Farhang Foundation Announces Winners of Its Annual Nowruz Competitions

Farhang Foundation

Preparations for Farhang's 7th Annual Nowruz (Iranian New Year) Celebrations are underway as the Foundation selects the winning submissions from this year's Nowruz Banner Contest and Nowruz Program Contest.

LOS ANGELES, February 10, 2015 - Farhang Foundation is delighted to announce the winners of its annual Nowruz Banner Contest and Nowruz Program Contest.

"Year after year, our Nowruz Banner Contest and Nowruz Program Contest have been met with overwhelming enthusiasm by artists near and far, resulting in a beautiful array of banners and well-received programs that capture the heart and soul of Nowruz," Hormoz Ameri, Farhang Foundation Trustee & Chair of Nowruz Committee.


2015 nowruz banner

Azita Houshiar, an Iranian-American illustrator and food blogger, has been selected as this year's Nowruz Banner Contest winner. In March 2015, Azita Houshiar's submission -- a stunning abstract design that translates into the word "Nowruz" -- will be featured on street banners along prominent boulevards in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, announcing Farhang's forthcoming Nowruz celebration at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) taking place on March 22, 2015.

"To celebrate Nowruz in Los Angeles, I thought it would be interesting to design a banner that looks like merely an abstract graphic to anyone who does not read Persian, but that in fact is a word that is a world," said Azita Houshiar. "My hope is to evoke a massive tide of images, feelings, and memories for anyone with Iranian ties or roots."



ZohrehJooya blue

The winner of this year's Nowruz Program Contest is international musician and performer Zohreh Jooya. Her performing arts piece, entitled The Sounds of a Persian Spring, will premiere during Farhang's annual Nowruz celebration at LACMA on March 22. The Sounds of a Persian Spring will be an engaging, multimedia theatrical performance that celebrates the arrival of Spring through a blend of music, dance, and poetry.

"The essence of Nowruz is enlightenment, rebirth of nature, fertility, health, beauty, love, prosperity, happiness and wealth," said Zohreh Jooya. "The Sounds of a Persian Spring is a musical and poetic journey through Iran that hopes to bring to life this very essence."


Farhang Foundation's annual Nowruz Banner Contest and Nowruz Program Contest 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 Contest, 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 Program Contest, 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, visit Farhang.org/Nowruz.

Azita Houshiar
About Azita Houshiar

Azita Houshiar is an Iranian-American writer, illustrator, and food blogger. She studied law, received a J.D. and an LL.M. in intellectual property law, passed three bar exams, and amassed a fortune in student loan debt, just so she could pursue a career as a starving artist. She just likes to roll that way! She was born in Tehran, lives in Brooklyn, and dwells in possibility. She is passionately proud of her Iranian heritage, treasures the beautiful Iranian culture, and will forever pine for the majestic Alborz mountains. Check out Azita's website to explore her art and design and visit her Persian food blog Fig & Quince to explore her recipes and stories about the food and culture of Iran. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram: @figandquince


Zohreh Jooya Afghan Portrait
About Zohreh Jooya

Born and raised in Mashhad, Iran, in a traditional family to a Persian mother and Afghan father, Zohreh Jooya learned the values and cultures of both her parents from an early age. She moved to Europe upon completion of high school to study music in Amsterdam and Maastricht, in the Dutch province of Limburg, and later in Vienna where she received her classical music education at The Academy of Music. After the Academy of Music, she earned a Master's degree in opera at the Conservatory of the City of Vienna. Influenced and inspired by the music and cultures of both central Asia and Europe, Zohreh has performed a broad spectrum of genres and songs ranging from Italian baroque music to the arias of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert to music from her homeland Iran and Afghanistan and more. For more information, visit Zohreh-Jooya.org


Farhang logo 
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.