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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 11, 2010

University of Iowa presents Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival Feb. 21

The University of Iowa will host the Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, at the UI Field House.

Since 1990, the CCDF has given people from the UI and surrounding communities an opportunity to learn about each other through food, games, dance, music, literature, storytelling, arts and crafts.

Every year, nearly 3,000 to 5,000 people attend the festival, making it the second-largest, non-athletic event sponsored by the UI.  It is free and open to the public.

Live music, dance performances and sports demonstrations are planned and food from various countries will be available for purchase. Vendors offer hand-made goods for sale such as clothing and arts and crafts. In the Kid's World area, children will have an opportunity to learn about international cultures with crafts, face painting, a dress-up time and music.

Featured live music and dance performances this year include Noopur Dance Group, Accoustic Mayhem, Bharata Natyam Dance, Hapkido performance, Turkana, KARIS, Argentinean Folkloric Dance Group and Yahoo Drummers. Demonstrations and lessons include a Hapkido self-defense lesson, the UI Swing Dance Club, Moy Yat Ving Tsun Kung Fu and Shira Belly Dancing. Performances take place from 12:15 to 5 p.m. while demonstrations take place from 1 to 4:45 p.m.

Food available for purchase includes Native American fry bread, Hunan Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Greek, Indian, Chinese bubble tea and American food.

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

The Grant Wood Chapter of the American Red Cross will be present at the festival to take donations for the Haiti Relief Fund. Participants at the festival can make donations though cash, check or by donating any unused vendor tickets purchased at the festival.

The goal of the event is to bring people from different foreign and domestic cultures together to learn about, from and with each other. It was designed to interest more Iowans in learning about cultures different than their own, to widen their cultural horizons and give students and scholars from under-represented cultures the opportunity to share new and different aspects of their culture with members of the university and surrounding communities.

"Diversity remains one of the UI's highest priorities and it remains one of our institution's most important ideals. Diversity is not only part of what we do every day, but it is also part of who we are. As we move forward to become a better and better university, we know that cultural diversity remains at the center of our mission, in our teaching, research and service," said UI President Sally Mason. "Through the Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival, we bring together people from throughout the University and greater community for a day full of inspiration, learning, entertainment, and fun."

The Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival is made possible with the support of: the Academic Advising Center, Tippe College of Business, College of Law, College of Dentistry, College of Education Diversity Committee, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Nursing, Office of Graduate Ethnic Inclusion in the Graduate College, Department of Pharmacology, Honors Program, International Programs, IMU Marketing, Recreational Services, University Housing - Residence Life, Hills Bank and Trust Company, UI Staff Council, Belin-Blank Center, Center for Diversity and Enrichment, Chief Diversity Office, Division of Continuing Education, Facilities Management, UI Health Care, Human Resources, Office of Student Life, the Women's Resource and Action Center, Office of Student Life Coca-Cola Support Program Committee, University Of Iowa Community Credit Union, B4 Brands, Target and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity.

Free parking is available in the lot west of Kinnick Stadium. Additional parking is available in Lots 6, 14 and Hospital Ramp IV at 85 cents per hour. In case of inclement weather, call the Field House at 319-335-9293. For special accommodations to attend this event, call 319-335-1424.

For further information and updates on performances and vendors visit

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Sharon Beck, UI Chief Diversity Office, 319-384-3435,; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,; Writer: Ashton Shurson