoniously together in greater Los Angeles."

Freedom Festival Mayor Eric Garcetti

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's video Message

Finally it was the Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's turn to show his gratitude by thanking the Farhang Foundation for "this beautiful piece of art that celebrates religious freedom, multiculturalism and inclusiveness, ideals shared by people from all around the world and throughout all of history, from Cyrus the Great in Persia to America's Founding Fathers that we celebrate today."

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Freedom Sculpture Dramatic Unveiling on July 4th

At approximately 9:00 pm, the dramatic unveiling began with high-tech smoke and flashing lights, while a large crane pulled off the gold and navy blue drape to reveal the gigantic public art piece. Underneath the flowing drape revealed the 16 foot high and 20-feet long, 10-ton steel monument. A visceral reaction was felt throughout the crowd as guests gasped and snapped photos and videos of the sculpture, which some are calling a "Statue of Liberty" of the West Coast.

Freedom Festival Fireworks

Spectacular Fireworks Show During the Freedom Sculpture Unveiling

Immediately following the unveiling, high tech fireworks were lit behind the sculpture for a spectacular 4th of July celebration.

The event concluded with a performance by legendary Iranian artist, Ebi with guests singing along for the close of the free public celebration of multicultural freedom, love and unity.

Freedom Festival Ebi

Iranian legend, Ebi Performing the Closing Concert

News crews and photographers from Associated Press, ABC, NBC, KTLA, BBC, CBS, UNIVISION KIRN, NPR, KNX, KPCC among others reported on the festival.

The L.A. Freedom Festival landed on the front page of Los Angeles Times' CALIFORNIA on July 5th, highlighting the message of diversity and freedom.

 

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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, Shabe-Yalda, Mehregan, theater and dance performances, film screenings and poetry readings in Southern California. And, in cooperation with various cultural and academic institutions, Farhang Foundation funds major programs and exhibitions about Iran and its culture and is currently commissioning a monumental gift to Los Angeles celebrating the shared humanitarian values of Cyrus the Great and the Founding Fathers of America. For more info visit Farhang.org and FreedomSculpture.org.