Spaghetti Ramadan by Fihi Ma Fihi (Arian Nakhaie) and Great Small Works now in it’s 5th iteration!
Link to the event:
Friday 4/29, 7:30-9:30, La Plaza Cultural, E 9th St & Avenue C, New York, NY 10003 (a block away from Tompkins Square Park)
Sliding scale: Guests ($22, $33, $44, $55); Affiliates ($66, $77, $88, $99); Sponsors ($111, $222, $333, $555, $1111+)
***Nobody turned away for lack of funds. Just ask for a voucher.
Promote with Us
Earn on whoever attends as guests/affiliates/sponsors and purchases a ticket, so long as they list you as their Intro person with their purchase online or at the door. Earn 25% of the total on 2-5 ppl, 33% for 6-10, and 50% on 11+.
Support Spaghetti Ramadan 2022: www.greatsmallworks.org/donate. Mention whether you were referred by a promoter, artist, or a friend with every purchase and specify if you are purchasing tickets as guests/affiliates or wish to sponsor the event! If you are promoting, make sure your people list you and email us to look out for your name. We’ll follow up after the event via email to comp you.
Spaghetti Ramadan backstory
The “Spaghetti” in the name comes from Great Small Works’ 25-year tradition of hosting eclectic cabaret evenings where vegetarian pasta is served. An Iftar is the meal that Muslims eat after sunset during the holy month of Ramadan to break the day’s fast. It is one of the ceremonial observances of Ramadan and is often done as a community, with people gathering to break their fast together.
Jenny and Arian’s friendship started through political organizing and art making in New York City in 2015. Each Iftar they have teamed up for since then has offered poetry, music, puppet performance, food and communal enjoyment. Friends from Jewish and Christian worlds have shared songs and words and, since it is a Ramadan celebration, special time and space have been given to artistry from the Muslim world. This year’s theme is “Jewels in the Crown.” The crew will fashion the crown from a spectrum of shining threads from Abrahamic wisdom traditions. We’ll adorn the crown with light from the audience (you) in alchemical combination with sparks of ancestral wisdom from artists from the Arab world, greater Iran, South Asia, and West Africa. We’ll continue through the legacy of the African diaspora in the Americas, including Afro-American/Caribbean-diasporic cultures who have given life to many splendorous gems, including Hip Hop.
We think of this venture as a horizontal collaboration. Arian, now, based between Dubai and New York, has synthesized his community organizing background, pedagogical practice, and performance artistry [he raps in five languages: Arabic, English, German, Persian, and Spanish] to establish a management consultancy, Fihi Ma Fihi, named after the Persian mystic Rumi’s philosophical treatise “Signs of the Unseen.”The essence of his approach is that answers come from within the person bringing the issue; by blending best business practices, spiritual values and cooperative principles, communal and economic empowerment can be achieved.
Great Small Works members, as survivors of rent gouging and endemic underfunding of the arts in the United States, want to learn new skills for engaging with markets, promotion and sponsorship in the digital realm. While Great Small Works learns from Arian, the company is also mentoring him. With its decades of experience in production and design, Great Small Works supports Fihi Ma Fihi’s ambitious creative ideas.
Together they are investing in the artistic and economic capacity of both groups. For those who like a list, here are five reasons to donate to Spaghetti Ramadan:
“Each one of us has our own language, our own way, our own means and medium of connecting to the divine. When Jenny came to me and said let’s do this project, we want to learn more about Islam, I told her this is how I understand this faith — It’s about people connecting to a higher power of their own understanding in a way that is meaningful to them. That can look a million different ways. There is a saying that all rivers lead to the same ocean. That is the essence of the spiritual kinship.” — Arian Nakhaie
Culture is Essential
“Artists and culture bearers are essential to renewing our connections to ourselves and each other. We see a link between new stories and new economic formations that literally put food on the table. Our fundraising centers artists in the visionary work of joint survival and communal well being.” — Jenny Romaine
Deep Authentic Community-Building
“Spaghetti Ramadan is intergenerational, multi-ethnic, multi religious, multi-lingual, local to NYC where it started, but also diasporic!” — Arian Nakhaie
A Path to Social Change
“In these troubled and fractious times, Spaghetti Ramadan confirms my belief that creative collaborations between people of widely differing backgrounds are a path to true social change. Besides, the music is magnificent, the rituals are enlightening, and the camaraderie is fun!” — Trudi Cohen
A New Economic Model
“We are interested in making money through an experimental model that fits within our ethical boundaries. We are building inter-communal economics by taking work that has been happening for decades in the nonprofit sphere (community-based arts/culture) and connecting it to the context of commercial capitalism. Life gave our ancestors lemons, and they made their traditionally flavored lemonade. That’s the art and tradition we are drawing from. All of those arts and traditions came out of the suffering and genius of our people. That’s what we inherited. They made beautiful art. We are honoring them, and continuing their legacy in the awesome cosmic brew of Spaghetti Ramadan. “ — Arian Nakhaie