The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us
International Programs
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-2026

Release: Feb. 13, 2001

UI Cultural Diversity Festival Feb. 25 promotes global intersections

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa is planning a five-hour trip around the world, and everyone is invited to participate. The 12th Annual Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival will be Sunday, Feb. 25 from noon-5 p.m. at the UI Field House with the theme of "Global Intersections: Connecting Our Past With Our Present."

There is no charge for admission to the festival but attendees should bring cash if they wish to purchase food or crafts. Credit cards and checks will not be accepted. Firstar Bank will provide an ATM.

Akua Akyea, co-chair of the CCDF committee, encourages anyone who wants to learn about other cultures in a friendly, fun atmosphere to attend the festival.

"It’s an event to introduce people to the concept that ‘otherness’ doesn’t have to be frightening, bizarre or overwhelming. It can be a lot of fun," she said. The other co-chair of the event is Warren Slebos, of University of Iowa Division of Recreational Services.

The fun includes more than 60 educational programs, which feature international and domestic diversity, including ethnic foods, crafts, music, sports, a fashion show and other activities.

One of the many performance highlights is the Capoeira group, which will perform a combination of dance and martial arts from Brazil. The Black Genesis Dance Theater plans to entertain festival goers with its hip-hop dance, a modern piece and a gospel routine. Also, as in past years, Voices of Soul, a group focused on African-American musical heritage, will move the crowd with its powerful performance of gospel.

The Larkin Brothers and Terry Moran, an Irish Folk Music group from Chicago, will be performing for the first time at the CCDF from 2-2:45 p.m. on the Main Deck of the Field House. They hope to get the crowd dancing and singing along to their traditional as well as original Irish tunes.

Back by popular demand will be the Orquesta de Jazz y Salsa Alto Maiz, a well-known salsa and jazz ensemble which is a fusion of Latin sounds, Caribbean vibes and African beats. The group will perform on the Main Deck from 3 to 4:15 p.m.

A number of UI nationality groups will be demonstrating various aspects of their cultures through performance, storytelling, crafts, games and food. These groups include the India Student Association; Malaysian Student Society; Taiwanese Student Association; General Union of Palestinian Students; Vietnamese Association; Asian American Coalition; and the Hawaiian Student Association.

A special feature of the festival is a poster presentation of the journey the UI has taken towards diversity. "We want to showcase the milestones of the journey," explained Akyea. "It will be enlightening for everyone to see how the community and the university have worked toward enhancing diversity."

The festival is an event for the entire family. Younger participants will have the chance to try different sports like cricket, fencing, softball and soccer. These activities are part of the expanded children’s programming this year. There will also be a number of crafts and games geared toward children.

The festival is sponsored by the UI Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival Committee, the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization, International Programs and U.S. West Communications. The UI offices and departments involved with the CCDF are the following: Division of Recreational Services; IMU Marketing Department; International Programs; Office of Admissions; Office of Student Life; Opportunity at Iowa; Residence Services; and Support Service Programs.

The CCDF draws a sizeable crowd, placing it among the largest UI sponsored non-athletic events. The CCDF committee expects an attendance of 5,000 or more based on last year’s attendance. Parking for the event is available in University Lots 6, 13, 14 and Hospital Ramp 4.

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 van to the Field House. The vans 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.

For more information about the festival, contact Akua Akyea at (319) 335-0345 or Lois Gray at (319) 335-2026. Or, visit the University of Iowa International Programs’ Web site at and click on the Cultural Diversity link under the Community menu option to see the schedule of events.

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

noon-12:30 p.m.
Iowa City Tae Kwon Do Demonstration, North Gym

12:30-1 p.m.
Yahoo Drummers, Main Deck

12:30-1:30 p.m.
Fashion Show, North Gym

1-1:30 p.m.
Capoeira, Main Deck
Hawkeye Tae Kwon Do, Room 515
Study Abroad Presentation, Staff Lounge
Classical Yoga Presentation, Room 461

1-2:00 p.m.
American Sign Language Story Hour, Room 471

1:15-2 p.m.
International Crossroads Community Mask-Making, Children’s Room

1:30-1:45 p.m.
Demonstration from the Kum Do World Federation, North Gym

1:30-2 p.m.
Thai Dancing, Main Deck
Fencing, South Gym
Malaysian Cooking Demonstration, E220
Peace Corps, Staff Lounge

1:45-2 p.m.
Indian Dance Demonstration, Room 461

1:45-2:30 p.m.
Black Genesis Dance Theater, North Gym

2-2:30 p.m.
Aikido club, Room 515
Native American Beadwork, Room E220
Indian Classical Music, Room 461

2-2:45 p.m.
The Larkin Brothers and Terry Moran, Main Deck
Spanish Bingo, Staff Lounge

2-3 p.m.
Chopstix Theater, Room 471
Children’s Games Around the World, South Gym

2-2:45 p.m.
Learn to Salsa, Room 101

2:30-3 p.m.
Hawaiian Dance Demonstration, North Gym
Hapkido, Room 511
Demonstration from the Kum Do World Federation, Room 515
Sarong Demonstration, Room E220

2:45-3:15 p.m.
Dahkotah Storytelling, Staff Lounge
Taoist Tai Chi Society Demonstration, Room 461

2:45-3:00 p.m.
Shinkendo—Authentic Japanese Swordsmanship, Room 515

3-3:30 p.m.
Voices of Soul, North Gym

3-4:15 p.m.
Salsa Band (Orquesta de Jazz y Salsa Alto Maiz) Main Deck

3-4 p.m.
Chinese Culture School, Children’s Room, Racquetball Court #9
Shinkendo—Authentic Japanese Swordsmanship, Room 515

3:15-3:30 p.m.
Sari Demonstration, Room E220

3:15-4 p.m.
Eulenspiegel Theater/West Liberty, Room 471
Victory Temple Minority Women’s Health Initiative Presentation, Staff Lounge

3:30- 4 p.m.
Chinese Cooking Demonstration, Room E220

4-5 p.m.
International Coffeehouse—Open Stage, Staff Lounge

4-4:30 p.m.
Malaysian Games, Children’s Room, Racquetball Court #9
African Cooking Demonstration, Room E220
The Quire Performance, North Gym

4:15-5 p.m.
Bahri Karacay of Turkana (Turkish pop songs), Main Deck
Pinata Breaking, Main Deck