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WRITER: NICK DELO
CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: peter-alexander@uiowa.edu

Release: April 9, 1999

WOW! Family Day will be at the UI Museum of Art April 25

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The ninth-annual Widen Our World (WOW!) Family Day, a fun-filled afternoon of art, jazz, African drums, storytelling, prizes and hands-on activities for the entire family, will be held at the University of Iowa Museum of Art from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 25. Designed for participants of all ages, the event will be open to the public free of charge.

Family Day is the culmination of the museum's WOW! program, which brings third-grade students from the Iowa City area into the museum. This year, more than 1,200 students from 22 local schools visited the UI Museum of Art through the WOW! program.

Emphasizing this year's theme, "Art! Africa! WOW!," the day's events will focus on artwork from two current exhibitions at the museum: "Baba Wague Diakite: African Folktales," an exhibition of vividly painted color-tile illustrations, and "Kilengi: African Art from the Bareiss Collection," an international exhibition that includes masks, figurines, ceramics, furniture and weapons.

Local celebrities will be on hand to read African folk tales, including "Ba Musa the Hat Seller" and "The Hunterman and the Crocodile," at 12:30, 1:30 and 2:45 p.m. Other events scheduled during the afternoon are performances by:

-- Olabayo Olaniyi, a Yoruba drummer and performer from Nigeria, at 1 and 3 p.m.;

-- Iowa City Northwest Junior High Jazz Band, directed by Jerry Zinn, at 2 p.m.; and

-- Judith the Storyteller at 3:30 p.m.

In addition, a video of African artist and children's author Baba Wague Diakite will be played throughout the day, and refreshments will be served. Hands-on activities will include the creation of African hats and the making of colorful tile designs for a museum storybook wall. A drawing for prizes will be at 4 p.m.

The WOW! program is intended to introduce students to art and art museums as a life-long resource for learning and enjoyment. By exposing children to art from many cultures, the museum hopes to deepen the children's appreciation of their own multi-cultural heritage.

WOW! is a collaboration among the Museum of Art, the Iowa City Community School District, Mercantile Bank, Knutson Construction Services and Cedar River Paper Company. Participating students came from Iowa City elementary schools, as well as Regina Elementary, Willowind School, Lakeview Elementary in Solon, Herbert Hoover Elementary in West Branch and Cedar Rapid's Johnson School of the Arts.

For further information concerning WOW! Family Day, call Emily Vermillion, curator of education at the UI Museum of Art, at (319) 335-1730.

The UI Museum of Art is located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside Drive and just north of the museum.