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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 17, 2003

UI Cultural Diversity Festival Set for Feb. 23

The Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival, one of the University of Iowa's most popular events drawing thousands of visitors every year to the Field House, will celebrate its 13th year Sunday, Feb. 23 from noon to 5 p.m.

This year's theme is "Connecting Cultures/Sharing Community." More than 100 diverse cultures, both international and domestic, will be featured at the CCDF, showcasing a variety of ethnic foods, arts and crafts, music, sports, fashion and other activities. Not only does the festival offer fun for adults and children, it also provides an opportunity to explore ways in which their own unique cultural backgrounds intersect with other cultures from around the world, bridging our global community.

Admission is free, but vendors will charge for food, crafts, and other sale items. Credit cards will not be accepted but an ATM is being provided.

"I'm really looking forward to Cultural Diversity Day," said Joe Coulter, associate provost for diversity and director of Opportunity at Iowa. "The committee has planned some outstanding activities that we know will make this Cultural Diversity Day one of the best ever. I also believe that this event is instrumental in bringing our diverse communities together to celebrate our respective traditions."

Parking for the event is available in Lots 6, 13, 14, Hospital Ramp IV and the ramp south of the Field House at 60 cents per hour. Free parking is available at the parking lot west of Kinnick Stadium (Lot 46). A shuttle service from Lot 46 to the Field House will be provided.

The festival is sponsored by the UI Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival Committee. The UI offices and departments involved in the CCDF include Opportunity at Iowa: Office of the Provost, Division of Recreational Services, Office of International Students and Scholars, Office of Student Life, Office of Admissions, Residence Services, University Life Services, IMU Marketing, Office of Public Health, UI Staff Council and Support Service Programs.

Members from the following student communities are involved in planning for the event: Black Student Union, International Cross-Roads Community Floor, and UI Student Government, in addition to many UI student volunteers.

The event's business sponsors are Qwest Communications and the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

This year's stage events include:

* "Sounds of Africa: Music and Stories," which will be performed on African drums by members of the African Student Association. 12:15 p.m., Main Stage.

* The International Fashion Show, which will demonstrate traditional dress from several nations. 12:15 p.m., North Gym.

* Russian Children's Theater. 12:15 p.m., Room E220.

* Spanish Bingo. 12:15 p.m., Room 201.

* Learn to Salsa. 12:15 p.m., Room 462/472.

* Traditional Thai sword fighting, dancing and music, performed by the Thai Student Association. 12:45 p.m., Main Stage.

* Tai Chi demonstration by Iowa City-area practitioners of the ancient Chinese martial art. 12:45 p.m., Room S515.

* Tobool and Sudanese Singer Yasir Mabyo. Tobool, a percussion group of mostly Sudanese youth, will play various types of African rhythms. The group will be joined by Sudanese singer Yasir Mabyo, who will sing two Sudanese songs while playing the lute. 1 p.m., North Gym.

* Mini Korean Film Festival. KOLORS, the University of Iowa Korean Communication studies group, previews its upcoming Korean Film Festival. The preview runs throughout the afternoon. 1 p.m., Room 461.

* Aikido, the newest Japanese martial art that emphasizes self-defense without harming the attacker, will be demonstrated by University of Iowa Aikikai. 1 p.m., Room S507.

* Pinata. Children can take their whacks at the traditional Mexican game. 1:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m., Main Stage.

* Redefine Your World. A slide show and discussion of life in the Peace Corps by Peace Corp volunteers. Ryan Wells (Samoa), Elysha Iversen (Kenya), Alicen Burns (Paraguay) and Celeste Meza (Paraguay Peace Corps trainer) will present a slide show and discussion. 1:15 p.m., Room 201.

* Cricket, the Heartbeat of South East Asians! The India Student Association explains the rules and regulations of the game of cricket. 1:15 p.m., Room 462/472.

* Bahri Karacay performs Turkish pop and folk music. 1:30 p.m., Main Stage.

* Chopstix Theatre: "The Cherry Tree," a puppet show presented by the Asian American Coalition. 1:30 p.m., Room E220.

* Open Mic. Black Graduate and Professional Students Association (BGAPS) members will perform songs, poetry and perform a skit. 1:45 p.m., North Gym.

* Shinkendo. The Jade Tiger Dojo from North Liberty will demonstrate the ancient Japanese arts of the Samurai warrior. 2:15 p.m., Main Stage, and 3:15 p.m., Room 462/472.

* Dances of Universal Peace encourages participation from all people to use simple music, lyrics, and movements to touch the spiritual essence within themselves and others. 2:15 p.m., Room 462/472.

* Hapkido Demonstration. The Iowa Hapkido Club will demonstrate the Korean martial art of Hapkido. 2:15 p.m., Room S507.

* Kum Do and Tae Kwon Do Demonstration. Kang's Martial Arts Institute will demonstrate the Korean martial arts. 2:15 p.m., Room S515.

* Iowa City Chinese School introduces aspects of Chinese culture through Dragon Dance, Taizi Boxing, and traditional Chinese dancing and singing. 2:30 p.m., Room 201.

* Dances from India performs traditional dances as well as dances from popular Indian movies. 2:45 p.m,, North Gym.

* Community Crossroads: Stories from Around the World. 2:45 p.m., Room E220.

* Ashanti, one of the Midwest's hottest Latin jazz sextets. 3 p.m. and 4:15 p.m., Main Stage.

* Traditional Vietnamese Dance, performed by the Vietnamese Student Association. 3:30 p.m., North Gym.

* Kenya! The Kenyan Student Association will give a presentation on Kenya. 3:45 p.m., Room E220.

* The Quad Cities Ballet Folklorico performs dances from different regions of Mexico. 3:45 p.m., Main Stage.

* Learn Chinese with the Chinese Learners Association. 3:45 p.m., Room 201.

* The Iowa City Klezmer Band performs the traditional Eastern European Jewish folk music. 4 p.m., North Gym.

* Tales of Ghana, from the African Student Association. 4:15 p.m., Room E220.

* The Office for Study Abroad will create a fun, interactive game show-like program with trivia questions on geography, culture, and current events from all around the world. 4:15 p.m., Room 462/472.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,; Program: Juan Parales, CCDF planning committee chair, 319-335-7982.