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 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.
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.
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!”
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.
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.”
For more information visit Farhang.org.