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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 13, 2008

University of Iowa Diversity Festival celebrates humanity

The University of Iowa will host the 19th annual Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24 at the UI Field House. The event is free and open to the public.

The festival brings people from over 100 diverse international and domestic cultures together to demonstrate and share customs, traditions, and world perspectives in a fun and social event. With thousands of people attending every year, Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival has become the second-largest non-athletic event sponsored by the UI.

"The Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival is not only a great way to observe our university's commitment to diversity, but it's the best way to practice those values -- by bringing together people from throughout the university and greater community for a day full of inspiration, learning, entertainment and fun," said UI President Sally Mason.

Some of the activities to enjoy are:

--Children's global village. This area offers storytelling, craft making, and a passport activity in which children can be entered to win a pass to the Children's Museum in Coralville.

--Sports demonstrations. Activities include the Chinese martial art of ta'i chi and kung fu.

--Live music including Valentin Ruiz (Latin ballads), The Soul Searchers (blues music), Charism (gospel), Bahri Karacay and TURKANA (Turkish folk and pop).

--Dance featuring the talent of Folklor Latino, the Filipino-American Association of Linn County, Noopur Dance Troupe, a Argentinean folklore dance group, and the UI Swing Dance Club: "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing" (demonstration and teaching).

--Arts and crafts. Some vendors offer hand-made goods for sale, such as festive paper flowers and hand-knit sweaters.

--Food booths. Visitors can sample delicacies from around the world ranging from Hunan Chinese food and Greek baklava to bubble tea and falafels. Kid-friendly food will be available.

Check the festival's website at after Friday, Feb. 15 for a detailed schedule of events. A schedule will also appear in the Iowa City Press Citizen.

The festival is partnering with Associate Residence Halls to sponsor a canned food drive and asks attendees to consider bringing canned food items that will be distributed to community shelters and food banks.

Free parking is available in the lot west of Kinnick Stadium. Additional parking is available in Lots 6, 13, 14, and Hospital Ramp IV at 65 cents for the first hour and 80 cents for each additional hour. A free shuttle will be available to and from Kinnick.

In case of inclement weather, call the Field House at 319-335-9293.

The Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival is made possible in part by the generous support of Rockwell Collins and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Additional support is provided by Academic Advising Center, Center for Diversity and Enrichment, College of Law, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Public Health, Council on the Status of Women, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Department of Health and Sport Studies, Department of Internal Medicine, Department of Pharmacology, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Honors Program, IMU Food Service/Catering, IMU Marketing and Design, International Programs, Iowa Children's Museum, Office of Admissions, Office of Student Life, Recreational Services, Signs and Screenprinters, Stanley Foundation, Target, UI Community Credit Union, UI Health Care, UI Staff Council and Women's Resource and Action Center.

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Marisa Moore, Center for Diversity and Enrichment, 319-335-3555,; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,