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University of Iowa News Release


April 15, 2008

Native American Arts Week will be held April 21-25

The University of Iowa American Indian Student Association (AISA) has planed a series of events for Native American Arts Week, Monday, April 21, through Friday, April 25, in order to bring a greater awareness and understanding of Native American culture to the UI community.

Lectures, a film showing, and a potluck are planned during the week, which will culminate at 7 p.m. Friday, April 25, with a family-oriented social in the Black Box Theater on the third floor of the Iowa Memorial Union. This event will feature a Meskwaki drum group playing traditional music. Art supplies will be available for children to create their own work of art.

Through events with the theme "Defying Generic Notions," the AISA hopes to dispel preconceived notions about American Indians, says AISA co-chair Theresa Heitz, a UI sophomore born in South Dakota and raised in Nebraska. "We live next door to you and do the same things as everyone else, but we still have a close association with our culture," Heitz said.

In past years, the AISA had sponsored a powwow, which brought attention to the group, but that event was discontinued. Native American Arts week was created in its place to highlight the Native American culture and heritage, Heitz said.

Native American Arts Week events include:

--"Our Ancestors Paddle With Us: Place, Power, and Protocol Within Native American Religious Revitalization," a lecture by Dennis F. Kelley, an assistant professor at Iowa State University, at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 21, in Room 106 of Gilmore Hall. Kelley will talk about the traditional canoe (tomol) of the Chumash Indians of California and its role in the revival of the Chumash cultural system. A reception will follow.

--Screening by LeAnne Howe and James Me Fortier of "Playing Pastime: American Indian Fast Pitch Softball and Survival," 7 p.m. Tuesday April 22, in Room 1505 of the Seamans Center. Howe, an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is an author, poet, playwright and filmmaker. Her recent work focuses on the Choctaw tribe and the game of baseball and fast-pitch softball. Howe and Fortier produced this short film about American Indians who have been playing these games since the 1880s and how it has been incorporated into the culture.

--"Pre-Contact Landscapes or The Past Is In The Present," a lecture by Duane Slick, professor of painting and printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design, at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, in Room 1505 of the Seamans Center. Slick, a member of the Meskwaki, is a figurative painter whose work captures the figure in motion and is influenced by his Native American heritage.

--AISA Potluck, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24, at the Latino and Native American Cultural Center, 308 Melrose Ave. in Iowa City. AISA will host their weekly family potluck featuring traditional foods from various backgrounds.

Native American Arts Week is sponsored the AISA, the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, UI Student Government, Center for Diversity and Enrichment, and the American Indian and Native Studies Program.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the AISA in advance at 319-335-6883.


STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: American Indian Student Association 319-335-6883;; George McCrory, 319-384-0012,