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Nowruz Celebration

May 25, 2016
Audience
Children / Family
Budget
$251-500
Advance Planning

The goal for this program was to raise awareness and celebrate a cultural holiday, inviting everyone in the community to attend. It was also an opportunity to unite the diverse Iranian community of Los Angeles and bring them closer together. 

We started planning for this program about three months prior to the event. We reached out to the Child Foundation for financial support and resources. They paid for the professional dancer and provided the volunteers including the two traditional musicians. They also paid for an elaborate Nowruz banner for the event (view photos of the banner under Photo Slideshow at right)

Librarian Roya Rahimi prepared all of the materials for the Haft Seen display. She presented the slideshow and used resources from the Los Angeles Public Library to prepare the presentation and storytime. The LAPL books on Iran and Iranian culture were prominently displayed and promptly checked out.

Marketing

To specifically target this program to this community, Roya was interviewed on radio station 670 AM KIRN, an Iranian radio station in Los Angeles, announcing the program in detail. Additionally, the program was advertised on the Child Foundation website and posted on the Child Foundation’s Facebook page. Roya also announced the program at a local elementary school’s assembly. 

Children’s Librarian Michele Robinson promoted the program via her library’s e-blast list of people who regularly attend her children’s programs. Fliers were posted in the Palms-Rancho Park Library and nearby city branch libraries and at the local elementary schools. Clover Elementary, one of the local schools, sent it in an e-blast to all of the 550 families that attend the school. It was also advertised on the Los Angeles Public Library website

Budget Details

The Friends of Palms Rancho Library provided $50 for the crafts and refreshments. The Child Foundation covered $300 for the professional dancer, $60 for the banner and provided volunteers and musicians for free. Also, private donations supplemented various activities. Working with a nonprofit organization cut the cost significantly for this program; their support took the library's total expenditures from between $250 and $500 down to about $50. 

Day-of-event Activity

The set-up took about three hours because we had to prepare the Haft Seen display, banner, craft tables and decorations (view photos of the decorations under Photo Slideshow at right) and other details, and also set up the PowerPoint presentation, food and book display. We had two staff members working on the set-up, including moving the tables and cleaning. We also had some Child Foundation volunteers to help kids with arts and crafts. We felt well prepared for the program, and we did not face unexpected challenges.

Program Execution

Our advertising and promoting efforts paid off. The program was very well attended, with about 110 people in the audience.

The audience was so pleased to finally have this long-awaited program, as this was the first time that our branch offered a Nowruz program since the library branch re-opening in 2002. Due to the success of the program, patrons requested that we offer this type of programming next year.

Advice

The success of this program is a great example of how important it is to correctly identify the needs of the community. Roya Rahimi is an Iranian-American born and raised in Iran and has strong ties to the Iranian-American community in Los Angeles. She also is involved in promoting Iranian events for this community. 

Also, it is very important to reach out to any available outlet and resources to assist creating a program. Partnership with other groups, like the Child Foundation, makes the process a great deal easier and more successful. 

Short Title
Nowruz Celebration

Nowruz is a non-religious, non-political Iranian holiday that falls on the vernal equinox and celebrates spring and the Iranian New Year. It is a cultural celebration, recognized throughout the world each year among Iranian families. With financial support from the Child Foundation, an international charity organization that helps children living in poverty remain in school, we were able to offer many activities and celebrate Nowruz at the Palms-Rancho Branch Library in style.

The program had an audience of about 110 people, and included an informative presentation complete with a slideshow, a professional dance performance, two musicians playing traditional instruments and a storytime that included children acting out the story. We also provided festive Nowruz arts and crafts. This included egg painting and decorating illustrations of a Haft Seen table with edible materials like Goldfish crackers. The Child Foundation provided food, volunteers and financial support and also sponsored the giveaway of free children’s music CDs for each family.

Job Functions
Resources and Program Starters
Program Date
2016-03-18
  • Child poses with Nowruz banner
    Child poses with Nowruz banner
  • Display of books on Iranian culture
    Display of books on Iranian culture
  • Haft seen table decoration display
    Haft seen table decoration display
  • Child poses next to Nowruz banner
    Child poses next to Nowruz banner
  • Nowruz Celebration participants - woman with two children
    Nowruz Celebration participants - woman with two children
  • Speaker giving presentation on Nowruz
    Speaker giving presentation on Nowruz
  • Dancer performing for Nowruz Celebration
    Dancer performing for Nowruz Celebration
  • Two children pose at Nowruz celebration
    Two children pose at Nowruz celebration
  • Dancer performing for Nowruz Celebration
    Dancer performing for Nowruz Celebration
  • Two women pose at Nowruz celebration
    Two women pose at Nowruz celebration
  • Nowruz Celebration volunteers
    Nowruz Celebration volunteers
  • Child's illustration
    Child's illustration
  • Nowruz Celebration volunteers
    Nowruz Celebration volunteers
  • Nowruz Celebration volunteers pose next to banner
    Nowruz Celebration volunteers pose next to banner
  • Speaker giving presentation on Nowruz
    Speaker giving presentation on Nowruz
  • Musician performing
    Musician performing
  • Dancer performing in front of audience
    Dancer performing in front of audience
  • Nowruz Celebration planners and volunteers in front of banner
    Nowruz Celebration planners and volunteers in front of banner
  • Child in costume in front of an audience
    Child in costume in front of an audience
  • Children participating in crafting activities
    Children participating in crafting activities
  • Child participating in crafting activity
    Child participating in crafting activity
  • Dancer performing in front of an audience
    Dancer performing in front of an audience
  • Musician performing in front of displayed books
    Musician performing in front of displayed books
Summary

A branch of the Los Angeles Public Library looks to the local Persian community for inspiration on how best to celebrate spring.