New Beginnings Spring Festival
March 5, 2023
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.
Plan Your Visit | Free Admission
- 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.
Admission is free to the festival and the Museum, thanks to the generosity of H-E-B.
Listen & Watch
Master of Ceremonies | Emran El-Badawi, University of Houston
Music All Afternoon | DJ Gary
- 1 p.m. Riyaaz Qawwali Ensemble and the Jones Family Singers
- 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 | His Highness Prince Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili Council for Southwestern United States
- 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
- 4 p.m. A Cappella Choir | Basmati Beats, Rice University
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 Egyptian Mediterranean
- Indian Cuisine | Biryani Factory
- Fresh Baklava | Nuka Baklava
- Lebanese Baked Goods | We’re-Dough Bakery
- Super Premium Ice Cream | Kwality Ice Cream
- Curated Menu Items | Cafe Leonelli at MFAH
At 3:53 p.m. space is available for Asr prayer in the lower-level classroom of the Law Building.
Learning and Interpretation programs receive generous funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services; Samuel H. Kress Foundation; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo; Houston Junior Woman's Club; Sharon G. Dies; Sterling-Turner Foundation; Susan Vaughan Foundation; and additional generous donors.