2018 Winning Nowruz Banner Design and Concert

January 30, 2018
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Farhang Foundation / press@farhang.org / 310-666-1546

Farhang Foundation announces the winner of the 2018 Nowruz Banner Design Competition and the musical artist selected for the headlining Royce Hall concert as part of Farhang's 10th Annual Celebration of Nowruz at UCLA!

2018 0125 Lightpole Banner

Farhang Foundation's 2018 Winning Nowruz Banner Design by Sara Ashrafizadeh

LOS ANGELES, CA, January 30, 2018

With great anticipation, Farhang Foundation is preparing for our 10th Annual Nowruz (the Iranian New Year) Celebrations at UCLA's Royce Hall and Dickson Court, taking place on Sunday, March 11, 2018. It is with much elation that we announce the winning design for this year's Nowruz Street Banner Competition as well as the headlining performer for this year's musical program at Royce Hall.

"Each year, Farhang's Nowruz Street Banner Competition is met with overwhelming enthusiasm by international artists and this year is no exception. We are certainly thrilled by the quality of this year's record-breaking number of submissions, and once again the beautifully designed winning banner captures the heart and soul of Nowruz," said Hormoz Ameri, Farhang Foundation Trustee and Chair of Farhang's Nowruz Committee.

2018 Nowruz Banner Competition

Farhang Foundation's annual Nowruz Banner Competition began in 2011, and It has become a tradition that preludes Farhang's signature event, returning to UCLA for the second year in a row on March 11, 2018.

Each year, Farhang, 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. Starting on February 1, and leading to Farhang's annual Nowruz celebration, the winning design is featured on hundreds of large street banners throughout the streets of Los Angeles announcing the arrival of spring and the largest celebration of Nowruz in the world!

Sara Ashrafizadeh

Sara Ashrafizadeh

This year's winning design was awarded to Iranian artist Sara Ashrafizadeh. "I am so excited and honored to have been selected by Farhang Foundation as the winner of this year's competition. It's very beautiful and inspiring when people from different parts of the world share their culture in a multicultural city like Los Angeles. I am grateful to have a part in sharing my favorite Persian festival, which happens when the day and night are equal, to celebrate EQUAlLITY and PEACE in the world with other people through the largest celebration of Nowruz in the world," said Ashrafizadeh.

"My Iranian culture means a lot to me and ever since I immigrated to the United States, it has become even more meaningful than ever before! As a graphic designer, I've alway been fascinated and inspired by Persian motifs and I've been exploring the best way to incorporate those motifs in my designs in a modern way. In this artwork, I tried to accomplish this goal by engaging font with a gol-o-morgh illustration, which represents spring, and using modern and vibrant colors in the background."

Sara Ashrafizadeh is a professional graphic designer and art director with over eight years of experience, and a graduate from the University of Tehran, she has worked across multiple brands, and has a collection of skills, ranging from branding, campaign creative, digital design, mobile design, and motion graphics. Some of her recent clients include Amazon, AT&T, Under Armor, and Galantis. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

Headlining Musical Performance at Royce Hall: Sima Bina & Ensemble

Sima BinaFarhang Foundation is also honored to announce that this year's headlining concert at Royce Hall will be performed by Iranian legend Sima Bina. Miss Bina will be accompanied by an acclaimed group of musicians including Mehrdad Arabi, Hossein Behroozinia, Hamid Behrouzinia, Saeid Farajpoory and Behnam Samani, and they are putting together a beautiful musical journey featuring folks songs from all regions of Iran.

Sima Bina started her career on Iranian radio at the age of nine, under the direction of her father, Ahmad Bina - a master of Iranian classical music and poet who wrote many of her early songs. She studied the repertoire of learned music radif and singing technique with great masters such as Maaroufi and Zarrin Panjeh. She went on to acquire her own solo program, Golhaye Sahraii (Wild Flowers), presenting a collection of folk songs and music from various regions of Iran, which is still remembered today.

After graduating from Tehran University in 1969, majoring in Fine Arts, Sima Bina continued and perfected her knowledge of radif with the highly subtle teaching of great Master Damavi.

Since 1979, along with teaching Iranian classical music and vocality to selected students, Sima Bina has focused on doing further research on Persian folk songs, collecting, recording, writing and re-interpreting popular regional music, especially from the Khorasan region, her native land. By traveling to most remote places all over Khorasan, Sima has been able to gather and revive a collection of almost forgotten songs and melodies. She has thus gained a unique position in the history of Persian music.

Since 1993, Sima Bina has been invited to present her collection of folkloric repertoire at international festivals all over the world, including Världen I Norden in Norway, WDR Weltmusik Festival in Germany, and the Raza Festival on Khorasan Music in Holland. Due to her devotion and dedication to the Iranian folk music, Sima Bina can now see the materialization of thirty years of meticulous work by making her music known worldwide.

In addition to the UCLA performance on March 11, Miss Bina will also be headlining Farhang's Orange County Nowruz Celebrations on March 24, 2018 at UCI's Claire Trevor School of Arts. Tickets to both concerts go on sale in early February via Ticketmaster (for UCLA) and Farhang.org (for UCI). Stay tuned to Farhang.org and Farhang's various social media channels for more info on ticket sales.

Farhang logo 

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.