Mehregan Celebration 2018
The Untermyer Gardens Conservancy presented its inaugural Samuel Untermyer Award to Christiane Amanpour on Sunday, September 16, during its annual celebration of Mehregan, the ancient Persian harvest festival. Traditional Persian music performed by Amir Vahab filled the air as late-afternoon cocktails in the finest Persian garden in the Western Hemisphere culminated in a performance by the Vancouver Pars National Ballet in the outdoor amphitheater. Guests enjoyed lavish Persian cuisine in an open tent with spectacular views of sunset on the Hudson River. Vartan Gregorian presented the award to Christiane Amanpour; both are Iranian-born. Designed by Yonkers-based sculptor Jacqueline Lorieo, the Samuel Untermyer Award replicates in miniature key design elements of the Persian Garden. The award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated bravery and shined a light on important issues of the day. Violin prodigy Oliver Hakim dazzled the crowd of 250 with his performance in the Temple of the Sky against the night sky as guests threw esphand seeds into the ceremonial fire pits to ward off the evil eye. The joyous event raised funds to support the Conservancy's efforts to restore Untermyer Gardens and its once grand ruined Persian Pool. (Photos: Ralph Gabriner, Jessica Norman, Rebecca Smeyne)
Mehregan received press attention from the New York Times as well as Avenue Magazine.