About us

Mission: Minnesota’s Iranian-Americans take a deep pride in their cultural heritage, rich with accomplishments in the areas of art and architecture, music and poetry. They also take pride in a tradition of religious tolerance and respect for human dignity that they trace back over 2500 years to King Cyrus, founder of the first Persian Empire. The mission of the Twin Cities Iranian Culture Collective is to give Minnesota’s Iranian-Americans a way to share that rich culture with their children, and for other Minnesotans to learn about a people and a culture that are often overshadowed by current geopolitical dramas. Our annual Twin Cities Iranian Culture Festival showcases Iranian-Americans — some with national and international reputations — whose creative work in the arts, literature and scholarship reflects or illuminates their rich heritage. It will also be an opportunity for other Minnesotans to learn about Iran’s history and culture through multimedia  art exhibits, lectures and photo exhibits, and by interacting with Iranian-American participants and attendees.. 

History: Our organization was founded at a lunch meeting on January 5, 2018 attended by a dozen artists and community leaders from the local Iranian and Iranian-American communities. Our first Twin Cities Iranian Culture Week, held August 18-25 2019 at ArtSpace Jackson Flats in Northeast Minneapolis featured over a dozen visual artists, including painters, sculptors, ceramicists, a photographer, a jeweler and a dioramist; performances of Persian classical and pop music, and talks on Iranian poetry, history and culture. Approximately 800 people attended. That event generated great enthusiasm in the community for growing TCICW into an official 501c3 nonprofit organization. 

In 2020 we started the process of becoming an official non-profit – a – process that should be completed by the end of this year. The pandemic has proven to be both a challenge and an opportunity. Our 2020 program replaces a physical exhibition and big opening night reception with a wide set of activities, including small socially distanced picnics with Iranian food and music, virtual art and photo galleries, Zoomed lectures on Iranian cinema and women in Iranian architecture, online concerts and more. Check our schedule at https://twincitiesiranianculturefestival.com/elements/pages/event-2020/ for details.