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University of Iowa News Release


March 28, 2011

University of Iowa presents Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival April 3

The University of Iowa will host the Celebrating Cultural Diversity Festival from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 3 at the UI Field House.

Visitors to festival can learn about different cultures through food, games, dance, music, literature, storytelling, arts and crafts. The event is free and open to the public.

Featured live music and dance performances this year include Bharata Natyam Dance, Java Jews, Noopur Dance Troupe, Tarang Dance, UI World Beat Ensemble, Iowa Andhi "Femme Fatale", Kol Shira, Korean Youth Group, the Uke-a-maniacs, Kelly Montijo Fink, the Intersection a cappella group and Nacel Open Door Exchange.

Demonstrations and lessons include Team S.T.R.I.K.E., Iowa Hapkido, Aikijuku Dojo, Moy Yat Ving Tsun Kung Fu, Iowa City Tango, Shira Belly Dancing and UI Breakers. Food available for purchase includes Native American fry bread AND Chinese, Czech, Japanese, Korean, Malavsian, Vietnamese, Indian, Sri Lankan, Thai, Turkish and American food. Vendors will offer hand-made goods for sale, such as clothing and arts crafts.

The Grand Wood Chapter of the American Red Cross will accept donations for the Japanese Relief Fund during the festival.

The festival began in 1990 and draws 3,000 to 5,000 people each year, making it the second-largest, non-athletic event sponsored by the UI. The event aims to bring together people of different cultures to learn from each other. It offers under-represented students an opportunity to share aspects of their culture with the community. Community members are also given a chance to broaden their cultural horizons.

"Diversity remains one of the UI's highest priorities, and it remains one of our institution's most important ideals," said UI President Sally Mason. "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. 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."

Free parking is available in the lot west of Kinnick Stadium. Paid parking is also available in Lots 6, 14 and Hospital Ramp 4 at 85 cents per hour. A shuttle service from Lot 43 to the Field House will be provided. For special accommodations to attend this event, call 319-335-1424.

For more information and updates on performances and vendors, visit See photos of the 2010 festival at

The festival planning committee includes members from the UI Chief Diversity Office, the Iowa Memorial Union, UI Office for Student Life, UI Recreational Services and University Housing with support and participation from many other student groups and community organizations.

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: Tiffany Hung