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WRITER: IULIA ALBUL
CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
International Programs
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-2026
e-mail: lois-gray@uiowa.edu

Release: April 9, 2002

(Photo: The Luther College Balalaika Ensemble performs at the 2001 Slavic Bazaar at the University of Iowa.)

Slavic Bazaar April 14 features song, dance, food, performances

The public can learn more about eastern European countries through food, storytelling, music and a theatrical performance during the annual University of Iowa Slavic Bazaar from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 14, in the International Center Lounge on the UI campus. The event is free and open to the public.

"This is an opportunity to celebrate Slavic culture from Eastern and Central Europe," said Iulia Albul, one of the event organizers, adding that many special activities are geared toward children so they can participate, have fun and learn about this part of the world. "The bazaar was organized to highlight ways Slavic culture has become part of Iowa communities."

The UI and Iowa are host to a large number of scholars and immigrants from Slavic countries in Eastern Europe, parts of Central Europe and Northern Russia. With music, a children's performance and presentations, the bazaar will highlight some of the ways Slavic culture has enriched local Iowa communities.

"This event is one of the highlights of our community outreach because it combines education and entertainment for the entire family," said Russell Valentino, director of the UI Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies and a Russian professor. "This is a great opportunity to have fun, relax and learn about the diverse cultures of this part of the world."

The Russian Children's Theater will perform traditional Russian folktales, songs and dances starting at 12:15 p.m. The Maritza band from Decorah will perform at 1, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Their repertoire includes a mix of rollicking Jewish Klezmer tunes and sorrowful songs from Balkan villages. DeAnn Wortman, an Iowa City resident, will tell Russian Baba Yaga (The Wicked Witch) folktales at 1:30 p.m.

The event will also feature Eastern European food, cartoons and a raffle. Eastern European cookbooks, CDs, souvenirs, posters and Easter eggs will be given away.

The bazaar is sponsored by the UI Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES) and by International Programs. Additional support comes from various UI departments and private individuals. For more information about CREEES, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~creees/

The UI International Center is located at the end of Ferson Avenue in Iowa City, off of Park Road or by foot up the stairway from Riverside Drive. For more information about the Slavic Bazaar or special accommodations to attend this event, contact Blythe Burkhardt at (319) 335-1436.

CREEES is part of International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and training.