New Beginnings Spring Festival
This free, family-friendly festival welcomes spring with celebratory traditions from across the Middle East and Asia. “New Beginnings Spring Festival” marks the opening of the New Galleries for Art of the Islamic Worlds and anticipates Nowruz, the renewal of spring that has been celebrated for more than 3,000 years. Immerse your senses in the sounds and flavors of the regions as you enjoy music, dance, poetry, art activities, and food from local vendors.
The Art of the Islamic Worlds galleries are located in the Law Building, and festival activities take place throughout the MFAH campus. The Museum is open from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Free tickets are needed to enter the Museum. To expedite entry, book your free ticket in advance. Tickets are not needed for outdoor activities.
Master of Ceremonies | Emran El-Badawi, University of Houston
Music All Afternoon | DJ Gary
1 p.m. Riyaaz Qawwali Ensemble and Jones Family Singers Gospel Band
1:30 p.m. Welcome Remarks | Letitia Plummer, Houston City Council; Gary Tinterow, MFAH Director; Aimée Froom, MFAH Curator; Lisa Helfman, H-E-B.
2 p.m. Riyaaz Qawwali Ensemble
2:30 p.m. Dance Performance | Ismaili Council of Southwestern U.S.
3 p.m. Traditional Persian Music | Hessam Dianpour and Ali Tarkesh
3 p.m. Poetry Readings | Muhammad Khaerisman and Hayan Charara in Favrot Auditorium
3:30 p.m. Lute Performance | Zubair al-Awadir
3:30 p.m. Poetry Reading | Amir Safi in Favrot Auditorium
4 p.m. A Cappella Choir | Basmati Beats, Rice University
3:53 p.m. Azan (call to prayer) | Lower-Level Classroom, Law Building
Create & Discover
Arabic Calligraphy, Ceramic Painting, and Ebru Paper Marbling | Islamic Arts Society
Geometric Patterns with Shapes and Colors | MFAH
Mehndi Artistry (temporary skin decoration) | Tasnim Henna Art
Mixed-Media Collage | Zoroastrian Association
Fashion Design | Nada Awad, Sameera Faridi, and Kanwal Siddiqui
Nowruz Sofreh Haft-Seen | MFAH
Archways Inspired by Islamic Architecture and Tilework | Scenic designer Afsaneh Aayani
Taste & Savor
Complimentary snacks and water | H-E-B
Foods for purchase:
Mediterranean-Style Foods | Phoenicia Specialty Foods
Persian Food | Miri’s Kitchen
Middle Eastern Cuisine | Afghan Village
Savory Indian-Style Bites | Filli Cafe
Egyptian-Style Food | Kenz Mediterranean
Indian Cuisine | Biryani Factory
Fresh Baklava | Nuka Baklava
Lebanese Baked Goods | We’re-Dough Bakery
Curated Menu Items | Cafe Leonelli at MFAH
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