CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
Iowa City IA 52242
Human rights featured during ninth annual UI Cultural Diversity Festival
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Music, dance, costumes, and food from all over the
world will be part of the ninth annual Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival
Sunday, Feb. 22 from noon to 5 p.m. at the University of Iowa Field House.
Middle Eastern and African dance, Indian music, and Native American storytelling
are just a few of the more than 50 activities that will take place during
the five-hour festival.
The festival, which is free and open to the public, will begin with
a multi-cultural Olympic-style parade on the Main Deck at 12:15 p.m., featuring
participants from many different domestic and international cultures.
This year, the festival's programming is connected with Global Focus:
Human Rights 1998, a major UI initiative to commemorate the 50th anniversary
of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations
in 1948. Throughout the 1998-99 academic year, Global Focus will feature
speakers and scholarly lectures, community forums and arts events, teacher-training
workshops and curricular innovations related to human rights issues.
Burns Weston, UI associate dean for International and Comparative Legal
Studies and the chairman of the UI human rights initiative, will deliver
the festival's keynote address, "International Human Rights: Unity
in Diversity." Weston will speak at 12:30 p.m. in the North Gym of
the Field House, after opening remarks by UI President Mary Sue Coleman
who will also introduce Curtis Stamp, manager - Public Policy, for US WEST,
the major corporate sponsor of the festival.
The festival will also address human rights issues with a panel discussion
at 1:15 p.m. in Room 302 of the Field House. Among the participants are
Weston and UI students Yenner Karto, a former Liberian refugee, and Amy
Weismann, who worked at a Bosnian refugee camp for more than two years.
Liz Pearce, the festival's co-founder and head of UI International Programs
Training, Outreach and Programming Department, said it's a natural connection
to celebrate human rights at a cultural diversity festival because human
rights violations in many cases cause the "denigration of the cultural
"What we aim to do in the event is to celebrate cultural diversity,"
Pearce said," but it is also really important that we look at the
other end of the spectrum - what happens if we don't celebrate cultural
Some other panel discussions included in this year's program will address
intercultural adoption, intercultural relationships, internships, and short-term
study abroad. Much of the programming remains unchanged from previous festivals
and includes an international fashion show, music and dance performances,
arts and crafts displays and various activities for children. Vending booths
will carry diverse ethnic foods, with recipes available for many of them.
Most of the participants are volunteers from the UI and Iowa City communities.
"The festival would not be possible without the support from many
people on the UI campus and the local community," Pearce said. "An
incredible amount of people-hours goes into this event."
The festival typically attracts 5,000 people, which makes it the second
largest UI-sponsored non-athletic event. Last year more than 60 international
and domestic cultures were represented.
Although admission to the event is free, those attending are urged to
bring cash to purchase tickets for food and crafts as credit cards and
checks will not be accepted.
To help alleviate parking congestion, a free shuttle service is being
provided to the festival from the UI Recreation Building parking lot west
of Kinnick Stadium. Visitors can park there for free, and then ride in
vans directly to the Field House. The vans will run every 10 minutes starting
at 11:30 a.m. with the last one leaving the Field House to return to the
parking lot at 5:15 p.m.
Parking will also be available at the University Parking Ramp 4, which
can be entered off of Hawkins Drive, turning east at the UI Hospital's
Pomerantz Family Pavilion. Another parking facility is available just south
of the UI Field House.
The festival is coordinated by the following UI offices and departments:
Alumni Association, The School of Art and Art History, Office of Campus
Programs and Student Activities, International Programs, Residence Services,
Division of Recreational Services, Office of Admissions, Iowa Memorial
Union Food Service, Opportunity at Iowa and Special Support Services.
For more information about the festival, call Akua Akyea at (319) 353-2355.
Following is a tentative schedule of events for the Celebrating Cultural
Demonstration by Iowa City Tae Kwon Do Club
Opening Ceremony (parade to N. Gym)
North Gym: Opening Remarks by UI President Mary Sue Coleman
Room 354: Panel Discussion on Cross Cultural Adoption
Room 402: French language and culture
Room 471: Taoist Tai Chi Demonstration
Main Deck: Iowa City Drum Circle
Aerobic Room 472: Rap Recollection
North Gym: Fashion Show
201 Lounge (children's room): Hungarian Rhythms
Room 302: Panel discussion -- Human Rights 98
Room 461: International Games
Room S515 (mat room): International Folk Dancing
Room 461: Spanish Bingo
Main Deck: Aikido Demonstration
Aerobic Room 472: Not Just For Freaks or Weirdos: Drag as culture
North Gym: UI Jazz Ensemble
201 Lounge (children's room): African Games
Room 354: Panel Discussion on Intercultural Relationships
Room 402: Japanese language and culture
Room E220: Puerto Rican Cooking Demonstration
Room 461: Chinese Music, Art and Activities
Room 471: Internal Martial Arts
Main Deck: Scottish Highlanders
North Gym: Black Genesis Dance Group
Room 302: Struggling for traces of cool air
Room S515 (mat room): Capoiera
Main Deck: Gamelon Performance
Aerobic Room 472: Romanian Dance
North Gym: Latin Dance
201 Lounge (children's room): International Activities for Children
Room 302: The Island
Room 354: Panel Discussion on Internships
Room 402: Spanish language and culture
Room E220: Indian Cooking Demonstration
Room 471: Yoga presentation
Aerobic Room 472: Diasporica
Room 461: "Culture Shock," the game
North Gym: Voices of Soul
Room S515 (mat room): Sari Demonstration
Aerobic Room 472: Venezuelan Music
Room 402: Turkish language and culture
Main Deck: Pinata Breaking
Main Deck: Steel Band Ensemble
Aerobic Room 472: Tabla Playing and Indian dancing
North Gym: Step Show
Main Deck: Rangoli Demonstration