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Release: Feb. 7, 2000

UI Cultural Diversity Festival Feb. 20 promotes 'Getting Culturally Connected'

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The 11th Annual Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival (CCDF) is a day for new tastes, sights and sounds. Everyone is invited to come and explore a cultural potpourri of art, cuisine, music, dance and educational presentations from around the world on Sunday, February 20, from noon to 5 p.m. at the University of Iowa Field House.

Admission to the event is free, but those attending are urged to bring cash to purchase tickets for food and crafts at the vending booths. Credit cards and checks will not be accepted.

The celebration showcases more than 50 programs representing both international and domestic diversity. Events include piñata breaking, a fashion show, contemporary ethnic dances, intercultural activities for children, martial arts, recreation and more.

CCDF is sponsored by the UI Celebrating Cultural Diversity Day Committee, the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization and U S West Communications.

Hundreds of volunteers, food vendors and UI student groups will be on hand to present educational and cultural programs. These programs will give participants and spectators the opportunity to learn, discover and appreciate the variety that exists in the cultures around them, said Akua Akyea, coordinator of UI Counseling Services for the Upward Bound Project, and co-chair of the CCDF Committee.

This year's theme "Getting Culturally Connected" highlights the role technology plays in linking the UI community with a world outside Iowa City. The title also implies the ways in which people can have cultural exchanges in ways as simple as a handshake.

"Getting culturally connected means more than being connected through the Internet," Akyea said. "It also means connecting on a personal level – learning a new language, hearing different music, tasting new food or experiencing an educational program to gain new knowledge. We hope everyone will come out, have fun, learn something new and connect on some level."

Educational programs include an interactive game show on intercultural dating, a session on Tying the Knot – Marriage Rituals in Different Countries, and a Chicken Soup Around the World session. There will also be panels on topics such as study abroad opportunities.

One of the featured performers at CCDF is the Orquesta de Jazz y Salsa Alto Maiz. The Iowa-based group is a 12-member ensemble that brings together a collection of sounds ranging from Latin and Caribbean to jazz and calypso. They will perform from 2-3 p.m. on the main deck of the UI Field House.

Performances by the UI Hawaiian Dance Club, the UI Latin Dance Club, the Yahoo Drummers, Black Genesis dance troupe, and the Thai Student Association will also add color and energy to the five-hour event.

The festival is coordinated by the following UI offices and departments: Alumni Association; Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES); International Programs; Office of Admissions; Office of Student Life; Residence Services; Division of Recreational Services; Opportunity at Iowa; Upward Bound; and Support Service Programs.

This year the CCDF committee predicts more than 5,000 people will attend, making this the second largest UI-sponsored non-athletic event.

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 at the stadium for free, and then take a bus to the Field House. The buses 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 is also available at the University Parking Ramp 4, located southwest of and on the Kinnick Stadium side of the Field House; Lot 6, next to the Field House and Lot 14, across from the Field House. For more information about the festival, contact Akua Akyea at (319) 335-6676 or Lois Gray at (319) 335-2026.

Following is a tentative schedule of the programs for the Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival:

12:15-12:45 p.m.
Yahoo drummers, Main Deck
Shinkendo (Japanese Sword & History of Samurai/children), Room 515

12:30-1:30 p.m.
International multi-media fashion Show, North Gym

UI Tae Kwon Do Demonstration, North Gym

1-3 p.m.
Multicultural Activities for Children, Room 402
Native American Artist Holly Honken creates artwork, Main Deck

1-1:30 p.m.
Study Abroad Information Session and World Games with prizes, Room 461

1:15-1:45 p.m.
Shinkendo (Japanese Sword & History of Samurai/adults), Room 515

1:30-2 p.m.
Scottish Highlanders, Main Deck
Study Abroad Information Session and World Games with prizes, Room 461

1:30-2:15 p.m.
Iowa City Tae Kwon Do Demonstration, North Gym

2-2:45 p.m.
Native American Dancers, Aerobics Room 462

2-3 p.m.
Orquesta de Jazz y Salsa Alto Maiz, Main Deck

Aikido, North Gym

2:30-3 p.m.
Peace Corps Presentation, Staff Lounge
Black Genesis Dance Group, Aerobics Room 462
Thai Band, Room E220

2:45-3:15 p.m.
Palestinian Dance, Room 471

3-3:30 p.m.
Thai Dancing and Kick Boxing, Main Deck
Vietnamese program, Room 461

3-3:45 p.m.
Spanish Bingo, Staff Lounge

3-4 p.m.
Intercultural Dating Game, Aerobics Room 462
Chinese Culture School, Room 402

3:30-4 p.m.
Hawaiian Dancers, Main Deck
Voices of Soul, North Gym
Tai Chi, Room 471

4-4:30 p.m.
Taiwanese student presentation, Aerobics Room 462
Thai Watermelon Carving, Room 471
Steel Drum Band Ensemble, Main Deck
Urban Legends and the Internet, Aerobics Room 462

Chicken Soup Around the World, Room E220

4:30 p.m.
Piñata Breaking, Main Deck