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Emruz festival 2024 poster designed by Hoda Ramy

Emruz Festival’s Art Director Hoda Ramy Spotlights Iranian Artists 

Hoda Ramy discusses her role in supporting and platforming Iranian Artists in this celebrated diaspora festival.

Tell us about the beloved Emruz Festival in New York. What’s your role as the festival’s art director?

Hoda Ramy: Emruz means ”today” in Farsi. The festival was founded in New York with the mission to platform and amplify the newest and most urgent works by Iranian artists. As its art director, I shape its visual identity and artistic direction, including our website, advertising posters and media banners, and our social media persona. My role contributes to the festival’s growth, and my work for them is an expression of my commitment to fostering the independent creativity of artists from Iran and sharing their talents with a diverse global audience in New York.

What inspired the creation of the Emruz Festival? What drives its mission?

Hoda Ramy: Before Emruz Festival was founded in 2019, there were no spaces or opportunities for Iranian artists to showcase their work globally and connect with their communities. The festival highlights the pressing themes influencing their artistry—such as the urgency of freedom and connection, and the urgency to listen with intentness—in mediums such as theatrical performance, film and music. The festival’s mission prioritizes diversity, equality, inclusion, and accessibility. We champion representation in a world that tends to homogenize experiences. Our goal is to empower SWANA-identifying artists by fostering community and amplifying urgent, underrepresented stories.

How has Emruz Festival evolved in the five years since its inception?

Hoda Ramy: Since 2019, Emruz Festival has evolved into a proactive and inclusive community, run by artists for artists. It has truly surpassed our expectations. The overwhelming demand for such a festival has allowed us to support and spotlight over 80 artists through our programming. As we grow, we remain committed to uplifting artists to connect with diverse communities, and expanding the artistic landscape. 

Emruz Festival  2022

Emruz Festival  2022

What’s the significance of the “Woman, Life, Freedom” Movement to the 2024 edition of Emruz Festiva?

Through three distinct music and theater performances, the festival aims to explore and express various voices on the urgency of freedom, and the profound need to listen intently. This theme reflects the festival’s commitment to addressing pressing societal issues and providing a safe and welcoming platform for artistic responses to them.

How does Emruz Festival foster community?

Hoda Ramy: Emruz Festival’s mission is to champion representation and provide resources and spaces for SWANA-identifying artists to cultivate their creative processes. Beyond hosting artists and performers, the festival produces shows and performances that spotlight urgent, underrepresented stories. The goal is to foster a sense of community among ourselves. When we bring friends and allies together, we create a space where diverse voices are heard and celebrated.

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