The information below was designed to answer any questions you may have about the upcoming Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of Bahá’u’lláh’s Birth. Should there be any remaining questions, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
● Question: Who should I invite?
○ Answer: The Bicentenary is open to all.
● Question: How do I register?
○ Answer: Please visit www.bicentenary.org. Then select the time of program you or your friend would like to attend. The 1 pm program was arranged at a time that would be easier for families with children to attend but the program itself will be relevant to everyone. The 7 pm program has been targeted to a broad audience including dignitaries. You will then be taken to the registration system. You will be asked for a registration code. It is unite200. Select the number of people you are registering.
● Question: I heard that certain people were being prioritized for invitations first. What is the approach?
○ Answer: The Bicentenary Celebration is intended to be the sharing of a vision for the uniting of the whole world. As such we wanted to make sure that those who have yet to hear about Bahá’u’lláh and The Bahá’í Faith have a chance to attend. The cluster agencies (ATC, JY coordinator, institute coordinator, children’s class coordinator) were given time to extend these invitations first prior to registration opening up to the whole cluster. In addition, this time was utilized to invite dignitaries (Mayors, City Council Members, University Presidents, etc.). General registration is now open and all are welcome to register.
● Question: I have heard the Bicentenary is mainly for dignitaries. Is this true?
○ Answer: Per the answer above the celebration is open to all. While a concerted effort has been made to invite dignitaries this celebration is not just for those individuals. All are welcome to attend.
● Question: Can I attend if I cannot invite anyone?
○ Answer: Yes. There is no restriction to attendance. We encourage you to invite friends but this does not constitute a restriction.
● Question: What is the program?
○ Answer: There is are a few components to the celebration as outlined below.
■ Program: A live program of 40-50 minutes will take place at 1 pm and
7pm. This program is currently being refined. This will share about the
Life of Bahá’u’lláh, His Revelation, and His Faith, the visit of ‘Abdu’l-Baha to Boston, and efforts currently being undertaken by Bahá’ís in Boston and around the world to raise the devotional character of communities, educate children, empower junior youth, and engage in the study of the Writings in a way that allows them to be more easily put into action. Central principles such as the importance of addressing the “Most Challenging Issue” of race relations between black and white, will also be centrally incorporated into the program. Music will support this overall narrative. A short section of the film from the Bahá’í World Centre about Bahá’u’lláh may be shown during the program as well. As the film has not been distributed yet, the specific use of the film during the program is still being determined.
■ Reception: After each program, there will be a reception where attendees of the celebration will have a chance to interact with diverse members of the community.
■ Film: Shortly following the end of the reception there will be a full
screening of the film at WGBH’s movie theater, which is next to the
spaces where the reception and program are taking place. The film runs
approximately one hour.
■ Art Exhibit: There is a space where an art exhibit will take place and
where individuals can engage in meaningful conversations, reacting to the program and sharing their impressions.
● Question: If I am inviting someone, how long should they expect to be there in total?
○ Answer: Approximately 2.5 hours. If they just come for the program and
reception it will be shorter. But if they wish to stay for the program (40-50
minutes), reception, film (50 minutes) and have some time in the art exhibit space, then it would be longer. Besides the program, the rest of the spaces are designed to be modular so that there are a diversity of ways for attendees to engage.
● Question: Will the content of the program be accessible to all?
○ Answer: Yes. There has been attention given to making sure that the program is accessible to all. In other words, someone does not need to have knowledge of Bahá’u’lláh and the Bahá’í Faith to attend and meaningfully engage. Bahá’u’lláh has come to establish global unity; His Message is accessible to all.
● Question: I heard there are fundraising efforts underway. What are the details?
○ Answer: In terms of financial resources, you can donate to the Bahá’í Fund if you are a Bahá’í. The Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Newton is helping to organize and collect these funds. They have scheduled a fundraiser on September 23, 2017, with details forthcoming. Should you not be able to attend this fundraiser, we encourage you to organize local fundraising efforts. The total amount being raised is $50,000. Checks should be written to the “Newton Local Spiritual Assembly” and earmarked for “Bicentenary Event.” Please send your contributions to Farshid Alizadeh, 24 Kerr Path, Newton, MA 02459.
● Question: How can I contribute to the Bicentenary?
○ Answer: Besides praying for the success of these efforts, and speaking to
friends, neighbors, family, and colleagues about the Holy Year, there are a
diversity of ways that members of the community can assist. We are looking for volunteers in a variety of areas. If you are interested in volunteering please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
● Question: How do I get there?
○ Answer: WGBH is located in Boston. Directions are on their website: http://www.wgbh.org/about/directions.cfm . You can get there by car or public transportation. There is free parking next door at the WGBH parking lot. PLEASE NOTE: The Head of the Charles regatta is occurring on the weekend of the Bicentenary and as such some roads may be closed or have heavier traffic. Please plan accordingly.