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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 7, 2004

(Photo: Textile merchant showing high quality fabric, locally dyed by Malian women. Bamako, Mali, 1997. Photo by V. Rovine)

UI Receives Grants From The National Endowment For The Arts

The University of Iowa has received two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA): $8,000 to the UI Press to support publication costs and related expenses for winning selections from the Iowa Short Fiction Award and John Simmons Short Fiction Award competitions; and $10,000 to the UI Museum of Art to support the planning of a touring exhibition, "African Fashion/Global Style," an exploration of Africa's role in global fashion markets.

The grant to the UI Press will help meet publication and marketing expenses for two short-fiction collections to be published in 2004: the winners of the annual Iowa Short Fiction Award and John Simmons Short Fiction Award competition. The latter award is named for the first director (1969-1984) of the UI Press.

The annual short-fiction competition was launched in 1970. Manuscripts are screened by Iowa Writers' Workshop scholars, and final selections are made by a judge with an established reputation in fiction publication. In recent years these judges have included Chris Offutt, Susan Power, Elizabeth McCracken, Marilynne Robinson, Stuart Dybek, Ann Beattie and Oscar Hijuelos.

UI Press Acquisitions Editor Prasenjit Gupta commented, "The UI Press is fortunate in having received NEA grants several times, starting in 1987. The UI Press is proud to be part of the strong liberal arts tradition at the university, especially in the forthcoming Year of the Arts and Humanities, and to collaborate with the Iowa Writers' Workshop in order to bring these prize-winning literary works to a national audience with the continuing support of the NEA."

"African Fashion/Global Style" will be an exploration of Africa's varied roles in global fashion markets. The exhibition will present dramatic garments created by African, European and American designers that are based on or inspired by distinctively African forms.

Victoria Rovine, the museum's curator of the arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, explained, "This exhibition will be the first in the United States to present the work of important African fashion designers, and the first anywhere to address Africa's role in Western fashion markets. Even for specialists in the fields of African art history and fashion studies, this project will provide new insights into both indigenous cultures and the latest global trends."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072, peter-alexander@uiowa.edu.