CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: July 26, 2001
Latino-Native American Cultural Center's founding commemorated
IOWA CITY The words casa, calli, wikiabi, and home, in their respective
Spanish, Nahuatl, Meskwaki, and English languages, distinctively connote one's
sense of place within a larger, dominate culture. Collectively, those four
words combine to make up the title of the University of Iowa Libraries' commemorative
exhibit, "Casa, Calli, Wikiabi, Home: 30 Years of the Latino-Native American
The free, newly opened exhibit recognizes the 30th founding anniversary
of the UI's
Latino-Native American Culture Center and the center's role as a focal point
for political activism. The exhibit is on display for close-up viewing through
August at the special collections department, Third Floor, Main Library from
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or via the department's corridor windows during regular Main
David McCartney, university archivist, arranged the exhibition of photographs,
newspaper articles, posters, and other items, which, he says, attempts to
relate the center's founders' goal of creating a community identity for students
whose cultural heritage is reflected in the center's name.
Among the other items exhibited are t-shirts, buttons and newsletters, which
further chronicles the center's history as a gathering place, inspiration
for community awareness, and social events. Some unique items, such as an
invitation to a couple's 1973 wedding shower that was held at the center as
one of its first events, are also included in the display.
When the student movement to open a heritage center began in 1970, Latino
and Native American students comprised a limited makeup of the UI's total
enrollment. Today, as was the past, the center continues to be used as a site
for students of similar identities to use for educational and social purposes.
Teresa Garcia, a UI graduate student and one of the center's members, coordinated
a large portion of the materials used in the exhibit, which also addresses
the center's future. McCartney and Garcia devote some attention to disparate
opinions about whether the existing center, located at
308 Melrose Avenue, should be razed and a new center should be built or relocated
elsewhere on campus.
The exhibition items have been drawn primarily from a recently donated collection
housed at the University of Iowa Archives.